The Arizona Wildcats have been in hot pursuit of four-star quarterback Grant Gunnell, who participated in the prestigious Elite 11 premier quarterback competition this past weekend in Southern California.
The camp is led by Trent Dilfer and a slew of other notable quarterback coaches and mentors, who scout the nation for the top signal-callers. The camp puts 24 of the top quarterbacks against each other in on- and off-field competition, and invites a final group of 12 (not 11) for the Elite 11 Finals.
However, Gunnell struggled throughout the event by most accounts. Greg Biggins of 247Sports was documenting his observations throughout the event.
Day one: “Grant Gunnell and Paul Tyson both struggling throwing against the wind, both is wobbling, Roschon Johnson having the same struggles as well.”
Day two: “Grant Gunnell up first. Struggled on day 1. Gunnell finished up, was just ok. Struggled on deeper throws, lack of arm strength was an issue. Also late on some throws.”
Day three: “First two QBs up are Grant Gunnell and Isaiah Williams. Not sure if players are going in reverse order of where they’re ranked on the week. Both have struggled this week so far. Gunnell has the misfortune of going against the St John Bosco defense right now, probably toughest defense in the state and has thrown 2 picks so far.”
So it appears as if Gunnell had a shaky appearance, struggling with strength, especially against the wind. Being late on some throws isn’t a huge concern, as he was playing with an entirely different group of recruits he’s never played with.
I’m a big believer in the Elite 11 process and what it puts these quarterbacks through, especially after reading Bruce Feldman’s The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks and watching the documentary on YouTube.
Gunnell’s performance isn’t something to totally worry about, and it’s not like it makes him damaged goods and not as special of a quarterback. Still, you would have liked to have seen him at least compete for a top 12 spot rather than being one of the lowest performers of the weekend.
Gunnell, who ranks No. 97 overall in the 2019 class and the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the nation, will likely take a dip in the rankings. Earlier this year, he was ranked as high as No. 48 in the nation, but took a drop to where he is now.
The commitment might not be as impressive on a national level, where scouts and experts see Arizona landing a top-50 or 100 prospect, but it stills opens up all of Texas and gives Kevin Sumlin a big-time quarterback to lead this program, one that Arizona still has probably never seen.
The way it stands now, Gunnell has 18 out of 30 (60 percent) Crystal Ball predictions trending towards Arizona. LSU, Ohio State and Arkansas each have two picks (7 percent) and there are five “cloudy” picks (17 percent), meaning the analyst doesn’t know where he will go.
He is looking to make his commitment in the following weeks. He does have an LSU visit scheduled for June 16. He officially visited Cal on April 14, Arizona back on April 20, and followed that with a visit to Ohio State on April 27.
Those three schools are in his official top three, but clearly LSU isn’t totally out of it given his pending visit.