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July 19, 2007
Rewind: 2002 Elite 11 QBs
The ninth annual Elite 11, which has developed into the premier quarterback event in the nation, kicks off in less than one week on July 23rd.
A four-day event based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the Elite 11 will actually feature 12 of the best young high school quarterbacks competing and also receiving tutelage from top college counselors as well as the Elite 11 coaching staff.
In the next week leading up to the start of the event, StudentSportsFootball.com will be looking back at the past Elite 11 classes.
Today, check out the 2002 edition of the Elite 11 and how they've fared since the end of their respective high school careers.
2002 ELITE 11 QUARTERBACKS
A two-year starter who amassed over 4,000 yards and 37 TDs at Timpview. Led his team to a 12-1 record as a senior, completing 129 of 212 passes for 2,063 yards with 22 TDs and nine interceptions. Hit on 105 of 195 attempts as a junior for 2,110 yards with 15 scoring passes and eight interceptions. Signed with Arizona State and redshirted in 2003, before deciding to transfer to BYU. Sat out the 2004 season before leaving BYU and enrolling at Dixie Junior College in 2005, where he played sparingly while trying to get his grades in order. Enrolled at Utah State in the fall of 2006 and saw playing time in only one game during the season as the team's No. 3 QB. Will look to compete for more playing time in 2007.
Athletic QB who only lost two games in his junior and senior years combined, both to De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), owners of the national-record 150+ game winning streak. In his senior season, Dixon completed 162 of 265 attempts, for 2,426 yards and 30 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, leading his team to the North Coast Section 4A Championship game. Earned All-League and All-Area honors after throwing for 1,715 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior. Also a standout baseball player, Dixon committed to the Oregon Ducks in February of 2003 and enrolled at U of O in January of 2004, where he impressed in spring drills and earned the No. 2 spot heading into the fall. Saw sparse action in 2004, completing six of 15 passes for 73 yards while also rushing for 40 yards. Split time with Brady Leaf in the Ducks' final four games of 2005 after Kellen Clemens was lost to an injury, completing 69 of 104 (66.3%) passes for 777 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions while also rushing49 times for 143 yards and one score. Emerged as the Ducks' primary starter in the spring of '06 and started 9 of 12 contests for the Ducks in 2006, leading Oregon to a 4-0 start before things went south and he split time with Brady Leaf in the second half of the year. On the seaon completed 197 of 322 passes for 2,143 yards with 12 TDs and 14 picks. Was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 2007 MLB Draft, where he plans on joining the organization for instructional league this summer. Will be back in Oregon for the 2007 season where he will be the Ducks starting quarterback after a strong performance in spring.
Big, accurate pocket passer established himself amongst the elite with an outstanding junior season at Edison, completing 61% of his passes for 2,791 yards and 33 TDs with just three interceptions, leading the Chargers all the way to the CIF-Southern Section DI title game. Completed 177 of 320 passes for 2,474 yards and 15 TDs as a senior. Signed with Oklahoma where he redshirted in 2003. Saw action in five games as a redshirt-freshman in 2004 as Jason White's backup, completing 12 of 14 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Transferred from Oklahoma in the fall of 2005 to Utah after Rhett Bomar captured the starting job and sat out the season as a transfer. Emerged as Utah's No. 2 QB through the spring of 2006 and saw playing time in seven games for the Utes, completing 7 of 14 passes for 103 yards with one score and three picks. Will once again serve as Utah's No. 2 for the 2007 season.
An All-State selection and also named the Class 4A State Offensive MVP as a senior in 2002, when he completed 117 of 222 passes for 1,913 yards and 16 TDs while rushing for 867 yards and 16 more scores. Was also the Class 4A Offensive MVP following his junior season in 2001, when he threw for 2,067 yards and 26 touchdowns while also rushing for 550 yards and 11 TDs. Finished his career at Neville with 6,782 yards and 64 TDs passing and 2,234 yards and 42 TDs rushing. Also a fine baseball prospect at shortstop, where he was a two-time All-State selection. Signed with Ole Miss after decommitting from LSU a week before Signing Day in 2003 and redshirted his first year. Saw action in six games as a redshirt freshman in 2004, leading the Rebels to a season-ending victory over Mississippi State in his only start. Completed 25 of 57 passes for 242 yards with a TD pass and three interceptions while also finishing as the team's second-leading rusher with 309 yards and three touchdowns. Came out third of a three man race for starting duties in 2005 as a new coaching staff arrived in Ole Miss and saw limited time at quarterback, completing just nine of 22 passes for 74 yards with four interceptions. Moved to tight end midway through the season and emerged as an immediate star, catching 17 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the team's fifth-leading receiver. Appeared in 10-of-12 games, making eight starts in 2006, leading Rebel tight ends with 11 catches and 155 receiving yards on the season. Looking for a big senior year in '07.
Set national and state prep quarterback records during four year career, while leading his team to three consecutive state championships (2000, 2001, 2002) and 46 straight wins as a three-year captain and four-year starter. A three-time Student Sports All-American, Leak finished his career at Independence with a national high school record 185 touchdown passes and second in yardage at 15,593. Hit on 336 of 584 passes for 5,193 yards with 64 TDs and 12 interceptions as a senior, earning Student Sports National Player of the Year honors. Completed 296 of 450 passes for 4,541 yards, 57 touchdowns and 12 interceptions as a junior, earning Student Sports Junior Player of the Year honors. Was named the Student Sports Sophomore of the Year in 2000, when he passed for 4,544 yards and 51 touchdowns. Signed with Florida, where he took over the starting job in the fifth game of his true freshman season in 2003 and never looked back. The Freshman All-American completed 190 of 320 passes for 2,435 yards, with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, going 6-3 as the Gators' starting in the final nine games, including wins over LSU and Georgia. Had a solid sophomore season in 2004, earning All-SEC second team honors, completing 238 of 399 passes (59.6%) for 3,197 yards with 29 TDs and 12 interceptions, finishing as the nation's 16th highest-rated passer with a 144.92 rating. Had another productive season in 2005 under new coach Urban Meyer, hitting 235 of 374 passes (62.8%) for 2,639 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions, finishing second in the SEC in passing yards per game and third in QB rating. Made the best of his last year of college ball by leading the Gators to a BCS National Championship game victory over Ohio State with a dominating performance. Only lost one contest during the season on a controversial fumble that led to a loss to Auburn. Led Florida to their first SEC Championship since 2000 which valulted them into the championsip game. The BCS championship proved to be one of Leak's best performaces of his career, where he was 25 of 36 passing for 213 yards and one touchdown and named Offensice MVP for his efforts in the win. On the year Leak hit 63.6% of his throws with 2,942 yards, 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, finishing with a very impressive QB rating of 144.94. Threw a touchdown pass in all but two of this 33 career starts and was 22-11 as the Gators' starter for his career. Ranks fourth all-time in yards passing (8,721), completions (663) and fifth in attempts (1,023) in Gator history. Went undrafted in the 2007 NFL draft and signed as a rookie free agent with the Chicago Bears where he will compete for a roster spot for the 2007 season.
Led his team to a school-best 13-1 record and an appearance in the state semifinal game as a senior, despite tearing ligaments in his right ankle in the second game. Threw for 2,489 yards and 21 TDs as a senior, earning 1st Team Class 4A All-State honors. Passed for 1,653 yards and 18 TDs as a junior. Set school records for career passing yards, touchdowns and wins. Signed with Florida along with Chris Leak in the Class of 2003 and redshirted his first fall at UF behind, Leak, Ingle Martin and Gavin Dickey. Was a reserve in 2004 and decided to transfer to Eastern Illinois following the season with hopes of becoming the starter at the 1-AA school. Unfortunately could not meet academic requirements to get eligible at EIU for the 2005 season. Signed by the Florida Firecats of the Arena2 (AF2) League and served as the Firecats' No. 2 quarterback during the '06 season. Now is the backup QB for the Alabama Steeldogs fo the Arena League in '07.
Completed 81 of 133 passes for 1,553 yards with 17 TDs and just three interceptions as a senior in 2002, leading La Grange to a 12-1 record. Was an All-State selection as a junior, as his team captured the 3A state title, passing for 2,086 yards and 23 touchdowns. Had offers from most of the SEC, choosing South Carolina over Georgia and Auburn. Redshirted in 2003 and saw action in five games in 2004, completing nine of 22 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions. Emerged as the Gamecocks' starting quarterback in 2005 under new head coach Steve Spurrier, and had a solid campaign, hitting 186 of 315 passes (59.0%) for 2,370 yards with 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Had another strong performance in '06 for the Gamecocks. In nine games as the starter, hit 135 of 202 passes and 10 touchdowns with only six interceptions, capping it off with an MVP performance in USC's Liberty Bowl victory over Houston, passing for 323 yards and four scores. Enters 2007 as the top active SEC quarterback in career completion percentage (61.2%) and ranks seventh in the Carolina record book with 4,245 career passing yards.
Emerged out of nowhere between his junior and senior seasons to become one of the nation's top high school signal callers. Had a huge senior season, completing 193 of 288 passes for 3,059 yards with 44 TDs and seven interceptions, leading his team to an 11-2 mark and a CCS Division III title. Was 2nd Team All-State as a senior. As a junior, Ostrander completed 80 of 143 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in just seven games. Signed with Stanford over Oregon and Arizona State and redshirted for the Cardinal behind Chris Lewis and Trent Edwards in the fall of 2003. Saw action in six games as a redshirt-freshman in 2004, starting two games when Edwards was injured, finishing the year 56 of 126 for 914 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Relieved Edwards in six games during 2005, hitting 39 of 67 attempts (58.2%) for 529 yards with one touchdown and one interception, nearly leading what would have been a remarkable upset over Notre Dame in the season finale after Edwards left with an injury, completing 11 of 15 passes for 197 yards and a score before a late Notre Dame score turned the Cardinal away. Took over starting duties for the last five games of '06 replacing a once again injured Edwards. Had career high stats in '06 completing 72 of 158 passes for 918 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games and five starts on the season. Will be the starting quarterback for the Cardinal in 2007.
Big, strong-armed left-hander had a stellar four-year career at McCutcheon high. Threw for 2,933 yards and 27 TDs in his senior season, also rushing for 483 yards and leading his team to an 11-2 record. Completed 126 of 227 passes for 2,400 yards and 20 TDs as a junior and 181 of 330 passes for 2,911 yards as a sophomore. Finished his career with 10,777 yards passing and 92 touchdown passes, and was a three-time Student Sports All-American. Also an outstanding pitcher in baseball, earning All-State twice. Signed with Michigan over Illinois, Colorado and UCLA and redshirted as a freshman. Served as a backup to Chad Henne in 2004, completing eight of 15 passes for 52 yards and also earned Big Ten All-Academic honors. Joined the Michigan baseball team in 2005 following the Rose Bowl and threw well in a co-closer role for the Wolverines, well enough to be selected in the eighth round of the MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. Signed with the White Sox and is currently a starter at the team's Class A club in Winston-Salem.
Finished his high school career as the all-time leading passer in Alabama high school history, throwing for 10,744 yards, eclipsing the mark set by 2000 Elite 11 quarterback Brodie Croyle. Connected on 219 of 372 passes for 3,332 yards and 22 TDs as a senior, and was named Mr. Football in Alabama. Was a two-time 5A All-State selection. Threw for 1,850 yards and 17 TDs as a junior, and finished his four years with 84 career TD passes, also a state record. Chose LSU over Florida State on Signing Day in 2003 and redshirted for the Tigers as a freshman. Started 2004 off with a bang, relieving senior starter Marcus Randall and rallying LSU past Oregon State in overtime. Split time for the remainder of the year, finishing 61 of 129 passing for 925 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Battled through a couple of injuries to lead LSU to an 10-2 record before missing the Peach Bowl with a wrist injury that required surgery. Earned Honorable Mention all-SEC after completing 188 of his 311 passes (60.5%) for 2,443 yards with 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and led the Tigers to several come-from-behind victories, including an emotional win in the opener at ASU following Hurricane Katrina. Put it all together for a huge junior season in '06, leading the Tigers to a Sugar Bowl victory over Notre Dame with a performance that put him at the top of draft boards. Accumullated over 350 total yards and 3 touchdowns on his way to being named MVP of the Sugar Bowl. On the year threw for 2,797 yards, 26 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Was second in the SEC with 2,923 yards of total offense and won SEC Offensice Player of the Week honors three times during the year. Left LSU a year early and entered the 2007 NFL Draft, where he was the first overall pick by the Oakland Raiders. Returned in 2006 to be counselor at the Elite 11 camp.
Athletic signal caller who was four-year letterman and a three-year starter at North Hardin, leading his team into the State 4A playoffs in each of his years as a starter. Threw for over 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons as a starter, including 1,500 with 15 TDs as a senior. Was an Honorable Mention All-State pick as a senior and was a two-time All-Area and All-District pick. Was a 1st Team All-State selection in basketball as a senior and 3rd Team All-State in hoops as a junior. Signed with Kentucky over Arkansas and Penn State and redshirted as a freshman. Saw significant action late in the 2004 season as a redshirt freshman, playing in seven games and starting one, completing 54 of 88 passes for 492 yards with two touchdown tosses. Had a rocky first season as Kentucky's starting quarterback in '05, hitting 146 of 253 passes (57.7%) for 1,644 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions as the Wildcats finished 3-8. Emerged as the starter for the Wildcats in 2006 and had a breakout season, setting career-highs in every category. On the year completed 264 of 419 passes for 3,515 yards passing, 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, leading Kentucky to its first bowl win in 22 years with a win over Clemson in the Music City Bowl. Is the second Kentucky QB to throw for over 30 touchowns in one seaon and his 3,515 passing yards led the SEC. Should be one of the top quarterbacks in the country in 2007 and will be a counselor at the 2007 Elite 11.
Widely regarded as the top quarterback in the Class of 2003, Wright possesses all the tools to excel at the next level – a strong arm, quick release, good mobility and mental aptitude and fortitude. Led Monte Vista to two straight NCS 3A East Bay titles and was the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a senior, completing 167 of 282 passes for 2,825 yards and 37 TDs with just four interceptions. As a junior in 2001, completed 183 of 302 passes for 3,015 yards and 26 TDs with just six interceptions as a junior, earning All-State and Student Sports Junior All-American honors. Graduated high school a semester early and enrolled at Miami in January of 2003, choosing the 'Canes over USC and Texas. Redshirted in 2003 and saw sparse action behind 1999 Elite 11 participant Brock Berlin in 2004, playing in two games and completing five of nine passes for 30 yards. Was named the Hurricanes' starting QB for 2005 coming out of spring practice after battling with 2003 Elite 11 QB Kirby Freeman for the starting job and a had a solid sophomore season in '05, hitting 180 of 307 passes (58.6%) for 2,403 yards and 18 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. Wright's 18 TDs tied for the best in the conference and he was also the league's second-highest rated passer at 137.2. Entered 2006 with high exectations, but the season was a rocky one for both UM and Wright and was eventually cut short with thumb injury, which caused him to miss Miami's final four games. On the year Wright passed for 1,655 yards, threw eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Will be in a tough battle with fellow Elite 11 alum Kirby Freeman for the Hurricanes starting quarterback duties in 2007.
Stay tuned tomorrow as the spotlight is shined on the Elite 11 quarterbacks from the year 2003!