With the recent success of QB’s coming out of the Northwest to both the Collegiate and NFL levels, I wanted to write about a superstar in the making. His name is Conner Neville, and he’ll be a 7th grader this year. I know this sounds almost absurd to write about such a young kid and proclaim such a big statement. But before you judge, hear me out. Most recently, Lane Kiffin(head coach at USC) offered a full scholarship to a 7th grade QB out of the Northeast. 4 years ago Jim Harbaugh(then head coach at Stanford) offered a full scholarship to one of our Barton Football Academy QB’s, an 8th grader named Kyle Kempf. College coaches are recruiting younger and younger these days. Add to that the fact that we’ve had over 30 NFL QB’s come out of our academy the last 15 years, including Jake Locker, Aaron Rodgers, Derek Anderson, and many others, most all of them starting from a similar age as Conner, we know what we’re talking about. Years ago we had a 6th grade QB named Jake Heaps that we couldn’t quit telling people about. Most people looked at us cross eyed and thought we were losing our minds. Fast forward 7 years and here’s Jake’s timeline: Starting varsity QB at Skyline High School as a 10th, 11th, and 12th grader. Led his team to 3 consecutive state titles. Ranked the #1 QB in the country his senior year. Signed with BYU and started as a true freshmen, capped by a 5 passing touchdown Bowl Game to end the season. Now he’s a preseason All American and projected by top analysts as a future top round draft pick in 2 years. That all being said, let’s go back to Conner Neville. Standing 6’ tall, he’s already bigger than some starting college QB’s now. In camps and combines when kids are generally separated by age, Conner get’s moved up to throw with the seniors. Generally when that happens, older WR’s move back in line so they don’t have to go with the young kid. The opposite happens with Conner, WR’s start moving up in line to catch from him because they know his pass will be right on the money. He’s got great footwork in the pocket from the countless hours of work he does not only at practice, but at home in his backyard. He also knows, understand, and can identify and read defensive coverage’s. That also has come from the countless hours of chalk talks he’s done at our camps and at home with his brother and father. I(‘m not declaring him the Messiah just yet. A lot of things have to happen over the next few years. He needs to continue to learn, work, and develop. And like every athlete, has to hope to remain injury free, or at least not suffer anything major. What I do know is that if Conner doesn’t end up being a superstar, it won’t be for lack of effort. The kid would eat a football every meal if it had enough nutrients. Can Conner be the next Jake Heaps or Aaron Rodgers? At the same age he’s further along and better. So the answer is yes, he could be the next Aaron Rodgers or Jake Heaps. Even better than that, he could be the 1st Conner Neville. But only time will tell, and I personally look forward to the days when we’ll have that answer.