Posted by Bryan Fischer
Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel is the top quarterback in the nation according to CBSSports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other quarterbacks - in alphabetical order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Kiel off the top spot and become the top quarterback for the class of 2012.
Connor Brewer (Chaparral High, Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Weight: 190 pounds
Committed to Texas
What's to like: Brewer is an accurate downfield passer and works the middle of the field very well for a quarterback his age. He's mobile and though he's not the fastest player under center, he can escape out of the pocket and pick up a first down fairly easy. Brewer has a nice feel of the pocket but it is his quick release might be one of the best things about the Arizona signal caller.
Needs to work on: Playing mostly in the shotgun in a spread-based offense, Brewer needs to work on improving his footwork this summer and fall. After taking a snap, he sometimes becomes a bit lazy and that's when he becomes a bit heavy footed. He's not too balanced when he gets out of the pocket and throws on the run either but he's still maintains his accuracy.
Shane Dillon (Christian High, El Cajon, Calif.)
Weight: 190 pounds
Offers from Cincinnati and Ohio State.
What's to like: Dillon is your prototypical pro-style quarterback. He's got pretty quick feet for someone who's 6-foot-5 and is working on refining his mechanics with noted quarterback coach George Whitfield. He's accurate down the field and can throw the ball anywhere but also adds touch with each pass. Unlike many quarterbacks coming out of high school, he plays a lot under center which should be a big plus to several programs.
Needs to work on: He needs to add some weight to his slender frame but that's not as big of an issue at the high school level as it will be in college. He's got a decent arm but needs to work on getting his whole body behind a throw. He could also stand to shorten his throwing motion up a bit and aim for a quicker release. A bit raw at the moment, he needs some refining here and there to make a run at the top spot.
Zach Kline (San Ramon Valley High, Danville, Calf.)
Weight: 195 pounds
Committed to California.
What's to like: Kline is probably the top quarterback on the West Coast and the only thing that keeps him from being considered an elite prospect is his height. He has a cannon on his right shoulder and is very accurate on most routes. Surprisingly mobile, Kline can take off down the sideline and keep the chains moving when he wants to but has good pocket presence and isn't rattled if defenders start to close in. Kline also has pretty good touch on the deep ball.
Needs to work on: He has a fairly quick release but still has a bit of a wind-up or hitch in his delivery. At times he will not have his feet underneath him when he throws in the pocket so becoming more compact after dropping back is a minor thing he can work on. He also hasn't met a window too small for him to throw through.
Cyler Miles (Mullen High, Denver, Col.)
Weight: 220 pounds
Offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Notre Dame, Pitt, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington.
What's to like: Miles is another impressive quarterback west of the Mississippi with a big arm. Surprisingly mobile for someone his size, he can run the option and get to the edge with his speed. He can make any throw on the field and can seriously wing it down the field. Miles' best trait may be keeping his eyes down the field and withstanding pressure in the pocket before unloading for a big play. Accurate and confident in the pocket, he could be a better version of 2011 Florida commit Jeff Driskel.
Needs to work on: The one pass where he could practice some more is the out route. Though he has a cannon and can throw a bullet 40 or 50 yards down the field, he doesn't seem to be as accurate or throw the ball as hard when he tosses the out route.There's a lot to like about Miles but some work on a few minor things should vault him higher in everybody's book.
Zeke Pike (Dixie Heights High, Fort Mitchell, Kent.)
Weight: 225 pounds
Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Iowa, Louisville, Kentucky, Miami, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC and Virginia among others.
What's to like: Pike is one of the biggest quarterbacks in the class and it's hard not to draw at least a little comparison to former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen when you see Pike dwarf some of his teammates on film. He's a load coming downhill and almost looks like Tim Tebow with the way he carries the ball. Pike keeps the play alive a lot with his legs but is constantly keeping his eyes up so it's not an automatic run if he starts to scramble.
Needs to work on: Pike is still quite raw as a quarterback but there is a lot of underlying talent to work with. He might not have the strongest arm but he gets the ball where it needs to go. His mechanics are not great and he needs to make his delivery much more compact and quicken his release. At this point, it's hard to imagine him playing in anything but a shotgun-based spread offense.