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One QB Domino Falls, Others Continue Sorting out Trips

Senior quarterbacks in demand late in the 2022 college football recruiting cycle

The Early Signing Period kicks off December 15 and some of America's top passers are still looking for homes. 

A few decommitted from one program in search of the next while quarterback prospects like Devin Brown appear to be doing due diligence with turnover at their collegiate home (USC) without a tangible solution. 

The former has its example of completion as of this week, as Zach Pyron committed to Georgia Tech on Tuesday evening before going public on Wednesday morning. The former Baylor commitment and No. 22 QB prospect on SI All-American picked up offers from Arkansas and Vanderbilt in addition to the Yellow Jackets, but took a pair of trips for games in Atlanta and rewarded Geoff Collins' staff with his word this week. 

The Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley star, who has won three straight state championships in Alabama, wanted to get the process over with as soon as possible in order to refocus on his senior season and state title defense. Alabama and Ole Miss were also in communication, but a scholarship offer was not presented, so the decision came in with timing a strong factor. 

"It's close to home, I love the coaches and their and energy!" Pyron told SIAA. "They are building something and I want to help! They also have a crazy fan base! Being able to drive through campus before the game, and then we sat right behind the student section, it was a great experience!"

The future of Collins' offense has the Yellowhammer State native excited, too.

"I feel the offense uses the QB in many ways and it is QB friendly," he said.

Pyron's decision settles some of the fluidity at the position, and he is not likely to be the only touted QB prospect to make his next move this month. 

Inglewood (Calif.) High School star Justyn Martin, the No. 10 passer in the land at this stage, backed off of a longtime commitment to Cal last month. It was just after a trip to Ole Miss for an official visit. He has since been in communication with several programs, from USC, UCLA, Arizona State and Michigan in addition to Cal and Ole Miss. 

Martin was back at UCLA over the weekend, a program he once referred to as his dream school, and he has plans to get back to campus for an official visit the weekend of October 23. The senior has expressed a desire to make more visits, but told SIAA he is unsure of some of the logistics with a program like Michigan at this time. There was once talk of a trip to ASU, too. 

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Moving forward, the programs having already got Martin on campus look to be in the best position to land the big right-hander. He reiterated a desire to make a decision sooner rather than later, potentially before the month of October comes to an end. It could be a heavyweight head coaching battle between Chip Kelly and Lane Kiffin. 

The Bruins or Rebels aren't solely chasing Martin, though. Each has been pursuing Brown, a top 15 passer in the class, since the USC dismissal of Clay Helton. While Brown has said the right things about sticking with the program if the new coaching staff would have him, September scholarship offers came in from many of the programs already mentioned in this feature, Ole Miss, UCLA and Cal. Brown was at UCLA's game against Arizona State on Saturday and he will trip to Oxford for an official visit this weekend when the Rebels host Arkansas. 

"I’m sure Oxford and SEC football will be wild," Brown said Tuesday.

That head coach recruiting battle has layers to it in search of a future QB1, but it appears Martin will make his intentions known before USC hires a coach who can begin to make the pitch to keep Brown in the fold as the class of 2022 headliner. 

The national profile of both Ole Miss and UCLA plays similarly this fall, with each starting hot out of the gates before fizzling of late. The Rebels still boast a top five offense and remain in the rankings following the loss to Alabama, while the Bruins are now 3-2 and out of the AP Top 25 ahead of Week 6. 

Should 'Plan A' fall through for the programs still searching for a quarterback commitment, senior passers who have increased their profile remain on the market, too. 

A fast riser out west resides in San Diego. Lincoln High School passer Jalen Daniels is 6'5", 220 pounds and emerged during California's spring season. It has carried over into the fall and programs coast to coast have taken notice. Cal, Arizona State and others are in contact but Syracuse became Daniels' first Power 5 offer to close September. The big passer features a quick release, plenty of power and enough mobility to navigate the pocket. 

Often among the top programs in the country, Hoover (Ala.) High School is undefeated and Bennett Meredith is a big reason why. The 6'3", 190-pound prospect has led the Bucs to a 7-0 start, fresh off of a win over region rival Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt-Trussville. Meredith has accounted for 19 touchdowns and nearly 2,000 total yards to date while working with efficiency along the way. Toledo, Louisiana-Monroe, Appalachian State and Jacksonville State are some of the offers on the table. 

The efficiency conversation cannot continue without a mention to Luther Richesson. The Elite 11 finalist, who out-performed many well known arms in Los Angeles this summer, has been surgical as a senior at Nashville (Tenn.) Lipscomb Academy. Under the direction of former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, Richesson has the Mustangs at 6-1 and in position for a deep run in the Volunteer State. With numbers available through five games, the senior had completed a head-turning 100 passes in just 116 attempts with 15 total touchdowns and without an interception to his name. Cincinnati, Vanderbilt and others are in the mix but Dilfer told 247Sports he is methodical about making a decision. 

Luther Richesson

Luther Richesson at the Elite 11 Finals