Quarterback recruiting is a battle every year.
Landing one early is a priority for all schools because of the momentum that is created afterward, so it’s not a shock Florida State head coach Mike Norvell pushed hard early to land Arizona class of 2022 QB Nicco Marchiol. Marchiol is a pro-style quarterback with some wheels.
Let's dig into what is going on with Marchiol’s game and what is going to translate to the next level. Don’t expect silly adjectives like effort and toughness beyond this point.
Hand talent is a phrase often used but not always understood. Hand talent describes when a QB can manipulate the velocity and control of the football with his hands. Marchiol clearly possesses this skill when you watch his tape. On the following play, you see Marchiol drop a dime into the corner of the endzone with a perfectly turned over ball. There are a lot of QBs who will throw this too far or out of bounds but Marchiol controls the ball very well in this situation. There is obviously a lot more going into this than just hand talent but you can see the touch and control he has on the football.
The other impressive part about Marchiol’s game is his mechanics. He’s always at the “zero-point” for the Darin Slack trained football folks out there. The “zero-point” is when the elbow is above the shoulder and 45 degrees out from the center of your face. This is thought to the most consistent and accurate arm slot to throw the ball from. It shows as cleanly as the ball turns over in this clip.
The name of today’s game is quick and run-pass option (RPO) so finding a QB who can be efficient in the quick game is a must. We see in the following two clips that Marchiol can get the ball out of his hand quickly and accurately.
In the first clip we see little wasted motion from Marchiol as he takes a 3-step drop (1 step from shotgun), reads the flat defender, and fires the ball to his flat route. Check that elbow location out again and the upfield accuracy of the ball (very important in modern college football).
The second clip is true RPO quick game. Marchiol is in outside zone mesh with the running back and reading the inside linebacker (ILB) who appears to blitz. This rush by the ILB gives a throw read for Marchiol who fires it to his slot on a slant. It’s good to see the ball come out of Marchiols hand quickly on a rush process play like this. Mechanically he is a bit deliberate at times so seeing him throw no laces or bad ball is good. Check the feet also as you can see how quickly he can get his throwing base.
Manipulation you say?
Yep, manipulation of the secondary is an important trait for QBs. Watch Marchiol move the safety on this play with his eyes and then drop a dime in on the sideline. This is next level QB play and exciting to see. This is a young man who has been coached well. Peep that elbow again and how perfectly the ball turns over. These are important at the next level as windows get tighter and you start playing in different temperatures and climates (South Florida/Boston).