Skip to main content

Top Story Lines Heading Into the Elite 11 Finals

The nation’s top quarterbacks travel to Los Angeles for prestigious competition.

The Elite 11 Finals is an annual glimpse into the next wave of college football’s top quarterbacks. Many competition winners of the event have gone on to win Heisman Trophies, national championships and plenty more at the next level and beyond. 

The 2022 slate figures to be one of the best to date, given the amount of pure talent expected to compete. Even without the likes of Texas-bound Arch Manning, who doesn't participate in competition beyond high school team events, the group of passers will splash sooner rather than later once they hit the college ranks. 

Among the 20 expected to compete, many have plenty to be decided within their college recruitment while others are settled with their next stop while looking to up their own stock just ahead of their senior high school football campaigns. 

Sports Illustrated, set to be on hand all week in Los Angeles, breaks down the story lines looking to be answered during the event. 

The uncommitted

Three of the 20 expected competitors are still on the board as of Monday morning. The most well-known is Detroit (Mich.) King star quarterback Dante Moore, who remains busy on the visit trail heading into the competition. He was at Oregon over the weekend after a stop at College Station to see Texas A&M the week before. Buzz, even before Moore made his return trip to Eugene, has been building for first-year coach Dan Lanning and the Ducks possibly landing one of the nation’s best. Since making the trip, there is even more confidence in Moore potentially landing with Oregon, though he does not appear to be in a rush to make a decision. 

At the Overtime OT7 event (video above) in Las Vegas earlier in June, Moore admitted he was taking his time with the process given a loaded high school class load and the incoming NCAA recruiting dead period, eliminating all visit possibilities from the Elite 11 through the bulk of July. Notre Dame, Michigan, LSU, Ohio State and others have also been linked to Moore at different points in his recruitment. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Midwest’s best QB recruit take his decision deeper than all others in the field. 

Brock Glenn has added the most recent offers among passers still looking to make the final call. The Memphis native picked up LSU in recent days and told SI on Sunday he is considering the Tigers despite the lack of an official visit to Baton Rouge. Auburn is the program he’s most familiar with while Ohio State, another recent offer he was able to vet with an official visit, appears to be a primary challenger. Florida State, Mississippi State and TCU are also in the mix for the accurate Glenn, who says he wants to come off the board “as fast as I can” once the event wraps up. 

Avery Johnson, like Glenn, planned on being committed entering the competition Tuesday. Instead, after he took official visit trips to Oregon, Kansas State and Washington in June, he will compete and then use the following days to make sure of his final decision. The July 5 pick, for arguably the most physically gifted dual-threat within the group, will come down to the three programs having earned the most recent visits from the Maize (Kans.) High School star. Johnson is, of course, most familiar with the in-state Kansas State program, so a commitment elsewhere could present as a surprise especially as Oregon could be pushing more for Moore just a day or so removed from his weekend trip to UO. 

The committed, yet still available

In the modern recruiting age, it shouldn’t surprise us to see programs continuing to court passers despite them having made a public decision. In the field, at least four already on board with one school continue to hear from others. Three of them—Austin Novosad (Baylor commitment), Chris Parson (Florida State) and Rickie Collins (Purdue)—have already taken official visits to other programs. Emory Williams, who committed to Miami last week, is being courted by programs having missed out on some of the best to date like Florida, Florida State, Mississippi State and others. 

Novosad has been on board with Dave Aranda and Baylor since December. The Dripping Springs (Texas) High School talent, however, became arguably the hottest recruiting prospect at the position since the spring after a dominant Elite 11 Dallas effort. Ohio State, Texas A&M, Stanford and others have been active in trying to change the Bear commitment’s mind. Official visits to OSU, BU and A&M went down over the last three weekends leading into the event. Novosad is saying all the right things regarding the pledge he made at the end of 2021, but the Buckeyes and Aggies push in conjunction with official visits have Baylor fans relatively uneasy with their class headliner. There is no timetable for the final pick, per the emerging QB himself.

Parson has been on board with Florida State even longer than Novosad with Baylor, with his pick dating back to the 2021 regular season. However, FSU has been pursuing additional commitments at the position, having offered Glenn and Collins at the end to the spring. Since that point, Parson has been on campus at Mississippi State and SMU. Though he plays ball in Tennessee, he has spent time in Mississippi and Texas growing up, so ties to each spot lie beyond the coaching staffs. FSU got Parson on campus this past weekend, but he elected not to go on record about how it went. If a prediction was asked at this time, SI would expect Parson to end up somewhere other than Tallahassee with Mike Leach’s program potentially the favorite. 

Collins is a longtime Purdue commitment, but his profile has risen since he became the first QB to earn his ticket to the finals this spring. In addition to FSU, hometown LSU has been pushing consistently for the Baton Rouge native. This one, especially as LSU continues to attempt to make up ground in recruiting other passers, appears less clear in terms of what the final destination will be. The most recent buzz SI received suggested sticking with Jeff Brohm, and Purdue looks better than the optics around Collins visiting others would suggest. 

Favorites to win

With no Manning and likely no Nico Iamaleava (volleyball tournament) this week in L.A., two of the most notable QBs in the U.S. could be leaving a major void for others to fill while in town. New Miami commitment Jaden Rashada, who picked UM over Florida on Sunday after pushing his original decision back, has been the hottest offseason QB through the camp and combine circuit nationally. With his dramatic recruitment behind him, not to mention arguably the best deep ball arm in the nation, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Rashada stay hot on the field and walk away with MVP honors. 

Malachi Nelson is the industry’s highest-ranked QB not named Manning, offering a similar build and fluid arm compared to Rashada. The USC commitment is known for his polish in the pocket in addition to a prowess outside of it. Moore, who rivaled Iamaleava and Rashada as the best in Las Vegas earlier in June, should also be expected to contend with his experience, intermediate accuracy and easy arm strength. 

This event always comes with surprises, however. For every Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields or Spencer Rattler who enters as the possible favorite and follows through with a win—less heralded QBs have stepped up and overtaken favorites just as consistently. C.J. Stroud broke out at the event in 2019, edging reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young in the process, so it’s naive to look past any of the top passers flying out to compete. 

Oklahoma commitment Jackson Arnold has one of the strongest arms in the class, while Baylor’s Novosad had the highest accuracy rate among class of 2023 passers at any of the regional events. Eli Holstein, a verbal commitment to Alabama, punched his ticket with a strong display of athleticism and arm talent. Iowa State commitment JJ Kohl profiles similarly on the athletic front, an underrated element of a competition designed with push and makes these athletes uncomfortable more times than not. 

SI will have wall-to-wall coverage of the Elite 11 Finals, including a daily ranking of all 20 performers, Tuesday through Thursday on the path to naming an MVP.

More from SIAA Football: