Youngstown (Ohio) Austintown Fitch dual-threat quarterback Jon Ballard put up big numbers as a junior, throwing for around 1,000 yards and rushing for more than 500 yards. It's those numbers that have plenty of college coaches reaching out to Fitch coach Phillip Annarella for more information about his star passer.
"Nobody has officially offered yet, but I know a few MAC schools are really close to doing that," Annarella said. "He's the type of kid that should have plenty of offers by the time the spring is over."
And it sounds like there is plenty to like about Ballard.
At 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Ballard should be a full academic qualifier and his coach gushes both about his athletic ability and his leadership skills.
"He's got a good arm, he's a wonderful kid and a good student," Annarella said. "He's going to make all the academic requirements. There's not going to be any issues with him. He throws the ball well, and we went more to some spread stuff and it really allowed him to show some of his strong points."
The spread and throwing the ball more is something that Ballard has had to work on.
"When he was a freshman, he was running the Stack I, and he came in and didn't have much of a throwing background," Annarella said. "He then started as a sophomore and we really weren't doing to much spread then either. But now we've added more of that to the offense and last year the offense was much more structured toward him.
"He fits it well. He runs really well and has a nice arm. He knows what he has to work on. He's working hard at it and has some goals set. We're going to try to get him better and perfect some things."
Some have said with his athletic ability that Ballard could project as an athlete, but Annarella said Ballard plans on playing quarterback in college.
"I think he wants to play quarterback, and in my time with him that's what he's going to be best suited for," Annarella said. "He's a good kid, a wonderful young man. We certainly expect him to be one of the best quarterbacks in the state."