Pac-12 spotlight: Ranking the QB commits
Many of the teams in the Pac-12 have locked up their quarterback commitments for the 2018 recruiting class. Here is a look at which programs have done the best at that position and others that still have work to do.
Note: USC, Arizona and Arizona State are not ranked since those teams do not have quarterback commits.
The situation: The Huskies could have another season with Jake Browning at quarterback but Washington should be loaded in the years to come since two quarterbacks are committed in this class. Yankoff is having the better senior season so far but there have to be questions about the competition level. Still, the dual-threat quarterback has thrown for 1,154 yards with 12 touchdowns and four picks and also leads his team in rushing with 550 yards and seven scores. Sirmon has the stronger arm, so whichever option coach Chris Petersen prefers down the line, Washington’s offense should continue humming and the Huskies should continue to be one of the top teams in the conference.
The situation: After this season, starter Josh Rosen is almost definitely off to the NFL since he could be a high first-round draft pick, so the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman quarterback is stepping into a situation where he could immediately compete for the starting job. There might be some growing pains since Thompson-Robinson is only in his first season as a varsity starter, but he has exceptional talent and should fit perfectly in the Bruins’ offense. So far this season, Thompson-Robinson has 1,510 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and three picks. He’s also rushed for three scores.
The situation: Tuttle took his official visit to Utah this past weekend and seemed to love everything about it, further solidifying his commitment to the Utes even though USC and many other programs continue to pursue him. One thing that the four-star quarterback loves about Utah is the interaction and connection he has with offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Troy Taylor. Taylor comes from the high school ranks at Folsom, Calif., where his offense put up huge numbers. Tuttle’s team is undefeated, he’s a phenomenal leader and he has the arm talent to do special things in Salt Lake City. It looks like he’s fully committed to Utah and is not considering any other programs.
The situation: Oregon was without a quarterback commit in its 2018 class until Shough flipped to the Ducks from North Carolina over the weekend. The four-star took a visit to Eugene during his bye week, loved everything that was going on with the program and decided to switch his pledge to the Pac-12 school. It’s a major pickup because the four-star pro-style quarterback can make all the throws and is posting big numbers so far this season with 1,802 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and two picks. With Justin Herbert returning after injury, Shough can take a year or two, learn the offense and then compete for the starting job.
5. WASHINGTON STATE
The situation: Cooper possesses everything coach Mike Leach wants in a quarterback and he could be a perfect fit in Pullman. The four-star lefty quarterback has thrown for 2,772 yards with 32 touchdowns and eight picks so far this season and he’s also rushed for four touchdowns. The Washington State commit can sit in the pocket and fire it all over the field, he can throw on the run and escape pressure as well. After Luke Falk departs, the quarterback situation should be up for grabs at Washington State. Cooper will have a shot.
The situation: Shrout had an excellent offseason, looked great at numerous 7-on-7 events and drew rave reviews at the QB Collective camp where he drew some heady comparisons. Early in his senior season, there have been some mixed reviews since Shrout is completing just over 54 percent of his passes for 1,277 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine picks, but the talent surrounding him is really limited so those stats are somewhat skewed. Cal needs help at quarterback. Chase Garbers might be the star of the future in Berkeley, but Shrout has real potential to head to college and be a really special player.
The situation: West was the first commit in Stanford’s 2018 recruiting class, pledging to the Cardinal in July 2016. At the Under Armour Future 50 event in Orlando over the holidays, the four-star quarterback raved about his visits to Stanford, the luminaries he met on campus and how special Stanford is to him and his family. As for on the field, former five-star Davis Mills and/or former four-star K.J. Costello look to be the future at quarterback at least for the next few years but West, whose Saraland team is currently 6-1, has the brains and the arm talent to compete for playing time - and the starting job - in the coming years.
8. OREGON STATE
The situation: Petras could be one of the big sleepers in this quarterback class and it’s surprising more Pac-12 and national programs have not been pursuing him. The three-star prospect who has a good chance of getting a bump in the next rankings has thrown for 1,763 yards with 22 touchdowns and no interceptions so far this season and his team is undefeated. He’s big, he’s got a strong arm and he could be a star in Corvallis under a new coaching regime. Dukart is more of an unknown. He has talent on tape, can deliver passes all over the field and with an uncertain quarterback situation in Corvallis, Dukart could earn playing time.
The situation: Being last on any list is never good, but this is hardly a criticism of Stenstrom, who looked good at 7-on-7 events this offseason and has his Valor Christian team still undefeated. The three-star Colorado commit is completing more than 64 percent of his passes for 752 yards with eight touchdowns and three picks. He’s only thrown 98 passes so far this season. The Buffaloes won’t need a quarterback immediately so Stenstrom can come in, learn the ropes and then compete for playing time in a couple years.