No position in the game of football is put under as much scrutiny as the quarterback.That carries over to the high school level, too, where Arkansas is producing one heck of a talented crop of quarterbacks. Expect quite a few of these rising stars to play on Saturdays soon. To start our list of the state’s most promising prep quarterbacks, let’s let the elders get first dibs.
Here are three seniors who have been impressive all season:
The Fayetteville High quarterback has been one of the most consistent signal callers in the state this season. Fike has a strong and accurate arm and can make any throw asked of him. Through the nine games, Fike had thrown for 2,995 yards, 35 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. And that’s before the eye-opening 455-yard performance this weekend that helped propel the Bulldogs in to the state championship game vs Bryant.
Fike’s mobility allows him to get out of the pocket and he continue to look down the field as he is scrambling. Fike has performed at the highest level in the state of Arkansas, and he is a player that can play on Saturdays at the Division I level. The staff at Middle Tennessee State has recognized that Fike can play on Saturdays. Fike earned a scholarship offer from Middle Tennessee over the bye week. His appearance on any Arkansas football best quarterbacks list should not come as a surprise as his potential is just starting to be realized.
QBHitList.com breakdown on Bladen Fike:
“Bladen has excellent size for a Pro Style QB at 6’3” 187 lbs. He stands in the pocket with a tall platform, able to survey the entire field. A tall and lengthy QB who’ll be able to add bulk to his frame over the next year before entering the collegiate level. High release point gives him added height to his throws. Excellent speed and quickness for his size.”
“His throws are in-line with his receivers with sharp precision passes made at short and intermediate range. Good anticipation and timing with his receivers’ routes. Very consistent throwing mechanics, adding to his accuracy. (More here)
Austin Myers has earned scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee State and the University of Kansas over the past few months. He is one of the most poised quarterbacks in the state of Arkansas. The statistics that Myers has put together this season has been nothing short of terrific. Myers has a 74% completion rate, has thrown for 3, 291 yards 45 touchdowns, and five interceptions when counting a game in the playoffs. Myers can get on a hot streak and just pick the opposition apart, as you can see here:
The 6’4, 192 pound senior rarely forces the football into coverage. Myers is another quarterback who can escape the pocket and pick up yards with his legs. Myers led Vilonia to a 9-2 record in the extremely competitive 5-A West Conference.
Jordan Mills-Hot Springs Lakeside
While the Lakeside Rams faced a difficult season, Jordan Mills was a massive bright spot for the Rams. Mills has displayed an accurate arm, completing 63% of his passes this season. The 6’4″, 210 pound Mills threw for 2,892 yards, 31 touchdowns, and only three interceptions this season. Mills has drawn interest from Oklahoma State, Missouri State, and Central Arkansas. He is the type of quarterback that does not get rattled when flushed from the pocket and will keep his eyes down the field and find the open receiver. No doubt, the college that lands Jordan Mills is going to a get quarterback that will not be outworked.
Arkansas also has some extremely talented quarterbacks coming up through the sophomore, freshmen, and eighth grade classes. So, let’s shift our focus to quarterbacks who have a few more seasons to show what they can do under the Friday night lights. Look for them to also make a splash at offseason camps in front of college scouts and coaches.
As a sophomore, Omolo was an impressive signal caller for the Wampus Cats, throwing 165/268 for 2,254 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions until a loss to Fayetteville High in the state semifinals. Omolo has command of the pocket, and he knows when to take off with the football, rushing for 243 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Omolo will have the opportunity to be the signal caller over the next few years for the Wampus Cats. Conway had had an excellent season and a state championship is not out of the question for Donovyn Omolo and Conway. Expect the best to come for the 6’1, 180-pound Conway quarterback.
Eli Wisdom-Shiloh Christian
Eli Wisdom has been a mainstay at the quarterback position for the Shiloh Christian Saints over the past few years. One trait that will stand out to observers immediately about Wisdom, who led the Saints to a state title last year, is that he is constantly making adjustments to his game. Last season, Wisdom was quicker to run with the ball, amassing over 1,400 yards on the ground and punched the ball in the end zone 24 times.
You can see the kind of jets this 5’11”, 175 dual threat QB has here:
However, this season the junior has made good use of the strong arm he possesses. Wisdom has picked apart opposing defenses this season. He has thrown for 2,184 yards, 32 touchdowns, and four interceptions through the first part of the playoffs. Wisdom has earned a scholarship offer from Central Florida (coached by former Shiloh Christian head coach Gus Malzahn) and drawn the interest of Memphis and Arkansas. Shiloh Christian heads into the state semi-finals against Arkadelphia looking to continue Wisdom’s impressive tenure as the Shiloh Christian signal caller.
The final two quarterbacks that I am going to examine are already catching the eyes of college scouts at a young age. Both Garrett Odom and Kane Archer are going to be quarterbacks whom you need to pay attention to over the next three years. Odom and Archer each have Division I talent and they both should make for some fun recruiting battles to watch over the next four years.
Garrett Odom-Shiloh Christian
No one can argue with the depth that the Shiloh Christian Saints have at the quarterback position. Freshman quarterback Garrett Odom has caught the eye of several college scouts. Odom has earned scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee State and Texas-San Antonio so far in his recruitment as an extremely dangerous dual threat QB when scrambling outside of the pocket.
Odom also does an excellent job of keeping his eyes down the field and making the throw to one of his wide receivers. However, the defense cannot just assume he is going to make the throw, he also has the speed to pick up plenty of yards on the ground. Odom is a quarterback that is rising through the ranks and people will see him light up the Friday night sky in the coming years. While along the way, the young man will continue to earn scholarship offers.
Kane Archer-Greenwood Junior High
Over the past few months, the excitement surrounding Kane Archer has continued to grow. Michigan, Missouri, and Arkansas have all offered Archer a scholarship and, in the process, his reputation is growing. Archer has a strong arm and elite accuracy even at such a young age. The 6’0″ Greenwood quarterback makes tough throws look easy and can fit the ball into some tight windows. Archer is not just a pocket passer; he can also scramble outside of the pocket and pick up chunks of yardage using his speed. Archer amassed an eye-popping 2,003 yards, 30 touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for 418 yards and seven touchdowns. Archer looks to make the throw before taking off with the football and he is just beginning to tap into his potential.
That’s pretty impressive, given he’s already the No. 1-ranked quarterback in his class according to some outlets.
QBHitList.com breakdown of Kane Archer:
“He can hit on anywhere on the field with sharp precision. Whether his throws comes from on the run or in the pocket, he displays good accuracy. Very good throwing mechanics and consistency. He can let it rip for way back with high velocity throws, releasing darts throughout the field. A very effective vertical passing game with bombs delivered downfield. Strong forward momentum on his delivery.”
See Kane Archer’s latest highlight here.
High school football in the state of Arkansas is in good hands with the current crop of quarterbacks coming up through the ranks. In this rundown, we couldn’t even cover all the gems, which include dual-threat dynamo Sharmon Rester out of Ed Dorado.
Plenty of potential exists in the current senior class and more potential is spread throughout the future classes. The recruiting battles are going to be exciting to watch play out over the next few years. Look for more powerhouse schools to continue to recruit the Natural State hard and for the Arkansas Razorbacks to have to devote extra efforts in an attempt to seal the borders. In the words of Frank Sinatra, the best is yet to come!