The first day of the 22nd annual Elite 11 Finals is in the books.
Twenty of the nation’s top high school quarterbacks are in the Nashville area learning and competing alongside each other. Rain pushed Monday’s afternoon workout into the evening which included base concepts the signal-callers in attendance will utilize as the week continues into 7-on-7 action. They worked in groups of five so head coach Trent Dilfer and his staff were able to “watch them throw a lot of reps in row and see how coachable and competitive they are.”
The No. 1 quarterback in the Top247 in Washington (DC) Gonzaga five-star Caleb Williams didn’t disappoint.
“There’s nothing this kid can’t do,” Dilfer started in. The 48-year old was the No. 6 pick in the 1994 NFL Draft and played 14 years on Sundays including a Super Bowl Championship with the Baltimore Ravens. “I’ve been doing this a long time, he has very few limitations if any. He’s uber-competitive. Very focused when he walked in. He’s really clean, he’s consistent, clean usually means consistent.
“Every throw was good to great. I think he takes it that serious. I’m interpreting what his mind is telling him and it’s as if every throw is the most important throw of the day.”
The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Williams will announce his college decision on July 4. LSU, Maryland and Oklahoma are the finalists with the Sooners holding as the 247Sports Crystal Ball favorite.
Others that really caught Dilfer’s eye
The Baylor commit comes in as the No. 13 dual-threat passer in the Top247 Player Rankings with an 89 rating, one point away from four-star status. He led his team to a state championship as a junior throwing for 46 touchdowns and rushing for 18 more.
“I think the Drones kid is ridiculously talented,” Dilfer said. “His tape is awesome. His presence is awesome. He was awesome tonight. He’s great with the other guys. He’s awesome, I can’t find a flaw. He’s super coachable. We go into a play-action drill and he hasn’t done that yet but he’s trying to get better every rep, asking for coaching. He’s got all the desired traits you’re looking for, thick joints, long and powerful and then you add the twitch with that and his ability to organize his body, he can organize things and be in sequence. You look at throw after throw, his floor is so high.”
The five-star Georgia commit is billed by the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 2 dual-threat passer and No. 13 prospect overall.
“Vandagriff is awesome,” Dilfer stated. “He’s another one of those kids that makes everything look easy. His tape matches what you see in person. It’s impossible not to put the other stuff out of your mind when you’re watching him, he plays six weeks after he shatters his ankle with screws in his ankle and scores six touchdowns. He’s not a camp guy, you can see he’s a football player at a camp. He’s consistent.”
The Oregon commit is tabbed by the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 7 pro-style passer and No. 80 prospect overall.
“I thought Ty Thompson was really impressive,” Dilfer said. “Very consistent. Like a kid, no matter what you ask him to do he did it well. What I like about Ty, he has a lot of different throws, I call it a throw catalogue. He can throw it hard, soft, throw it early, throw it late, speed it up, he did a lot of really nice things.”
The Tennessee commit is the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback and No. 62 prospect overall in the Top247.
“Way more organized as a passer than his tape showed,” Dilfer said. “He was really, really clean and there is some juice in that body, wow! It wouldn’t surprise me if he can take one step and 360 dunk. He has that kind of juice in his body. Super coachable, they threw these inside seam shots, right, left, one high, benders, stay skinny and they cross. First rep may not have been perfect and I watch the second rep and his correction rep was money time after time after time.”
The Missouri commit is the No. 22 dual-threat signal-caller in the 247Sports Composite.
“Macon is a beast,” Dilfer said. “So strong and powerful, really coachable. I’d put him and Salter in the same category. Their correction rep was really impressive. We ask them to do things they’ve never done, we expect them to fail, it’s the next rep that matters and Macon and Salter stood out.
“He reminds me of Steve McNair.”
The five-star Michigan commit is the No. 2 pro-style quarterback and No. 14 prospect overall in the 247Sports Composite.
“J.J. is really good,” Dilfer said. “The kid is charismatic, he’s competitive, he has juice, I was really impressed with J.J.”
The LSU commit is the No. 8 pro-style passer and No. 101 prospect overall in the 247Sports Composite.
“He’s had to earn a starting quarterback job (roughly) seven times from his dad (Coach Doug Nussmeier taking jobs) moving so much from little league to high school and you can see that with how he carries himself. He’s a kid that’s free flowing, charismatic and everyone loves him and he can play. This kid generates a lot of power for not being a huge kid. You see a lot of coaches kids that are really robotic. He’s not robotic. I played with his dad in the pros and he’s a better version of his dad. He’s a twitchier, a little more powerful version of his pops.”
The Penn State commit is the 247Sports Composite’s No. 16 pro-style quarterback.
“Almost every coach said wow can that ball spin. He really spins it well.”
News and Notes
Quarterbacks won’t return to the field until 6 p.m. (CST) Tuesday evening. The camp wraps up late Wednesday afternoon.
Besides work on the field, the first day included time spent with TeamNEGU (encouraging kids to fight cancer) and listening to Mark Hilinski from Hilinski Hope a non-profit connecting students with mental health resources and assisting universities with the best practices and generating fundraising to support programs that will destigmatize mental illness.
“A lot of heavy social responsibility stuff,” Dilfer said. “We’ve touched on the climate of our nation and how they can be agents of change for the better. A lot of heavy wholistic stuff from the time we got here till tonight.”
Houston (Texas) St. Thomas quarterback Maddox Kopp was the rail-shot winner where you have to keep your eyes down the middle and strike the goal post against a Cover Two look defeating Williams and Justin Fields in triple overtime.