IMG Top Underclassmen QB Performers

There was an outstanding group of underclassmen signal callers at IMG over the weekend.

Jacob Baldwin (Grand Ledge, Mi.)
This 2016 quarterback for the Michigan Elite team vowed to be back next season after leading his team to a 3rd place finish at the IMG Nationals. I had a chance to watch a few games of his during the later part of this tournament and he threw the ball well. Honestly, they don't have the talent level of some of the other teams. They only had a 10 man roster. But they played great as a team and Baldwin was the one that made it all happen. He possesses a good arm and he's an accurate passer.

K.J. Costello (Santa Margarita, Calif.)
You can make a very strong argument that this is the signal caller with the most long term upside of anyone at the quarterback position here. Costello has size (6-5) and the arm talent. He threw the ball exceptionally well, especially during the first day and early second. Costello, like most everyone out there, got a little tired as the tournament dragged on. He threw with touch and velocity and showed he can change speeds. Best of all he threw with accuracy. You can certainly see why the offers are starting to pour in.

Holden Hotchkiss (Lakeland, Fla.)
I guarantee you that 99.9% of you are asking who the heck is this kid? I was first told about him a two months ago at a 7-on event in Tampa. He's a rising sophomore from central Florida that looks like he's 12-years old. But I see something in this kid and believe he's certainly one to watch over the next year or so. He has good size, good arm strength and is accurate with the football. Hotchkiss also seemed to know where to go with the ball. I think this kid has a chance. Keep an eye on him as he develops over the next few years.

Kato Nelson (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat)
I will go ahead and say it, this is the quarterback MVP of the tournament, as he led the Florida Fire to the championship. Nelson won me over. I have always known he was a terrific athlete. But I remember walking away from his December state championship win wondering if he really had a future at this position. This kid is a killer. He's decisive. He did exactly what you are supposed to do as a quarterback at an event like this – accurately distribute the football to your playmakers. And those guys were Calvin Ridley, Shawn Burgess-Becker, Jovon Durante and a host of others. It seemed as though he got better and better the deeper the Fire went. Nelson, a member of the 2016 class, still has two years to develop at the high school level.

Chris Oladokun (Tampa Alonso)
See Nelson. They have many of the same similarities as passers only Oladokum is a little taller. But they have the same build, same arm and Oladokum is just as accurate. The only thing I noticed is that he and his Unsigned Preps teammates got a little tired at the end. That hurt. But I also see upside in this kid and understand why teams like USF and Toledo have offered him and why others will follow suit. He's another 2016 standout.

Shea Patterson (Shreveport, La./Calvary Baptist)
I feel cheated. I only got to watch this kid throw for about a game and a half. Patterson didn't play on Saturday for The Bootleggers. It took me all of one series to see what all the chatter was about. Patterson is the real deal. In fact, I will go on record saying he reminds me of Aaron Murray at the same stage. He's deadly accurate and throws his receivers open. I mean he knows exactly what spot or what shoulder to throw to. Patterson can spin the ball through the tight windows. I thought of all the passers I saw over the weekend that he had the most arm talent. But he's 6-2ish. Still, I saw enough to become a believer.I see why Arizona offered him when he was a freshman. He committed to the Wildcats. Since, he has an impressive list of offers from teams all over the country. He's a four-star recruit and the No. 2 ranked signal caller in the 2016 class.

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