by Lee Brecheen
April 2, 2012 – This is the deepest Quarterback class to come out in one year in numbers and total Quarterbacks for DI or IAA ever for one class. One key point to remember is that former NFL and Louisiana native Quarterbacks Jake Delhomme (Teurlings Catholic HS), Patrick Ramsey (Ruston HS), and Bobby Hebert (South Lafourche HS) were not highly recruited Quarterbacks coming out of High School in Louisiana.
That will be the case when you look back at the Class of 2013 Quarterbacks from Louisiana. There will be a handful that will get their shot at the NFL one day, and someone special will come out of this class in the end, and maybe even more than one. I’ve seen these Quarterbacks play several times in full games and full pads over the last three years.
|Tenner Lee – Jesuit High School|
There are five Quarterbacks with all the intangibles to be great one day for the Class of 2013. Hayden Hildebrand from Airline High School in Shreveport is 6-3 and some change, 195 pounds and has a cannon arm, great feet in the pocket, is poised, and is a three year starter. Tanner Lee (6-4, 195) from Jesuit High School in New Orleans is the best pure passer I’ve ever seen come out of Jesuit High School with great size and feet in the pocket. Joe Lissard (6-2, 205) from Catholic of New Iberia High School had 3,200 yards passing, 39 TDs, and only 9 Interceptions in 2011. He has a cannon arm, great feet in the pocket, and throws darts with a lot of zip behind his passes every time it leaves his hand. Brandon Bergeron (6-2, 188) from St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette is a poised kid with a cannon arm and great feet in the pocket. He’s in an offense that runs more than passes, so his stats are deceiving for his upside. This kid in a spread offense would have the same stats as Joe Lissard. The same goes for Tanner Lee (6-4, 195) from Jesuit High School in New Orleans. He plays in a more balanced offense, and his stats don’t show his upside and ability that I’ve seen. Hayden Hildebrand plays in a spread offense at times and sometimes power formation, but his stats don’t show his upside from 2011 because two of his top Wide Receivers and top Running Back were hurt by week three. However, Hayden still led his team deep in the playoffs. Then there’s the sleeper of the group Ryan Noonan (6-2, 207) from a small school called Pope John Paul II in Slidell. Ryan is a transfer player from the state of Mississippi from two years ago. This kid has special skills, and he’s one of those players who you can film only once or twice and see all the intangibles that you need to be DI.
All the kids I mentioned above have great leadership skills, great feet in pocket, stand in the pocket with arms to make all the throws, have size in height and weight for the next level, and all these kids are poised in games. I’ve seen this with my own eyes, and I think it’s the best five Quarterbacks, I’ve seen come out in one class from Louisiana since I started scouting in 1992. Also none of these kids will outgrow the Quarterback position once they get to college.
Tanner Lee is the most intriguing because he did not fully start until mid way into 2011. Before that he was brought along slowly in a two Quarterback system until it all came together for him in 2011, and wow did the light come on. In 2010 he backed up a Senior Quarterback and waited his turn and really did not play much. It’s scary to see how good this kid can become in 2012 with basically just one season under his belt. I saw this kid make some throws that looked as good as most SEC Quarterbacks would make under pressure in a tough Class 5A District.
|Brandon Bergeron – St. Thomas More|
Brandon Bergeron has the tools to become a great one in 2012 because he’s been in a system that’s been mostly balanced but mostly run overall. I think this will help him in the long run because he’s been under center and knows how to run a running offense and a balanced offense week after week in a tough 5A district. Jamie Howard who signed with LSU in the 1990’s has always been called the best QB to come out of St. Thomas More for his strong arm and pocket feet, but I think Brandon has more upside for college than Jamie.
Joe Lissard is pass ready for college football, and if the right West Coast offense recruits and signs this kid he could become a star right away. Catholic of New Iberia High School lets him air it out a lot and this kid’s arm is lethal. He has a build and arm very similar to Patrick Ramsey who I scouted few years back from Ruston High School.
|Joe Lissard – Catholic (New Iberia)|
It will be interesting to see how Hayden Hildebrand from Airline High School does with a full deck of players healthy and ready to go hopefully for a full season. It’s scary what numbers he can put up. He showed me with some pretty good smaller receivers that were first team because of injuries that his ability to throw on the run and in the pocket is above average.
Ryan Noonan from Pope John Paul II has the mechanics you look for and footwork in the pocket. His touch on the football is very advanced, and he competes and is very athletic. I rarely see this kid throw a bad pass, and what I love on film is the way he competes and will stay in the pocket and take hits until it’s time to deliver the football. He’s very smooth, very calm, and he has a poised delivery when under pressure.
|Hayden Hildebrand – Airline|
Three other Quarterbacks Damian Williams (6-0, 215) from Archbishop Rummel in New Orleans and the incredible Athlete Kendall Beckwith from East Feliciana High School are being recruited nationally at other positions. Damian could play RB or OLB and be a star in college. Damien might end up like former LSU RB Joseph Addai, who played QB for Sharpstown HS in Houston ,Texas, at 6-0, 210 pounds. Kendall Beckwith (6-3, 235, runs a 4.65/40) could become an All American Defensive End or an Outside Linebacker in college. Both of these kids will put on another 15 to 20 pounds in college and have a shot at the NFL. Melvin Jones (6-3, 250) from Washington Marion High School in Lake Charles runs a 4.55/40 and looks every bit of that as a LB on defense when he’s not a QB for his High School team in Lake Charles. Melvin Jones is the Louisiana version of Donta Hightower of Alabama. He’s a kid that will weigh 260 in college and run a 4.6/40 and stay at LB because he’s so gifted. He’s my # 1 player in the state for 2013. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a LB this size from a Louisiana High School run and hit like this kid does every play. It’s just flat out off the charts.
|Ryan Noonan – Pope John Paul II|
Part Two of this article – Sleeper Quarterbacks for 2013 Class – will run later in the week. We will have more on the kids above in our 2012 Louisiana Football Magazine Preview which can be Pre-Ordered at www.lafootballmagazine.com/store.