Scouting Profiles: Getting to Know the 2020 Elite 11 Quarterbacks – Sports Illustrated

Scouting Profiles: Getting to Know the 2020 Elite 11 Quarterbacks  Sports Illustrated

SI All-American

The Elite 11 Finals are set to kick off this upcoming week in Nashville, Tenn., one of if not the biggest football recruiting event to be held since the sports world shut down amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

20 quarterbacks will receive an opportunity to compete against one another in the nation’s “premier quarterback competition” across three days of on-field testing and drills, routes on air, and off-field development. The majority of the 2020 Elite 11 finalists have pledged to their school of choice in the 2021 class, leaving three still considering their options including arguably the most talented signal-caller in the class, in Gonzaga’s (Washington, D.C.) Caleb Williams.

Below, you’ll find Sports Illustrated – All-American‘s assessment of each quarterback entering the annual camp. Each prospect has received their own profile providing background and recruitment information, as well as a scouting report based on their available game footage.

Backgrounds provided by Zach Goodall and Demetrius Harvey of Sports Illustrated AllGators, unless otherwise noted. Quarterbacks evaluated by Zach Goodall unless otherwise noted.


Jay Allen, John Carroll (Fort Pierce, Fla.), 6-3, 190

Background: Three-sport athlete (football, baseball, basketball) and dual-threat quarterback from Fort Pierce, Fla. One of the top outfielders in his class. In 21 games, has completed 63.4% of his 443 attempts for 3,828 yards (8.64 yards per attempt), 32 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. Also rushed for 1,377 yards on 219 attempts (6.3 yards per attempt), scoring 22 times. TCPalm’s 2019 First Team All-Area QB.

Film scouting report: Flicks a solid deep ball, velocity can be a bit hit or miss but he generally places the ball in stride. Athletic, springy rusher who can take a hit and make multiple guys miss. Will need to cut down on hitching at the top of drops and adjust mechanics for more consistent throwing power. JCHS offense runs a lot of vertical concepts on tape, not a ton of crossing routes and not much to process. Plenty of rollouts and off-platform throws that turn into big plays. Mobility makes him a risk-taker.

Recruiting interests: Florida baseball commit (7/15/2018). Football offers from FAU, FIU, Marshall, Coastal Carolina, Air Force, Georgia Southern, Grambling State, Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee State, Georgia State, St. Thomas.

Luke Altmyer, Starkville (Starkville, Miss.), 6-2, 190

David Visser of AllSeminoles contributed to this profile.

Background: Was put on Florida State head coach Mike Norvell’s radar some time ago as he received an offer from Memphis in January of 2019. The two maintained a connection and Altmyer joined FSU’s class a week after receiving an offer and nearly two months after Norvell took the head coaching gig. Holds offers from Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Louisville, among 16 total schools. Late addition to the roster.

Film scouting report: Throws with precise accuracy and can zip the ball across all deep thirds of the field. Drops are quick but footwork needs fine-tuning, releases are timely to hit receivers in stride. Throws a mean back-shoulder pass, scored on a lot of back-corner fades in 2019. Cool under pressure and keeps eyes downfield while scrambling, quick to reset and deliver an accurate pass. Can throw on the run but loses a good amount of velocity rolling left without resetting his base. Stats are skewed due to sacks and film is limited, but flashes rushing ability and mobility as a passer suggests he’s a capable running threat. Solid size and should continue adding weight until he’s in the 200-215 lb. range.

Recruiting interests: Florida State commit (2/3/2020).

Tyler Buchner, Helix (La Jolla, Ca.), 6-1.5, 205

Background: You’d never guess that Buchner suffered a torn ACL as a sophomore based on his junior campaign. Dual-threat who completed 66.4% of his 402 passes for 4,474 yards, (11.13 yards per attempt), 53 touchdowns, and six interceptions with an additional 1,610 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground. Committed to Notre Dame prior to his junior season while still recovering from ACL tear as one of the nation’s top-rated quarterbacks. Previously committed to Michigan for lacrosse in eighth grade.

Film scouting report: Explosive athlete for the quarterback position despite previous injury. Throws a consistently gorgeous spiral with generally good placement. Routinely makes accurate off-platform throws at multiple levels of the field. Impressive arm strength that can still improve with more consistent follow-through. Can make side-armed throws and go across his body. Plays with constantly active feet. Not much length left to fill out but can continue to get stronger. 

Recruiting interests: Notre Dame commit (3/8/2019).

Dematrius Davis Jr., North Shore (Houston, Texas), 5-11, 195

Background: Davis emerged as a national prospect in early 2019 as offers began to pile up from major programs from all over. Over a one week stretch during the summer of 2019, Davis unofficially visited the likes of Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M, and LSU. However, Auburn entered the mix this past January and obtained Davis’ pledge four months later. Appeared in back-to-back 6A D-I state championships, winning in 2018 along with earning MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year honors.

Film scouting report: Undersized quarterback but that doesn’t get in his way. Intermediate and deep ball accuracy is pinpoint. Arm strength is good but velocity can be touchy depending on pocket footwork. Takes advantage of a clean pocket to completely scan the field. Release is quick and compact. Looks like a running back and runs like one too, accelerating quickly and exploding out of cuts to make defenders miss. Plays with great contact balance.

Recruiting interests: Auburn commit (5/17/2020).

Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), 6-3, 205

Background: Dual-threat quarterback that recently transferred to powerhouse Grayson from McEachern High School (Ga.). Del Rio-Wilson stood out at a summer camp to Gators head coach Dan Mullen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, which quickly led to the green light for Del Rio to commit to Florida’s 2021 class. Has completed 58.3% of his 588 passes for 4,655 yards (7.91 yards per attempt), 40 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions while adding 666 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

Film scouting report: Del Rio is a sound dual-threat with adequate arm strength and accuracy to threaten the short and intermediate levels of the field, both inside and outside of the hashes. Makes off-platform throws look easy and is a threat to tuck and run, although he looks to pass first and uses athleticism and elusiveness to make things happen via the air. Has shown the ability to bait defensive backs to create throwing windows. Torque and deep arm strength could improve with better footwork/follow-through in straight drops, will be interested to see if reads increase in Grayson’s offense.

Recruiting interests: Florida commit (7/26/2019).

Kyron Drones, Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas), 6-2.5, 196

Background: Dual-threat quarterback out of Shad Creek High School (Pearland, Tx). Currently committed to Baylor and received 25 total offers. Led Shadow Creek to a 16-0 record and a Class 5A-I title as a junior in 2019. Offensive MVP of the state championship. Completed 199 out of 345 of his passes for 3,390 yards, 46 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a junior, while adding 134 carries for 825 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.

Film scouting report: Elusive in the pocket to evade pressure and as a rusher, although not the fastest dual-threat at top speed. Can push the ball down the field while throwing off-platform and across his body. Threw a near-60 air yard touchdown hitting the receiver perfectly in stride as a junior, as a testament to deep arm strength. Feet are active through drops and scans, doesn’t usually over-hitch but footwork can get sporadic the longer he’s in the pocket – can be coached up. Could improve throw timing and anticipation. Solid short-to-intermediate arm strength and accuracy but offense appears more vertically based, will be something to review in the camp setting.

Recruiting interests: Baylor commit (4/29/2020).

Sam Huard, Kennedy Catholic (Burien, Wa.), 6-3, 190

UPDATE: Huard has pulled out of the Elite 11 Finals as he has been around someone who has contracted COVID-19 recently, as he announced on Twitter. 

Background: No. 1 rated pro-style quarterback in the country, according to consensus rankings. Two-sport athlete out of Kennedy Catholic (Burien, WA), playing both basketball and football. Currently committed to the Washington Huskies football program. Received nine offers, but chose his “dream school” of Washington, the same university his father, Damon Huard, played collegiate football at as a quarterback (1992-95). Both uncles played collegiately as well as quarterbacks, Brock Huard and Luke Huard, who attended Washington and North Carolina, respectively. Helped lead Kennedy Catholic to state title victory after completing 269 out of 426 of his passes for 4,168 yards, 56 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Film scouting report: Pocket passer with deep ball accuracy that’s up there for best in class. Anticipates throwing windows at multiple levels and delivers strikes. Sometimes lets feet sink into the grass while going through progressions and before releasing the ball which can alter velocity, but footwork through drops and hitches are clean and swift. Can be coached up and when mechanics are clean he can make any throw. Has experience making multiple progressions and reads. Consistently makes throws in stride across the middle and vertically.

Recruiting interests: Washington commit (11/23/2018).

Grayson James, John Paul II (Plano, Texas), 6-2, 220

Background: Pro-style quarterback from Plano, Texas. Helped take down undefeated Fort Worth Nolan – the unanimous No. 1 large-school TAPPS team in the Dallas-area. Thought of as “program changing” as John Paul II had a 33-game losing streak just 2 years prior in 2017 before James took over. Completed 63.5% of his 458 passes for 3,878 yards (8.47 yards per attempt), 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions during junior season. Two-sport athlete, played shortstop and third base but gave up baseball to focus on quarterback.

Film scouting report: Generally clean throwing mechanics from start to finish, throwing motion is quick and can produce accurate deep balls with a flick of the wrist. Puts zip on passes outside the numbers but camp will provide a better feel for short-middle of the field throws. Cut interceptions in half as a junior (down to seven from 14) despite throwing 185 more passes in 2019. Experienced playing under center and traditionally out of the shotgun, can also run designed rollouts, RPOs, and other spread concepts. Solid athlete, can get stronger but plays at a good weight for his size.

Recruiting interests: Holds offers Central Michigan, Liberty, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, UAB, William and Mary, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Illinois State.

Maddox Kopp, St. Thomas (Houston, Texas), 6-5.5, 215

Background: Pro-style quarterback, grew up playing AAU basketball until this past year. A late bloomer who didn’t start taking football as seriously as basketball until recently. Comes from a very athletic family as all three brothers play sports: Braden Kopp (football – graduated from Vanderbilt), Miller Kopp (basketball – Northwestern), Anderson Kopp (basketball – Lamar). Backed up Miami’s Peyton Matocha at St. Thomas until his junior season. Earned second-team all-state honors in TAPPS after throwing 3,106 yards and 28 touchdowns. Trains with Darnell Colber Jr., who also trains Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, Miami’s D’Eriq King, and Elite 11 quarterback Kyron Drones.

Film scouting report: Strong throwing outside the numbers with anticipation and solid throwing power. Anticipation for throwing windows is impressive as a whole considering recent full-time transition to football from basketball. Good frame and should continue to grow up and out. Footwork through his drops should continue to improve as he progresses, delivers a pretty ball when throwing mechanics are clean. Arm talent allows him to make impressive throws on the run, but not much of a rushing threat. Sleeper pick for a good performance at Elite 11 in a camp setting.

Recruiting interests: Holds offers from Houston, Central Michigan, Cornell, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Texas State, Tulane, Virginia Military Institute.

Tyler Macon, East St. Louis (East St. Louis, Ill.), 6-0, 205

Background: Dual-threat quarterback out of East St. Louis High School (East Saint Louis, Ill.), and is currently committed to the Missouri Tigers. Led East St. Louis to a victory in the 2019 6A Football State Championship in an undefeated season after completing 216 out of 304 of his passes for 4,241 yards and 39 touchdowns on the season. Macon rushed for 827 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground as well during junior season. 2019 STL Today Offensive Player of the Year.

Film scouting report: Can read out traffic and split defenders with an accurate strike. Could stand to improve release timing and ball placement consistency, but makes sharp throws when timing is down and mechanics are clean. Does a good job keeping eyes downfield while scrambling and can make throws off-platform. Likes throwing comebacks, deep outs, corners – creates a lot of zip throwing intermediate/deep outside. Undersized, might have a little bit of growing left to do but not much.

Recruiting interests: Missouri commit (3/13/2020).

Drake Maye, Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.), 6-4, 207

Quierra Luck of AllTarHeels contributed to this profile.

Background: Pro-style quarterback from Charlotte (N.C.). Currently committed to North Carolina after flipping from Alabama, drew offers from Georgia and Clemson among other top-tier programs. Brother, Luke Maye, was a four-year player for the Tar Heels basketball program under coach Roy Williams. Parents also went to UNC. Two-sport athlete, playing both basketball and football during sophomore and junior seasons. Completed 210 out of 290 of his passes for 3,512 yards, 50 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and was named the Charlotte Observer male athlete of the year.

Film scouting report: Sky is the limit with Maye’s long frame. College-ready size now and should continue growing up and out, while getting stronger in a college strength and conditioning program. Big arm with elite boundary accuracy. Can make powerful throws on the run and across his body. Anticipates openings and releases passes timely as a result, getting the ball out as receivers make their route breaks or beforehand. Usually composed under pressure, not a big rushing threat but can evade pass rushers outside or by stepping up into pocket. Confidence stepping up should continue to improve. Watching for throws in between the hashes at Elite 11.

Recruiting interests: North Carolina commit (3/6/2020).

J.J. McCarthy, IMG Academy (La Grange Park, Ill.), 6-2, 181

WolverineDigest‘s Eric Rutter contributed to this profile.

Background: Pro-style quarterback transferring to IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla) from Nazareth Academy (La Grange Park, Illinois), the No. 1 football team in the nation, according to MaxPreps. Will enroll early at Michigan after graduating in December of this year. He received 35 total offers from multiple top-tier programs. Threw for 2,820 yards and 34 touchdowns last season, leading Nazareth to state title appearance three years in a row. Noted leader. Went from 6-foot-2, 183 pounds to 6-foot-3, 197 pounds since May of 2019. One of the consensus top-rated quarterbacks in the nation.

Film scouting report: Has an absolute hose for an arm and can use it effectively at any level of the field. Exceptionally accurate down the sidelines and across the deep-middle. Clean throwing mechanics with a compact release, keeps his feet active at the top of the drop and generates plenty of torque in his follow-through. Pro-style quarterback but can throw on the run, across his body, and off of his back foot with controlled velocity. Not much of a rushing threat, but agile and elusive escaping pressure. Lanky, will need to add weight before taking the field in college.

Recruiting interests: Michigan commit (5/11/2019).

Kyle McCord, St. Josephs (Philadelphia, Pa.), 6-3, 212

Background: McCord began receiving interest, and his first offer, prior to the beginning of his freshman year. Big offers started piling up after his freshman campaign. Named MaxPreps First Team All-American as a junior despite only playing seven games due to injury, and as a sophomore. 2018 Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 6A Player of the Year, led St. Josephs to state championship title that season.

Film scouting report: Throwing mechanics make passes look effortless. Short-to-intermediate velocity is strong, outside deep ball takes some time but he can zip it down the seams. Ball placement on passes to the middle of the field is consistently good. Has a good feel for openings and throws with precision to take advantage. Rhythmic pro-style passer who gets the ball out quickly at the top of his drops. 25:1 TD:INT ratio during limited junior season.

Recruiting interests: Ohio State commit (4/30/2019).

Behren Morton, Eastland (Eastland, Texas), 6-1.5, 189

Background: Plays in a small town two hours west of Dallas. Back-to-back district offensive MVP honors from 2018-2019 after completing a combined 357-of-581 passes (61.4%) for 5,201 yards, 47 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Added 302 rushing yards and 10 scores in that span. Received his first college offer from Texas Tech on July of 2018, and ended up committing after several visits and a re-offer from the new staff in 2019. 

Film scouting report: Ball glides off of his hand with complete follow-through, typically finding its target timely and accurately. Can squeeze passes in tight spots. Good, not great deep arm strength. Active and light feet allow him to navigate pocket and escape pressure quickly. Throwing motion sometimes begins low, raising elbow through windup could improve velocity. A bit thin now but shouldn’t have an issue clearing 200 lbs. in college. Can take a hit.

Recruiting interests: Texas Tech commit (10/15/2019).

Miller Moss, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 6-1.5, 198

Background: Currently attends Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA), and is a pro-style quarterback currently committed to the USC Trojans. Drew offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas and Auburn among a list of 24 total offers. Transferred from Almany to Mater Dei this year, replacing Alabama quarterback signee Bryce Young. Completed 67.4% of his passes last season for 3,118 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Led Alemany to a 9-3 record and a CIF Southern Section Division three semifinal as a junior.

Film scouting report: Might have the quickest release at Elite 11. Experienced making 3/4-to-full-field reads. Packs a lot of heat throwing on and between the seams, deep outside arm strength is solid. Active feet and balance allow him to move up, down, and throughout the pocket to make throws under pressure. Plays calm and keeps eyes downfield on the move. Athletic enough to pose a threat as a rusher but a strong pocket passer. Makes short inside throws with great timing for yards after the catch. The makings of a highly efficient quarterback at the next level.

Recruiting interests: USC commit (6/1/2020).

Garrett Nussmeier, Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), 6-1.5, 183

Glen West of LSUCountry contributed to this profile.

Background: Pro-style quarterback from Flower Mound, Texas. Currently committed to LSU, holding at least 30 offers and is the 15th-ranked recruit in Texas currently for the class of 2021. Nussmeier is the son of Dallas Cowboys assistant/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier, who has previous recruiting experience and has helped Nussmeier in his recruitment. Led Marauders to an 11-2 record before losing in the regional round of Texas 6A state playoffs. Threw for 3,788 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, earning District 6 MVP honors during his junior year.

Film scouting report: Clearly the son of an NFL quarterbacks coach based on mechanics. Footwork and throwing motion are swift from start to finish and lead to big-time throws. Generates plenty of power to go deep with a good weight transfer and follow-through. Strong on roll-outs and throwing across his body. Looking for more timing throws across the short-middle, but does well on rhythm throws outside. Passes with plenty of touch, stands tall in the pocket and is willing to take a hit if a route is opening.

Recruiting interests: LSU commit (5/4/2020).

Kaidon Salter, Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill, Texas), 6-1, 181

Profile from Matthew Ray of Volunteer Country.

Background: Transferred to Cedar Hill (Texas) for his junior season from Dallas Bishop Lynch. He was named the 7-6A District MVP after leading Cedar Hill to a 9-3 overall record and playoff appearance. His dual-threat ability is what makes him the coveted prospect that he is. He drew offers from Auburn, Baylor, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Utah before committing to Tennessee in May. Salter ran for 2,550 yards and threw for 28 touchdowns, while adding another 616 yards on the ground to go along with 10 scores during his junior campaign. 

Film scouting report: Strong arm down the field, and consistently extends the play with his feet. Is accurate on the run, but is working hard to improve his ability to stay in the pocket. As frame grows, so will his arm strength and ability to drive the ball to all three levels. 

Recruiting interests: Tennessee commit (5/10/2020).

Ty Thompson, Mesquite (Gilbert, Arz.), 6-4, 210 

Background: High-potential quarterback prospect with great physical intangibles. Completed 63.1% of his 655 passes over the past two seasons for 6,435 yards, 66 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions. Committed to Oregon just over a month after receiving an offer. Led Mesquite to 2019 state championship title. Has been vocal in his support of anti-racism movements in light of recent events across the nation.

Film scouting report: Long build and can easily get bigger and stronger. Mobile, can move pocket with him and reset quickly to deliver a strike. Great deep-outside ball placement. Strong throwing off-platform on roll-outs to the right side. Could remove a hitch-step from three-step drop for optimal traditional release timing. A risk-taker that makes a lot of one-read throws, even into double-coverage but squeezes in an accurate ball. Looking to expand progression palette. Improved mechanics and added strength raise Thompson’s ceiling dramatically.

Recruiting interests: Oregon commit (3/16/2020).

Brock Vandagriff, Prince Avenue Christian (Bogart, Ga.), 6-3.5, 207

Profile from Brooks Austin of DawgsDaily.

Background: A former Oklahoma commit from Bogart, Georgia, Vandagriff left the Sooners 2021 class due to distance from his home town. Bogart happens to be less than 15 miles from the steps of Sanford Stadium, so it’s fitting given the reasoning for leaving Oklahoma, he’s a Georgia commit. He’s a dual-threat quarterback with extreme arm talent. He threw for 2,471 yards through eight games as a junior on 71% completion with 31 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions. 

Film scouting report: He’s got tremendous arm-talent, and it’s not just the overall power of his arm. He can flick it from any and every platform. He’s a threat to run, but on the collegiate level, he will use that 4.6 speed to avoid the rush and take shots downfield. The son of a great defensive mind and head coach at Prince Avenue, he’s shows the ability to read defenses quickly. He’s got as quick and fluid of a delivery as you can expect from a player of his age and size. 

Recruiting interests: Georgia commit (1/21/2020).

Christian Veilleux, The Bullis School (Potomac, Md.), 6-4, 195

Background: Pro-style signal-caller from Ontario, two-sport athlete who also plays basketball. Transferred to The Bullis School from Canisius High School (Buffalo, N.Y.) following his sophomore year. Holds 21 offers from across the country. Has completed 52.6% of his 464 passes for 3,705 yards, 46 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions over the past two seasons, adding 416 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. 

Film scouting report: Rhythmic passer with good footwork and mechanics. Completes drop and gets the ball out swiftly with a tight release. Can make off-platform throws on designed and pressured roll-outs but will make his money in the pocket. Can squeeze passes through tight windows. Occasionally puts too much air under deep balls and receivers break stride, should improve as he gets stronger. Plenty of frame left to fill out, especially lower body which could help with throwing velocity and torque. Embraces contact as a rusher. Executes good pulls on options to deceive edge defender. Lot of accurate throws on tape, curious as to why completion percentage is low.

Recruiting interests: Penn State commit (4/29/2020).

Caleb Williams, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), 6-1.5, 209

Background: Currently attends Gonzaga High School. Billed as the 102nd best dual-threat quarterback of all time by the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Williams has drawn interest from nearly all Power Five schools and is set to decide between Maryland, Oklahoma and LSU on July 4th. Was the 2018-19 Gatorade State Player of the Year (D.C.). Led Gonzaga to the WCAC championship game as a freshman, winning the title as a sophomore. During his junior season, Williams threw for 1,770 yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions, while rushing for 838 yards and 18 touchdowns. Williams is trained by quarterback trainer Russell Thomas, and he regularly updates his recruitment at Sports Illustrated All-American.

Film scouting report: On tape and as things stand, the most talented quarterback of the Elite 11 group entering the finals. Completed a 63 air-yard throw as a junior, hitting receiver in stride on the numbers. Throws with good timing and anticipation. Can throw off-platform, across his body, and at all sorts of angles on the run. Will need to reduce hitching when setting up deep ball. Want to see more throws to short-middle of the field. Elite dual-threat. Extremely elusive and utilizes 4.57 40-yard dash time to outrun defenders. Physical rusher who is willing to take a hit. Plays hero ball and is a risk-taker, but 2.12% career interception rate gives him that flexibility. 

QB comparison: Donovan McNabb

Recruiting interests: Top three: Maryland, Oklahoma, LSU. Commit date: 7/4/2020.

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