So how do you rank high school recruits? That’s a tough question and everybody has their own way of doing it — so we decided to show the rankings of the 2021 FCS’ quarterback commitments, using our own criteria (HERO Sports bases it on how “coveted” the commitment is — I.E., how many offers have been reported). Others, like 247Sports.com, Rivals.com and QBHitList.com, have their own criteria … so we listed all of the rankings below.
There may be more star quarterbacks coming soon. Prospects like Zach Yeager, a stud dual-threat QB out of Minnesota, have announced their intentions to choose soon. Yeager, for instance, has nearby FCS powerhouse South Dakota State and HBCU National Champion North Carolina A&T in his final three. South Dakota native Chase Mason is another highly ranked QB who has South Dakota State and South Dakota on his list, though Fresno State is also chasing him. Keep an eye on this 3-star dual-threat signal caller. Also, keep an eye on Texas native Kai Horton, a top pro-style QB who holds offers from McNeese and Stephen F. Austin and holds a high 3-star rating.
Below’s a look at the Top 20 quarterback commitments to the FCS level as of Aug. 21, 2020 for the signing Class of 2021, along with the next “tier”. Below the HERO Sports rankings are the rankings for the services mentioned above.
We will do this for every position and conference as we go along this summer/fall.
NOTE: On mobile devices, viewed best horizontally. Desktop is also a good way to view this.
2021 FCS COMMITMENTS: The Daily Tracker
THE QB: Austin Tutas
THE FCS PICK: Yale
THE HERO SPORTS QB RANK: No. 1
THE SPECS: 6-2/190 – Severn, Md.
THE FCS OFFERS: Bucknell, Columbia, Furman, Georgetown, Harvard, Lehigh, Mercer, Monmouth, Penn, Stony Brook, VMI, William & Mary
THE FBS OFFERS: Virginia Tech, UMass, Temple, Liberty
THE SKINNY: How sought after is Tutas? The pro-style QB received his first verbal scholarship offer from Temple in April 2018 as a high school freshman, and followed that up with a verbal offer from Virginia Tech the next spring. He had thrown for 3,830 career passing yards and 34 touchdowns, showing strong pocket presence and the ability to get out of jams – packaged with a strong arm and ability to mix velocity with touch.
THE QUOTE: “For me, the choice to commit to the admissions process at Yale was a simple one. Coach (Tony) Reno and his staff are incredibly good at developing student athletes on and off the field, and I think Yale’s success over the last eight years speaks to that … I could not pass up the opportunity to be a part of a high level football program at an institution that possesses access to one of the most sought after degrees in the world.”
THE QB: Darius Wilson
THE FCS PICK: William & Mary
THE HERO SPORTS QB RANK: No. 2
THE SPECS: 6-3/185 – New Rochelle, NY
THE FCS OFFERS: Albany, Austin Peay, Bryant, Colgate, Columbia, Dartmouth, Elon, Fordham, Georgetown, Harvard, Holy Cross, Howard, Lehigh, Maine, Merrimack, Monmouth, Penn, Princeton, SDSU, Stony Brook
THE FBS OFFERS: Eastern Michigan
THE SKINNY: Last fall, Wilson threw for 2,207 yards and 23 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions, while rushing for 551 yards and 4 TDs … and that was all in just nine games. While he’s considered a rock solid pro-style passer, Wilson has proven he can escape trouble, also. With 20-plus FCS scholarship offers, Wilson was a massive recruiting victory for Mike London and his ever-improving Tribe program.
THE QUOTE: “I wanted to play high level college football in a great conference, while getting a top-tier education. I was blessed with a bunch of amazing opportunities that fit that mold. The thing that made William & Mary stand out to me was its amazing academic reputation, along with the support the football team received from the alumni, local community and school’s administration.”
THE QB: Conor Easthope
THE FCS PICK: Harvard
THE HERO SPORTS QB RANK: No. 3
THE SPECS: 6-2/190 – Ann Arbor, Mich.
THE FCS OFFERS: Columbia
THE FBS OFFERS: Western Michigan (former commit), Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Liberty, Ohio U., Toledo
THE SKINNY: Easthope – who decommitted from Western Michigan shortly after being offered a spot at Harvard – was pursued by most of the MAC before ultimately deciding to go the Ivy League route. The dual-threat QB considers himself a sponge when it comes to the playbook, and leadership is a strength.
THE QUOTE: “I chose Harvard because I knew I was making a 40-year decision. You can’t go wrong in the Ivy League, but Harvard just carries a different ring to it … I committed to Harvard two days after they offered me because it was a no-brainer. I literally had to think of good reasons not to go there and I couldn’t come up with any.”
THE QB: Michael Maginnis
THE FCS PICK: Samford
THE HERO SPORTS QB RANK: No. 4
THE SPECS: 6-1/185 – Newnan, Ga.
THE FCS OFFERS: Chattanooga, Harvard
THE FBS OFFERS: Akron, App. State, Bowling Green, Middle Tennessee, Ohio U., Troy, UAB
THE SKINNY: Maginnis comes from talent-rich Georgia, throwing for 3,389 yards and 26 TDs the past two seasons while being named Region 2-7A Offensive Player of the Year last fall. The pro-style QB’s leadership skills stick out. Intangibles are a plus. Also a standout baseball player and may play both at Samford … and yes, he loved what Devlin Hodges did at the school and with the Steelers last fall.
THE QUOTE: “I have a great relationship with Coach (Chris) Hatcher which was also very important for me as well. I love the offense they run, the opportunity to be able to spread the ball around and the development Coach Hatcher will provide for me at the quarterback position. I also think very highly of Devlin (Hodges). What he was able to do at Samford was incredible, and he’s definitely someone whose footsteps I would like to follow and someone to look up to and hopefully chase some of his records.”
THE QB: Arendez Fedd
THE FCS PICK: Kennesaw State
THE HERO SPORTS QB RANK: No. 5
THE SPECS: 6-1/205 – Dutchtown, GA
THE FCS OFFERS: Alabama State, Eastern Kentucky, Gardner-Webb, Rhode Island, Southern U., Tennessee State
THE FBS OFFERS: Air Force, Akron, Army, Coastal Carolina, Charlotte, Navy
THE SKINNY: The scouts love Fedd’s “Football IQ”, as he is a coach’s son and is a natural leader on the field (the three service academy offers back this up). You can couple that stockpile of intangibles with an ability to make plays through the air or via the ground, as he proved last fall. While he’s considered a “pro style” QB by the recruiting services, he is quite capable of flourishing within KSU’s option offense.
THE QUOTE: “Kennesaw more than sets me up to academically succeed. It’s such a special place because there are not too many places where your coaching staff is your family, your football team is astounding and the academics are just as good as everything else. While I attend Kennesaw, I intend to keep the great program rolling and do my part to help elevate Kennesaw State to the next level.”
THE QB: Billy Atkins
THE FCS PICK: James Madison
THE HERO SPORTS QB RANK: No. 6
THE SPECS: 6-1/175 – Baltimore, Md.
THE FCS OFFERS: Delaware, Delaware St., Columbia, Merrimack, Monmouth, Morgan St., Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Francis, Stony Brook, Towson, VMI, William & Mary
THE FBS OFFERS: Buffalo
THE SKINNY: Coveted by seven CAA schools, this pro-style signal caller has thrown for nearly 7,000 yards in his high school career, with 88 touchdowns to only 22 INTS. His team has won 26 of 34 games during his time on varsity, including a Maryland Class A state title last year, and he will bring that to an equally successful college program.
THE QUOTE: “I come from a high school called Mount St. Joseph where we built up the school to become a winning program. I wanted to maintain that winner’s mentality into college, and in my opinion there is no better school than JMU to do that … Also, there aren’t many schools who do such a great job maintaining a beautiful campus, giving students a great atmosphere to grow and become adults.”
THE QB: Kyle Wickersham
THE FCS PICK: Richmond
THE HERO SPORTS QB RANK: No. 7
THE SPECS: 6-3/225 – Metairie, La.
THE FCS OFFERS: Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Fordham, Georgetown, Harvard, Idaho St., McNeese, Nicholls, Penn, Princeton, San Diego, SE Louisiana, Southern Illinois, UT Martin
THE FBS OFFERS: Air Force
THE SKINNY: Wickersham is ranked the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the state of Louisiana by 247Sports. He threw for 1,691 yards and 17 touchdowns last year, while rushing for five scores as a junior at Rummel HS in Louisiana. He has good size and isn’t afraid to take a hit, and arm strength will be a big plus.
THE QUOTE: “I chose Richmond because of the special opportunity it provides me with, both on and off the field. When I visited, it felt like home and had the southern feel of Louisiana. I hope to be able to lead Richmond to a national championship.”
THE REST OF THE TOP 20 — HERO SPORTS RANKING
Editor’s note: Here’s the next batch of top FCS quarterback commitments, with their HERO Sports ranking – based on scholarship offer criteria
|RK||FCS TEAM||FCS QB COMMIT||OTHER D-1 OPTIONS|
|8||RHODE ISLAND||Jackson Burkhalter||4 P5 PWOs, 1 G5, 5 FCS|
|9||GEORGETOWN||Dorian Nowell||Syracuse, 2 G5, 5 FCS|
|10||HARVARD||Charles DePrima||13 FCS offers|
|11||HOLY CROSS||Ridge Jacobs||4 G5s, 2 FCS offers|
|12||ELON||Davis Ledoyen||2 G5s, 9 FCS offers|
|13||EASTERN ILLINOIS||Zach Trainor||FAU, SoMiss, East. Mich|
|14||STONY BROOK||Daron Bryden||8 FCS offers|
|15||ILLINOIS ST.||Timothy Dorsey||8 FCS offers|
|16||NDSU||Cole Payton||6 FCS offers|
|17t||WOFFORD||Kyle Pinnix||5 FCS offers|
|17t||NORTHERN ARIZ.||R.J. Martinez||5 FCS offers|
|17t||HOUSTON BAPTIST||Orion Olivas||5 FCS offers|
|17t||CENT. ARKANSAS||Tyler Gee||5 FCS offers|
|RK||FCS QB COMMIT||FCS QB COMMIT||247 RANK|
|7||KENNESAW ST.||Arendez Fedd||0.8115|
|8||SACRAMENTO ST.||Dorian Hale||0.8100|
|9||EASTERN ILLINOIS||Zach Trainor||0.8000|
|11||MONTANA ST.||Sean Austin||0.7902|
|13||HOLY CROSS||Ridge Jacobs||0.78|
|14||WILLIAM & MARY||Darius Wilson||0.78|
|15||NORTH DAKOTA||Trey Feeney||0.78|
|16||JAMES MADISON||Billy Atkins||0.78|
|RK||FCS TEAM||FCS QB COMMIT||RIVALS #|
|2t||KENNESAW ST.||Arendez Fedd||5.5|
|4t||HOUSTON BAPTIST||Orion Olivas||5.4|
|4t||CENT. ARKANSAS||Tyler Gee||5.4|
|4t||TENNESSEE ST.||Justin Hudson||5.4|
|8||UT MARTIN||Patrick Blake||5.3|
|9||SACRAMENTO ST.||Dorian Hale||5.2|
QB HITLIST RANKING
|RK||FCS QB COMMIT||FCS QB COMMIT||QBH#|
|4||RHODE ISLAND||Jackson Burkhalter||92.18|
|8||ABILENE CHR.||Hayden Anderson||91.42|
|10||HOLY CROSS||Ridge Jacobs||91.34|
|13||EASTERN ILLINOIS||Zach Trainor||90.9|
|14||WILLIAM & MARY||Darius Wilson||90.86|
|15||ILLINOIS ST.||Tommy Rittenhouse||90.84|
|17||SACRAMENTO ST.||Dorian Hale||90.64|
|20||KENNESAW ST.||Arendez Fedd||90.34|