I love talking about underrated players who deserve more of a look than they’re currently getting. You know about some of the four and five-star players that everyone talks about non stop, but it’s the ones who are lighting up the stat sheets but still not getting a second look based on just one thing that make me sit up and take notice. It’s a lot of fun to see someone tweet, “where did he come from,” and be able to respond, “where have you been?”
That one thing may be what is keeping scouts from really watching film on Hargrave High School quarterback, Cody Gaitan. When you watch his film, you look for footwork, you watch his three to four step drop, you watch his arm strength, his accuracy, and you’re left coming away with it believing his one of the better quarterbacks in the district and you might make an argument he could be one of the best in the state of Texas.
So with all that being said he should have Division-1 schools falling all over themselves trying to recruit him, right? Wrong. Has nothing to do with his arm strength, accuracy, or his footwork, it has everything to do with his height. New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees (6’0) and New England Patriots’ Super Bowl star wide receiver Julian Edelman (5’10”) are rolling their eyes right about now.
Soph. Season stats: 226/335 (67.46 completion percentage), 2,460 yards, 26 TD’s
Jr. Season stats: 66/103 (64.08 completion percentage), 1,403 yards, 17 TD’s
It’s a lot of fun to watch the quarterback position in the state of Texas because there is so much talent and you can find recruiters landing every single one of them for the needs they have for the future of their program. But then there are those at the position who go unnoticed and recruiters pass them by based on one single part that should have nothing to do with the reason they’re recruited. You watch their film, you watch what should matter, and still ask the question as to why he’s still waiting to get noticed with no answer to that question in sight.
Scouting Report: Good three step drop, always keeps his feet moving in the pocket, strong release on his throws and follows through to get maximum zip on the football. One of the things you’ll notice about Gaitan, and something a lot of other high school quarterbacks need to learn, is how he goes through his progressions. He’ll follow one receiver and not have an open throwing lane then check his other options before finding an open receiver. Stays patient in the pocket, doesn’t get antsy, will step up to make a strong throw and can hit his receivers in stride. Can be a pocket passer but has the speed to get away from a rush and and can make an accurate throw on the run or will take off with the football. Great decision maker and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.
Whether or not Gaitan receives an offer between now and the start of the 2015 high school football season is irrelevant. What follows after that makes all the difference in the world especially if the young quarterback continues to put up numbers like he last the last two seasons. While his numbers from this past year weren’t nearly as strong as his sophomore season, his ability, arm, footwork and accuracy should tell enough of a story for a lot of schools, and recruiters, to come calling. Keep an eye on Cody Gaitan, he might be a lot of fun to watch for years to come.