T-minus 24 hours until the kickoff of the 2021 Elite 11 Finals.
Last year’s Elite 11 Finals took place at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tenn., and not Los Angeles, the usual home, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But fear not, the camp for the most elite QB prospects in high school football that includes NFL alumni like Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence, and Justin Fields, will return to Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach from June 30 to July 3.
The number of participants changes depending on the year, but the 2021 class will feature 20 QBs from the Class of 2022.
Let’s move on to discussing five of the finalists, who punched their ticket at either the Atlanta or Indianapolis regional.
High School: Lowndes High School (Ga.)
Weight: 205 lbs
College Commitment: University of Miami (Fla.)
Georgia has bred some supremely talented quarterbacks in the last three to five years, including Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
Brown may not be as highly regarded a prospect in the eyes of 247 Sports but he moves tremendously well for a bigger guy.
Even at 6’4” Brown recorded a 40-yard dash time of 4.6 seconds. He finished in the top 10 in both athletic testing and the Pro Day portion of the workout at the Atlanta regional.
ESPN ranks Brown as the fourth-best dual-threat QB in the Class of 2022. Scouting high-school players feel like even more of an inexact science than judging how a college player may transition to the NFL.
He may be remarkable running with the football but don’t discount Brown’s ability to threaten defenses with his arm:
High School: Cherokee High School (Ga.)
Weight: 200 lbs
College Commitment: Maryland
Another multi-sport athlete who plays baseball in the spring, Swann committed in March to play for Maryland among offers from Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Colorado.
He’s a top 50 prospect at the QB position in the eyes of 247 Sports, looking like another athlete who may benefit from a strong camp at the finals with regards to his recruiting profile.
The following cut-up tape of his performance at a 7-on-7 tournament earlier this month reflects Swann’s ability to process what he sees in front of him quickly to get the ball out decisively.
When I watch more of him in person tomorrow, I want to compare how his arm looks side-by-side with the other QBs like Quinn Ewers or Maalik Murphy.
High School: Medina High School (Ohio)
Weight: 228 lbs
College Commitment: Penn State
To put it simply, Allar dominated the competition at his regional camp in Indianapolis.
Between the Pro Day workout and the Golden Gun Accuracy Challenge, the Ohio native aced every drill coaches put him through:
Allar checks in at No. 9 among quarterbacks in the Class of 2022, according to 247 Sports.
Yes, it’s in shorts and a tee, but the velocity Allar generates with this throw from a stagnant position indicates clearly the strength of his arm:
At 6’0” and 6’2” respectively, Trace McSorley and Sean Clifford compare similarly in terms of their traits and the added athleticism they brought to the field.
But Allar’s size and frame feel like a throwback to what fans are traditionally used to seeing at the QB position.
High School: Center Grove High School (Ind.)
Weight: 195 lbs
College Commitment: Tennessee
I’d like to see how Jackson fills out in regards to his frame because he’s slightly built at his current playing weight.
Once he arrives in Knoxville, we’ll see the effects of the training table kick in to take care of that minor concern.
Jackson doesn’t just need to develop physically, his game needs more seasoning. He’s a prospect with tools to work with but 360 passing attempts through three seasons of high school football tells me the best is yet to come.
Plenty of clips from the Indianapolis regional show me Jackson’s ability to make any throw in the catalog: deep, shallow, piercing, or layering the ball in between defenders.
High School: Lipscomb Academy (Tenn.)
Weight: 204 lbs
College Commitment: None
247 Sports has Richesson rated as the 71st best quarterback prospect in the Class of 2022, which makes him the lowest-rated finalist among this year’s invitees.
He’s also the starting quarterback for Lipscomb Academy, playing under Elite 11 Head Coach Trent Dilfer.
It’s important to note Dilfer and LA Football’s Chief of Staff Joey Roberts recognized a potential conflict of interest and declined to be involved with the regional camps.
Roberts works with the Elite 11 as its lead scouting director.
“I removed myself this year from the regional process because I wanted clear objective feedback on Luther’s performance,” Dilfer told the Tennessean. “After his performance in Indianapolis, the Elite 11 staff affirmed that he is one of the top quarterbacks in the country and that he will be in consideration for an invite.”
Richesson will be in Los Angeles tomorrow; this year’s Elite 11 coaching staff does not feature Dilfer and Roberts.
Dilfer’s football program is a member of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, which does not permit any interaction between coaches and athletes during its summer dead period.
To compromise, the Elite 11 organized a two-day playbook install between Dilfer and the finalists via Zoom before the dead period started:
“The install prior to camp is new due to Trent Dilfer and I not being able to be on the ground floor due to the TSSAA ruling for the dead period [from June 28 to July 11],” Roberts told me.
Roberts told me the playbook has always been part of the evaluation process.
Zoom empowered the athletes and coaches to discuss and to walk through the playbook virtually rather than dedicate time to it in person at the finals.
In other words, the coaching staff expects these athletes to hit the ground running.
Richesson doesn’t appear to me as a beneficiary of favoritism; he finished tied for first with Allar at the Indianapolis regional in the Golden Gun Accuracy Challenge.
His athletic numbers weren’t too shabby either: