We were in attendance last Monday when Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison took on Anaheim (Calif.) Esperanza. It was our second chance this year to see Elite 11 quarterback Nick Crissman in action and after a slow start, the signal caller had a solid showing.
Crissman, 6-3, 195 pounds has a lot of tools to work with at the quarterback position. He has excellent size and arm strength, throws a nice, tight ball every time and is very tough.
He can throw with touch and is very accurate. He's a classic drop back quarterback who is most comfortable taking a five step drop and throwing on rhythm. He shows good mobility in a designed roll out but isn't the kind of quarterback who will be able to scramble for too many first downs when a play breaks down.
If there is a downside to Crissman and it showed a few times this game, he has a tendency to hold on to the ball a little too long at times. He was sacked six times in the game as the Aztecs base defense is to blitz on just about every down. A few of the sacks, Crissman had no chance but there were also a few times it appeared he could have thrown the ball away or stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush.
It's obviously worth noting that the entire Edison offense was working on getting the rust off from not practicing in almost a week prior to the game due to the fires that forced the game to be postponed in the first place. The timing was off at times but Crissman looked good later in the game and calmly led his team to a tough victory over a previously undefeated Aztec squad.
"The first quarter was definitely rough," Crissman said. "They run a lot of different blitzes at us and it took some time for us to adjust. Once we did though, the line blocked great and we were able to move the ball better."
Crissman has missed time this season for an appendicitis and also a concussion. When we talked with Charger coach Dave White before the game, he told us Crissman was just starting to round back in to shape.
"I think he's just now getting healthy," White said. "He threw the ball great last week and is starting to look like his old self again. Nick is a tough kid and he'll take some shots in order to allow his receivers to get open. It's a great quality but sometimes, the shots he takes are rough and can take their toll. Hopefully we can keep him healthy the rest of the season."
On the night, Crissman finished the game 14-28 for 127 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.