USC Morning Buzz: Who Is The Nation’s Best High School Quarterback?


Does anyone seriously believe the nation’s two top quarterbacks reside within a couple hours of each other? Josh Rosen and Ricky Town are ranked the top two quarterbacks by the recruiting services.

Rosen was the MVP at Sunday’s Nike combine but Town was inconsistent and threw an interception. Corona Santiago QB Blake Barnett (committed to Notre Dame) and Hart QB Brady White looked better.

Does it matter? Are high school combines really effective measures of one’s talent? Are you nervous Rosen seems headed to UCLA? Whatever you think, rankings are overrated. I do not believe for a second there is not a QB in the South or Midwest who is better or just as good as Rosen and Town. Blake Bortles was a three star and ranked the 44th-best quarterback by Rivals in 2010. Now he may be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

So does any of this combine/rankings chatter matter? Not really. You know what matters? Coaching.

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  • Helen

    Finally some intelligent comments – no, high school rating don’t matter. Probably anyone rated as a 3-star or higher is essentially equal and has the potential to succeed in college depending on coaching and hard work.

    California has always produced it’s fair share of quality QBs so it is not surprising that both Rosen and Town are highly rated. You won’t find a consensus on the best NFL QB so why would we expect a consensus in high school.

    • SUCC de trop

      It is surprising that Town is as highly rated as Rosen. Into what FB championship game win/loss has Town QB’d his FB team?

  • Fred Sampson

    How many College All American or Productive NFL Quarterbacks had the the 4 or 5 star rating coming out of High School ? These ratings don’t mean squat at this stage of teenagers athletic career , because many of them have not had the proper coaching or experience to reach the same potential as the higher rated player .

    • Ben Factor

      Fred, there is a correlation between hs ratings and later success, but it is statistical, and not that useful to forecast the future of any one player. For every Manziel, there are two or more Winstons.

      QB is especially hard to forecast, even from CFB to NFL. Nonetheless, if 5-stars comprise maybe 25-40 players nationally, were USC to recruit a 5-star QB each year, its odds of great QB play would be much higher than if USC were, each year, to recruit its top pick from the 3-stars, and would be materially higher than if USC recruited a 4-star every year.

      Google a series of articles by Matt Hinton on the subject.

      As to assessing Town vs. Rosen, I agree with you. Nothing in Hinton’s statistics allows even a half-way rational forecast of which 5-star will play better in college. The statistics favor both of them playing better than Greene, and that’s no sure things either. As it turned out, Town was especially interested in USC, while I never heard that Rosen showed great interest in USC. Such is life.

      I agree with Scott that coaching is very, very important, and nowhere more so than at QB. Yes, Montana was a money player even at ND, but I’m not so sure that he would have become perhaps the all-time great without Walsh. Walsh was super demanding of perfect placement, timing, and judgment from Montana, and Montana worked at it until he was able to mostly deliver it. IMO, the bar was not set high enough for Matt Barkley at USC.

  • Ron Fleishman

    could not agree more…thank you for finally writing a football related blog post.

  • amusing….now that Josh Rosen has been rated the best QB based on a side by side comparison, SUDDENLY everyone around here bashes the rating system!!!

    funny, but when it’s recruiting period, AND Southern Cal has a good recruiting class, the various rating services are the BIBLE around here!!

    i expect this from the thin-skinned, hypocritical Dummies, wolfman, but from YOU???

    are you now GOING ROGUE on account of we Bruins are sticking it to the trOXans in EVERY MAJOR SPORT????

    is that how it is, wolfman??? is that how it’s GONNA BE? is it LIKE THAT, WOLFMAN???

    • Helen

      Chuckie, you know I love you like a sister, but for a self-proclaimed intellectual I find your logic wanting even by Scottie’s standards. Throwing some passes on one afternoon does not make Rosen the best rated QB. Rosen is a good high school QB. Town is a good high school QB. And all that is irrelevant when they enter college next year.

      I get your “let’s antagonize the USC fans” thing you have going, but if you’re going to keep your unofficial status as most loved UCLA scab on this site, then you’ll need to step it up.

      • you’re not in love with me… are in love the whole idea of Bucket!!

        as the last lady standing (except for the classy Violet), you should stop fantasizing about Bucket and start supporting women’s sports especially when the Dummies around here are disrespecting them so viciously!!

        • NOBSisdaMAN

          Get a job

          • Why would I?? I collect disability and unemployment checks using the aliases I created on the blog!

            Thanks for the GUMBALL, O’Bummer!! I got another 18 mos coming!!!!

            I also vote a dozen times.

          • WESTWOOD ROB

            You might as well look out for yourself with that secret Mexican, Barack Hernandez Obummer in the White House.

            Where is the certificado del birtho?

          • long form?

          • WESTWOOD ROB

            El formo elongado!

          • TrojanFan3.0

            He thinks painting the walls down in his mom’s basement is a job! Here’s the problem, it’s the same white tone over and over!

      • SUCC de trop

        Gosh, gee whiz, coach Helen, you’re so intellectual and FB savvy. You omit much about Rosen. Rosen was the starting QB of the 2013 So. Section 5A FB champs and the 5A State FB Champs. Rosen didn’t just show up one afternoon and magically rate as the best QB. Rosen has earned his QB accolades the hard way, in competition. Oh, and don’t forget Helen, the UCLA “Scabs,” and you’re certainly an expert in ugly scabs and rashes, Rule LA FB.

        • Arturo

          5A? What, are you from Texas? It is called Pac-5 and Open Division.

          • gotroy22

            Have you heard anything about what is going on with St Bonny’s coaching situation?

  • ThaiMex

    All of this only matters “IF”….The #1 QB is a USCC commit. Then the misguided KOOL AID DRINKING RAH RAH’s “think they have something” to crow about. Recent history suggests the brain surgeons are WRONG more often than right (Kessler, Wittek, Scroggins, Barfy, and who could forget about The Baby Q.B., Sills), while the UCLA BRUIN approach is ….business as usual (Woulard, Hundley etc.). I do agree with your closing comment regarding …”You know what matters? Coaching”…is there anybody out there (except Ray rey, nubsie and the Commie Rat Ba$tard) who is dumb enough to think that Sarkiffian is better than Mora?
    fit Un Knuckleheads!

    • Thai, when Sark was hired, i counted only two of about 25 comments being unconditionally supportive!!!

      the rest were suspicious or outright disgusted!!

      now, of course the same Dummies say Sark is the second coming of Pete Carroll!!!

      “when you believe in things you don’t understand, suffer, you will” ~Yoda

      • Jethro G Sabbath

        Keeping stats of the comments here?

        You REALLY need to find a hobby!!!!!

        • FIND one??

          oh, i FOUND it over ten years ago!!

          • TrojanFan3.0

            It must really suck to be you!

      • Charlie Bucket

        Haven’t seen your Yoda character here in a while. When are you bringing him back?

        • Yoda has been suppressing a Clone army uprising in the Rishi Maze…i hear he will be back this month.

  • Brian

    Good point Scottie…rankings don’t matter. But, remember that when you criticize Sark for signing 3-stars like Jalen Greene.

    • Helen

      And Scottie criticized Orgeron for signing 3-stars as well.

  • Evil Robot

    Good to see a post telling us that recruit rankings don’t matter, hot on the heels of posting the rankings of recruits on March 7th and March 6th and March 5th…

    So, if Jadeveon Clowney, Rivals #1 overall recruit in 2011, ends up being the first pick in the draft, will you credit their accuracy and foresight? Ranking are far from an exact science, but if you look at the top 50-100 guys, allow for guys who had bad luck with injuries (which can’t be predicted) and they are surprisingly accurate. Deciding that a guy from California is the 8th best player and a kid from Texas is the 9th, well that’s about as accurate as a doing flip.

  • bazinga

    Rankings only matter when the writer finds them useful.

  • Charlie Bucket

    Trolls seem to type a lot WITH THE CAPS LOCK ON.

    • Helen

      That’s from the pent-up frustration of spending 24/7 on a USC site as a UCLA scab.

  • Arturo

    I do think that the combines/rankings can be of benefit to a player and a possible indicator of things to come.(Think how a player reacts under pressure, how he deals with hype etc.) QBs can be especially unpredictable but Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, to name a few, were highly rated coming out of high school. These guys turned out pretty good, no?

    • Helen

      For every 5-star that develops into an NFL player you could also point to a 5-star that didn’t make it. That would make a probability of 0.5 or the same as a coin toss. I agree that the rankings benefit the player the most as a good ranking can mean interest from top programs with good coaching and exposure.

  • Arturo

    5A? What are you, from Texas?. It is called PAC-5 and Open Division.

  • B.Miller

    David Sills gets my vote..