Elite 11 Nashville flaunts national appeal and results in three Finals invites

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite high temperatures and higher expectations given the talent available, the National Elite 11 Camp Tour stop in Nashville has unfolded as one of the most impressive so far in 2022.

There were big names, young stars and up-and-coming quarterbacks between and at the end of the event. Elite 11 manager Brian Stumpf admitted it was the best collection of talent a region has showcased ahead of the Elite 11 Finals next month. Three other names – Avery Johnson, Brock Glenn and Nico Yamaleava – were added to the list of finalists after the four-hour pitching session, but Stumpf and most spectators agree that more participants from this region could receive the good news all along the line.

Sports Illustrated was close at hand, the cameras were rolling, as throngs of future Power Five prospects competed and impressed. 10 attracted attention, in particular.

Malachi Singleton, Class of 2023, committed to Arkansas

Right off the bat, the Georgia native was in complete control from a consistency standpoint. The footwork he displayed was the smoothest of the entire peloton to the point that he was used as an example of how to properly execute drills in the ‘Trevor Lawrence’ group, aka the one with the strongest collection of senior talent. The future Razorback was also very precise on all three levels, especially in the intermediate passing game, where his work in the pocket and even on the move kept him in the spotlight despite the difficult conditions. Singleton, a seemingly perfect fit in the Arkansas scheme with his strong build and athleticism, throws from a solid base and knows how to call it back relative to the demand for a given pitch. He was also one of the top three sports testers of the afternoon and tied for best accuracy among rising senior passers on the Pro Day station to wrap up the event.

CJ Carr, Class of 2024

If the Underclassmen could land invites to the Elite 11 Finals, Carr almost certainly would have snagged his ticket on Sunday. The Michigan native is strong in stature with a developed lower half which aids speed on the football while stationary or in motion. The grandson of longtime Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, CJ, worked with as much poise and presence as any passer. It sits right in the pocket and can push the football to all three tiers without too much strain. The throwing motion is pure to the point that there is an ease around his on-court play and general demeanor. Carr, who added recent deals from Alabama, LSU and Arizona, capped off his day by recording the highest rating of any quarterback this year at Pro Day station, notching a 2023 score. Baylor Austin Novosad’s commitment hit a 22 earlier this year at the Elite 11 Dallas.

Avery Johnson, Class of 2023

Johnson is from Kansas and is fresh off a screaming 2021 on the field, throwing for 2,500 yards and rushing for 1,000 more while scoring 42 total touchdowns. That, combined with solid test scores, created considerable anticipation for those of us seeing it in person for the first time. He didn’t disappoint on any front. Also standing at a legitimate 6’3″, Johnson ran a laser-timed 40-yard dash of 4.54 en route to the second-best overall Test mark of the day before spinning the football well throughout the game. Sure he was solid on the move but he was even better in the pocket Johnson, who recently added an offer from Oregon, wants to be known as a conventional passer who happens to be athletic and he was Sunday as his positive arm and quick delivery was enough to earn him an invite to the Elite 11 finals at the end of June.The instant release can be used at multiple arm angles, with a classic three-quarter delivery on a completed condensed movement by the possibility of dropping it during the race.

Brock Glenn, Class of 2023

An emerging prospect apparently hearing more programs every day, it was easy to see why on Sunday. Glenn provided consistency throughout the workout, from releasing faster than most to demonstrating the ability to vary speed versus depth of route. Also showing strong athleticism on the move, confirmed by a top-10 test score before the start of the pitch, Glenn was sharp in his delivery more often than not. A nearly 90-degree arm angle paired well with consistent timing for the Memphis native ahead of his invitation to the Finals. The announcement came as a little surprise at the end of the event. Auburn, Mississippi State, TCU, Virginia and Texas A&M, which could soon become a scholarship offer for Glenn, are among the programs that are getting his attention the most as he seeks to arrange official visits. The TCU trip, scheduled for this coming weekend, is the only one scheduled so far.

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Marcel Reed, class of 2023, committed to Ole Miss

Another Tennessean working within state lines, Lane Kiffin’s recent commitment to the program was very strong on Sunday as passers-by settled in. Tall and lean with plenty of room to add mass to the next level, Reed successfully worked several release points during training. When stationary, it comes at a relatively high height, while on the move, it can whip it under or work the middle levels with a bit of a hitch in the delivery. Still, Reed showed consistent footwork and a fluid style when spinning it, even working well to his left while throwing on the move – something many passers have struggled with. In the pocket, Reed has plenty of pop on the football, varying the delivery even more towards an over the top method for more juice.

Kenny Minchey, Class of 2023, committed to Pittsburgh

Choosing the Pitt Panthers in late April, the first in-person impression our staff had of him was positive. With a compact build and an easy throwing motion, Minchey impressed in just about every setting he was placed in on Sunday. He works with a release between classical and acute with good arm strength and a fast overall movement. Pushing the football to the second and third tier was little to no problem and even out of the pocket, Minchey looked for balance just about every throw and delivered the ball without too much unnecessary movement. There’s an ease to his game, but that hasn’t slowed the rate of accurate rotations along the way.

Madden Yamaleava, Class of 2025

The younger brother of the quarterback who attracted the most attention before, during or after the event, there should be plenty of intrigue surrounding Yamaleava. He’s about 6’3” and weighs 200 pounds as a sophomore in high school, but he could have been working in the lead group all afternoon, with Carr, based on the throws he made. The family admits he’s older at his age than his nationally known big brother Nico, and Sunday started to believe that thought. He was strong throughout his delivery, pushing it down the field with pop and working throws outside the pocket with relative ease. Many names have emerged in the Class of 2025 at this position, but it’s time to bring Madden Yamaleava into this elite mix. Pitt and San Diego State are new to the growing list of deals.

Madden Yamaleava made an impression on Sunday in Nashville

Nico Yamaleava, Class of 2023, committed to Tennessee

The last invitation to the final, of the same day, came to Yamaleava. The most eyeballs were on him at every point of the event and when it was on it was easy to see why. More consistency will be needed to build his overall game and set him up for the next level, but there’s no denying arm talent and overall ability when it comes to the future volunteer. Battling the heat and even walking away for a short time due to dizziness, Yamaleava showed courage as she fought back and finished her day well with a good precision station and a dime on the rail shots than the top group. threw to conclude the competition. . Being tall, in the 6’6” range with a high exit point sailed several balls over Yamaleava, but he cleaned it up enough in the middle parts of the court to get the call to compete in Los Angeles.

Chris Parson, class of 2023, committed to Florida State

Some competitors thought Parson had one of the best days in the lead group and we saw him improve as the long day progressed. The footwork was among the best of the lead group and the accuracy remained for most of the day, capped by a Pro Day score among the highest of anyone who shot it on Sunday. Parson is compactly built and doesn’t have the biggest arm, but he works his body to generate more power while showing good timing and ball placement compared to intermediate course concepts. Florida State took him early in the Class of 2023 and that looks like a sharp assessment from Mike Norvell and company.

KJ Jackson, Class of 2024

A big southpaw from the Montgomery area, his build and smooth delivery caught eyeballs and his execution sustained the early hype around his name. Jackson has a lot of zip on stoppage football and he was among the best working left out of the pocket, throwing on a low plane to close out his day. Already armed with offers from Penn State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Louisville and others, more are sure to join the roster as he becomes an upper class man. Few rising juniors have successfully worked arm angles like he did in the afternoon.

Five more to know

  • Raheim Jeter, a 2023 commitment from West Virginia, has impressive overall construction and deliberate play. He showed more arm strength, especially on the deep ball, as well as athleticism all day.
  • 2024 setter Judd Anderson of Georgia was arguably the biggest setter in the event, showing consistency anyway. He worked the pocket well and looked accurate more times than not. Cleaning up his mechanics, which include a ball tapping on top of the drops, will improve his game as he takes more reps.
  • Walker White, another rising junior in the 2024 class, has an impressive build and showed consistent accuracy throughout the afternoon. Arm strength and a classic move will only heighten attention around the Arkansas native as a member of the upper class.
  • One Alabamian who may continue to get recruiting attention is Caleb McCreary, a southpaw who started since his freshman year at Montgomery Catholic. The 2024 setter is very athletic but features a smooth shot in the pocket. There weren’t many situations where he looked uncomfortable delivering the ball despite not having the biggest arm on the pitch.
  • Aiden McCown, a rising senior and son of former NFL QB Josh McCown, just got his first offer (UTSA) and it may not be the last. After college snaps and production at wide receiver at Rusk High in Texas, he’ll transition to full-time quarterback as a senior. He spun a nice ball when his feet were planted and seemed able to move around.

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