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September 24, 2012
Uncommitted QBs trying to stay patient
Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Rivals.com. Email him your comments or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
There is no place for hesitancy on the football field, and the need for decisiveness is only magnified at quarterback.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that QBs are the first to make their college choices.
Of the top 25-ranked, dual-threat quarterbacks, all but one has made his verbal pledge. Also, of the top 35-ranked pro-style quarterbacks, only one signal-caller remains without a college choice.
Louisville (Kent.) Trinity quarterback Travis Wright is ranked as the No. 19 dual-threat quarterback in the country, but does not yet know where he'll be matriculating.
Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter quarterback Eddie Printz is the 29th-ranked pro-style quarterback and is also without a university. He had committed and de-committed from SMU, before committing and then having his scholarship offer revoked by UCLA last week.
Even as spots fill up around the country, each said they believe they will find the right place. But patience is the key.
"I am just grateful that schools are recruiting me," Wright said. "There are plenty of kids around the country that aren't getting any calls or any letters, so I am blessed.
"Right now, my recruiting is picking up, so that is encouraging. But, it was a little frustrating earlier in the process."
Wright is listed at 6-foot-1 and weighed in at just under 200 pounds. He is ranked as a three-star player by Rivals.com and led his team to a RivalsHigh 100 national championship as a junior. He has yet to receive his first offer, despite setting numerous passing records and winning multiple state championships.
According to Wright, Georgia Tech and Harvard have increased their interest in him as of late. But, he said, getting his name to the list for college coaches has been tough.
"A lot of places filled up fast and sometimes schools only take one quarterback," Wright said. "I am learning how it all happens, but it seems like once schools get their guy, they are done."
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said that Wright is learning the recruiting game the hard way.
"It is a domino effect at the quarterback position," Farrell said. "Once those first kids commit, the rest of the guys start seeing the spots fill up and commit to their highest remaining choice. It starts, usually, in spring and by late summer it is almost a done deal.
"Waiting for that first offer is a tough spot to be in, but some schools will end up with open spots as players at other positions will de-commit or they decide later in the process to take a second quarterback."
Wright is hoping that his stats will push him to the front of the line as schools look for the position.
Wright has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes at Trinity and only threw four interceptions his junior season. He is on pace to break nearly every record held by Brian Brohm, who went on to start at Louisville and was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2006 and the Orange Bowl MVP in 2007.
He hopes that the history of his high school program is not holding him back.
"Trinity is pretty well known for its offense and I think some schools just wrote me off as a system quarterback," Wright said. "Once people get that kind of stuff in their head about you, it is hard to prove them wrong no matter what you do."
Wright said that his attention to protecting the football is something he prides himself in.
"I am smart with the ball and I am very accurate. I don't make dumb decisions," he said. "I work hard to go through my progressions, I use my feet to make plays if I need to, and I am a good leader."
Wright is leading a Trinity team that is currently ranked No. 17 in the RivalsHigh 100, and he has had teammates Jason Hatcher and Ryan White commit to USC and Vanderbilt, respectively. Meanwhile, his offensive weapons, James Quick and Dayln Dawkins, are piling up offers and prolonging the recruiting process.
Wright remains steadfast that his time will come.
"I have to believe that I will have an opportunity to keep playing," he said. "I know it is getting a little late in the process, but I think my play speaks for itself."
Printz is using his play to push his Lassiter team up the national rankings. Lassiter will be inside the Top 15 in the RivalsHigh 100 this week after another solid performance in the Atlanta area.
His play has also kept him on the radar of many teams, but just being on the field has helped him to stay positive.
"Lassiter Nation has really been great the last week with the UCLA news coming out," he said. "There are no hard feelings on my end or my family's with what happened there. It is something that can be looked at as a positive."
Printz is listed at 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds and is scheduled to play in the Semper Fidelus All-American Bowl in January.
He said that after making quick decisions with SMU and UCLA, he is going to let the rest of this year play out.
"I think I am going to slow play it now," Printz said. "I realize that this is a long process and that it is all going to work itself out."
Waiting, according to Farrell, could be playing with fire.
"If you aren't a guy like Tim Tebow or Gunner Kiel, one of the top prospects, programs are not going to wait for you at the quarterback position," Farrell said. "It really is a risk to wait and let it play out."
"Those teams called in pretty quickly," he said. "My coaches are working to line up some things for me and I should know more later, but I think that I am still in a good spot."
Printz said that he would wait until the All-American game to announce his commitment and that he wants to be sure of his decision.
Wright is hoping that he will have a decision to make.
"Football has been part of my life so just stopping won't happen," Wright said. "I want to play and if I have to go to D-IAA I will, or if I have a chance to walk on at Louisville or Kentucky, I will. I just want to play.
"Quitting isn't a decision I would make."