The Opening: Elite 11 Day One Buzz

Brandon Wimbush

A look at the standout quarterbacks from Sunday morning's first Elite 11 Finals session...

Scout.com's complete coverage of The Opening 2014 presented by NIKE

BEAVERTON, ORE.- Sunday's throwing sessions were the first Elite 11 practice session of the weekend, and the finalists, plus six college quarterbacks, took to the Bo Jackson Fields to throw.

Here is the buzz from Sunday's session.


One of the top guys on the day was Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peters Prep four-star Brandon Wimbush.

The Penn State commit was absolutely slinging it. He's got a cannon for an arm, the ball just whistles coming out of his hand, and he was making some nice tough throws in the red zone. He was probably the biggest victim of average-to-mediocre receivers, since few of the prep receivers could hold on to his passes (two receivers from Portland State were there, and they were the only ones who could catch him consistently). He's a well-put together kid, looks like a linebacker, but watching him in his drops and throws, he's obviously a quarterback all the way. Our West Coast folks saw him at the Pylon 7v7 in Vegas back in March and he was great that weekend, but he was terrific this morning.

Stephenville (Texas) four-star Jarrett Stidham wasn't far behind Wimbush on Sunday.

The Texas Tech verbal was no worse than the No. 2 overall quarterback in the session. He's got a nice, fluid motion, and doesn't waste much motion and he's very consistent, with incredible accuracy.

Stidham has good spin on the ball and doesn't force things. He looked good in his drops all morning.

Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde four-star Sheriron Jones also had a good maiden day.

The Florida commit was really consistent in his throws. He only had one throw that kind of was a cringe-worthy toss, where his mechanics got all wonky and he was visibly agitated with his throw, but that was the exception.

For the rest of the day, he was throwing with touch and zip when he needed to, not forcing his throws at all and throwing well in the red zone.

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco five-star Josh Rosen threw really well in the morning, especially in the red zone throws.

He's got such a smooth release with no wasted motion. Really showed good spin on his throws today and knew when to take stuff off of his passes, but also when to let it rip. They spent the majority of the morning session working 1/3 of the field, so we didn't see a lot of deep passes this morning.

Corona (Calif.) Santiago four-star Blake Barnett was probably among the top five on Sunday.

Having seen a ton of Barnett over the last year, his motion is getting better and better, not wasting as much motion in his throws, but the ball is flying out of his hands.

They mostly worked with 1/3 of the field, but I thought Blake did a great job using touch on passes, particularly in the red zone/goal line drills. He had a pretty good day, and was in my morning Top 5.

San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Sam Darnold picked it up as the day went on.

Darnold likes to unload on every throw, so the coaches were working on him to throw with more touch and stop trying to throw every pass like a bullet. Over the course of the morning, he did a much better job throwing with touch and accuracy.

Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure quarterback Ricky Town was steady throughout.

Town was throwing a nice ball, showed really good footwork and his drops didn't really show any signs of the knee problems he's had. He looked best throwing the short and intermediate routes in the morning session.

Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle quarterback Brian Lewerke was solid and steady all day.

The Michigan State pledge was throwing a nice ball in the short and intermediate routes. He doesn't have a cannon, but he's got very good touch and is really accurate and consistent.

Allen (Texas) four-star Kyler Murray isn't the biggest quarterback but he throws a really nice ball, with very good mechanics and pretty good arm strength. Particularly in the red zone drills, he was the most consistent in his group.

-Brandon Huffman


  • Brandon Wimbush shined in the morning session. The Penn State commit's arm strength stood out the most, but I also liked how he reset in the drills as well. He was firing the ball with good accuracy.

  • Alabama commit Blake Barnett was consistent Sunday morning. He was always under control, he looked great getting into his drops, and he played at a very good pace. He never rushed, he never forced things, and he had a strong, consistent first session.

  • You can see the athleticism in Jarrett Stidham, a Texas Tech commit. He looked good getting into his drops, he escaped the pressure well, and delivered the ball on time. He throws with a nice motion and he showed nice arm strength.

  • Kyler Murray may not be the biggest quarterback in the group, but he threw with the best of them Sunday morning. He was sharp with his accuracy and he throws the ball at a high point to make up for his size somewhat. Was very smooth in the pocket all morning.

  • One that caught my attention early was Sam Darnold. A big kid with a good arm and fairly good motion to get rid of the football. A quarterback with solid size and one that was in discussion for my early top five. I like his upside and I want to see more this week.

  • Deondre Francois flashed his arm strength and his short, compact, quick release Sunday morning. He was very sharp and the ball came out of his hand hot and it got to the wideouts in a hurry.

  • Torrance Gibson threw with fairly good accuracy, but he has to really work on his delivery. The ball comes out nose down at times and the spin was not there. He looks the part and he is a fluid athlete.


    College quarterbacks throwing were Notre Dame's Everett Golson, Oregon State's Sean Mannion, Texas Tech's Davis Webb, Michigan State's Connor Cook, Baylor's Bryce Petty and Utah's Travis Wilson.

    Scout.com's No. 1 quarterback Josh Rosen's Elite 11 Highlights:

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