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April 1, 2004

The year of the QB in California?

Though many schools prefer the dual-threat quarterback that is somewhat in vogue, there is still a place in the world for the traditional drop-back and fire quarterback.

The USC Trojans and Miami Hurricanes and many other major colleges are proof of that. This week Rivals100.com will take a look at some of the better drop-back quarterbacks from the Golden State that will be the focus of college recruiters.

The traditional the drop-back quarterback is a tough breed of cat. He hangs in there knowing that there are frothing at the mouth defensive players honing in on him. He throws the ball and kaboom he gets knocked into next week, but often the chains have moved because this guy hung in there and delivered the ball on time.

Yes, the drop-back pocket quarterback is alive and well in sunny California. The following list is in alphabetical order.

Los Alamitos, Calif., quarterback Jimmy Barnes (6-5, 221, 5.0) will be one to watch. He is the son of Los Alamitos head coach John Barnes one of the most successful high school programs in southern California.

The best quarterbacks always have as an intangible the ability to win and Barnes definitely wins.

In his first year as a starter on the varsity level, Barnes led Los Al to an 11-2 record. As a sophomore, he led the JV squad to a perfect 10-0 record and as a frosh; he led the freshmen team to a 9-1 record.

Being the son of a coach with an excellent track record for developing quarterbacks has helped the younger Barnes have an advanced knowledge of the game and has outstanding mechanics.

Barnes is currently getting letters from Michigan, Florida, Colorado, USC, UCLA, Alabama, Oregon, Minnesota, Arizona, Arizona State, and many more.

Arkelon Hall (6-2, 205, 4.9) from Fresno (Calif.) Edison was selected Area Player of the Year, all-area, all-league, all-CIF and second-team all-state after completing 61.2 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,600 yards and 34 touchdowns against only five interceptions as a junior. His efforts included a 128 quarterback rating.

Hall is a very intelligent quarterback who reads defenses like a veteran. He possesses a gun for an arm and can make all the throws.

Hall compares himself to Tom Brady as a quarterback. He makes quick reads, good decisions and gets the ball to the right person at the right time.

"I'm your old-fashioned drop-back quarterback," Hall said. "I'm pocket passer all the way and that is the way I'm being coached."

Hall has an offer from Utah and is getting other recruiting attention from USC, UCLA, Michigan, Oklahoma, LSU, Utah, Cal, Notre Dame, San Jose State, Washington St, Washington, Arizona State and Arizona.

Many feel that Mark Sanchez (6-3, 205, 4.7) from Mission Viejo, Calif., could top the list out of a very talented group of California quarterbacks this season.

Sanchez already had the tools but his skills have been enhanced by his coach, quarterback guru Bob Johnson, and that has helped his helped accelerate his development as a quarterback. He has great arm strength, throws a very sweet deep ball. His ability to drop in the pocket and find his second and third options is one of his strengths.

Add all that to his excellent mechanics and you have the makings of a real fine quarterback.

Sanchez earned second-team all-state honors after completing 143-191 passes while hitting on 75 percent of his passes for 2,460 yards and 29 touchdowns with seven picks.

Sanchez claims to be very open regarding schools but the word is he favors USC. LSU, Oregon, Washington, Washington State and Stanford are also being mentioned.

Quarterback Derek Shaw (6-4, 205, 4.75) from Oceanside, Calif., is definitely one to put on your radar screen. He comes from excellent football stock and division one schools is taking noticed of the strong armed quarterback from San Diego County.

Shaw's grandfather is former Oregon Duck head coach Dick Enright. Enright also coached with the San Francisco 49ers under Monte Clark.

Enright has coached a lot of great quarterbacks in his day. A partial list is includes Hall-of-Famer Dan Fouts, former Green Bay Packer Don Horn, USC great Steve Sogge, Scott Stark and Enright coached former USC standout Todd Marinovich in high school.

"Derek is as tough as anyone I've coached," Enright said. "That is saying something because Dan Fouts was one tough guy. Derek is tough, tough, tough. He will play hurt like they do in the NFL."

Shaw is really good in the pocket and can throw exceptionally well on the move, but make no mistake he's a pocket passer.

A sampling of the schools corresponding with Shaw is Oregon, Oregon State, USC, UCLA, Washington, Arizona, ASU, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Colorado State, Utah, Hawai'i, Purdue, and Miami.

Another big time drop back quarterback is Karsten Sween (6-3, 205, 4.7) from Ridgecrest (Calif.) Burroughs. The talented signal caller was selected all-state underclass, all-CIF, all-county, all-area and all-league as a junior.

Sween hit on 244 passes out of 401 attempts while hitting on 61 percent. He had a better than four-to-one touchdown to interception ratio. He had 40 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

Sween's passing yardage was good enough for second in the state.

"Karsten is a coach's dream as a quarterback," Burroughs coach Jeff Steinberg said. "He is one of the hardest workers you will ever find."

According to Steinberg Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, UCLA, Purdue and Colorado State are Sween's early leaders.

One thing that comes to mind when you think of drop back quarterbacks is arm strength and William Tuitama (6-3, 210, 4.8) from Stockton (Calif.) Saint Mary's has a rocket.

There could be as many as 10 high Division I quarterbacks in California next year, but none will have a stronger arm than Tuitama. As a junior, Tuitama o split time with a senior but still threw for 1,034 yards and four touchdowns.

Look for Tuitama to flourish this fall.

Colleges like what they see in Tuitama. Cal, UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Fresno State are showing interest.

Tuitama also has outstanding bloodlines; his uncle is former USC and now Miami Dolphin great linebacker Junior Seau.

West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade quarterback Chris Turner (6-4, 200, 4.8) had a shaky sophomore season, but made tremendous progress as a junior and is now considered one of the Golden State's top quarterback prospects.

After suffering through a tough sophomore season when Turner threw 13 interceptions and only two touchdowns, he bounced back as a junior, throwing for 3391 yards, 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Turner was selected first-team all-league for his junior season performance.

"I have really enjoyed seeing Chris develop over the past year," Chaminade coach Ben McEnroe said. "His improvement over the year has been the greatest I have seen in all my years of coaching. Chris has made tremendous strides."

Turner has a very strong arm and can throw the deep ball. He has sound mechanics and good feet. He also very tough, he can take a hit.

USC, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Colorado, Florida, and Texas are sampling of the fine schools that are showing recruiting attention to Turner.


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