The Elite 11 field of 25 – the original 24 plus Trent Dilfer’s special addition, Shane Cockerille (Baltimore/Gilman) – has been set. Of the entire field, nearly a third will come from the Midlands region.
Seven players will represent the Midlands, including six from Texas and the seventh a former NFL head coach’s son residing in Colorado. Here’s a breakdown of each player from the region heading to Redondo Beach, Calif., from July 18-22.
DeVante Kincade (Dallas/Kimball)
Height: 6 foot
Rank: No. 18 (dual threat)
Notable: Kincade dazzled the Elite 11 coaches at the Dallas regional and outshined the bigger, taller, more well-known quarterbacks in attendance. Kincade went into the regional with the mission to make a statement, and he did that.
What the scouts say: “At first glance, it is easy to think Kincade will move to wide receiver, but as you study him, he is effective enough as a passer and has tools to mold to remain under center if in the spread offense.”
Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright)
Rank: No. 1 (dual threat)
Notable: The Texas commit and nation’s top-ranked dual-threat signal-caller has been compared to another Longhorn, Vince Young. The Elite 11 can be his opportunity to show that he’s every bit as gifted – if not more – as Texas’ old No. 10.
What the scouts say: “This guy is a load. Swoopes looks like a man amongst boys against this competition. Possesses an ideal blend of size, speed, quickness and physical measurables in terms of stature.”
J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider)
Rank: No. 6 (dual threat)
Notable: Barrett quickly makes critics forget about his lack of height as a quarterback. He’s a playmaker who wants the pressure on him. Barrett has committed to Ohio State, but before he’s a Buckeye, he wants to be the Elite 11 national champion.
What the scouts say: “He is a passer first, runner second, dual-threat QB that is very dangerous, not just due to his tools, but also his intangibles and instincts.”
Luke Del Rio (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian)
Rank: No. 29 (pocket passer)
Notable: A three-star quarterback and Oklahoma State commit, Del Rio has a quarterback’s arm with a coach’s mentality. He is the son of former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
What the scouts say: “He is not a special athlete, but a functional one and he does a great job within the pocket with subtle movements to buy second passing chances while keeping his eyes downfield. You really like how he handles pressure.”
Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage)
Rank: No. 8 (pocket passer)
Notable: There’s so much to like about this four-star prospect. He has prototypical quarterback size and a cannon for an arm. Thomas has verbally committed to Oklahoma and has the tools to be a future pro in both football and baseball.
What the scouts say: “Thomas is one of the best pro-style passers this class has to offer and is also a deceptively good athlete to boot. Physically looks like a college player in terms of measurables and has a really nice feel for the game.”
Davis Webb (Prosper, Texas/Prosper)
Rank: No. 20 (pocket passer)
Notable: Webb’s quarterback IQ and overall poise won over Trent Dilfer – so much that Dilfer compared Webb to a high school version of Tom Brady. Webb, a Texas Tech commit, is a small-town quarterback with big-time aspirations to be great in the Big 12.
What the scouts say: “This is a player with significant growth potential and a high ceiling for development due to his natural height and frame to fill out to complement his naturally smooth release and impressive arm strength.”
Zach Allen (Temple, Texas/Temple)
Rank: No. 48 (pocket passer)
Notable: Allen was one of those players at the Dallas regional who did everything right. It was enough to catch the attentions of the coaches in attendance. Many feel that Syracuse got a steal, as Allen verbally committed to the Orange at the end of May.
What the scouts say: “He is a passer first, runner second, with nice pocket savvy to elude and extend plays. He is well built with a wiry-but-strong frame that is only going to get bigger and stronger. We like his measurable upside.”