It was the perfect storm for quarterbacks. A class that had broken the mold for South Florida’s reputation of not being able to produce several top-flight signal-callers in one season.
The Class of 2014 is now but a distant memory. A trail-blazing group of prospects that used National Signing Day as a true measuring stick of national relevance.
The parade of champions centered around national recruits such as Booker T. Washington’s Treon Harris (Florida), Jackson standout Quinton Flowers (USF), Coral Reef’s Nicodem Pierre (Duke) and Sean White of University School, who is headed to Auburn.
This is a collection of quarterbacks who thrust a region of the country, known more for defensive backs and receivers it sends to the next level than passers and runners.
Longtime quarterback coach Ken Mastrole has watched much of the area’s success unfold. The onetime Cardinal Gibbons standout, who worked with first-round NFL Draft pick EJ Manuel last season — and has helped to fine-tune Ohio State’s Kenny Guyton and Clemson standout Tajh Boyd this winter — has been at the center of the South Florida quarterback rush.
While he currently instructs a number of local collegiate prospects such as Jake Rudock (Iowa), John O’Korn (Houston), E.J. Hilliard (FIU) and a group of others, his work with the Miami-Dade and Broward high school prospects during the past three years has been huge as well.
“When you have the opportunity to work with many of these exceptional athletes, you are amazed how quickly they pick things up.” Mastrole said. “Look at the class this past year and you will understand why it may have been the best they’ve produced down here.”
In addition, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons’ Peyton Bender (Washington State), Hialeah’s Alin Edouard (Syracuse), Wade Freebeck of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (Vanderbilt), Fort Lauderdale Dillard’s Bud Martin (FIU) and Miramar’s Nick Jeanty (New Mexico State) all landed in great positions.
While the Class of 2015 quarterbacks get set to follow an almost impossible task from this past season, Mastrole and others are confident that the talent train is rolling along and colleges across the country are already tapped into it.
“The Class of 2014 is exceptional,” Mastrole said. “This coming year will be very good as well, but I think what is ahead in 2016 down here has the chance to be very special.”
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Here is a look at the six established South Florida quarterbacks who figure to make the most impact in 2014: