The QB Collective is proud to have imparted some of our wisdom last summer to these 16 quarterbacks. Here’s a brief recap of where they all are heading.
Justin Fields – Georgia
The No. 2 overall player in the country according to Rivals.com, Fields’ skills have rightfully been compared to Cam Newton. He could challenge Jake Fromm and Jacob Eason for playing time next season. Fields enrolled early to Georgia and will partake in spring practice.
JT Daniels – USC
The Gatorade national player of the year committed to the Trojans on signing day, catapulting USC’s class ranking. Coach Clay Helton said Daniels will compete for a starting spot this fall. Daniels is forgoing his senior season at Mater Dei after a 4,123-yard, 52 touchdown, perfect 15-0 season.
Cameron Rising – Texas
A dual-threat quarterback who received 25 major offers, Rising decided on the Longhorns in December. He’ll enroll early and have a chance to show off his arm, rated as one of the strongest in the country.
Matt Corral – Ole Miss
One of the top pro-style quarterbacks in the country, Corral flipped from Florida to Ole Miss in December, citing the family atmosphere coach Matt Luke has brought to the program. Corral threw for more than 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in his high school career. He’ll will enroll early with the Rebels.
Artur Sitkowski – Rutgers
After honing his skills at IMG academy in Florida, Sitkowski shocked the college football world by committing to Rutgers over Miami in November. The New Jersey native is ecstatic to get back home and turn the Scarlet Knights into a competitive program in the Big Ten.
Tanner McKee – Stanford
One of the biggest announcements on signing day came from McKee, who committed to coach David Shaw and the Cardinal. A devout Mormon, McKee will go on his two-year mission before embarking on his college fooball career.
Colson Yankoff – Washington
The Idaho native was an early commit for the Huskies and has a vast skill set. He ran a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash and entered his senior year with a 4.3 weighted grade-point average. Washington is getting a sharp quarterback who will likely compete for playing time this fall.
J.T. Shrout – Tennessee
The biggest story coming out of QB Collective, Shrout turned heads among the NFL coaches and skyrocketed up recruiting boards. After committing to Cal in the fall, Shrout was enticed by new Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt and ultimately decided to become a Volunteer.
John Stephen Jones – Arkansas
The grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, John Stephen is a winner. He led Highland Park to two state championships, including a 564-yard performance and a 10-point comeback win in the 2017 title. The Razorbacks are getting a winner with a lot of potential.
John Holcombe – Kansas State
A strapping athlete with pro size, Holcombe is one of the crown jewels of the Wildcats recruiting class. The Texas native was lauded for being one of the toughest players in the area and he’ll bring dual-threat capabilities as a runner, too.
Zack Annexstad – Minnesota
Following the family footsteps, Annexstad joins his father and big brother as a member of the Gopher football family. While training this season at IMG academy in Florida, Annexstad convinced two highly-touted offensive linemen to join him in Minnesota, giving the school it’s highest ranked recruiting class of the decade. Talk about a leader.
Michael Penix – Indiana
After Tennessee made a coaching change, Penix decided the Hooisers were the best fit for his spread passing skill set. The lefty tosses 61 touchdowns and just six interceptions the last two seasons and enrolled into school this winter. Starting from day one in Bloomington looks very realistic.
Jalen Chatman – Rutgers
The California native will join Sitkowski in a revamped Scarlet Knights quarterback position. Chatman has been apart of four state championship teams and will bring a winning attitude along with his dual-threat skill set to Rutgers.
Gunnar Holmberg – Duke
A Blue Devil commit way back in the summer of 2016, Holmberg has been described as a natural playmaker. David Cutcliffe is regarded as one of the best quarterback teachers and will have a chance to mold Holmberg into a difference maker.
Mason Quandt – Pennsylvania
Committing back in the summer of 2017, Quandt gives the Quakers a lot of hope at the quarterback position. The California native cited the schools prestigious academics in his announcement. Quandt is eager to get back on the field after a knee injury sidelined him for most of his senior season.
Griffin O’Connor – Yale
A young man wise beyond his years, O’Connor said his commitment to Yale was more about the next 40 to 50 years and not the next 4 to 5. O’Connor is a quarterback who can stress a defense with his arm and legs and could be a problem for Ivy League opponents for years to come.
Not too long ago, Nick Foles was a punchline on Twitter. His career had come crashing down with the Rams and Chiefs. His skills seemingly evaporated. He even considered retirement.
Foles officially shattered that narrative Sunday night in Minneapolis, leading the Eagles to a 38-33 Super Bowl LII victory while also taking home the MVP trophy. He was nearly flawless against the New England Patriots on the biggest stage in sports.
The big picture football concept the QBC staff is taking away from Foles’ extraordinary turnaround: Being a backup quarterback is an extremely important job that both teams and players should take pride in. Foles and Philadelphia did, helping the city end their championship drought.
Of course, the Eagles are a tremendously built football team with very little weaknesses. Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Alshon Jeffery and Chris Long were all home run veteran additions. From offensive line to secondary, there really are no holes on this Philly roster.
The entire season was thought to be lost cause once Carson Wentz tore his ACL Dec. 11 in Los Angeles. Headed for a MVP year, Wentz was burying opponents with his accuracy and playmaking skills. There’s no way Foles was going to be able to replicate an explosive offense. Right? Wrong.
It took a couple games until coach Doug Pederson and Philadelphia’s offensive staff incorporated run-pass-option concepts — from Chip Kelly’s days — that suited Foles’ quarterbacking style. The Eagles found ways to raise the confidence level of their backup QB. All of a sudden, Foles stopped hesitating, starting throwing accurate missiles deep down the field and eventually went toe-to-toe with the greatest quarterback of all-time in the Super Bowl.
Most are in agreement, there still isn't a quarterback controversy in Philly. Wentz is the future of the franchise. He’ll return to his starting spot some time next season when he’s fully healed.
But there is no denying Foles' rise from clipboard holder to quarterbacking legend. Because of his own perseverance, a solid group of teammates and a coaching staff who understood his skill set, Foles was able to play freely. He let it rip for 373 yards and three touchdowns against a Bill Belichick defense. Other quarterback-needy teams are devising trade offers to the Eagles. Foles is a hot commodity.
If you are a backup quarterback right now for your high school or college team, do not give up. Your opportunity could come at any moment. You could be the difference between a busted season and winning a title. Trust your abilities, just like Nick Foles did, and literally anything is possible.
Even beating Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.
By: Pete Thamel - Yahoo! Sports
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – One year ago, at the debut of the QB Collective camp, a precocious young offensive coordinator from the Washington Redskins came to Westlake High School to teach NFL quarterbacking nuances like drop-back footwork, play-action passing and downfield reads to elite high school players. Sean McVay arrived at the field to see Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, throwing routes with his Los Angeles Rams teammates on the school’s turf field.
One year later, McVay returned to the QB Collective camp as the youngest head coach in NFL history. His career trajectory and a franchise’s fate are tied to his ability to pass on the camp counselor conundrum he’d tackled the prior year: How do you take talented young quarterbacks with extensive backgrounds in spread-offense systems and streamline their development? McVay, 31, chuckled at the serendipity of it all. “It’s a small world,” he said.
The small world McVay joked about comes in part because of the basic disconnect between NFL offenses and the spread and tempo schemes that have proliferated in high school and college for the past 15 years. As the game has spread out and sped up, evaluating the quarterback position has become one of the trickiest formulas in all of sports. “When you look at the quarterback position, it’s the most important position in all of sports,” McVay said. “It’s also the most difficult.”
The collision of top NFL offensive minds – McVay, Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan – with 30 of the elite high school quarterback prospects at the second annual Quarterback Collective camp in mid-July was designed to bridge the yawning gap between the basics of NFL offenses and the lower levels of football. The QB Collective, founded by former NFL player and coach Richmond Flowers, has turned into a high-level X-and-O boot camp for the country’s top young quarterbacks. The invitation-only camp is free for the participants, and it’s billed by Flowers as the “anti-showcase.” Instead, it’s awash in drill work, reading defenses and a ballet instructor’s focus on footwork from coaches who volunteer their time to teach. The details are taught by NFL assistants, former NFL quarterbacks and top private quarterback tutors. It’s Flowers’ long-term goal for the instruction, ideals and philosophies taught at the QB Collective to become a syllabus of sorts for the skills necessary to play the position at the highest level.
The camp comes at a fascinating time for quarterback play. The NFL has never been closer for top high school prospects but the skill sets between the levels has seemingly never been further away. The top five quarterbacks drafted by the NFL in 2017 came from spread systems. In college last year, 84 percent of snaps came from either the shotgun or pistol formation, according to ESPN. This comes at a time that five-star quarterback recruits find themselves aiming for a three-year college plan, as blue-chip quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater, Deshaun Watson and Josh Rosen accelerated their academic schedules to graduate early. Quarterbacks like Goff, who played in a spread Air Raid system his three years at Cal, arrive with big statistics – 43 TD passes his final season – but little basic understanding of pro offenses. “It’s effective offense,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of college spread systems. “These guys are putting up 50 points a game and 600 yards. They shouldn’t change. That’s going to help them win.”
But winning in college doesn’t always translate to the NFL, which the campers at the QB Collective appeared to be noticing at an early age. As the world between high school and the NFL shrinks, a compelling tension has risen. Will more of the country’s top young quarterbacks eschew spread- and tempo-based systems for more direct NFL training at pro-style programs like Stanford, Alabama and Michigan? Has the desire for a quick path to the NFL altered the recruiting paradigm?
QB Collective's staff did not come together by accident. We're excited about future growth and the impact we can make with these types of football minds. Here's a look at what a few of our QBC staff members accomplished during the 2017 NFL season.
The youngest head coach in NFL history guided the Rams to an 11-5 record, their first divisional title since 2003 and was named PFWA coach of the year. McVay, 32, turned second-year quarterback Jared Goff into a Pro Bowler and running back Todd Gurley into an MVP candidate. McVay’s immediate success speaks for itself. He’s established himself as one of the NFL’s most creative offensive minds.
After inserting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into the starting lineup, Shanahan led the 49ers an impressive 5-0 surge to close the season. From December on, San Francisco was top five in nearly every offensive category. Along with new GM John Lynch, the 37-year-old Shanahan was responsible for an impressive culture turnaround. Both Shanahan and McVay have shifted power in the NFC West.
The Jets just promoted Bates from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator in January. Bates called plays for the Broncos in 2008, where Denver finished in second in total yards and Jay Cutler earned his lone Pro Bowl nod. The Jets overachieved on offense in 2017 with help of Bates, who lifted Josh McCown to a career year.
The Rams’ quick turnaround put LaFleur on everybody’s radar. The Tennessee Titans just hired LaFleur away from Los Angeles to be their offensive coordinator. After maximizing Robert Griffin III and Matt Ryan’s skill sets as quarterbacks coach in Washington and Atlanta, LaFleur will get the chance to do the same with Marcus Mariota, in addition to calling plays.
The Redskins were so pleased with O’Connell they promoted him from quarterbacks coach to passing game coordinator this January. Chip Kelly and UCLA were hard after O’Connell’s services, but Washington locked him up. Now, he’ll get a chance to work with Alex Smith, who is coming off a career-best 26 TD, 5 INT season.
As the run game coordinator with the 49ers and a roster full of new people, McDaniel helped guide Carlos Hyde to rank 13th in rushing yards. Andrew Hawkins, co-host of the popular ThomaHawk podcast, has called McDaniel the smartest coach he’s ever played for.
Garoppolo's immediate success wasn't just Shanahan. Scangarello, in his first season coaching quarterbacks for the 49ers, was instrumental in helping Garoppolo's transition. In his first extensive action, Garoppolo had the highest completion percentage under pressure (62.3%).
QB Collective is ecstatic to impart this wealth of knowledge to high school quarterbacks and select private coaches across the country. Contact found Richmond Flowers to learn more information.