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July 16, 2013

California deep in 2015 quarterback talent

MORE: Battle at the Beach: Top performers

Josh Rosen dropped back. He scanned the field. Looked left, right, then left again. He unleashed a perfect spiral to receiver Shay Fields, who broke away from the cornerback.

It was another touchdown pass for Rosen, a star 2015 quarterback from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco who shined at another event, last weekend's Battle at the Beach 7-on-7 tournament in Huntington Beach, Calif.

An assistant coach looked back and smiled after the toss.

"He's got it," the assistant said.

Rosen is good. Very good. Maybe the best quarterback, if not player, in the 2015 class. And he's one of many outstanding quarterbacks in California, a breeding ground for players at that position who could become special players and hot commodities for college coaches across the country.

"Rosen has all the tools to be a great quarterback at the next level," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said. "He has the arm, accuracy, release, footwork, vision and all the physical tools to be great.

"When you add in his confidence, smarts and leadership ability, he has that 'it' factor that's hard to find in young quarterbacks. There are some kids you can be around for just a few minutes at the position and know that they get it and have what it takes to be great, and Rosen exudes all those traits."

Eight 2015 California quarterbacks already have offers. Six of the eight have at least Pac-12 offers, and a handful have SEC and Big Ten ones in their pockets.

Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure's Ricky Town, who performed well at the Los Angeles stop of the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour this spring, has had a phenomenal summer. He toured the country and landed an offer at pretty much every stop. Town just got Georgia. Before that, it was Alabama and Texas. Arizona State, Florida State, Miami and UCLA have offered.

Then there's La Mirada's Kevin Dillman, who lists offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida State, Louisville, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Tennessee, UCLA, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington.

What's especially impressive about those offers is that Dillman hardly played quarterback in his sophomore season but, because of his athletic ability and dominance all over the field, all those schools wanted to get involved.

Rosen, who was arguably the top quarterback at the 2014-laden Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour in Chicago this summer, has Cal, Duke, Michigan, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, Utah, Vanderbilt and Virginia on his list. Stanford could offer at any time, and the Cardinal could be the team to beat. Rosen and Town could hear this week whether USC has decided to offer.

There are other standout quarterbacks. Many others. Folsom's Jake Browning completed 391 of 605 passes for 5,248 yards with 63 touchdowns and 16 interceptions as a sophomore. He has Boise State and Utah offers.

Utah came to San Clemente a few years ago to sign quarterback Travis Wilson, and the Utes coaching staff is back and has offered QB Sam Darnold. Newhall Hart's Brady White has only a San Jose State offer, but he had a terrific summer, camping at Oregon, Oklahoma State and Washington, and those coaches are highly interested.

Moreno Valley Rancho Verde's Sheriron Jones has been offered by Arizona State and is getting a lot of interest from schools that include Texas A&M. Hayward Stellar Prep's Cameron Burston has been offered by San Jose State as well.

To top it off, some of the most talented quarterbacks in California's 2015 class have not even been offered yet. Topping that list is Pleasanton Foothill's Kyle Kearns, who has Georgia, Clemson, Texas, Alabama and others interested, along with Upland's Tyler Hilinski, who looked good at the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour in Texas. Hilinski has Arizona State, Washington and many others interested.

"California was long considered the land of elite quarterbacks, but that has fallen off a bit in recent years," Farrell said. "However, the class of 2015 looks like it's absolutely loaded with a few guys who will be vying for top 50 and even five-star status. We haven't had a year like this in California in a long time when it comes to top-heavy talent."

California is the home state of Matt Barkley and Jimmy Clausen, of Mark Sanchez and Kyle Wright. Other five-stars have come from California, long known for outstanding quarterbacks.

The 2015 class could be one of the most special, one of the most memorable. Years from now, some of these names could be leading NFL teams.

They're that good. Just like that assistant coach said at the 7-on-7, they've got it.



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