Every year in Ohio there is no shortage of talented quarterbacks, and in the class of 2009 one name to definitely keep an eye on is 6-foot-4, 210-pound pro-style quarterback Patrick Nicely of Willoughby (Ohio) South.
As a junior, the all-league selection, threw for 2,150 yards and 20 touchdowns. Nicely was pleased with how he personally performed, but as any good quarterback is, he was upset with how his team finished.
"We had some ups and downs last season," Nicely said. "Overall, I wasn't pleased because we went 3-7. I did have a couple of expectations, and I obtained them, but I'm a team player. Finishing 3-7 is very upsetting. We've got a lot coming back next season. I'm not going to let 3-7 happen again. I'm going to guarantee we won't finish with that record next season."
And Nicely will be a big reason why.
A strong, tough and physical quarterback with a good arm, Nicely said his experience and athletic ability also help make him a solid college prospect.
"My strengths are my arm strength and my ability to maneuver in the pocket," Nicely said. "I read and react really well. The game has really started to slow down for me now that I've gotten more experience as the starter. The reads were easier, and I was able to better understand everything that was going on out there on the field."
Nicely said he also is a good leader.
"I'm more of a calm under pressure type of player," Nicely said. "On the sidelines, I take my players and explain what went wrong, and what we need to do in a calm voice. You have to earn their respect, and I think I've done that."
He's done that for sure, and now he's starting to earn the respect of college coaches from across the nation.
"I've always been an Ohio State and Notre Dame fan growing up," Nicely said. "Those would be my dream schools. I've always liked Ohio State because of the state I live in, and it's the biggest college. I also like Notre Dame because of the tradition and because Charlie Weis is brilliant."
Nicely said he's getting the most attention at this point from several out of state programs.
"North Carolina, Illinois and Colorado are sending me the most mail," Nicely said. "And Northwestern seems interested. I'm not really trying to focus on the recruiting part yet. I'm more worried about staying focused on what I need to do to get ready for the football season."
Nicely said whatever school recruits him will have to have the major that he wants – pre-dental.
"The good news is that most schools have programs in that," Nicely said. "It's a tough major, but I'm definitely a hard worker. I take pride in that on and off the field."