Eye on College Football Recruiting blog on CBSSports.com
Quarterback has been an up-and-down position in terms of quality and depth over the past five years. The emphasis on the passing game thanks to the proliferation of the spread offense at the high school level has developed more signal-callers who are able to play right away but that hasn't necessarily led to highly regarded players being successful in college.
While the 2012 crop of quarterbacks was a noticeable improvement from previous years, the 2013 group figures to be even better. That much is evident when looking down the Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2013
. Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.)
quarterback Max Browne
is the No. 2 overall player in the country and the top offensive player in the class.
Fellow five-star Whitewright (Texas)
quarterback Tyrone Swoopes
brings a different set of skills to the table but has drawn more comparisons to Vince Young than anybody since the latter QB left Texas (fittingly, Swoopes is headed to play in Austin). In a year in which Lemming says, "every position seems loaded," having two quarterbacks in the top four spots is pretty special.
It is not too surprising to see most of the good players at this position committed somewhere already, either. At No. 23 overall and third at the position, De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.)
quarterback Shane Morris
was one of the first players to commit as a sophomore and has been a key part in helping Michigan snag one of the top commitment lists in the country. He's one of the rare leftys to get a five-star rating, performed well at this past weekend's adidas Invitational and is one of the more polished guys to come out out of high school.
Swoopes made his verbal to Texas not long ago and Browne recently pulled the trigger on USC, meaning all of the big-name quarterbacks are off the board. This should set off a domino effect with the rest of the players across the country, with many more commitments likely to roll in the coming weeks and months.Heritage (Colleyville, Texas)
pro-style quarterback Cody Thomas
will likely have the spotlight turn to him as a result. With more than 20 offers from powerhouses across the country, the 6-5, 210-pounder could end up being Oklahoma's top target after losing out on Browne. Football isn't the only sport that he's highly regarded in, as Thomas is also considered a top baseball player and there's a good chance he could get drafted by a Major League Baseball system next year. He's maintained that he wants to play college football but the threat of a big signing bonus means he's not as highly recruited as others would be at No. 32 overall.
Another player who earns the coveted five-star rating at the position is Wayne Hills (Wayne, N.J.)
quarterback Kevin Olsen
. The younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, the 6-3, 195-pounder has a strong arm and very good release. The younger Olsen has a Miami offer - where his brother played - as well as a host of others across the country.
A pair of SEC-bound quarterbacks from Georgia follow Olsen as Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.)
signal-caller Brice Ramsey
(headed to Georgia) and Vanderbilt commit Johnathon McCrary
out of Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.)
check in at Nos. 55 and 56m respectively, overall. Penn State commit Christian Hackenberg
from Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Va.)
and East Coast sleeper and Stanford verbal in Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.)
quarterback Ryan Burns
are in the 60's. Uncommitted Bolingbrook (Ill.)
quarterback Aaron Bailey
and Salem (Virginia Beach, Va.)
quarterback Bucky Hodges
are several good ones with multiple offers early in the recruiting process.
The state of North Carolina has turned out a good signal-caller every year for the past few and Statesville (N.C.)
quarterback Carlis Parker
is drawing plenty of attention at No. 80 overall. The final group to round out the Top 100 is Cooper Bateman
of Cottonwood (Salt Lake City)
, J.T. Barrett
of Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas)
, Cord Sandberg
of Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.)
and Troy Williams
of Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.)
In all, there are 16 quarterbacks in the initial Top 100 for 2013, five of whom earned a five-star rating. This is a deep group with elite arms and plenty of time for the players to move up, down or off the list by the time Signing Day comes around in February. It will be pretty hard to knock Browne and Swoopes out of the Top 10 but everybody else will be aiming high when the season comes around and the film provides a better look at where the quarterbacks stack up in the Class of 2013.