The spread offense is the flavor of the month in high school football, as the wishbone and double wing have been in the past. So spread quarterbacks are in demand, athletic players who can run and pass with equal ability. And the class of 2011 features an outstanding group of combo quarterbacks.
Here are the top 10 in the nation:
1. Braxton Miller of Huber Heights, Ohio, is a 6-2, 200-pounder with 4.45 speed who is committed to Ohio State. He is the No. 8 player in the nation. He is a poor man's Terrelle Pryor and could succeed Pryor in coach Jim Tressel's offense. He has a good arm, big body and can run out of trouble. He got off to a good but not great start this season but he doesn't have a great supporting cast.
2. Kiehl Frazier of Springdale, Ark., is a 6-3, 210-pounder who ranks as the No. 15 player in the nation. Committed to Auburn, he is a prolific passer and runner. He has great tools. He is bidding to earn All-State recognition for the third year in a row, a rarity.
3. Bubba Starling of Gardner, Kan., is the No. 21 player in the nation. The 6-5, 200-pounder with 4.5 speed chose Nebraska over Notre Dame. He also is an outstanding baseball prospect as an outfielder and pitcher and could be a first-round selection in the major league draft next June. He is the Joe Maurer of this class, tall and strong, a 95 mph fastball, dynamic on film. If he concentrates on one sport, he could be a star in either one.
4. Marquise Williams of Charlotte, N.C., is a 6-4, 220-pounder who proved himself as a big-time passer as a junior and emerged as one of the leading prospects in the ACC area. He is committed to North Carolina.
5. Teddy Bridgewater of Miami, Fla., is a 6-3, 186-pounder who ranks as the No. 95 player in the nation. In February, he was being recruited as an athlete but I saw him on film and it was apparent that he has the arm strength, running ability and leadership skills to be a quarterback. He is committed to Miami (Fla.) and they want him as a quarterback.
6. Brett Hundley of Chandler, Ariz., is committed to UCLA. The 6-4, 210-pounder has the potential to be No. 1 on this list by the end of the season. He throws very well on the run.
7. Cody Keith of Cheshire, Conn., is a 6-4, 200-pounder who has emerged as the leading prep school quarterback in the country. His star rose in April when he threw for college scouts at Cheshire Academy. He is committed to East Carolina, where he will play in former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach's offense. Of all of the top 10 quarterbacks, he might have the most potential of all.
8. J.W. Walsh of Denton, Texas, is a 6-3, 185-pounder who is the top-rated quarterback in the Dallas area. He is committed to Oklahoma State. It is a weak year for quarterbacks in Texas but Walsh clearly is the best of the crop. He is a field general and a very accurate passer.
9. Jacoby Brissett of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is a 6-5, 225-pounder who is still developing. He is a basketball player who is just beginning to come into his own as a football player. Jack Nicklaus' grandson is his tight end. Brissett has a high ceiling and a lot of potential. He is uncommitted but being pursued by Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame, North Carolina, LSU, Texas A&M, Wyoming, South Carolina and Tennessee.
10. Derrick Brown of Vista, Calif., is a 6-3, 230-pounder who looks like a linebacker. But he can scramble, is a tough runner and throws well on the run. He is committed to Utah.