Top QBs come together in San Diego

The annual Steve Clarkson QB Retreat took place over the weekend in beautiful Coronado, California and brought together some of the top quarterbacks in the region and beyond.

For the past 10 years, the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat has been a Memorial Weekend tradition with the setting in Coronado, California for the second year in a row. 75 quarterbacks ranging from the ages of 10-18 worked out, along with several college quarterbacks who were on-field coaches and mentors all weekend.

"It was a great group of quarterbacks, the high school and college kids were all tremendous," Clarkson said. "This camp has always been unique in that I want it to be about family and bringing the kids and their parents together for a weekend to just enjoy football.

"The way football is now, it's really become a year around thing. Season goes from August-December, then everyone is doing 7on7 now and then you have you're off-season so there's not a lot of time for a family to take a vacation together any more.

"This camp is designed to be a chance for the kids to get some work in, meet some other quarterbacks and compete hard but for the family's to come out and enjoy it as well. The parents all bond with each other as do the kids. It's a competitive environment but everyone is respectful, learns a lot from each other and just has a great time."

Clarkson said the talent level at the camp rivaled any he has had before.

"A few years back, we had a group that included Jake Locker, Matt Barkley, Terrell Pryor, E.J. Manuel and Josh Freeman, that group was special and they're all in the NFL now," Clarkson said. "This group this year was amazing as well and I was really blown away at their skill level and the speed they can play at.

"The term I use is pro-style athlete, I don't use pocket passer or dual threat anymore. These kids had the skills to throw but the athleticism to move around as well. It was really fun to watch them interact with each other when they were hanging out and you can get a really good idea about their leadership in that setting."

The college counselors in attendance included Nick Bawden (SDSU), Max Browne (USC), Brandon Connette (Fresno State), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Chuckie Keeton (Utah State), Wilton Speight (Michigan), Tyler Stewart (Nevada) and former USC QB Max Wittek.

The top of group of high school quarterbacks included Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita's K.J. Costello (2016), Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy's Will Hefley, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei's Jack Lowary, Poway's (Calif.) Tate Martell (2017), Shreveport (L.A.) Calvary Baptist's Shea Patterson (2016), Santa Barbara's (Calif.) Brent Peus (2016), Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy's David Sills, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite's Travis Waller and Newhall (Calif.) Hart's Brady White.

Maybe it was because it was our first time seeing him in person, but Patterson made a huge impression. The ball explodes out of his hand, he's strong mechanically, has a live, accurate arm, great feet in the pocket and is very smart, heady kid.

"He's an impressive young player for sure," Clarkson said. "He has a quick release and make it look effortless out there. He did some great things and has special talent for sure."

We've seen White a ton over the last three years and he always impresses. His arm strength has increased, he can throw on the run or inside the pocket and he's a very good athlete as well.

"Brady was kind of the elder statesmen of the group," Clarkson said. "He took on a leadership role and worked very hard as he always does. He's continuing to develop more physically and I think he has tremendous upside."

The youngest player in the group was Martell but he made a big impression. He's a physical player and very strong in his upper and lower body. He has great mobility and can set himself and throw darts all over the field. He threw one of the tightest balls in the camp with plenty of arm strength.

"Tate was outstanding," Martell said. "He showed a lot of brute strength, he's a powerful kid, has great feet and is really coming along nicely."

Waller has really come in to his own this spring and looked good again this past weekend.

"He's a super competitive kid but also plays with a calmness to him," Clarkson said. "No matter the drill or the situation, he was outstanding. There's something about him that's infectious and he's an impressive kid."

Costello is just a sophomore but physically, has a college body right now and a maturity far beyond his years.

"He reminds me a ton of a young Carson Palmer," Clarkson said. "He's a dead ringer. He's exactly what you look for in a pro-style quarterback. He has great accuracy and can really throw the ball, I liked him a lot."

Sills has undergone a major physical transformation in the last few years. He's growing in to his body and is a dynamic athlete.

"He's a very explosive athlete," Clarkson said. "He showed what a great athlete he is to everyone out here. He can run around and make plays outside the pocket like few other quarterbacks in this year's class.

Lowary has patiently waited his turn at Mater Dei and is poised for a breakout senior year.

"Jack is a big, strong kid and comes from a QB factor at Mater Dei," Clarkson said. "He has been so well schooled by Rollinson and Dave Money and history shows how well Mater Dei quarterbacks do at the next level. I really think Jack is going to follow right in line with those guys as well."

Peus and Hefley are under the radar kids but both showed they have the talent to play at the next level.

"Will physically and even facially looks like a young Peyton Manning, that's what we all nicknamed him and it kind of stuck," Clarkson said. "He's a big, strong kid and had a solid weekend. He's very accurate and can definitely play for someone.

"Not many know about Brent because he doesn't play a big football school. If he played at a bigger school, football wise, I think he would be getting a lot of looks right now. He has all the physical ability and has a chance to be dominant player in his class."

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