skip navigation

Top QBs have numbers, not scholarships

02/04/2014, 11:28am PST
By John Maffei

Big college programs not attracted to Mission Hills' Wynn, Grossmont's Lawrence.

Grossmont's Anthony Lawrence finished as the San Diego Section career leader in passing yards and touchdown passes. Earnie Grafton

Connor Wynn is enrolled at Riverside City College, where coach Tom Craft says the quarterback "can keep plays alive with his legs." — Sean M. Haffey

Connor Wynn is trying to remain philosophical.

“Everything happens for a reason,” the Mission Hills High quarterback said.

So what happened to all those college scholarship offers, not only for Wynn, but for Grossmont’s Anthony Lawrence — statistically the two best senior quarterbacks in the San Diego Section?

On National Signing Day, neither has an offer from an NCAA Division I program.

Eight Pac-12 schools showed interest in Lawrence. Most of the Mountain West schools and even Michigan contacted him.

Lawrence delivered on the field, leading his team to a 9-3 record while passing for 3,297 yards and 41 touchdowns against just eight interceptions. He finished with section career passing records for yards (9,079) and TDs (96).

“Anthony went to the Elite 11 camp during the summer with the top 90 quarterbacks,” said Grossmont coach Tom Karlo.

“There were a lot of 6-foot-5, 6-4 California kids. A lot of four- and five-star kids. And he held his own.

“You need to watch Anthony play a game, see how he controls a game, runs a team. But there seems to be a swing away from on-field performance to measurables.”

Lawrence doesn’t have great measurables.

He’s close to 6-1 and weighs about 190 in a world where coaches look for big quarterbacks.

The measurables, however, are there in the classroom, where he carries a 4.29 GPA.

His best offers are from Penn of the Ivy League and USD, schools better known for academics than football.

“It has been kind of frustrating,” Lawrence said. “Sure, I’d like to play at a big-time program, but two great academic schools are interested in me. And both play good football.

“One is on the West Coast, one is on the East Coast.

“No one is offering an athletic scholarship. Everything is based on academics, and I’m good with that.

“I really need to think about this some more, make sure I’m making the right decision.”

Wynn has made his decision.

After early interest from schools like UNLV and Utah State, the calls stopped.

With no solid four-year offers on the table, the 6-2, 195-pound Wynn graduated from Mission Hills a semester early and has enrolled at Riverside City College, where he’ll play for former San Diego State coach Tom Craft, one of the brightest offensive minds in the game.

Craft coached seven junior college All-America quarterbacks while at Palomar College and won three national championships.

He took a Riverside program that was 0-10 the season before he got there and is 40-5 in four seasons.

“I called Coach Craft to see what he’d say,” said Wynn, who passed for 2,283 yards in 2013 while throwing 10 interceptions against 27 TDs in leading Mission Hills to the section Open Division championship.

“I knew his reputation, and he had heard of me. He told me the quarterback job was open, and he was interested in me.”

Skyler Howard, last year’s Riverside City quarterback, threw for 3,151 yards and 33 TDs. A freshman, the 6-foot, 205-pound Howard, is leaving with Craft’s blessing and has accepted a scholarship to West Virginia.

“Skyler was a walk-on at Stephen F. Austin out of high school,” Craft said. “It didn’t work out, and he bounced back to us.

“Now he’s headed to West Virginia. I think Connor can be like Skyler.

“Connor has done all the right things. He graduated from high school early and is taking classes at RCC now. He’ll be in our spring class, he’ll learn our offense, and we’ll evaluate him.

“Connor is a good athlete, very competitive, can keep plays alive with his legs and has a good football IQ.”

What Wynn doesn’t have is a classic over-the-top delivery.

Instead, his throwing motion is more of a Philip Rivers three-quarters motion.

“Coach Craft has already made a couple of tweaks,” Wynn said.

Two San Diego quarterbacks have earned scholarships.

Coronado’s Ben Narramore, who threw for 484 yards and ran for 132 in seven games for the Islanders, is headed to Humboldt State.

Christian Chapman of Carlsbad will sign with San Diego State today.

Neither has measurables.

Narramore is 5-11, 185 pounds.

“For me, it came down to fitting the system,” Narramore said. “Humboldt State runs a dual-read offense that fits me.

“Connor and Anthony are more pocket passers — and both are very, very good. I was able to find a fit. I guess they haven’t.”

Chapman is 6-1, 190 pounds.

Chapman passed for 1,986 yards and 23 TDs, with only five interceptions.

“I’ve had 15 quarterbacks earn scholarships,” said Carlsbad coach Thadd MacNeal. “Christian makes all the throws college recruiters look for.

“Mechanically, he’s very, very good. He’s not big, but he has a nice, high release.

“Those other guys are good quarterbacks, but Christian makes the throws college quarterbacks make.”

Lawrence and Wynn feel they can make all the throws, too. They’re just going to have to take a more-circuitous route to show it.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed the way things worked out,” Wynn said. “But I’m up for the challenge.

“I’ll definitely be playing with a chip on my shoulder.”

Related Stories

Most Popular

Tag(s): News  News  Top Headlines  Leagues  Mission Hills  Grossmont