football

Pike learning more at Elite 11

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MALIBU, Calif. - Studying his playbook has been crucial this week for Zeke Pike, the Edgewood (Ky.) Dixie Heights pro-style quarterback who had his best performance so far on Wednesday during the instructional 7-on-7 portion at the Elite 11.
The Auburn commit admitted that offensive schemes aren't this intricate back home and the terminology is different so he needs to focus even more than some others - something Pike has been doing and a big reason why he's so happy to be here.
Pike is learning a lot which means he's getting better.
"It's simple and it's fast-paced at home so when you come out here and it's X and Z and this and that it kind of can get in your head," Pike said.
"I had to do a lot of studying. For some guys this is their high school stuff so it was a lot harder for me. I'm happy with how I performed. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come out here to just get that experience and meet some of these people.
"I'm working with George (Whitfield) and others who have trained NFL quarterbacks so that one day in a couple years when I need to make a call and say I need to do some work, I need to get ready for a pro day, I need to get ready for the draft, that's when I have these connections and build these relationships. In the long term, all this will be really productive for me."
Wednesday was the best day for Pike, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospect who's rated third at pro-style quarterback, No. 72 in the 2012 class and first in the Kentucky state rankings by Rivals.com.
Pike is known more as a gamer so getting to pick apart defenses and make some really sharp throws during 7-on-7 action - instead of constantly running through different drills - was more suitable to his strengths.
"It feels good," Pike said. "A lot of guys can come out here in shorts and a T-shirt and throw a nice spiral and throw to a spot but can you pick apart a defense and can you come out and identify a defense and make the right read?
"That's what my strengths are - being a quarterback. I felt like I did well. I felt like I read the defense well."
What also felt good was when camp counselor and Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer went bonkers after Pike threw some nice passes down the seam. Dilfer was excited for a lot of quarterbacks who performed well but it was Pike's best day and he enjoyed the moment.
"It's kind of crazy," Pike said. "He's such a great guy. He's there to push us, him playing for 14 years and winning a Super Bowl, he knows his stuff and you can tell he does when we get in the film room. He knows a lot and just to be able to have him there to support you and pump you up when you need it is great."
This week has been about learning and soaking up as much information as possible for Pike, who has already proven he can excel on the high school level. In his junior season, the Kentucky standout 2,218 yards and 18 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,072 yards and 17 scores.
Through three days, Pike likes what he sees as he gets prepared for his senior year and then to play at Auburn.
"I'm looking forward to getting down (to Auburn) and getting used to it and it's going to be a whole different level," Pike said.
"That's why coming out here you're playing with some of these California kids it's a lot different speed than what I'm playing. It's good to come out here and go against this talent and be able to compete."
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