Commentary

ND recruit Hendrix has an elite arm

Updated: December 7, 2009, 1:09 PM ET
By Tom Luginbill | Scouts Inc.

The key word for the 2010 class of quarterbacks is upside.

In many ways, this group of signal-callers is in the developmental stages -- I do not mean for this to take on a negative connotation. The reality is that although some prospects could find their way onto the field early given the right circumstances, most of these prospects would really benefit from redshirting. That circumstance would give these raw prospects a chance to get acclimated to the next level physically and mentally.

There is a high ceiling for development with both the pocket-passers and dual-threat players in this group, but many are green and have yet to come into their own. We get the sense that many college programs recruiting the prospects in this class feel the same way we do about the lack of top-end talent in this class -- kids in this class were locked up and verbally committed earlier than ever. In essence, coaches are taking the approach that it is better to jump on a guy because there aren't as many to choose from in the class as a whole. In fact, 37 of our top 40 rated quarterbacks have already made their college choice as it stands now.

In the first installment of our positional superlatives series, we have examined the prospects we feel are the most well-versed at a specific trait or skill. This doesn't mean that there are not many players who fit the bill in these categories, but a few have stood out to some degree.

One trend remains true to this position -- athletic quarterbacks are a hot commodity and will continue to be as long as the spread offense remains prevalent in college football.

Most upside

What Scouts Inc. looks for: Simply put, will the prospect be the same player four years from now he is today? Is there still growth potential, both physically and mentally, for this prospect to develop into a better player down the road?

[+] EnlargeTyler Bray
Tom Hauck for ESPNRISETyler Bray propelled himself on to the national recruiting radar with his play on the camp circuit.

Blake Bell (Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll); committed to Oklahoma: While Bell can be somewhat mechanical in his methods, his physical measurables and tools are outstanding. He has only played quarterback for two complete seasons, but there are not many 6-foot-6 prospects who can move and throw like he can. With Landry Jones firmly entrenched as the Sooners' starter, Bell will be able to redshirt and blossom without having to see the field right away.

Tyler Bray (Kingsburg, Calif.); committed to Tennessee: Bray reminds us of a right-handed Matt Leinart coming out of high school. This future Vol, however, possesses a deceptive athleticism the former USC standout lacked. Time in the weight room and the opportunity for him to grow into his tall, lanky frame provide for a high ceiling of development. He has the arm and size. Also, his overall accuracy and timing are very impressive. Tennessee may have lucked out in landing this talent at a need position.

Tyler Smith (Easton, Pa./Wilson Area); committed to Maryland: It's really surprising that Smith isn't garnering more attention. He has a lightning-quick release and is a better athlete than his physical stature would lead you to believe. He has a live arm, can make all the throws and could play in the spread running the zone read-option as well as the pro set multiple scheme. Reminds us a bit of Tony Pike at Cincy, only with better wheels.