2012 Mastrole Passing QB Challenge brought a number of talented signal callers to St. Thomas Aquinas for the 4th annual Spring Select Camp. Several quarterbacks came in with college offers ready to compete in a number of events displaying accuracy, arm strength, agility, and recognition. Larry Blustein of the Miami Herald and South Florida High School Sports were covering the event in an evaluation of over 30 quarterbacks from around the sunshine state.
The Rising Senior Division did not disappoint. Headed by two very highly touted signal callers in John O’Korn of St. Thomas Aquinas and Tyler Cogswell of American Heritage Plantation. Both quarterbacks have received multiple offers from Top 30 Division I universities. Cogswell finished the event with the highest total points (27) followed by O’Korn with (24). Cogswell, O’Korn, and Ryan Giaratano, who finished 3rd in the event, all showed strong arms in the long throw competition. Cogswell registered a 71 yd throw with O’Korn dropping in at 69.5 yds. Giaratano was right behind the two with a 68 yd toss. Drew Domino (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Ray Sharp (Westminster Academy) finished in the 59 yard range. Domino showed excellent accuracy and athletic ability through out the event. The 6′-3″ rising senior will be ready to compete in the spring. Sharp who is coming off a very productive Junior year has the intangibles to be playoff sound quarterback. At 6′-4″ Sharp has the tools to play at the next level and will need to focus on increasing his lower body strength in the off season. Combination of size, arm strength, and raw ability makes this 2013 quarterback and prospect to keep an eye on. Chandler Mann (Union County) made the trip south and did not dissapoint with a physical presence and a strong arm and athletic frame. Mann was looking to showcase his arm coming from a run base offense. Mann’s ability to move around the pocket and display sound fundamentals should give Union County a quarterback who can execute the game the offense on the ground or thru the air. Michael Davide (Columbus High School) is an excellent two sport athlete. Davide can move the launch point and is very capable of beating defenses with his arm and legs. During the event he displayed a sound base and quick change of direction during the lateral and forward moving drills. The footwork competition stations challenged the quarterbacks to change directions and accelrate for short distances. Quarterback Coach Ken Mastrole designed testing to show how a quarterback could react and move when a pocket breaks down. “Every coach wants a quarterback who can break a game open at any time with a 50-60 yard highlight run but the game is about moving the chains and I wanted to see which quarterbacks could explode out of a pocket making one lateral move and pick up 5-10 yds for a first down.” Cogswell and O’Korn are very good athletes for their size. “Both quarterbacks have worked hard this off season on their footwork and lateral movement and it clearly showed today” added Mastrole. “Giratano, Sharp, Mann, and Domino all are very good athletes inside and out of the pocket.” Each quarterback in this group can explode from center and set up with a balanced base which allows them to be accurate from multiple ranges.
The Rising Junior Division proved to be an exciting group of quarterbacks. Sean Pratt (Cooper City/ 24 Pts) edged the rocket arm of Blance Ely’s Danarious Graham (22 pts). Kelly Benson finished a close third with 19 pts. Pratt has continued to improve and worked extremly hard in each event. Pratt plays in an offense that thrives on moving the quarterback outside the pocket as well as changing launch points through out the course of a game. Pratt showed very good footwork and a quick release in a multiple number of throws. Graham has all of the physical tools to light up a scoreboard with his arm or legs. The junior to be has the arm strength to make all of the throws from a stationary or moving position. If Graham continues to work on his base and stride this off season he could be as leathel as any quarterback throughout the state. Benson has some of the best throwing mechanics of the entire group that was on display Saturday. Kelly displays a very sound and smooth delivery on every throw. If Benson continues to grow he has the arm and mechanics to be one of the best pure passing quarterbacks in the state. The right handed signal caller has made the move to Miami Monsignor Pace where he will be looking to lead a talented team back to the playoffs. If Benson can generate wins and solid film he will start to bring college attention in 2012. Wade Freebeck (Western) will be a prospect everyone will be keeping an eye on. Freebeck has changed dramatically in just a short time in the way he has approached training and his fundamentals. Freebeck can make the throws necessary to attract college recruiters this spring. The 6′-3″ rising Junior has the frame to add muscle which will make him all the more powerful as an athlete and passer. A very smart and confident quarterback Freebeck looks to keep his name in print a number of times this year. Joey McCain (Coral Gables) has improved dramatically and will start to show up on radars with his strong competitive attitude and accurate right arm. McCain was starting off strong during the competition but was hampered by a sore finger on his throwing hand. McCain continued to compete throughout the event showing his mental and physcial toughness. Erik Mena (Miami Palmetto) is a physically gifted athlete who has a very strong arm and a passion for the position. Mena can throw the ball in the high 50 yd range while showing to be an athlete from tackle to tackle. If given the opportunity to manage an offense, Mena, shows he has the physical tools as well as mental maturity to control the game.
The rising Sophomore division has a number of quarterbacks that are the bright future of South Florida quarterbacks. Gio Lugo (Glades Central) finished the day with 18 total points. Brett Kean (University School) had a strong performance finishing with 16 total points. Eldrick Clapp (Coral Gables) and Cody Long (Estero) finished tied for third with 14 points. Lugo showed good footwork and an accurate arm from short to intermediate range. Lugo, who doubles as a quarterback and successful kicker will look to compete for the starting roll this spring for powerhouse Glades Central. Brett Kean displays excellent mechanics and a very strong arm. This quarterback is very smooth throughout his drops and looks very effortless when spreading the ball around the field. Kean is positioning himself to be the next top quarterback for the Suns and should have a tremendous spring campaign with his work ethic and ability to make plays when the lights are on. Clapp will definitly be one to watch over the next few years. He already has the physcial tools to compete. Clapp has really started to smooth out his delivery and shows a big upside at the position. With his first spring football around the corner and a solid off season Eldrick will quickly start becoming a well known name in the South Florida quarterback market. Across the state Cody Long made the trip to show why the 6′-3″ rising Sophomore could lead the Estero Wildcats back to playoff contending team. Very athletic and accurate Long will need to continue to increase the speed of his delivery but throws a very tight and catchable football. Luke Clark from Palm Bay was one point away from a 3rd place tie. Where Clark excelled the most was his ability to quickly execute a 3 and 5 step drop. He finished with a tie for first in the fastest timed 3 step drop and release and a first place finish in the 5 step drop and release. This very athletic quarterback has a very strong arm as well as quick feet registering in the mid 50′s on the long ball. Has the ability to be one of the future top signal callers in the state. Trevor Ross, Benjamin, showed well during the event. The two sport athlete (Lacrosse and Football) continued to improve over the course of the day. The ability to move and react was a strong trait in Ross. His passing abitilites will continue to improve as he transitions from the lacrosse field to the football field.
The Next Generation Division featured the future on high school quarterbacking. Tyler Monaco from American Heritage Plantation displayed sound fundamentals and a strong arm. Monaco has been working hard year round and proved to be top in his division on Saturday. Tyler is a very smart quarterback who understands his strengths and weaknesses and works well to improve each area. Kyle Hollander and Aaron Pierce are two very athletic quarterbacks have proven at the youth level they can match up with anyone. Both quarterbacks will be names to rememeber over the next 4-5 years as they prepare to step onto the high school stage. Expect both of these quarterbacks to gain yards through the air and on the ground. Blake Dever, who will be attending St. Thomas Aquinas in the fall, has a very strong arm not only on the gridiron but the baseball diamond as well. A standout pitcher, Dever, can locate a pitch and an out route with velocity and accuracy. Alejandro Ros, who will be attending Columbus High School, has a very strong base of fundamentals and footwork. This quarterback has the potential to be the future of a very succesful program in Miami. Ros is very smooth in his movement and throwing mechanics and has yet to step foot onto a high school campus. D’Angelo Fulford will be attending Northeast High School in the fall and this could be the next great QB to come through the Hurricanes program. A very good athlete, Fulford, showed a strong arm and knack for accurate throws throughout the competition. Carmine Scarfone is another quarterback who has the work ethic and passion to become a succesful quarterback at the high school level. Scarfone will be attending Pine Crest in the fall and will continue to improve as he showed great feet and an accurate arm throughout the day. Jack Bueltel, First Baptist Academy, made the trip across the state to compete as a 7th grader. This quarterback doesn’t shy away from competition as he showed he could handle all of the throws and footwork that challenged each quarterback. Jake Allen is another quarterback that competes on every rep and throw. Allen will be a name to keep an eye on in Palm Beach County. This young gun has a solid base of fundamentals to build from and has one more year of development before stepping onto the high school scene.