Top guns
Top guns
2014-07-09 00:00:00

Who stood out at this week's Under Armour Elite Passing Academy?

 By EJ Holland
 DCTF Associate Editor

The Under Armour Elite Passing Academy presented by The Quarterback Ranch and Rich Bartel too place earlier this week at Dragon Stadium in Southlake and featured 50 quarterbacks from around the state. Here is a notebook from the event: 

Wooten still weighing options

The best quarterback at the academy was 2016 Marble Falls star Brennen Wooten, hands down.

Wooten made all the right throws and showed off his superior mechanics while working with former NFL coaches and players. 

“It was an awesome experience. It was one of the best camps I’ve been to as far as coaching,” Wooten said. “It was great working with Coach (Jim) Zorn, Richard Bartel, Brady Quinn and all the guys. I feel like they helped me with my footwork and even my football IQ.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder already holds half a dozen offers, and that list will only continue to grow as Wooten heads into his junior season. Houston and TCU are two in-state schools that have extended scholarships, and Wooten says he is interested in both.

“Houston offered first. Obviously, they have a tradition of good passers with Case Keenum and even their quarterback now (John O’Korn),” Wooten said. “It’s a place with a lot of tradition, and they like to throw the ball around.

“TCU has obviously done pretty well in the past. They recently went to the Big 12, which was huge. It’s a great all around school.”

Wooten does not have any favorites at the moment. Before making a short list, Wooten plans on visiting Boise State, Clemson and Kentucky. Wooten, who said he wouldn’t mind going out of state, says he is simply looking for the right fit.

For now, however, Wooten is focused on the upcoming season after passing for 3,094 yards and 30 touchdowns a year ago in Todd Dodge’s wide-open system. But with Dodge bolting to Austin Westlake this spring, Wooten and his teammates are still adjusting to new head coach Matt Green, who left Lovejoy to take over at Marble Falls, and his offensive system.

“It was very tough (losing Dodge). We had built a great relationship, and he’s a great coach. But we’ve got a great coach in Coach Green,” Wooten said. “We’re learning the system, and I think we’re going to be ready to go this season. I feel like our team is going to be really successful.”

Duffey gaining steam

Fellow 2016 quarterback Jett Duffey might not hold any FBS offers just yet, but that doesn’t mean he won’t by this time next year.

A dual-threat signal-caller out of Mansfield Lake Ridge, Duffey showed great footwork at the academy and made a couple of key throws in tight windows. FCS schools McNeese State and Stephen F. Austin have extended scholarships, and FBS schools would be smart to follow suit. 

Duffey has been making a name for himself at an array of college camps this summer including Baylor, where he got to tour the campus and new facilities with head coach Art Briles.

“Baylor’s camp went really well. I loved it up there,” Duffey said. “I got to walk around with Coach Briles and everything. It was really nice. It was cool to meet him. He’s a great coach, and he’s really interested in players. They have a great staff.”

Duffey also camped at Oklahoma, SMU, Texas and Texas Tech this summer. The next stop for Duffey will be TCU next week. The Horned Frogs saw him in action this spring, and Duffey hopes he can impress during his time in Fort Worth.

“They asked me to go down to their camp, so I’m really looking forward to it,” Duffey said. “I’m also excited to get a feel for the program and just learn more about it. I think it’s a good school, and I like that it’s close to home.”

With over a year to go in the recruiting process, Duffey has plenty of time to garner offers and do research on schools. His stock could continue to rise if he builds off last year’s impressive performance.

As a sophomore, Duffey was named the 15-4A Newcomer of the Year after passing for 2,172 yards and 22 touchdowns and adding 801 yards on the ground. His time at the academy and at various college camps will only help him get better.

“I really feel like I improved on my base. I learned a lot from these former NFL quarterbacks. It’s a great experience coming out here and learning,” he said. “It’s part of the offseason, which is going fine. I’m just trying to work on my mechanics and learning the game more.”

Quick Hits

 - The academy featured an all-star coaching staff, which included former NFL head coach Jim Zorn and former NFL players Brady Quinn, Luke McCown, Richard Bartel, Mark Clayton and others. 

- Southlake Carroll head coach Hal Wasson was also a part of the academy. Wasson along with sports psychologist Brian Cain helped players with their mental game. Wasson said he was impressed with his team this spring. We will have more from him soon.

- The biggest 2015 standout at the academy was Justin Northwest quarterback Jesse Drummer. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder is hearing from Iowa and Northern Illinois.

- 2016 Rowlett quarterback Logan Bonner had great touch on his passes and earned praise from the academy staff. Bonner isn’t on recruiting radars just yet, but he’s one to keep an eye on.

- Argyle Liberty Christian’s Nick Starkel, also a 2016 prospect, is tall and lanky but has a strong arm. Starkel was accurate throughout the day and says Cincinnati, Indiana and SMU have shown interest. 

EJ Holland is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and

He can be reached via e-mail or on the DCTF Facebook page.


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