T-minus three days 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.
Six athletes punched their ticket to the Elite 11 Finals at either the Dallas or Houston regional, making Texas the state to send the largest group of QBs to Manhattan Beach next Wednesday.
On Friday, I wrote about the stars of the Dallas regional; let’s introduce you to the three finalists from the Houston camp.
High School: Bridgeland High School (Texas)
Weight: 208 lbs
College Commitment: Texas A&M
This may be the shortest group of finalists in Elite 11 history. Not to say being 6’2” is short, I’m 5’8” and would love to be taller, but the game of football at the QB position appears to be changing.
The influence of the zone read and run-pass option at the highest levels trickled down to youth sports, where more coaches want their best athletes playing quarterback.
Three years ago at the Elite 11 Finals, I watched Grant Gunnell, D’Wan Mathis and Paul Tyson, who Trent Dilfer affectionately called, “the trees” because of their stature. For further context, Mathis at 6’4” is the shortest.
Weigman may no longer be considered undersized relative to how the QB position looks today in college and the NFL.
Without a doubt, he’s among the most talented of the finalists. Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher must be giddy to get his hands on the No. 2 prospect behind Quinn Ewers, according to 247 Sports:
At this time, Weigman is also committed to playing baseball in College Station.
Texas A&M finished last season 9-1 and as Orange Bowl champs with Kellen Mond as the starting quarterback, who Fisher’s predecessor Kevin Sumlin recruited to play for the Aggies.
I’m eager to see how this team will perform with a signal-caller Fisher recruited and developed at the helm. It may be Weigman in 2022.
High School: St. Thomas More High School (La.)
Weight: 195 lbs
College Commitment: LSU
247 Sports ranks Howard as the No. 4 QB prospect in the Class of 2022, who’s been committed to Ed Orgeron and LSU since June of 2020.
It’s not surprising the Tigers secured Howard’s commitment off of the heels of their national championship season even though the Lafayette native said yes by the end of his sophomore year.
Howard appears to be a move away from the traditional LSU QB mold of Joe Burrow and Myles Brennan. Both of those guys measure in at 6’4”.
But Howard’s arm looks like it has enough juice, delivering deep shots like this:
When you have an in-state talent like Howard, you take a page from LSU’s playbook: build a fence and don’t let guys like that leave to play elsewhere.
High School: Corner Canyon High School (Utah)
Weight: 189 lbs
College Commitment: USC (University of Southern California)
It wouldn’t be a traditional Elite 11 Finals without a prospect committed to play for the Trojans.
And I already like Brown a lot. He traveled from Arizona to Texas (1,100 miles) to compete for an invitation to the finals.
There’s plenty of pop in Brown’s arm too. Check out this clip of him nailing the crossbar of the goal post from the opposite 45-yard-line:
Brown’s got a penchant for theatrics and playing with flair. He must be a Dude Perfect fan.
And while Elite 11 Head Coach Trent Dilfer won’t be in attendance at the finals (more on that tomorrow), it’s incredible how fate works sometimes, especially in the case of Brown: