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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Breaking down the board: 2014 QBs

By Brandon Chatmon

Each week, Breaking down the board will take a deeper, position-by-position look at the prospects the Oklahoma football program is looking to land in the hope of filling its roster with elite playmakers. This week, SoonerNation ranks five Class of 2014 quarterbacks who could be terrific fits for the Sooners offensive system and fit their desire for passers that can make a defense pay with their feet, with No. 1 being the player who should be OU’s top priority of the five recruits listed.

To be clear, this ranking has nothing to do with the Sooners actual recruiting board/priority list. It simply is our ranking list compiled of recruits at the position who could be the best fits for OU’s system.

1. Keller Chryst, Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto

Measurables: 6-foot-4, 225 pounds

Rankings: ESPN Watch List member

Current offers: USC, Stanford, Pittsburgh

He’s No. 1 because... He has terrific size, passing skills and he is mobile. He can do a lot of different things and has the physical skills to succeed in OU’s offense. He appears to have similar traits to Blake Bell as passer with mobility, instead of a runner who can pass. He might have one of the highest upsides of the quarterbacks in the Class of 2014.

2. Justice Hansen, Edmond, Okla/Santa Fe

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds

Rankings: ESPN Watch List

Current offers: Missouri, Arkansas

He’s No. 2 because... Hansen continues to grow into his frame and is getting more and more polished as a passer. He has the mobility to run, although he’s not a game-breaking run threat. The Sooners have expressed plenty of interest and Hansen could be a answer at quarterback for OU’s 2014 class.

3. Brandon Dawkins, Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 199 pounds

Rankings: ESPN Watch List

Current offers: Notre Dame, Utah.

He’s No. 3 because... Dawkins is a terrific run-pass quarterback who plays with a toughness that earns the respect of his teammates. He has a long delivery, but has good passing skills and the physical ability to run the Sooners offensive attack.

4. David Cornwell, Jones, Okla./Jones

Measurables: 6-foot-5, 215 pounds

Current offers: Auburn, Indiana

He’s No. 4 because... Cornell seems to have excellent upside, it’s just a matter of getting a better feel for him as a player since he’s relatively new to the scene. But he can throw accurately on the run, is strong and mobile. He’s not Michael Vick, but he can make you respect his feet and his passing skills are underrated.

5. William Crest, Baltimore, Md./Dunbar

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds

Rankings: ESPN Watch List

Current offers: Ohio State, Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, UTEP

He’s No. 5 because... the Sooners might face long odds to land him. If the Sooners had a better chance to land him, he might be higher. He’s the best runner in this group and has the ability to break games open with his feet. And he has the physical skills to develop into a Kendal Thompson-type prospect.

Overall summary: Physical skills are way down the list when it comes to priorities when searching for a quarterback. Mental approach, leadership, savvy, confidence and other intangibles are bigger priorities. That’s why you can expect the Sooners and Josh Heupel to be very diligent when deciding who to offer in this class, as getting to know the quarterback you are recruiting is critical. And you can’t question the results when you look at the quarterback talent on the roster. So while these five prospects look to have the physical ability to excel in OU’s system, that’s only half the battle.