Why doesn't Florida produce better high school quarterbacks?
Rivals analyst Chris Nee raised an interesting point on Twitter last week, noting Winter Park QB (and USF commit) Asiantii Woulard was the only Florida passer at the Elite 11 finals. “Kind of indicative of Fla. QB talent,” he wrote.
Tampa Bay has produced some good quarterbacks – See: Murray, Aaron, for one. King’s Greg Windham (Ohio), Plant City’s Bennie Coney (Cincinnati) and Countryside’s Gray Crow (Miami) signed with D-I schools in February, while Pasco’s Jacob Guy turned down offers to walk on at Florida.
Compare that to, say, Texas. One Dallas suburban school, Southlake Carroll, had four alums starting on D-I college teams in 2010. Another, Chase Daniel, was in the NFL. Southlake Carroll is a rarity with some of the most ridiculous high school facilities you’ll ever see, but you get the point.
I’ve covered high school sports in three states – Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. I’ve shared this before, but my sweeping generalities are that Texas has the best QBs and linebackers, Oklahoma had the better linemen and Florida has the best athletes.
The running back/receiver/defensive back/tight end talent in Tampa Bay is as good as anywhere in the country. The quarterback position isn’t.
I’ve got a couple unsubstantiated theories why. Texas is more advanced in 7-on-7 games and tournaments – events that help quarterbacks the most. I’d estimate that at least 75 percent of Texas high schools run the spread offense, where quarterbacks throw the ball on almost every play. The spread isn’t as common in Tampa Bay.
Because Florida has better athletes, I think some quarterbacks dump the ball off on short passes instead of throwing deep. That works in games, but it doesn’t lead to eye-popping film that attracts recruiters.
Maybe Florida’s reputation for building athletes is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe tall, talented players who might grow up to be QBs in Texas see the success of receivers in Florida and become safeties or receivers.
Or maybe this is much ado about nothing. Maybe this is just a temporary downturn, or Nee and I are just plain wrong.
What do you think? Does Florida lag behind other states in producing quarterbacks? If so, why?