There are several Quarterbacks in the 2016 football recruiting class that have impressed me. Of course, there is Jacob Eason that signed with the Georgia Bulldogs. He was the top ranked Pro Style Quarterback in this last signing class.
I’m not sure I like Eason any better than Brandon Peters of Avon, Indiana. I was thrilled to see him play and he is a big time looking prospect with a great arm and excellent mobility. Jim Harbaugh and Michigan probably found a great Quarterback with Peters.
K.J. Costello from California is a talent with a strong arm and he could be the Stanford Cardinal Quarterback of the future.
Two more Californians looked really good to me as well in Malik Henry of Long Beach Poly and
Matt Fink of Glendora. Henry signed with Florida State and Fink with Southern Cal.
There are others, also, that have stood out including Messiah DeWeaver of Michigan State and Shane Buechelle of Texas. Also, there’s other impressive prospects in Terry Wilson of Oregon and Alabama’s Jalen Hurts. In the Alabama Spring Game, it was Hurts that stood out against all of those other Blue Chip Quarterbacks.
You can’t overlook Jarrett Guarantano from New Jersey that signed with the Tennessee Volunteers. He has a super arm and he could battle for playing time when Joshua Dobbs uses up his eligibility after the 2016 season.
But, the most impressive of all could very well be Shea Patterson that signed with Ole Miss.
Patterson is from Shreveport, Louisiana and is a member of the growing trend of national players that move to Bradenton, Florida and play for IMG Academy.
Patterson has an absolute rocket for an arm. His passes have some zing on them. He makes a lot of throws that take your breath away, or make you utter phrases out loud such as ‘holy cow’.
The kid is fast, too. In one play as a high school player, and his college coaches will get him to stop this, he was about to run out of bounds but he cut up field and ran over a Defensive Back with his left shoulder.
He can make some throws on the run that make an old football fan such as myself think of some of the old time greats like John Elway. Now, please don’t take that the wrong way and I am not in any
way comparing Shea Patterson to Elway. But, he is an outstanding talent.
He can escape the pass rush about as well as anyone I have seen lately with his quick feet. When a Defensive Back is blitzing and nearing his target and a Quarterback is quick enough to evade him, that is impressive.
Shea Patterson is definitely impressive.
A million dollar arm and physique mean little if you have a 2 cent head. There were and are a ton of Quarterbacks over the ages and in the present with howitzers for an arm just like Patterson. But, can they play the position well and are they leaders?
It’s hard to tell by high school highlights or even by watching a single game if a player has heart and character. Even if Patterson started all 4 years he was in high school and threw for over 8,400 yards and ran for over 1,200 yards, there’s no measuring how much he will want it at the college level.
If Patterson is a leader and if he has heart, the Ole Miss Rebels could be something to contend with in the next few years.
Chad Kelly is the returning starter at Quarterback and although he showed some inconsistency he is still a super talented guy. He threw for over 4,000 yards and 31 Touchdowns last season. Plus, he has the ability to take off and run to get that first down and he ran for an even 500 yards in 2015.
He will be a senior next season and a possible early draft pick.
Last season, Chad Kelly was backed up by sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade. Both
of these guys were solid, but not spectacular Quarterbacks. Kincade announced he was transferring to Grambling and Buchanan decided to quit football leaving the Rebels with only Chad Kelly, incoming freshman Shea Patterson and redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin.
Pellerin is supposed to be really good, too. Pellerin is from New Iberia, Louisiana and he had a lot of success in high school. He’s got a good arm, but he especially runs really well and he is 6-4, 230 according to the Ole Miss roster.
The question may be to play Patterson as a freshman, or can Pellerin handle the back up duties.
Whether he plays, or redshirts, as a true freshman Shea Patterson is a name probably to remember for 2017 and beyond.