Five thoughts on the 2023 QB class
The dead period is here so recruiting news has slowed down a little bit. But there has still been a whole lot going on across the recruiting spectrum and today Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney shares five thoughts on the quarterback position.
MORE FROM GORNEY: Parting thoughts from the Elite 11
MANNING IS NOW OFF THE BOARD
I talked to numerous quarterbacks including some in the 2024 class who said they were just waiting to see Arch Manning’s decision before they started getting really serious about which programs would emerge in their own recruitment.
The idea was basically that where Manning went they would go elsewhere because while not being intimidated of Manning, they didn’t necessarily want to follow him and all that comes with it. That means Georgia and Alabama especially could be in serious contention for some of the best 2024 quarterbacks and while the Longhorns wouldn’t trade Manning for probably anyone, it also means the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide could be in store for big – if not as high-profile – commitments as well.
MOORE IS NOW ON THE CLOCK
The only five-star quarterback yet to make his commitment is Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King’s Dante Moore and it could be a non-surprise or maybe something else is brewing here. It sure seems like LSU and Texas A&M have moved on to other options and that Notre Dame is probably out with 2024 four-star CJ Carr committing so that leaves Oregon and Michigan as the most realistic options right now.
The Ducks probably look best as he’s loved his visits there and, to be blunt, he’s had every opportunity in the world to pick the Wolverines if he wanted. But losing Josh Gattis definitely set Michigan back although his relationship with the new coaches has grown.
NOVOSAD DECISION BEING WATCHED
Austin Novosad was really impressive at the recent Elite 11 – and he has a huge final decision to make in the coming days or weeks. The Dripping Springs, Texas, four-star who has been committed to the Bears since mid-December is being pursued hard by Ohio State, Texas A&M and Georgia.
So what happens now? That’s completely up to Novosad as there is a very good chance he stays committed because he respects that coaching staff so much and how they’ve handled everything. But his parents went to Texas A&M and it seems like the Aggies have made him the top target with Dante Moore trailing now.
WHAT TO DO AT DUAL-THREAT QB
The dual-threat quarterback rankings might best be described by the iPhone emoji of a guy with both his hands up like, ‘I don’t know.’ A lot of the evaluation of the top dual-threat QBs came at the Elite 11 and many were hot and cold throughout the three days so it’s tough to really gauge where things should stand.
Louisville commit Pierce Clarkson was very good at times during the Elite 11 but there were some inconsistencies as well. When Rickie Collins was good, he was very good but there were times the Purdue commit struggled throwing a tight spiral. Four-star Avery Johnson was very good and then had his down moments. Arkansas commit Malachi Singleton was solid but not stellar.
At the Philadelphia stop of the Rivals Camp Series, Nebraska pledge William Watson was very good but I wonder how he would’ve looked in an apples-to-apples comparison at the Elite 11. Penn State commit Marcus Stokes was really sharp the first night of the Elite 11 but I thought he really struggled during the pro-day gauntlet on night two. I don’t know if there is a clear answer as to who is the No. 1 dual-threat QB in the class as we go into their senior seasons.
SOME PLAYERS DUE FOR A BUMP
There are going to be some really difficult discussions to work through the top of the pro-style quarterback rankings after the four five-stars. Clemson pledge Christopher Vizzina was excellent at the Elite 11, just so solid and complete in everything he does. But then Oklahoma commit Jackson Arnold spun it better than anybody and has a pop to his passes that no other quarterback at the Elite 11 had so that will be something to consider.
Two outside picks – but guys who could make a significant move up – are Novosad and especially Iowa State pledge JJ Kohl, who has the size, arm ability and surprising mobility to be an absolute game-changer in Ames. There is a lot to consider in the coming months.