Monday, July 22, 2024

Elite 11 takeaways: Bruce Feldman on Dylan Raiola, Julian Sayin, Air Noland, and more


REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — I’ve heard a lot of recruits feel overwhelmed by this year’s crop of high school quarterbacks, but after spending a couple days around them at Elite 11 this week, I came away more impressed than I thought I would. Having said that: Elite 11 has covered me for two decades. It’s a really well run event. A friend of mine who works more in the NFL asked me the other day, “What is its main purpose?” My answer is that Elite 11 is about trying to evaluate quarterbacks while also trying to help their development.

But there’s still a huge element of positional playmaking missing in this setup, because that’s one of the things you can’t replicate in shorts and T-shirts. But it’s still a good window into the 2024 quarterback class.

Here are 15 tips from the 25th edition of Elite 11:

On Dylan Raiola: “She Wowed Me”

Dylan Raiola I haven’t won MVP, but I’ve been wowed by him this week. Like the first time I saw him in person, this past spring at the Elite 11 Regional. Ranked 247, the sportscaster’s No. 1 prospect (and QB), he lived up to the hype both times. Physically, he looks and carries himself as if he is in his mid-twenties. At 6-foot-2 1/2, 226 pounds, Georgia’s commitment makes everything look easy, which really stands out after watching nearly all of the other quarterbacks look like they’re going all out on their throws.

Raiola exudes a great deal of confidence. He doesn’t rush anything but still plays fast and strong. He can throw from different arm angles and can do any type of throw, from power throws to those he needs. It’s just a passerby. The hitting average for five-star quarterbacks has been around 30 percent over the past decade by my calculations, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t have a stellar college career.

Julien Sayne, Most Distinguished

I was just as impressed (maybe more so) Julian Sign who won the MVP award. I say Furthermore Because I came to expect it from Raiola. I wasn’t sure about Sayin before that. On a Wednesday night at the BreakAway data station (measuring velocity and launch time), he was tossing a ball around. He had complete command, like he was having fun and knew he was going to pass the test. It was a little three-quarters, but it slipped out of his hand very quickly and so on target. The more I watched Alabama oblige, the more I loved him.

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Usually at events like this, you notice the QB after a few eye-catching throws, then keep watching and there are a few clunkers. or a bunch of them. no sign. I think he gets better, the more he does. He reminded me a lot of Clemson QB Cade Klubnik when he was in the Finals two years ago, really clean and polished. Saien isn’t physically huge at 6-foot-1 1/2, 193 lbs, but I think Crimson Tide got a really good one. The Elite 11 trainers I spoke to said his arm was stronger than it appears in the movie. Another coach said he’s heard people compare him to former Tide star Mack Jones, but thinks Signe is more athletic than Jones. And He’s got more juice in his arm than Bryce Young had when he was in the Elite 11. He came into camp as 247 Sports’ No. 4 QB. I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumped the Frogs’ Jaden Davis and Elijah Brown to second.

The hot possibility remains intriguing

Trevor Jackson, one of two uncommitted QBs here this week, exploded. Starting on Opening Night, he won the Rail Shot Challenge, shining in the spotlight with all the other QBs, including coaches and advisors with Caleb Williams, Michael Penix Jr., and Michael Penix. Including. The 6-foot-3, 187-pounder from Florida clocked the fastest pace among the Elite 11 invitees timed at Guinals and showed plenty of raw talent with plenty of juice in his arm. He was headlining the BreakAway data station.

He has shown time and time again that he can launch the ball all over the field. Jackson is also really athletic and restless. Was inconsistent on Friday but all in all, had a great week. Going to the event Pete was very interested in, and Miami came into the picture this week. Another counselor, Taulia Tagovailoa of Maryland, has been telling people he’s “our kind of guy,” so don’t be surprised if thrips come after Jackson hard.

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Quick thoughts on the rest

  • Ohio obliges Noland Airlines, who ranks seventh among QBs and 47th among the entire class of 2024, looked really good, too. The lefty always seemed relaxed and on top, showing a deft touch. He has a very quick run and looked agile as he bowled the ball on the run. One Elite 11 trainer described it as “electric”. I think he would be a perfect fit for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes with these talented receivers in Columbus.
  • Will HammondTexas Tech’s three-star committer, it looked a lot better than its ranking. He was one of the most athletic quarterbacks at the event and was almost always on time with his throws. The 6-foot-2, 187-pounder bike was a favorite of many trainers. They loved the way he throws the ball but also loved how decisive he was in how he communicated with them in competitions. This guy is a steal for the Red Raiders. I doubt it will be three stars for much longer.
  • FSU commitment Luke Krummenhoek The first night was strong on Wednesday but inconsistent as the action continued. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound converted wide receiver should be a fun opportunity to watch him develop in Mike Norvell’s system. He had one of the strongest arms in Elite 11.
  • Jaden Davis2 among QBs coming into the event, had a fun couple of days. There were some very good moments of Michigan commitment, particularly on Friday 7th on the 7th, but it seemed like he had developed something of a mechanical finishing process. A few coaches have told me that it would be important for him to tighten his delivery so he wouldn’t be late for his throws.
  • Florida obliges DJ LagoyAt 6-foot-3, 231 pounds, he is an impressive athlete. The ball jumps out of his hand. His mechanics are a little different from his rigid front leg, and coaches say he’ll have to work to get his feet on the ground when he dumps the ball. But he has a really interesting talent.
  • Not everyone in the Elite 11 believed LSU would stick Colin HurleyHe’s about 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, and has built a lot like Raiola, who had only turned 16 a few months earlier. He’s younger than some of the QBs who will be sophomores this fall. He never looked out of place here compared to other midfielders.
  • Nebraska obliges Daniel Kaelin He was another player that a lot of coaches admired for his build and the way he handled himself. In terms of personality, he shone this week. He has also shown to be one of the most accurate passers in the competition.
  • TCU commitment Hygni mania It turned a lot of heads this week. At 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, he was one of the smallest QBs, but also the fastest as well. It was clocked at 4.4s in 40 regional camps. His arm was better than many expected. Some coaches have compared him to the shorter Max Duggan. Others have compared him to Trace McSorley. Either way, Hejny seems like the perfect person to thrive in this system, from Duggan to Chandler Morris to it.
  • Georgia’s other commitment in the Elite 11, Ryan PuglieseShowcasing one of the strongest arms in Redondo. He really shoots the ball, and he was more athletic than many coaches expected. The Connecticut product has acquitted itself well in Los Angeles.
  • Ethan GronkemerA committed three-star Penn State, he threw well, especially early in the contest. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound Ohio State is a very cutting edge athlete and has recorded one of the fastest shuttle runs among the QBs here. He’s been more of an inconsistency in the action of Friday 7 on 7, but he still looks like someone who’s going to see his star ranking improve a bit.
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Two more non-QBs that I kept noticing:

  1. Luke Reynolds, a really cool road going tight end, and it’s bound for Penn State. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Connecticut native is actually a converted quarterback.
  2. The other guy was very small and fast from Long Beach Poly: Jaden Robinsonmember of the Class of 2025. He’s 5-foot-8 and maybe 130 pounds, but he’s been a really fun player to watch dart off defenders and track down balls all week.

(Top photo of Dylan Raiola prepping for the 3DQB off-season: Aubrey Lao/Getty Images)