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June 27, 2012
Southern California High School Quarterback Watchlist Part One
Kelly Hilinski, Notre Dame Sr.6.)
Hilinski isn't this high on the list based purely on passing credentials. Last season, the Knights' quarterback threw eight touchdown passes and eight interceptions, dealing with nagging injuries and inconsistencies. However, Notre Dame head coach Kevin Rooney has a reputation of grooming successful quarterbacks, and Hilinski has the talent to be the latest installment in Rooney's run of successful passers. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Hilinski has tremendous size to see over the defense, and the arm strength to drive the ball down the field. If his mechanics and accuracy improve, he could turn into a star.
7.) Khari McGee, Edison (Fresno) Sr.
One of the top dual threat quarterbacks on the West Coast, McGee has the type of ability to improve to the point where his No. 7 ranking here looks like a joke. New Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez certainly would agree with that statement, as the Wildcats have reportedly already offered the shifty signal-caller. McGee can make plays with his legs and with his arm, which is becoming a hot commodity in the college ranks. He also led Edison to 10 wins last season. Consistency will be the name of the game this season for McGee, who will rack up scholarships if he can maintain his excellent play for a full season.
8.) Trevor Hodge, Citrus Hill Sr.
The Citrus Hill program is back, and much of the thanks goes to Hodge. The Nighthawks' latest running sensation also poses a threat with the pass, as the dual-threat quarterback showed flashes of brilliance through the air as a junior. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback is arguably a bigger threat with his legs, where he's shifty and always capable of breaking a big run. Hodge will probably have more pressure put on him as a passer during his senior season, which could greatly help his development as a passer. Last season, Citrus Hill didn't ask for too much of Hodge through the air, as the Nighthawks' star never threw 30 passes in a single contest.
9.) Chad Kanoff, Harvard-Westlake Sr.
When looking for a quarterback, one of the first things you look for is size and arm strength. Kanoff certainly has those measurables. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound signal-caller has all the raw tools you look for in a passer, and that's one of the reasons Vanderbilt scooped him up early in the recruiting process. Last year, Kanoff completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,646 yards and 28 touchdowns against just five interceptions, which were solid, if unspectacular numbers for a player of his ability. The biggest knock on Kanoff was his team's record, as the Wolverines struggled and won only five games last season. While that shouldn't be on Kanoff's shoulders (the defense did allow over 30 points per game last season), great players have a tendency to bring up the level of play of their teammates. Kanoff can certainly has the ability to grow into being that leader, but it could be pivotal in his development for Harvard-Westlake to make those improvements to allow Kanoff to grow as a quarterback.
10.) Conner Manning, El Toro Sr.
The lynchpin to the Chargers' stunning turnaround, Manning put the ball in the air a whopping 527 times last season, averaging nearly 40 attempts per game. He was pretty efficient with all of those passes as well, completing 62 percent of his throws. Manning also displayed a keen ability of making plays while limiting turnovers, as the senior-to-be hurled 41 touchdown passes against only eight interceptions. Manning isn't the fleetest of foot, and needs to continue to add muscle to his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame, but the instincts and the accuracy are there, making him a solid collegiate prospect. Utah has reportedly offered Manning already, and another strong year could see many more Pac-12 schools jump in on the El Toro quarterback.
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