Since 1985, the AJC’s Super 11 team has transformed into one of the nation’s most elite lists, consisting of the best 11 high school football players from the talent-loaded state of Georgia. Over the next few weeks, we’ll go over the top candidates for this year’s AJC Super 11, which will be released next month before the kickoff of the 2010 season.
The AJC Super 11 candidate: South Gwinnett QB Kent Rollins
The skinny: The 6-foot, 175-pounder might be the best quarterback that no one has really heard about outside of Gwinnett County. Rollins quietly put up monster numbers in arguably the state’s toughest region (8-AAAAA) last year. He completed 141 of 242 passes for 2,212 yards and 23 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He also surprised many defenses with his scrambling and running skills, rushing for 542 yards and 8 touchdowns on 90 carries. Rollins sat out the second half of four games.
Colleges: Rollins has generated interest from major colleges but has yet to receive his first offer. Some scouts have expressed concern over his height. “Something is going to happen before it’s over — He’s just too good of a quarterback,” South Gwinnett coach John Small said.
They said it: “He’s the best quarterback I’ve been around. He’s dynamic and a difference-maker. He can make things happen with his arm. He can make things happen with his feet.” — Small.
The lowdown: Why didn’t you hear much about Rollins last year? Because last year’s QB crop was one of the best in Georgia history. It was led by Flowery Branch’s Connor Shaw, who may play for South Carolina as a freshman this fall. Gainesville High’s Blake Sims (signed with Alabama) and Calhoun’s Nash Nance (Tennessee) led their respective teams to runner-up finishes for state championships, while Lassiter’s Hutson Mason (UGA) rewrote the state’s record book with Nintendo-like passing numbers. Don’t forget about Hillgrove dual-threat QB Synjyn Days (Georgia Tech). What about this year? Not nearly the star power, but respectable. Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall (committed to UGA) is the headliner, with Rollins and North Gwinnett’s C.J. Uzomah among the top five.
If it was completely my vote: Rollins will be a long shot, but merits consideration for posting stellar stats in perhaps the state’s toughest region. He is a joy to watch because of his unpredictability when dropping back to pass. For starters, Rollins is not afraid to take a hit and will wait until the last second for his wide receivers to break, even if it means getting creamed. However, the fun with Rollins begins when the play breaks down and he starts scrambling. He has the rare ability to make something out of nothing. His best plays are broken plays. He has above-average foot quickness, allowing him to buy valuable time while his pass targets break free. What really separates him from most high school quarterbacks is his field awareness while scrambling. He keeps his head up, looking for wide receivers, while eluding would-be tacklers. He’s a nightmare for defensive backs that have the natural inclination to charge the line of scrimmage when the play breaks down because Rollins will quickly pivot and rifle a pass. He is extremely accurate with his short to mid-range passes. In summary, he is an outstanding high school quarterback. What about the colleges? I think a Div. I school will come around late and get a steal.
Note: The AJC’s Super 11 team consists of the state’s top 11 senior football players, and not college prospects. It is selected by AJC staff members in a partnership with our friends from GHSFD, based on observing the player either in person or on film. A very important part of the process is getting recommendations and feedback from high school coaches from around the state, along with running the names by a few college coaches. It’s an imperfect process, but we do our best. The AJC’s 2010 Super 11 team will be released next month.
What are YOUR thoughts on this AJC’s Super 11 candidate, South Gwinnett QB Kent Rollins? Please post below.