The QB Conundrum
Murray and Mettenberger
Murray and Mettenberger
Southeastern Recruiting Manager
Posted May 1, 2008
Burke Hayes


Most schools go into the recruiting season with specific positional needs. When a team gets two of its top three that team is having a monster year. But there are always questions: How will the two get along? Are they bringing anybody with them? Scout caught up with the two phenoms and you don’t want to miss what each had to say. You can also see what you can expect for the next four years.

Most schools go into the recruiting season with specific positional needs. There is a board with prospects listed by rank and the list typically goes five deep. If a team can get one of its top five players that is certainly considered a win. When a team gets two of its top three—as the Dogs have—and those two are the numbers six (6) and nine (9) at their position, respectively, you are having a monster year. There are the usual questions of ”What makes each player so special?” and “What does each bring to the table? To some, however, there is a seed of doubt as to how each player might respond to being in the same class with such a high-profile counterpart. Scout caught up with these two QB phenoms to get their thoughts on the situation and to show fans what they can expect for the next four years.

Zach Mettenberger and Bryce Ros

“I love it.” Mettenberger said at the UA/ Scout.com Elite 150 camp, “It’s just more competition.”

This is a typical answer for the towering QB from Athens. Always the competitor, Mett truly sees this as an opportunity to get better.

“It will bring out the best in both of us. I’m looking forward to it.”

Mett then went on to have a super day at the camp and garnered much praise from the camp’s OC/QB Coach Tim Glanton.

“Mett has been the best QB that I have seen on the circuit. He has shown the most consistency of everybody.”

I have now seen the #30 player in the Southeast on film and at two different camps and I have been more impressed each time. Below is a breakdown of the #9 QB in the country:

Pros

Size—standing 6’5 235, Zach is a prototypical pro-style QB.

-He has the length to throw over the top of tall DL and underneath coverage.

-He appears to have gained weight each time I see him. He is already hard to bring down and as he continues to mature physically, he will be very hard to handle. He is also going to be very durable because of his physicality and size.

A Big Arm—His length gives him natural leverage on the ball.

-He has no problem making all of the deep throws and is able to hit tight spots in the intermediate and deep levels of a zone.

Touch—Yes, he is also able to drop balls nicely into holes in zones and over the top of man coverage.

Poise—A very intense competitor, he seldom gets rattled (or he at least doesn’t show it).

-There are frustrating times in camps because players are thrown together, but Zach has adapted nicely each time.

- He takes ownership of mistakes, even when they are not his.

-Protection is not always the greatest at the HS level and Mett gets flushed often, but he competes the whole game.

Cons

Foot Speed—his body is growing fast and as he catches up, he will become more mobile.

-He is not a burner but he is, however, fast enough to get out of trouble.

- He is also tall enough to throw over secondary LB contain.

Core Strength—Mett is surprisingly solid but he doesn’t have a tight core yet.

-He is a little slow to square up and this might cost him a split second in terms of delivery.

-A Live Arm—While his arm is certainly big, it doesn’t appear to be especially live yet.

-There is an occasional hitch at the top of his throw and this has caused timing issues.

-He will occasionally miss an open receiver.

*It would be ludicrous for me not to note that the timing issues are mostly a direct result of being thrown in the mix with different receivers each time. They are also few and far between and Mett has been one of the most accurate passers on the circuit.

All in all Zach Mettenberger is a solid four-star QB. He probably has the most upside of any of the QBs in this year’s class and will grow into a top-tier college signal caller. He is a super talent with a big body and a bigger arm. He will bring leadership and solid character to the UGA program and will complement Aaron Murray very nicely.

Aaron Murray

I was able to catch up with Murray to get some perspective on his commitment and his thoughts on how he fits with Mettenberger.

“I am pumped about coming to Georgia. I hate losing at anything and I want to play so I am ready to compete.”

The ever-competitive Murray is also a team player and will serve whatever role he assumes very well.

“I am just going to work hard to lead my team all the way.”

This is the type of “refuse to lose” attitude that helped Murray lead his FLA team to the championship at the Badger/New Level 7 on 7 tournament in Tampa.

Then came the most important question about his feelings on UGA already having one high-profile QB heading to Athens.

“I am real excited about working with him. I’ve seen him play at camps and he is a great QB with a tremendous arm.”

Murray isn’t too shabby himself and here is a breakdown of the #9 QB in the country:

Pros

Understanding of the Position—Murray truly is a coach on the field.

-He understands the what and the why of his offensive scheme.

-He rarely makes the same mistake twice and is able to correct others as well.

Mechanics—he puts on a clinic every time he drops back.

-No wasted movement in the pocket and an absolute terror on the edge.

-He always gets his shoulders squared up and maximizes on his very good arm strength every time.

Athleticism—few QBs in this class have the core strength of Murray.

-He is technically sound enough to stay in the pocket but he gives the Dawgs a true dual-threat option.

Leadership—the best leader on the circuit.

-Murray makes those around him better, a sure sign of a winner.

-He is very positive with his supporting cast and players play hard for him.

-A very vocal leader and intense competitor, he practically willed his team to a last-second semifinal win (which, ironically, was over Mettenberger’s team) en route to a championship win in Tampa.

Cons

Size—standing right around 6’1 200, Aaron could have a little trouble at the next level.

-DL are tremendous and UGA’s OL averages around 6’5

-Murray is not a prototypical pro-style QB, though his understanding of the pocket is solid.

-He will be elusive but durability could be an issue.

Upside—Murray is a physical specimen but I’m not sure how much bigger he can get.

-He is more physically mature than most of his peers, but may have peaked early.

One word can be used to describe Aaron Murray: Winner. As emotionally mature as anybody I have seen this year, he personifies leadership and class. Murray is a five-star QB for obvious reasons. He is a very good passer and an excellent athlete, but his greatest strength is immeasurable and might not be apparent from the outside looking in. Standing near the huddle and watching him run the offense, one is able to see how much Murray is in control. He leads vocally and he brings a calming presence to all who are around him.

Georgia appears to be in great shape for the next four years because they have brought in two highly-rated, high-performing QBs who happen to be first-class individuals.

Georgia fans needn’t worry, though, about those individuals becoming great teammates.

Burke Hayes is the Southeastern Regional Manager for Football Recruiting at Scout.


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