Monday, January 25, 2010

the recruit: Miles Gooch

Name: Miles Gooch
Position: QB
Hometown: Decatur, GA
School: Towers
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 215

ESPN: 40
Rivals: 5.5, three stars
Scout: two stars

This is the kind of recruiting we were pretty much destined to do once Al Groh was officially shown the door; it is uncharitably known as "picking up the scraps" though I believe the preferred nomenclature is "looking for sleepers." Well, Miles Gooch is a bit of a sleeper.

There's no story to tell about his recruitment. Well, hardly any. Playing in a mid-level division out on the edge of the Atlanta burbs for a school that had a crap football team in 2008 contributes pretty heavily to the lack of attention paid to Gooch during this past season. He got offers from an assortment of local I-AA schools, plus Toledo and Western Kentucky. Last week he picked Toledo, but after receiving his offer from UVA, correctly deduced that UVA is the superior school in most if not all aspects and promptly switched. Up until today (because I checked yesterday while the news of his commitment was still behind a paywall) Gooch was unrated by Rivals and probably received three stars of the oh-look-you-committed-somewhere-where-people-will-pay-attention variety.

Gooch's stats are the usual high-level stuff you see from someone who's headed for D-I football, but not eye-popping, and the completion percentage is low. Arm strength is usually what people mention when they talk about Gooch. Honorable mention in the state of Georgia for his division; the quarterback who beat him out is going to South Carolina, though, so, no shame really in losing out. Also has the requisite BEST QUARTERBACK EVER (or at least, in the state right now) endorsement from coaches who've had to game-plan against him, so that's one vote.

Plain truth is, Gooch probably wouldn't have gotten a sniff if he were a pocket passer. Big guy, fast (runs track), strong arm, tough to tackle, but not the world's most polished quarterback. You could do a lot worse than having a linebacker-sized guy with receiver speed on your team, even if he's not still a quarterback by the time he sees the field.

Speaking of his future prospects on the team: I shouldn't need to tell you that he's not going to play a down at quarterback in 2010. If he does, which he won't, we really will be in major-league trouble, which we won't be, because he's going to settle himself into the fourth or fifth spot on the depth chart and develop. He also will not play quarterback in 2011, and probably not in 2012 either. In fact, by this time, his transition to some other position may already have begun, as it has with Riko Smalls, especially if the coaching staff has been bringing in quarterbacks in future recruiting classes. After all, "athletic backup quarterback" is often just another way of saying "future wide receiver." Smalls, in fact, is probably a perfectly apt comparison: Gooch isn't polished enough to definitely project as a college quarterback and athletic enough that UVA fans will (mostly sight unseen other than some exciting highlights tapes) ignore his position on the depth chart and loudly call for him to take snaps after getting fed up with the incumbent quarterback. In any case, it'll be a couple years before we learn what the story will be; regardless of position, though, if he's coachable and picks up what he has to, a player with the raw athleticism he has won't stay off the field for four years.

Oh, small blog-related note: recruiting board(s) will get their updates tomorrow.

No comments: