Sometimes to get a real feel for college football prospects, I watch them in other sports. I do more than watch a highlights video and watch them for a quarter. Actually, I do this more with underclassmen. All about building a relationship and looking for improvement.
I have watched Toledo Whitmer’s Riley Keller throw the shot/discus and start varsity basketball as a freshman. Also watched him start at quarterback last year as a freshman. He was a three sport varsity starter at Whitmer HS(one of the biggest schools in the state) as a freshman.
Finally, after watching him against Toledo Central Catholic HS last Friday, I believe Riley is a top QB in the Ohio Class of 2020. I know, I know, and I know the “recruiting expert analysts” have already said this. But I put no credence in their opinions.
Riley was something like 14/23 for 185 yards. He threw for 1 TD. Also ran a QB keeper or option 27 yards for a score. Solid speed, but totally faked out the defense and was untouched.
About faking, that is one of Riley’s strengths – carrying out ball fakes to his running backs.
Really like his overall strength. Like his core strength. Like his arm strength. Due to some strong defensive pressure, he had to throw off his back foot at times. Solid velocity on those throws. No problem, because he can “spin-it.”
Sees the field. Finds the open receivers. Understands coverage. Keeps his composure under pressure. Definitely can lead a team as a quarterback. This win was the first in four years against Central Catholic, which says much about his leadership skills.
His basic footwork has improved. His release has improved. Athleticism to escape the rush has improved. Needs to keep improving his feet quickness. Needs to keep working on overall speed. Height (6’1) may hurt some, but he finds the opening to throw. Ideally, add some height.
He actually reminds me of former Kenton HS quarterback, Ben Mauk, at the same age and grade. He understands the game, throws well, runs well enough, and competes hard.
Riley’s 17 yard out pass from the opposite hash back in his own goal line would be enough to catch any college coach’s attention. Pass was on a rope, by the way.
Looking forward to watching Riley get better and better over the next two years. Of course, I will him on the court and in the circle as well.