If there's an early candidate for the EA SPORTS Elite 11 to come from the Rockies, it could very well be James Lark from Pine View High in St. George, Utah. The 6-foot-3, 200 pound athlete set a state record with 41 TD passes as a junior.
Former USC and current Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow commented last year after the USC summer camp that Lark would likely be a top five QB recruit nationally in 2006.
Despite some written reports saying Lark was looking to commit to a college soon, and Coach Hosner says, "James is at a point where he's narrowing the scope of schools down."
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Lark indeed seems like someone with his options wide-open.
"I'm leaving my options open," he said. "BYU and Utah have offered and Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State are showing a lot of interest, but I could see going to a USC or UCLA, which have young, good quarterbacks (incoming Mark Sanchez and Ben Olson, respectively) and playing after I come back off my (LDS) Church mission.
"I'm not leaning to anyone at this point."
Lark was a first team all-state pick at the Class 3A level and according to his coach, Ray Hosner, the Panthers' signal-caller has it all.
"James can make all the throws and is arm strength is great," Hosner said. "He's been committed year-round on working on his fundamentals, but basically it all comes down to his accuracy… it's amazing."
Lark also spread the wealth around; five Panthers receivers were in the top 10 in receiving in Utah.
Lark moved to Utah from Michigan his sophomore year and played quarterback on the freshman team. However, behind a senior QB as a sophomore, the underclassmen played safety and promptly intercepted 11 passes.
Hosner also points that the Lark uses his 3.97 GPA to good use on the football field as well as the classroom. "He reads the whole field and is very strong at picking up blitzes and making the hot read."
Lark is currently playing basketball, averaging 11 points per game as a forward. When asked how he became such a polished quarterback so fast, he humbly replies, "My coaches, they've had everything to do with my success and that of our team."
As for training, Lark says he lifts weights and runs sprints and long-distance to keep in shape and is planning on going to a Nike Camp ("not sure which one") and some school camps. Last year, he went to camps at BYU, Utah and Utah State.