Many of the nation's top quarterbacks showed up at Nike's Elite 11 quarterbacks camp on Monday in hopes of earning an invitation to the prestigious Elite 11 final, which is set to take place at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon in early July, just a couple of days before The Opening 2014 begins.
I thought the top performer in the 2015 was Detroit (MI) signal caller Ryan Brand, who has still not been invited to the final. After that I thought James Morgan and Michigan commit Alex Malzone (invited to Elite 11) had very good showings. Then after a rough start, South Carolina quarterback commit Lorenzo Nunez recovered nicely near the end of the event and capped it off with a good performance in the pressure chamber.
The other player from the Columbus regional who has been invited to Elite 11 was Houston commit Ben Hicks, who I also thought was very good, though I think guys like Brand and Morgan were a little more deserving of an invitation.
I thought both of the future Ohio State quarterbacks who participated in the camp were very impressive.
Starting off with Joe Burrow, while I do think there were a couple of quarterbacks in his class who were better, it's important to remember that a camp like Elite 11 doesn't completely reflect Burrow's game. While Burrow is a pass first type quarterback, he's running abilities are nothing to sleep of, kind of in the mold of now Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who thrived in Urban Meyer's offense when he was at Utah.
His arm strength is a little questionable, but he proved that he has the potential to be a very accurate passer at the college level. I hope to attend one of Ohio State's one day camps this month (and he participates) because I'd really like to see more of him in person. He definitely has some improving to do, but Ohio State could be getting a good one in Burrow.
Of all of the Ohio State quarterbacks in attendance and potential Ohio State quarterbacks, I'm definitely most excited about Massillon's Danny Clark, who is already committed to the Buckeyes,despite having three years of high school to go. If you didn't know who Clark was before the camp, you may have mistaken him for a high school senior. Already standing at a legit 6'4, Clark has a very strong arm already and displayed solid accuracy at the camp. He was put at a disadvantage because the camp focuses more on rolling out to the right and Clark is left handed.
Clark may have the ability to make some plays with his legs, but he is a true pass first quarterback, who will only improve his passing skills and is likely to grow a little more over the next three years. When Clark takes the reigns of the quarterback position at Ohio State, we'll see an offense like the one Urban Meyer structured around Tim Tebow and Alex Smith. I think Clark is more like Tebow than Smith, but I am not comparing the two. Clark has the chance to be something really special at the college level. It will be fun to monitor his growth over the next three years before he enrolls at OSU.
Another quarterback from the camp that I'd keep a close eye on is 2017 Avon (IN) Brownsburg signal caller Hunter Johnson, who may have been the best player on the field across all classes last night. While it's doubtful he'll be a Buckeye due to the fact the Bucks already have a good quarterback locked up in the 2017 class, one school will be getting someone who projects to be a very good player.