ATLANTA -- The Georgia Bulldogs already have a commitment from one of the top quarterbacks in the 2013 class, but it is never too early to evaluate the next wave of potential elite passers in the Southeast. One sophomore has already made such a name for himself as one of the top talents on the hoops circuit, but he has set out to earn a future on the gridiron as well.
Sophomore Elijah Staley (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler) participated in the Nike Football SPARQ Combine this past Sunday at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta, and the 6-foot-6, 207-pound quarterback put up some impressive numbers. After completing a laser-timed 4.89 in the 40-yard dash, a 4.53 shuttle, a 34.2 inch vertical jump and a power ball throw of 38 feet, good for a SPARQ rating of 89.2, third best among all quarterbacks, Staley hopes to do even better the next time around.
“I need to work on my agility and 40 so I can be at the top of the SPARQ rating next year,” Staley said. “I also want to improve my strength and my speed so I can become more of a dual threat, and I want to improve my accuracy in the pocket and on the run.”
Given Staley’s measurables and athleticism, schools might want to check out the 2014 quarterback’s film here, and consider making a stop at Wheeler during the spring evaluation period. Last fall Staley started every game for the Wildcats, throwing for 1,473 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing for 279 yards.
Several college basketball coaches are aware of his potential, as Georgetown, Georgia Tech, UCF and Virginia Tech have already extended offers, and Staley has caught the eye of one program in both sports.
“Georgia was the only school that came by to check on me for football,” Staley said. “I love the history at Georgia. Everybody there has been really good. I took a visit there for basketball as well when they played South Carolina for football.”
With the chance of being a highly recruited prospect in football and basketball, Staley is in no rush to try and decide which sport to focus on at the next level.
“Whichever sport I can go the furthest in, that will be the one I pick,” Staley said.