High schools | commentary

Baxter: Breaking down the 2015 quarterbacks

March 9, 2014 

With six weeks remaining before high school spring football practice, here’s a look at the top players in the state by position for the Class of 2015.

Today, we’ll look at quarterbacks. This class is not deep in FBS talent, but has a lot of guys who will have an impact on the game for their programs. This is a breakdown of the top five from this class with the next five to watch.

At the top of the list is Wren’s Kelly Bryant. A 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete, Bryant developed into a major prospect over the past 15 months since transferring from Abbeville. He was the top junior signal-caller at the recent U.S. Army All-American combine and has a chance to be one of the top targets in the Southeast.

Right with Bryant is Boiling Springs’ Daniel Thompson, the younger brother of USC quarterback Dylan. Thompson (6-0, 190) is probably the most mechanically sound quarterback in this class. He’s got a strong arm, quick release, and dead-on accuracy. What he lacks is about two inches of height that the FBS guys seem to like. He has the ability to be big-time if given a chance.

Will Brunson, currently of Carolina Forest but possibly transferring soon, is bidding for the No. 3 spot. Brunson (6-2, 190) is a strong pro-style passer, and led the Pee Dee/Coastal area last year in stats. He has a strong arm, quick and high release, and can throw the route tree with ease. He’s not a threat as a runner, but is mobile enough to extend the play, and he works the pocket well.

North Augusta’s Trib Reece could rise to No. 3 on this list. Reece (6-4, 170) is a strong passer and cerebral player. He has a stronger-than-average arm and throws the long ball well. He’s athletic and mobile and, while not a dual threat, can do damage if forced out of the pocket.

Marlboro County’s London Johnson (5-11, 175) rounds out the top five. The dual-threat star put up big numbers in his second year as a starter last season. Of the top five, along with Thompson, he is the best at working the pocket. He has a strong arm and is accurate, though he tends to zero-in on his targets too early and force the ball rather than going to secondary receivers.

The next five for the Class of 2015:

Nick Jones (5-11, 190) of South Florence is a strong-armed, dual threat.

Tommy Sanders (6-1, 180) of Chester is a spread passer with running ability.

Marquan Goodman (6-1, 190) of West Florence is a dual-threat athlete.

James Barnes (6-2, 180) of Sumter is a strong-armed, pro-style quarterback with mobility.

Andy McCall (6-0, 175) of Daniel is a pro-style quarterback stuck in a run-oriented offense.

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