The junior class keeps getting better and better, though some critics seem to disagree with my evaluation that Aurora Christian quarterback Jordan Roberts has Division I skills and go so far as to argue that he is overrated and overhyped.
Let's be clear. Roberts has Division I skills. He has vision, arm strength and good production. The level of his competition raises some doubts. I don't think he can play in the Big Ten. He lacks great size and great arm strength. But he can play in the MAC, which is Division I.
Roberts isn't as good as Maine South's Charlie Goro, an outstanding all-around athlete who has big-time size and speed and leadership qualities. He is a precision passer. He has what all college coaches are looking for, an athletic quarterback who can run a spread offense.
Goro made a wise choice in picking Vanderbilt. There will be no pressure there. He will have time to develop. In a couple of years, he will have an opportunity to make a name for himself in the SEC, as Jake Cutler did.
Remember, Goro had only MAC offers before Vanderbilt came along.So don't make anything out of the fact that Roberts has no offers at the moment. Brett Favre had one scholarship offer. Everybody turned down Drew Brees. Curt Warner had no offers, then walked on at Northern Iowa. The NFL is loaded with quarterbacks who people said couldn't make it.
I've made mistakes in evaluating players over 30 years. But it takes only one school to take a chance on a player. For every Peyton Manning, there are more Drew Brees. People said the same thing about Goro. Rivals.com didn't rank him among its top 50 quarterbacks early, either as pro-style or athletic. I ranked him No. 24 in the nation. He could play for anyone in the Big Ten, in my opinion. It makes no sense why more schools didn't offer him.
Other junior quarterbacks to watch are John Whitelaw of Hinsdale Central, Spencer Stanek of Lincoln-Way East, Cody Seeger of Barrington, Miles Osei of Prospect, Brandon Beitzel of Geneva, Mike Perish of Marist, Taylor Graham of Wheaton North and Joe Furco of Wheaton Warrenville South.
Other juniors who are attracting interest are 6-3, 215-pound linebacker Ryan Carr of Plainfield Central, wide receiver Scott Kuehn of Waubonsie Valley, running back/kick returner Evan Wright of Fremd, 6-4, 270-pound defensive lineman Pat Driscoll and running back Danny Hayes of Lemont, 6-5, 230-pound offensive tackle Andrew Schofield of Sandburg and 6-4, 240-pound defensive end Jack Dittmer of Fenwick.
Some late-blooming seniors who are making names for themselves are fullback Tyler Burns of Lemont and running backs Mike Gyetvay of Fremd and Sam Ojuri of Barrington. Burns,a 6-0, 225-pounder, is the best fullback prospect in the state.