Originally Published: Aug 7, 2010 4:52 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist
TULSA, Oklahoma –Without a doubt, quarterback is the most important position on the football field at any level. Ask any coach.
On the biggest stages, at the state’s largest class, the stakes are even higher. Seven 6A quarterbacks threw for 1,500 yards or more last season. So that got us thinking:
Who is the best quarterback in 6A?
Kendal Thompson, Senior
2009 Stats: 166-259, 29 TDs, 8 INTs, 2,793 yards
There is a reason why so many college head coaches were salivating over Thompson a year ago. The 6-foot-2, 180 pound dual-threat kept scouts drooling with his jaw-dropping moves in the opening field and his pin-point laser throws.
Make no mistake, Thompson is more than just a runner with a good arm. The senior has field vision and football smarts. His better-than 7 to 2 touchdown to interception ratio isn’t too shabby. He may not have completed as many passes as you would like to see for the top guy in the class, but his intangibles make up for his 39.1 completion percentage.
Southmoore made it deep into the playoffs before losing to the 6A runners-up, Jenks. Expect a similar run towards a gold ball again this season if Thompson is anything close to his 2009 form.
Final thought: Don’t blink. You’ll miss him.
Kirby Schoenthaler, Senior
2009 Stats: 159-281, 30 TDs, 14 INTs, 2,761 yards
Physical ability can only take you so far. From there, the smartest excel. Such has been the case for Schoenthaler, a stocky kid with incredible smarts. His dad was a quarterback, and he learned the game from him at a young age.
He’s not just a flavor of the week, either. As a 15-year-old sophomore starter, Schoenthaler led 6A in passing and completion percentage. He slipped as a junior, but not much. Thompson clipped him as the 6A passing leader by just 32 yards (Although Thompson did play two more games).
He’s not a big guy, at just 5-foot-10. He's not he fastest guys on the field, but he's fast enough. Schoenthaler has complete control of the offense in Bartlesville. He knows where every player is assigned to be on every play head coach Ron Smith calls. (Smith says his QB has the biggest heart on the team and likes his chances to play Division-I football) He always makes the smart play and never forces the ball if he doesn’t have to.
Colleges know a lot about Schoenthaler. Ivy League schools have taken notice because of his incredible academics (2nd in his class). Power-house conferences have their eyes on him as well. Schoenthaler will have a chance to make a name for himself in football as long as he doesn't get hurt this season.
Final thought: His favorite target from a year ago is gone. Schoenthaler’s success will depend a lot on which wide receiver will step up and be a go-to guy for the Bruins this fall.
Sawyer Kollmorgen, Senior
2009 Stats: 168-255, 24 TDs, 9 INTs, 2,658 yards
Kollmorgen may have some of the best, pure physical tools of anyone on this list. He’s tall, wiry and has quick feet. He’s not especially fast outside the pocket, but you don’t really have to be when you’re getting rid of the ball as quickly as this senior does.
You may not be in love with his stats, but they’re deceptive. He had the top 6A running back in the state to hand the ball off to in Zach Langer (TU commit, 2,446 yards rushing in 2009).
All you need to know about Kollmorgen is this: In two years as a high school football starter, he’s played in a pair of state title games. His Jenks Trojans have lost them both, but there’s something to be said for getting a team there in back-to-back seasons as a freshman and sophomore.
He’s got an above-average arm and accuracy to match. There is a tandem of wide outs on this year’s Jenks squad that could make life very easy on Mr. Kollmorgen as well. Steven Carpenter and Brandon Kitchens were seemingly always open a year ago for Jenks. Expect Kollmorgen to feast on 6A secondaries again in 2010.
Final thought: In his third year as the starter, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kollmorgen throw for over 3,000 yards this season. He may even make it to 30 touchdowns as well.
Cody Miller, Senior
2009 Stats: 128-236, 21 TDs, 8 INTs, 2,158 yards
At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, he has good size and knows how to use it. Miller used his big arm to rack up over 170 yards per game through the air for a team that averaged nearly 28 points per game in 2009. Miller’s play was a big reason why the Wolverines won ten games before losing to the eventual state champions in the second round of the playoffs.
But, is all of that enough to warrant putting Miller in the conversation as the best quarterback in 6A? If yes, it’s because of his ability to find the endzone. Over 16 percent of Miller’s passes went for touchdowns as a junior with an average receiving core. If you project ahead to his senior season at Lawton, Miller has the potential to push himself into that top-tier of 6A signal callers.
Lawton only had one real, established running back threat a year ago, and he graduated. Miller may be the best and only option, for the Wolverines if they want to dethrone Southmoore in 6A District 1.
Final thought: Look for bigger numbers this season from Miller. As he goes, Lawton goes.
Archie Bradley, Senior
Broken Arrow Tigers
2009 Stats: 109-182, 21 TDs, 5 INTs, 1,667 yards
Don’t be thrown off by the numbers. Even though Bradley didn’t throw for as many yards as the other guys, he still has a cannon for an arm. You wouldn’t be off base saying Bradley’s deep ball is tops in the state. The two-sport star has already given his verbal commitment to play football and baseball for Oklahoma next fall.
As a junior, Bradley didn’t have to do a ton of passing. He turned around and handed the ball off to now-University of Houston running back Steven Hopper a lot last year, and that formula got Broken Arrow all the way to the 6A semifinal game against Union.
The fact that it was his first year with the team, and the presence of a top-tier running back probably drove down Archie’s numbers a little bit. Expect him to pass the ball more this season for the Tigers and new head coach Steve Spavital. Broken Arrow has a chance to challenge for a 6A title this season if Bradley stays healthy.
Final Thought: Of all the quarterbacks on this list, Bradley leads the pack with 19.3 percent of his passes ending up in the endzone. He connected for touchdowns every 5.19 passes a year ago. We call that pro-duc-tion.
Brayle Brown, Senior
2009 Stats: 158-247, 31TDs, 9 INTs, 2,688 yards
The only reason he’s not a lock on this list at this point is because, technically, he’s not a 6A quarterback yet. He shined for the Wolves a season ago, but that was in 5A. This year, Shawnee makes the jump to play with the big boys in Oklahoma’s top class. Brown's ready to prove he’s just as good as Thompson, Kollmorgen and Co. and has the skills to back up that claim. He’s on the record saying he’s focused on getting mentally stronger this season. Physically he has all the attributes of a top-tier passer, throwing for nearly 2,700 yards as a junior. He was 5A’s top talent in 2009, but can he be as effective in 6A?
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