Staff Writer Keegan McCullick takes a look at the quarterbacks at Monday's Top Prospect event
While Maize quarterback Avery Johnson - one of the country's top-ranked dual-threat QBs in the class of 2023 - was unable to make it out to Monday's Sharp Performance Top Prospect event at Salina's Graves Family Sports Complex at Kansas Wesleyan University, there were plenty of live arms on display. Check out Kansas Pregame staff writer Keegan McCullick's evaluation of a few of the signal callers in attendance below:
Maxxwell Ford, St. Thomas Aquinas, 2023 (@MaxxwellFord) - One of the biggest standouts of the day at QB in terms of physical tools. The 6-3, 210 pounder typically uses his frame out of Randy Dreiling's flexbone offense at St. Thomas Aquinas, but displayed all the tools necessary to throw from either play-action, straight drop or gun based offenses. Shows poise, discipline, and has a strong karate chop like release, which all make sense with the realization he’s also a mixed martial artist. The ball popped off his hand and he delivered consistently catchable balls.
Braxton Harrison, Cimarron, 2022 (@BraxtonH_10) - After seeing Harrison throw a ball 60 yards into the wind at the mid-May SP Showcase, there is no doubt he is among the strongest arms in Kansas. He possesses the ability to get the ball all over the field and does it with accuracy. While some areas of his game are a bit raw, that's to be expected from a quarterback who orchestrates a flexbone offense, different footwork and tools are necessary. His ability to rocket the ball down field mixed with his speed in the 4.6 range make him an intriguing prospect.
Lance Hoffsommer, Sedgwick, 2022 (@LanceHoffsommer) - Hoffsommer has been slinging the ball around with relative ease since his sophomore year, when he first received 1A all-state honors. At the Top Prospect event the talented senior QB delivered great balls, both short and long, and displayed solid mechanics. He is capable of moving around in the pocket very well and has the speed necessary to make defensive coordinators pay if they forget about his feet. His size and athleticism could also translate to other spots on the field if an opportunity to play quarterback at the next level doesn't materialize. Frame and skillset could translate to wide receiver or safety.
Parker Kavanagh, Salina Central, 2022 (@parker_kav) - Coming from a family of quarterbacks, Kavanagh has all the tools necessary for the next level. His arm, mechanics, and feet are all polished and his height allows him to see the field. Has the frame to add weight and has shown the ability to run the ball between the tackles with surprising quickness and power.
Kai Kunz, Andover Central, 2022 (@KaiKunz13) - Kunz is impressively light on his feet as a quarterback and also possesses a quick release, all very fast twitch. He delivers accurate passes where they need to be for receivers and also appears to have all the uncoachable traits you could want in a quarterback. A natural leader who maintains a 4.0 GPA, could be poised for a breakout senior year at Andover Central after transferring from Kapaun in the offseason. Has traveled the country on the camp circuit this summer, often earning rave reviews from coaches and media in attendance. Recently spent some time training with quarterback guru Justin Hoover.
Logan Ladish, KC-Piper, 2023 (@loganladish) - Ladish was clearly one of the best 2023 quarterbacks at the event and displayed the same strong arm that got him fifth at state in the javelin just last month. The 6-2, 180 pound signal caller appeared capable of making just about every throw on the field and has two more years to develop an already impressive set of skills.
Weston Fries, Salina South, 2023 (@fries_weston) - The Cougars junior signal caller is a bit “undersized” at QB, but he plays bigger than he looks. With a quick release and a surprisingly strong arm, it's likely Fries will be among the elite signal callers in Kansas by the time he hangs up his Salina South jersey. While a few balls did sail on him early in the day, he gained rhythm and made some excellent throws at the event.
Harrison Voth, Cheney, 2022 (@VothHarrison) - Voth, who should go down as one of Cheney's all-time great players, is at his best when throwing the ball deep, capable of doing it with exceptional touch and accuracy. It also helps that he can absolutely launch it. His short and mid-range passes also looked good and his mechanics match. Voth has already shown how well he can tuck it and run on Friday nights and is in line to have a big senior season. Voth posted an incredible statline last year as a junior throwing for almost 2,400 yards with 36 TDs and just six interceptions. He also added 665 yards on the ground.
Hayden Oviatt, Wamego, 2023 (@haydenoviatt) - When I first walked over to the quarterback drills, I was sure I’d wandered over to linebackers after seeing Oviatt. The 6-3, 190 pound junior QB is built like a tank, but plays the position with skill. After a season that saw him pass for more than a 1,000 and rush for over 1,500, Oviatt has all the ability to repeat that and then some. At times he struggled with some decision making on passes during Monday’s drills, but displayed great arm strength, solid mechanics, and was a spark plug of energy throughout.
Collin McCartney, Frontenac, 2022 (@collinmccartne5) - McCartney is a lefty with the ability to make some good throws. While his release is a bit unorthodox and could be a bit quicker when in the pocket, he gets the ball where it needs to go. He has a strong frame, playing safety, linebacker and defensive end on the other side of the ball, which is where his college future may lie. Nonetheless, he can escape the pocket well and will again be a key player in a strong group that should continue the success for Frontenac under coach Mark Smith.
Garret Maltbie, QB, Canton-Galva, 2023 (@GarrettMaltbie) - Maltbie had a steady Monday at the Top Prospect event and made some solid throws along the way. The junior quarterback was already among 8-Man’s elite passers in 2020 and is likely to continue to improve an already impressive range of skills. One of Maltbie’s best assets as a sophomore for Canton-Galva was his playmaking ability, most often with his feet. If he continues to develop his passing ability he will be among the state’s best at all levels.
Landon Boss, QB, Osage City, 2023 (@landon_boss10) - Boss has a quick, powerful release that gets the ball to its target rapidly. After throwing for 1,500 yards in 2020 he showed a skillset for another big season under center this fall.
Ethan Burton, QB, Council Grove, 2023 (@Ethanb_17) - Burton was one of the best pure athletes in the quarterback group and runs an 11.17 100 meter dash. In terms of his arm, it was not the strongest at the event, but he showed the ability to deliver accurate balls on a consistent basis. Burton’s ability to throw on the run is arguably his strongest point as a passer.
Eric Erbe, QB, Chanute, 2023 (@ericerbe1) - Erbe has potential to be an amazing high school quarterback and beyond. At 6-2, 185 pounds, the junior runs a 4.5 40 and has an arm that can already make a majority of the throws on the field. His throwing motion could use a little work, but his footwork is great and he will only get better over the next couple seasons.
Trey Vincent, QB, Wheatland-Grinnell, 2022 (@tdvincent16) - Vincent lacks the size and super-powered arm that stand out to coaches and scouts immediately, but if you look closer Vincent makes consistently accurate throws and has solid touch. The senior quarterback is poised in the pocket and displays good footwork. Expect a big year out of him for Wheatland-Grinnell. Vincent's brother Jett is one of the top returning defensive backs in Kansas and the duo plays for their father, Jesse. The Thunderhawks are coming off back-to-back eight win seasons, but do graduate standout Trevor Zarbynicky.
Look for more coverage of the Top Prospect Event coming soon.