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July 25, 2008

EA Sports Elite 11: The Final Analysis

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. After four days of competition, Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every grades all 12 quarterbacks at the EA Sports Elite 11 in five important categories arm strength, footwork, athleticism, accuracy and release. The scores are based only on on-the-field performance at the Elite 11 Camp. Keep in mind, the Elite 11 is only one evaluation tool Rivals.com will use to rank prospects. Players are listed in alphabetical order.

Scoring system: 20 points and above: 5-Star performance; 17-19 points: 4-Star performance ; 14-16 points: 3-Star performance.

Barry Every's Elite 11 Overal Grades
Tajh Boyd, 6-1, 208, DQB, Hampton (Va.) Phoebus
Arm Strength: 3
Footwork: 4
Athleticism: 4
Accuracy: 3
Release: 3
Total: 17
Conclusion: Boyd has quality arm strength and accuracy, but more importantly he has the athleticism to buy more time in the pocket or gain yards using his feet. Baring any injuries, I would project him as a two- to three-year starter at West Virginia.
Richard Brehaut, 6-2, 206, PQB Rancho Cucamonga (CA) Los Osos
Arm Strength: 3
Footwork: 3
Athleticism: 4
Accuracy: 5
Release: 4
Total: 19
Conclusion: Film does not always show how accurate a quarterback can be. After breaking the Golden Gun accuracy point record for the second day in a row, there is no doubt Brehaut can deliver the ball on the money. This kid thrives on competition and is a humble winner. I project him to be a three-year starter for the Bruins.
Allan Bridgford, 6-3, 213, PQB Mission Viejo (CA) Mission Viejo
Arm Strength: 3
Footwork: 4
Athleticism: 2
Accuracy: 5
Release: 4
Total: 18
Conclusion: He possesses great accuracy and can get his passes off in an instant. Cal coach Jeff Tedford must be excited about getting a signal caller who will be able to deliver in the clutch. I can see Bridgford as a two- to three-year starter for the Golden Bears.
Raymond Cotton, 6-4, 216, DQB Fort Meade (Md.) Meade
Arm Strength: 4
Footwork: 2
Athleticism: 4
Accuracy: 3
Release: 2
Total: 15
Conclusion: Very raw in many ways. But if his arm strength and athleticism can be harnessed, Cotton may be causing SEC defensive coordinators to pull their hair out. There is no doubt that he can play quarterback at the next level. Look for him to be a quality starter for at least two seasons.
Garrett Gilbert, 6-4, 205, PQB, Austin (Texas) Lake Travis
Arm Strength: 2
Footwork: 4
Athleticism: 3
Accuracy: 3
Release: 2
Total: 14
Conclusion: Gilbert has the football smarts and the footwork down. It may take a few more months before his shoulder is back to 100 percent. I know he is a true warrior and really wants to prove he is the best, but getting healthy and rehabbing should take precedence at this time. I do not feel Rivals.com can give him a fair evaluation based on this camp.
Andrew Maxwell, 6-3, 192 PQB Midland (MI) Midland
Arm Strength: 3
Footwork: 3
Athleticism: 3
Accuracy: 4
Release: 4
Total: 17
Conclusion: His selection probably surprised many around the country, Maxwell more than proved deserved to be an Elite 11 competitor. Once he fills out, I can guarantee you he will be pushing the quarterback ahead of him at Michigan State. Maxwell has the potential to be a two- to three-year starter for the Spartans.
AJ McCarron, 6-4, 189 PQB Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's
Arm Strength: 3
Footwork: 4
Athleticism: 3
Accuracy: 4
Release: 4
Total: 18
Conclusion: McCarron excelled with accuracy, superior footwork and a very quick release. Once he fills out; his arm will naturally become stronger and he will be an able to make any throw that will ever be required of him. The Crimson Tide should be excited about this gunslinger's potential.
Zach Mettenberger, 6-5, 229, PQB Watkinsville (Ga.) Oconee County
Arm Strength: 5
Footwork: 3
Athleticism: 2
Accuracy: 3
Release: 4
Total: 17
Conclusion: Easily the strongest arm at the Elite11 and perhaps in the country. Can Mettenberger harness all that power? I believe if he works hard on his footwork and overall athleticism he can be something special. Let's face it, live arms like his only come around once in a while.
Aaron Murray, 6-1, 198, PQB Tampa (FL) Plant
Arm Strength: 4
Footwork: 4
Athleticism: 4
Accuracy: 4
Release: 4
Total: 20
Conclusion: The numbers tell the story. Right now Murray is the most well-rounded signal caller of this group. He has the potential to gain playing time as a freshman, which usually does not happen at his position in the SEC. But what most fans don't realize about this competitive signal caller is that he is a down-to-earth, likeable person who makes people around him better.
Bryn Renner, 6-3, 192 DQB West Springfield (Va.) West Springfield
Arm Strength: 3
Footwork: 3
Athleticism: 3
Accuracy: 4
Release: 3
Total: 16
Conclusion: Renner surprised a lot of people with his accuracy by coming in third in the overall accuracy contest. Listed as a dual-threat quarterback, he actually may be an athletic pro-style quarterback after watching him for four days. He's still very raw but has some tools and a great frame with which to work. Look for him to push for a starting position by his redshirt sophomore season.
Tom Savage, 6-4, 217, PQB Springfield (PA) Cardinal O'Hara
Arm Strength: 4
Footwork: 4
Athleticism: 2
Accuracy: 3
Release: 4
Total: 17
Conclusion: If Savage can stay healthy for his senior campaign, it will go a long way toward early playing time at Rutgers. He physically looks the part of a big-time college quarterback. Savage can make an early impact for the Scarlet Knights if he takes some of the things he learned at the Elite 11 and practices them daily.
Eugene Smith, 6-3, 182, DQB, Miramar (FL) Miramar
Arm Strength: 3
Footwork: 4
Athleticism: 4
Accuracy: 3
Release: 3
Total: 17
Conclusion: He should be one of the most heavily recruited quarterbacks in the country from here on out. Smith has come a long way since the Miami Nike camp. He is another quarterback actually be a pro-style quarterback in a dual-threat quarterback body. Based on his body structure, I would say he is almost definitely a redshirt candidate, but after that he will be pressing for playing time.

Barry Every is a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Previous to working for Rivals.com, he worked in the football offices at North Carolina, Florida State and Georgia.



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