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2019 Quarterback Class In SC One Of The Best In Recent memory

2019 SC Prep Quarterback Class One Of The Best In Recent Memory

Goose Creek – Every year the most scrutinized position in recruiting is the quarterback position because getting the right signal caller for your program can mean the difference in being a good team or being a great team. Once you are fortunate enough to find that quarterback, coaches can put other players around him that elevate the team, but it is imperative to find the right quarterback.

       Retired Summerville coaching legend John McKissick, who developed numerous major college quarterbacks during his world record 621 wins over his 63 seasons said this about the quarterback position in his autobiography Called To Coach in 1993. “The quarterback of our football team is the first player we consider in making plans for a successful team. He is the key man in any type of offense, and therefore more important than any member of the squad. He is important not only because he has his own assignments to carry out, but he must be the leader of the team, much like a general going into battle.”  

 Looking at the two power five schools in the state, Clemson and South Carolina, you can see how the right quarterback, and having the right pieces around them, can lead to national championships as in the case of Clemson.  The Tigers started its ascent to the top of college football with Tajh Boyd, then Deshaun Watson, then Kelly Bryant and they now they have Trevor Lawrence at quarterback. Furthermore, when you look deeper you see how head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff has surrounded their quarterbacks with talented personal at receiver, running back and in the offensive line.

       Consequently, South Carolina has been challenged in the highly competitive SEC with finding all the pieces at quarterback in relationship to all the other components you must have around the quarterback. The bad luck of injuries has also plagued the Gamecocks at times. No quarterback in the team game of football can be very effective if the blocking up-front is off like it was in their game against Virginia during the Belk Bowl last year.

       Teams must recruit their way to ACC/SEC championships and even National Championships. Coach McKissick is correct in his views on the quarterback position.  Looking to improve the Gamecocks fortunes in the future is the state’s top ranked quarterback and second ranked player over-all by the HSSR in Luke Doty (6-2, 201, 4.4) of Myrtle Beach. He committed to the Gamecocks before his junior season where he led the Seahawks to their first AAAA state championship and eighth overall. Doty threw for 3.037 yards and 36 passing touchdowns as a junior. He added another 701 yards rushing and seven touchdowns with his feet. He threw only two interceptions all season while completing 70 per cent of his passes.

       Doty is rated a high four-star prospect by national recruiting services, but he had a five- star play last season in the Marlboro County game eye-witnessed by HSSR Publisher Billy Baker that verified Doty’s speed and athleticism. The play didn’t involve the quarterback position. “Doty is the holder on a short field goal try when the kick is blocked right into the hands of Marlboro County’s fastest defensive back and he has an escort down the sideline of three blockers and it looks like an easy touchdown for sure,” said Baker. “Out of no-where Doty comes blazing up the sidelines like a rocket engine, dives over the blocking contingent at the seven- yard line and makes a touchdown saving tackle at the five to the shock of the ball carrier. MC is even called for a block in the back on Doty on the play and they failed to score over the next four plays. The Myrtle Beach fans reacted with a standing ovation to Doty when he came off the field.”     

       Ranked number 9 and the second highest rated quarterback by the HSSR is Daniel’s Tyler Venables (5-11, 185), son of Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.  He also played safety which is what he will play at Clemson. Last season he led the Lions to the upper state AAAA championship game by throwing for 2,603 yards and 24 touchdowns. Venables completed 221 of 326 passes.  He also rushed for 890 yards and another 28 scores.

                   Gray Collegiate’s Hunter Helms led the War Eagles to their first ever region championship in 2018 and checks in as the states 10th ranked player and number three among QB’s. He is coming off a season in which he threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns earning him region 3- AA Player of the Year honors. Helms committed to Crusaders of Holy Cross over the summer.

       “Recruiting was hectic until I committed,” Helms said. “Now the focus is on my team, teammates and having the best season possible. We want to win a state championship.”

       Mason Garcia (6-4, 220) of Carolina Forest, the states 38th ranked player by the HSSR, has committed to East Carolina. The senor led the Panthers to an 8-2 record in 2018 by throwing for over 2,100 yards and 28 touchdowns.

       Three other quarterbacks have committed over the summer. They include Temple pledge Ashley Ridge’s Matt Duncan (6-2, 195) rated number 56 by the HSSR starting the season. Duncan completed 150 of 279 passes for 2,412 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Chapman’s Mikele Colasurdo (57th) is committed to Georgia State and White Knoll’s Aveon Smith (59th) to Miami of Ohio. Duncan’s older brother, Steven, is the quarterback at Western Kentucky.

       “The biggest thing we have worked on this summer is timing with my receivers, we lost a lot from last year,” said Smith. “I committed to Miami of Ohio in July.”

       Ranked 37th by the HSSR is Barnwell’s Craig Pender. Pender has put on 15 pounds since last season and has improved his upper body strength. Last season he threw for over 2,200 yards and 35 scores. Pender is like a coach on the field and he hopes to lead the Warhorses back to the AA title game. Pender is hearing from Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina and Elon and he got his first offer from Methodist early on.

       “Our goal is to get back to the state championship game,” said Pender. “We started in January and the team has come together and worked hard with one goal in mind.”.

       Union County’s Kesean Glover checks in at number 45 on the HSSR Top 100 list. The dual threat quarterback ran and passed for 3,300 yards and accounted for 36 touchdowns. He currently has Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina and Georgia State as his top three schools with Liberty and Virginia Tech keeping in touch.

       Glover commented his goals for the season, “I would like to rush and pass for 3,000 yards again and lead my team to the state championship game this season,” he said.

       The State’s top returning passer is Dutch Fork’s Ty Olenchuk. The Clemson baseball commit threw for 3, 118 yards and 33 touchdowns in leading the Silver Foxes to their third consecutive AAAAA title last season.

       Two additional quarterbacks getting quality looks are Fort Dorchester’s De’Andrae Sabb and Oceanside Collegiate Sean Cooney. Sabb passed for over 1,400 yards and rushed for over 1,100 yards earning All- State and All- Region honors. He is built a lot like former Patriot great and current Gamecock Dakereon Joyner. He is hearing from Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Navy, Virginia Tech and Western Kentucky.

       “Our saying in the locker room is always protect your little brother and we know the defense is our big brother,” said Sabb. “We just have to do our part,” said Sabb. “I like using my feet and love running the RPO system. It gives us a lot of option on offense.”

       The 6-5 Cooney came on late in his junior season throwing for over 1,500 yards after transferring to Oceanside. and that has earned him some solid interest from the Ivy league. “Our goal is to go 1-0 every week,” said Cooney. “I just want to help my team the best I can and be a leader on the field for my team.”

       Leading the SCISA ranks is Hammond’s Jackson Muschamp the states 23rd ranked player. Last season he led Hammond to their second consecutive SCISA AAA state championship. He completed 66 per cent of his throws for 3,037 yards and 36 touchdowns. Currently Boston College has offered him with Baylor showing a lot of interest.

       When asked what makes Hammond so successful Muschamp responded, “Since I have been here, coach (Eric) Kimrey does the same thing every year. We have a lot of high-profile players on our team and the coaches treat everyone the same. Whether you’re a number one recruit or someone who doesn’t play much we are all the same.”        

       Beaufort Academy’s Dawson Coleman (40th) is being recruited as both a tight end and quarterback. At 6-5, 200 lbs. he can play either one and he led his team the SCISA 8-man state title last year. He is also a top basketball prospect.

       Dorchester Academy’s Colby Weeks is back to lead the Raiders again this season. He is one of the more athletic QB’s in SCISA and will be looking to lead the Raider back to the play offs.

       “We were more gun/ two back last year and with the new system we are going more I formation this season. We are keeping things simple and that will help us gel quicker,” said Weeks.

       Other quarterbacks ranked in the HSSR top 100 to keep an eye are Dillon’s dual threat Ja’Teil Lester (6-0, 180). Lester completed 155 of 213 passes last year for an eye popping 73 per cent completion rate. Lester added 564 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns via his feet. Aaron Thomas of Boiling Springs, C.E. Murray’s Antonio McKnight, Chas DuBruhl of Andrew Jackson, Saluda’s Noah Bell, Stone McDonald of Hilton Head Prep, James Island’s Gunnar Nistad and Northwestern’s Dustin Noller.

       Some young sophomore and junior quarterbacks s to watch this season include Gaffney’s Undre Lindsay, Wilson’s Zayshaun Rice, JL Mann’s Noah Staples, Southside’s Jamie Gamble, Chester’s Zan Dunham, and Cheraw’s Tyson Hall. All `these quarterbacks tossed the pigskin around for over 1500 yards as sophomores. Gaffney’s Lindsay led the group with over 2000 yards through the air. Hall is a Winthrop baseball commit. Camden is expecting a break-out season from newcomer junior starting quarterback Jamari Pearson (6-2, 200) moving up from the jayvee.

       Among the top five over HSSR prospects in the 2021 class in South Carolina is Manning quarterback/athlete Corey Graham (6-2, 191) who impressed Clemson coaches at their camp after his freshman season. Graham started at receiver as a freshman and sophomore but with veteran head coach Reggie Kennedy taking over at Manning (left Irmo after five seasons) Graham has been moved to quarterback duties and he is expected to have some huge dual threat numbers in Manning’s new offense.   




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