As the spring evaluation period draws near and the scholarship offers continue to go out, quarterback recruiting continues to remain on center stage as every top program is looking to get a signal-caller on board for the 2019 class.
Here’s a look at five QBs who will be key to this class:
Grant Gunnell | QB, 6-6, 207, Houston, Texas/St. Pius X, ESPN Junior 300 No. 71
The favorite: Ohio State
The competition: Oklahoma State, California, Oregon, Arkansas, others
As a pure pocket-passer, Gunnell might not be the ideal fit at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes have surged since Gunnell decommitted from Texas A&M. Ohio State received a two-day visit in early March, and Gunnell will likely be back on campus in April. Should fellow ESPN Jr. 300 QB Sam Howell pick Ohio State over Clemson, North Carolina, Florida and Florida State before Gunnell, obviously that would be a game-changer for Gunnell. Oregon also hit a home run on an unofficial visit in March to put themselves squarely in the mix. On the other hand, Oklahoma State is the best scheme fit for Gunnell.
Michael Johnson Jr. | QB, 6-3, 190, Eugene, Ore./Sheldon, ESPN Jr. 300 No. 83
The favorite: Oregon
The competition: Florida State, Miami, Nebraska, Ole Miss and others.
The Ducks are the favorite with his father, Michael Johnson Sr., being the receivers coach in Eugene. An early March offer from Florida State places the Seminoles in the mix with Johnson having an established relationship with Willie Taggart. There are a number of directions Johnson’s recruitment could go, with fit playing a huge role, but staying home and playing for Oregon continues to be the best bet headed into the spring evaluation period.
Paul Tyson | QB, 6-4, 210, Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville, ESPN Jr. 300 No. 212
The favorite: Ohio State
The competition: Alabama
The great-grandson of Paul “Bear” Bryant has to sign with Alabama, right? While it certainly appears the Crimson Tide will be difficult to beat for Tyson, the pro-style signal-caller is being thorough with the process, looking at Kentucky, Notre Dame, Michigan, LSU, Tennessee and Arkansas. One scenario that could push Tyson away from the Tide would be if Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Tide title game hero Tua Tagovailoa, picked the Crimson Tide first. Fellow ESPN Jr. 300 QB Cade McNamara picking Michigan recently should drop Michigan from the running.
Grant Tisdale | QB, 6-1, 204, Allen, Texas/Allen, ESPN Jr. 300 No. 266
The favorite: Toss up
In contention: Baylor, Ohio State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Tennessee and others.
Tisdale is in the position of waiting to see where he ends up on the board of an elite program such as Ohio State instead of jumping on an offer from Baylor or Ole Miss. The game-changer in Tisdale’s recruitment would be an offer from Texas A&M. Should fellow ESPN Jr. 300 Max Duggan pick a school other than Nebraska, the Cornhuskers could become a real player for Tisdale.
Max Duggan | QB, 6-2, 178, Council Bluffs, Iowa/Lewis Central, ESPN Jr. 300 No. 291
The favorite: Nebraska
The competition: Iowa, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, TCU, others
Duggan, a December graduate, could come off the board soon and start some dominoes falling. Iowa is working to keep Duggan home, while Scott Frost is working hard to score a big win on the trail for Nebraska. Minnesota has gone from early sleeper in Duggan’s recruitment to a realistic shot.