When laboring over the compilation of the Sentinel's 2013 Florida Top 100 prospects last week, one thing jumped out rather glaringly for the second straight year.
Where are all the quarterbacks?
In the Class of 2011, which might be the year of the quarterback around these parts, nine QBs made the Sentinel's Florida Top 100, three players even went on to make college starts during their freshman season in 2011. Miami Northwestern's Teddy Bridgewater, the highest-rated QB in the state for 2011 at No. 8, started the final nine games at Louisville. Miami Central's Rakeem Cato, the No. 82 QB last year, started nine games at Marshall also, and Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer's Jacoby Brissett, who was ranked No. 20 his senior season, started two games at Florida. UF teammate Jeff Driskel, the No. 15 quarterback of his class from Oviedo Hagerty, saw action in five games but no starts.
For 2012, there was a huge drop-off, as St. John's Bartram Trail's Nathan Peterman, who signed with Tennessee, and Orlando Dr. Phillips' Nick Patti, who signed with Boise State, were the cream of the crop and ranked No. 21 and 33, respectively. They were the only QBs ranked in the Top 70.
As we gear up for next year, only three quarterbacks stand out as possible DI-A prospects -- Bradenton Manatee's Cord Sandberg, No. 40, Pete Dinovo of Tarpon Springs East Lake is No. 68, and Austin Chipoletti of Bradford Starke sneaks in at No. 99.
Orlando Lake Nona coach Anthony Paradiso, who prides himself in mentoring quarterbacks, says, for him, the answer to the QB drop-off is simple. It's just a pattern in replenishing the stock.
"You look at most of those kids from 2011 and they were three-year starters," Paradiso said. "Bridgewater and all those kids, [Lake Nona'sKevin] Sousa, [Tampa Plant's Phillip] Ely and then Driskel was a starter over at Hagerty since the school opened. … so it will be two or three years before you get another bunch like that.
"Most coaches, or at least I know I am, are looking for young replacements who they can mold into the position, and not that one-year kid. Realistically, I always want to start a sophomore after that senior."
Paradiso has done well with his philosophy. He coached Sousa for three years at Lake Nona and watched him mature into what became a legitimate potential Division I-A quarterback. He also guided the way for former Crystal River quarterback Shay Newcomer, whom he had for two seasons and Newcomer threw for 3,000-plus yards and ran for another 1,000-plus in 2007. Newcomer ended up at Elon (N.C.) University, where he was a roster junior last year but did not play.
Now Paradiso is molding another young star in Tucker Israel, a rising sophomore who had a tremendous freshman season passing for nearly 3,000 yards (2,924) with 30 touchdowns on 187-of-307 passing (60 percent). He also had just 14 interceptions out of the 307 attempts.
Israel, however, will have to wait his turn for the rankings. That's how Paradiso likes it, anyway.
Sandberg is the man this year and he's legit. He's big at 6-foot-3, 205, has a big lefty arm and the strength to throw accurately cross-body. He also will hurt you on the ground.
He led Manatee to the Class 7A state title as a junior and currently has 12 offers, including UCF, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson and West Virginia.
Dinovo (6-2, 190), who led East Lake to a near upset of eventual Class 8A champion Tampa Plant in the playoffs, is more of a passer, but he will run the football. Chipoletti is a dead-eye accurate passer who plays for his father Derek at Bradford County High.
Other state quarterbacks to watch are: Kevin Anderson (6-1, 188) at Boca Raton, Tyler Cogswell (6-4, 210) at Plantation American Heritage, Corey Todd (6-3, 210) at Naples First Baptist Academy, Parker Boehme (6-1, 215) at Jacksonville Sandalwood, and Winter Park's Asiantii Woulard (6-2, 205).
Some quarterbacks will certainly emerge but it's not just our list lacking QBs. In both the Rivals250 and the 247sports Top 247 national rankings, neither recruiting website listed a Florida quarterback for their intial 2014 prospects list.
Alvin Bailey, ranked No. 20 in the Florida Top 100, is the closest thing to a QB representing Florida on the national lists, and he only takes snaps at Armwood when the Hawks need him. Immokalee quarterback Tshumbi Johnson, ranked No. 64 in the Florida Top 100, also plays safety and is already committed to USF, where he will play slot receiver.
Last year two of the top-ranked players in the state were quarterbacks for their high school teams in Eddie Williams at Panama City Arnold and Ricardo Louis of Miami Beach, but Williams will play safety at Alabama and Louis will play receiver at Auburn.
Chris Hays covers college football recruiting for the Sentinel and can be reached at email@example.com.
On the Recruiting trail
Aquinas DE Joey Bosa ranked high
Rivals.com recruiting website put a little pressure on Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Joey Bosa (6-3, 230). The first Rivals100 for the 2013 class has Bosa ranked as the No. 14 player in the country and the No. 3 defensive end in the nation.
West Orange DECorey Vereen gets 2 more
Winter Garden West Orange defensive end Corey Vereen (6-3, 220) picked up two more offers on Monday from Georgia Tech and Clemson to give him seven total. He also has offers from Florida State, UCF, USF, Tennessee and Minnesota.
USF picks up two from Immokalee
Immokalee quarterback/athlete Tshumbi Johnson and cousin/teammate WR Xavier Richardson have committed to USF after attending Sunday's junior day. Johnson will play slot receiver at USF. They join teammates CB Mackensie Alexander (Tennessee) and DT Deadrin Senat (Florida State) as committed players for 2013.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun