BELLFLOWER, Calif. -- The final leg of the Elite 11 regional circuit beckoned talent from all over the west coast; We counted 18 states being represented, plus American Samoa. Sports Illustrated All-American and AllTrojans.com caught up with a couple of the quarterbacks following the conclusion of the camp to talk recruiting and development. But first, let's get some formalities out of the way.
Entering Sunday, a total of 14 quarterbacks had been selected over the previous seven regional camps to the Elite 11 Finals, with six roster spots left. At the conclusion of this camp, that number moved down to four, with two more invitations being extended to two committed Southern California quarterbacks.
2021 Elite 11 Finals Invitees
UPDATED -- June 8, 5:42 PM: 48 hours after the last regional event of the national tour, the Elite 11 announced the final 4 spots for the 2021 Elite 11 finals being held from June 30 through July 3 in Los Angeles..
Here are the last four invitees:
Memphis (TN) Kirby is sending Tevin Carter, Savannah, (GA) Benedictine Military School is sending Holden Geriner, followed by Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy quarterback AJ Duffy and Clovis (Calif.) Clovis High dual-threat Nate Johnson.
Final 2021 Elite 11 Roster
- Queen Creek (Ariz.) Queen Creek Devin Brown (USC)
- Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas Moore Walker Howard (LSU)
- Southlake (Texas) Southlake Carrol Quinn Ewers (Ohio State)
- Flower Mound (Texas) Flower Mound Nick Evers (Florida)
- Clovis (Calif.) Clovis Nate Johnson
- Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine Military School Holden Geriner (Auburn)
- Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley Zach Pyron (Baylor)
- Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco Katin Houser (Boise State)
- Gardena (Calif.) Serra Gardena Maalik Murphy (Texas)
- Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove Tayven Jackson (Tennessee)
- Canton (Ga.) Cherokee AJ Swann (Maryland)
- Nashville (Tenn.) Lipscomb Academy Luther Richesson
- Memphis (Tenn.) Kirby Tevin Carter
- Martin (Tenn.) Westview Ty Simpson (Alabama)
- Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy AJ Duffy (Florida State)
- Cyprus (Texas) Bridgeland Conner Weigman (Texas A&M)
- Medina (Ohio) Medina Drew Allar (Penn State)
- Austin (Texas)Westlake Cade Klubnik (Clemson)
- Owensboro (Ky.) Gavin Wimsatt (Rutgers)
- Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes Jacurri Brown (Miami)
Notes on Final Los Angeles Regional Camp:
Due to their performance in Sunday's drills, these two gunslingers received invitations (on spot) to the 2021 Elite 11 finals. Gardena (Calif.) Serra product Maalik Murphy, a Texas commit, and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Katin Houser, a Boise State commit, both received a ticket to the show.
Murphy was as advertised, showing off his elite arm strength in pretty much every drill on the field. After coming off a shortened 6-game spring season, Murphy was excited to be back in the swing of things, learning from some of the best in the business.
"Being able to be out here with some new competition, guys from all over the state of California, not just my region -- great coaching, great kids, great opportunity to be out here and get some work." Murphy said. He also revealed to SIAA that his lone official visit is planned for June 18-20th to the University of Texas, "since you can't take visits five to the same school."
After sharing time at the helm of Serra's offense during his sophomore season, Murphy cited his leadership skills as one of his biggest areas of growth during a shortened spring season as a true QB1.
Anticipating a deep run into the CIF playoffs, Murphy fills us in on what he'll be focusing on during his senior season:
"Timing with my receivers is a big deal. Being on the same page as your guys. Knowing where they're going to be when they're going to be there has always been the most important thing to me."
Performing on his home turf, St. John Bosco product Houser also stood out from the talented bunch of quarterbacks with a fluid, compact delivery and a nice touch on his intermediate throws.
2020-2021 California Gatorade Player of the Year: Quarterback Malachi Nelson
Dawning a pair of University of Oklahoma shorts, Los Alamitos (Calif.) 2023 quarterback Malachi Nelson was the most accurate thrower on the field Sunday. Nelson has just one official visit on the books, and that's to OU's ChampU BBQ this June, but mentioned to AllTrojans.com that he maintains a great relationship with USC, which he said was "the only school I talk to pretty much everybody on the staff."
This fall, Nelson enters his first full season as a starter with a California Gatorade POY award already on his mantle. Needless to say, all eyes will be on the 2023 Los Alamitos product from the very first snap of the season. By that time, he will be on one elite program's commitment list barring a change of plans from his July 18 pledge date.
Apple Valey (Calif.) Jayden Denegal was another standout on Sunday. He put together a very impressive 5-game tape from this spring that you can check out here. Denegal told SI All-American that he plans on saving all five of his official visits for this fall to get a feel for the programs during the season. "I want to visit Northwestern, ASU, Michigan, Michigan State, and UCLA."
Denegal cited comfortability and a desire to play quickly as some of the things he'll be looking out for on his official visits.
Denegal is a big-framed pocket passer that, after working on his mobility, increased his own rushing yardage exponentially while operating in the air raid at Apple Valley High. We asked Denegal what he has been working on the most in preparation for his senior season; "I got a lot faster from my sophomore year, but I want to work on getting my twitch together. And timing, I want to work on timing with my receivers."
Simi Valley (Calif.) product Travis Throckmorton, who committed in April to Oregon State had a nice day slingin' it on the turf. Throckmorton, who has an official visit planned to OSU next weekend, showed great footwork and looked very balanced through his release. He threw a consistently tight spiral even from his rollouts and off-platform throws and had great ball placement.
Anaheim (Calif.) Servite dual-threat QB and Arizona commit Noah Fifita looked great too, with on-character twitch and a strong delivery throughout the camp. As somebody very familiar with the Bosco turf, he glided through his rollouts all day, delivering on-time accurate passes nearly every rep. Fifita, along with Clovis (Calif.) quarterback Nate Johnson were the two most athletic quarterbacks in attendance. Johnson tested the highest in the combine portion of the event; He clocked in the 4.5's for his 40-yard dash run.
This article was originally published Monday, June 7th and updated Tuesday, June 8th.