SIAA Freak of the Week: Jaxson Dart
Freak is a term thrown around too much in the sports world but sometimes it's the first phrase that crowds the cranium when a gaudy athletic feat takes place.
What about an entire game's worth of head-turning and gasp?
SI All-American continues a salute to these dominant high school football players in a weekly feature, of course titled 'Freak of the Week.'
High school football is well underway in several states and the wild, almost Fantasy sports-type statistical performances are piling in. FOTW candidates can be dominant in the trenches or beyond the numbers, but this week's winner checks in as the first quarterback recognized in the six weeks since it kicked off.
Jaxson Dart may be the hottest uncommitted senior quarterback recruit in the country.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior passer helped Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon cap off a 10-0 regular season with arguably his best individual effort of the 2020 season to date.
Dart completed 21 of 31 passes for 382 yards and six touchdowns and added another 119 yards rushing on 13 carries to close out the campaign. The 500-plus yards from scrimmage helped the Chargers put away American Fork (Utah) 53-32 last week.
"Dart has had an exceptionally productive senior season due to possessing several noticeable traits," SI All-American's Edwin Weathersby II said. "He works just about exclusively from the gun, and has operated with solid bounce in his lower half and light feet. Corner Canyon seems to run a number of flood and leveled concepts in the passing game, which give Dart defined reads through half-field progressions from both 3x1 and 2x2 sets in which he has delivered with solid rhythm. However, more impressively, is how Dart has played in second reactions or "reaction phase" of plays.
"The young passer has proven to be athletic and mobile enough to elude the rush, get off his midline and maneuver around the pocket with solid eye discipline to keep his vision focused downfield to find free targets. He's also flashed body flexibility to perform off-platform throws."
Dart ranks within the top seven in Utah high school football history in both passing yards and touchdowns, part of the reason why his recruitment has surged since Utah was the first state to kick off high school football this fall.
The dual-threat has 57 total touchdowns (48 passing) and 4,261 yards from scrimmage (3,345 passing) through the first 10 games of his senior year. The undefeated Chargers are of course the top seed heading into the state playoffs, set to begin for the Chargers October 30 after a first-round bye.
USC, despite having commitments from a pair of senior quarterbacks, became the most recent scholarship offer to Dart on October 11. The Trojans joined programs like UCLA, TCU, Arizona State, Iowa State and Utah State to offer since the season began. BYU, perhaps the favorite in the race, offered in the spring along with several Ivy League programs, among others.
"He has fairly whip-like throwing motion and the ball appears to come out of his right hand in a crisp fashion with spin," Weathersby added. "Dart also has shown solid touch and accuracy on 7-routes, i.e. 'sails' or 'corners.'
"He doesn't appear to be twitchy, but I see smooth athletic traits both in his throwing motion and as a runner. Overall, he likely projects best as a ball-distributor in a rhythm and timing based offense with defined reads."
Wherever Dart ends up, the Freak of the Week selection figures to continue to be productive with the ball in his hands.
Freak of the Week - 10/13 - 2021 RB Marquis Crosby
Freak of the Week - 10/6 - 2021 WR Liam Clifford
Freak of the Week - 9/29 - 2021 RB Josh Hough
Freak of the Week - 9/22 - 2023 DB Aaron Gates
Freak of the Week - 9/17 - 2021 RB Corey Kiner