SB Nation's Bud Elliott had a chance to talk recently with the coaches for the upcoming Elite 11 quarterback camp about the young men under their tutelage. The camp's participants were selected at Nike's recent Opening event, so the coaches have already had a chance to see them up close and personal, forming some early impressions along the way. Bud's question for the coaches, led by former Super Bowl winner Trent Dilfer, was pretty simple: who's ready to play college football in 2014, and who's going to need some time before taking the reins?
Bulldog fans will be pleased to know that in the case of recent Georgia commit Jacob Park the answer appears to have been "he'll be okay if you need him, but you probably won't." While the coaches didn't want their names to be used, one thought Park was "brighter than you think" (hooray, faint praise!) but can use his legs to make things happen, one likes Brice Ramsey but thinks Park might beat him out, and another thinks Park is an "awesome talent" and could end up playing in the 230 pound range.
Interestingly Alabama commit David Cornwell was among those who the coaches think still has a lot of work to do to be ready. I agree, but think that Cornwell probably has the most upside of any quarterback in the 2014 class. He already has an NFL build and a great arm, but will need solid coaching and hard work to hone his mechanics and decision making, both of which were panned at The Opening.
The coaches also pointed out that Clemson commit and Gainesville Red Elephant standout Deshaun Watson may be the most college-ready signal caller. I like Watson, but frankly I'm not losing sleep over him leaving the state. By Signing Day 2014 I fully expect Jacob Park could be rated more highly, and believe Park may translate better to Georgia's offensive system. Hopefully both young men will enjoy long, successful college careers at their respective choice institutions. Let's just hope that Park's career is a tinge more successful.
In the grand scheme of things, I'd argue that if Jacob Park is your starting Bulldog quarterback, something will have gone very, very wrong in Athens. Because it will mean that Hutson Mason hasn't seized the reins despite a 4 year head start, and that Brice Ramsey will have had a year and a half in the Classic City and likewise lost out to a true freshman. I don't think that'll happen. But I'd be pleased to know that Park will be ready to take over in 2016 after Ramsey leaves as the top pick in the NFL Draft with a couple of national championships under his belt. I could deal with that just fine. Until later . . .