DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying one player is better than the other, nor am I purposely leaving certain players off the list because I think these five guys are better. “Top 5″ is merely a catchy title.
I’ll publish other lists leading up to opening kickoff Friday, so keep coming back to delcofootball.com.
Feel free to chime in by leaving a comment or emailing me. Oh, and keep in mind … these are RETURNING STARTERS. So, if that hot-shot sophomore is looking good in summer camp, sorry, he’s not making this list.
Ryan Strain, Springfield: With good accuracy, a big arm, intelligence and athleticism, Strain (6-0, 175) could approach 2,000 yards passing. As a junior he finished with the second-best passer rater in the county and was third in total passing yards. Denzel Thompson, an All-Delco wide receiver, and Dontae Allen were main targets for Strain during the Cougars’ run to the District One Class AAA semifinal in 2010. Both are gone. Matt Reichert (8-235 yards in 2010) and John Wise (8-97) will play important roles in the Springfield passing game this year. I can see coach Tom Kline having Strain drop back to pass anywhere between 20-30 times a game.
Malcolm Simpson, Glen Mills: A versatile dual-threat, Simpson showed tremendous promise his junior year. He threw for only five TDs against nine interceptions and cracked the 150-yard barrier only once; however, his modest numbers are more indicative of Glen Mills’ smash-mouth style of football. Simpson has good mechanics and the ball out of his hand reminds me of Michael Vick in the way he can “flick it” and make passing seem so effortless.
Eddie Durkin, Haverford High: Durkin could be the best all-around talent in the county. He’s big, strong, poised and athletic. At some point last fall, coach Joe Gallagher said enough was enough and gave Durkin more opportunities to throw the ball. After five games, Durkin had only 234 yards and two touchdown passes. The remaining six games included seven TD passes. He finished the year with a 61 completion percentage with 1,051 yards and nine TDs. The only bummer is this: Durkin will miss the first three or four weeks of the season due to a hand injury.
Jalal Timmons, Arch. Carroll:The speedy southpaw wears No. 7 and sports a visor on
his helmet, so naturally there are immediate Vick comparisons. He’s probably more of an athlete than a natural QB, though. I do think Timmons will thrive under the tutelage of new coach Joe Powel, a two-time Catholic League championship winner. As a junior, Timmons led the Patriots to four consecutive wins to start the season, but things quickly fizzled for the team, which lost its final six games. Timmons passed for only two TDs against nine picks for 558 yards.
Josh Breen, Interboro: This is the “Who’s he?” portion of this blog entry. OK, I’ll admit that Breen doesn’t have much of a track record as a starting QB, and he plays for coach Steve Lennox, who runs the ball 99.9 percent of time. He started Interboro’s final three games last season and completed only three passes, so there’s not much to go off of.. Breen probably won’t sniff 1,000 passing yards (due in large part to lack of opportunities), but the senior is expected to captain Interboro’s offense and will at times have to make the big play. Lennox trusts him to lead the way, so you know he’s a smart kid.
To contact Matt Smith, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @DTMattSmith.