2024 Quarterback Superlatives: Most accurate, best senior season, strongest arm

On3 imageby:Charles Power02/07/24

CharlesPower

The top quarterback prospects in the 2024 cycle have put pen to paper as the book closes on this recruiting class, signing letters of intent with their college choices.

The past calendar year has provided us with the opportunity to closely evaluate the group. We’ve seen them in camps and 7-on-7 settings and have watched them extensively throughout the all-important senior season. The 2024 quarterback cycle is an interesting one with 19 signal callers who rank inside the On300.

With that said, it’s time to hand out some superlatives.

Most Accurate – Julian Sayin, Ohio State

A short-term signee who signed with Alabama before transferring to Ohio State in January, Julian Sayin has proven to be the most accurate passer in the 2024 cycle at every stop. For starters, he’s pinpoint accurate on Friday nights. Sayin completed 75.5% of his passes as a senior – the highest of any On300 quarterback. The eye test backs up the stats. Sayin’s clean mechanics and advanced vision allow him to consistently hit receivers in stride. He’s able to seamlessly replicate his throwing motion and has excellent connectivity between his footwork and upper body. That foundation results in high-level location on his passes. In addition to his play at Carlsbad (Calif.) High, Sayin was also a standout on the summer camp and 7-on-7 circuit. He was the MVP of the Elite 11 Finals and was the On3 MVP after a stellar showing at Overtime’s OT7 Finals. The consistency of performance, accuracy and timing give the Five-Star Plus+ prospect the highest passing floor of any quarterback in the 2024 cycle.

Best Senior Season – DJ Lagway, Florida

DJ Lagway had a phenomenal senior season at Willis (Texas) High. The Florida signee posted the best production of any top 2024 quarterback, while playing good competition – and it’s not particularly close. Lagway completed 72.1% of his passes for 4,634 yards and 58 touchdowns against eight interceptions at 11.5 yards per attempt. He also rushed 957 yards and 16 touchdowns on 99 attempts. He averaged 430 total yards and 5.7 total touchdowns per game – truly stellar marks by any measure. This is all while leading Willis to a 12-1 record and the best season in school history. Lagway has long been considered one of the most physically gifted 2024 signal callers. At 6-foot-2.5, 230 pounds, he pairs a strong arm with plus rushing ability in a college-ready frame. The senior season saw Lagway take the next step as a player on Friday nights, igniting a rise in the rankings and his status as a new Five-Star Plus+ prospect.

Most Developmental Upside – Luke Kromenhoek, Florida State

Luke Kromenhoek‘s combination of high-end arm strength, tight throwing motion and functional athleticism at 6-foot-3.5, 190 pounds gives him one of the highest long-term upsides among 2024 quarterbacks. The tangible attributes stood out both on film and in person alongside the majority of top quarterbacks at the Elite 11 Finals. His tools are that of a future NFL quarterback if he develops properly. As a two-year varsity starter who played in a run-heavy high school offense, Kromenhoek will need time to get ready to play at the college level. It’s clear he will benefit from continued experience in live situations and adjusting to a new offense and the ratcheted-up speed of the game at the college level. It may take a year or two, but Kromenhoek has the potential to be a standout among this group if things break right.

Best Deep Ball – Dylan Raiola, Nebraska

Dylan Raiola delivered perhaps the biggest shocker of the 2024 cycle, flipping his commitment from Georgia to Nebraska, just days before the early signing period. On the field, Raiola has the best deep ball among 2024 quarterbacks. He has easy arm strength and is able to effortlessly push the ball downfield with touch. We’ve seen Raiola’s deep ball on display in multiple settings. He got the ball downfield the easiest of all quarterbacks at the Elite 11 Finals back in June. His ability to stretch the field off of play action was also readily apparent as a senior at powerhouse Buford High in Georgia. The On3 Industry five-star will need to improve his mobility and escapability to make good on that lofty projection, but there is no denying his ability to connect on deep shots if kept clean.

Field General – Air Noland, Ohio State

Air Noland is among the most accomplished 2024 quarterbacks at the high school level. He was the most productive of the group as a junior, passing for 4,095 yards and 55 touchdowns against just four picks while leading his Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes team to an undefeated record and state title. Things weren’t as easy as a senior as Noland played with a less talented supporting cast. Still, the Ohio State signee has shown his ability to command a lethal offense. He operates with a high-level understanding of X’s and O’s and is a sound decision-maker. Noland is battle-tested against top competition and is an effective point guard while working as a distributor to talented skill players.

Most Slept On – Tyler Cherry, Indiana

A longtime rankings outlier for On3, Tyler Cherry has some of the best tools among 2024 quarterbacks. At over 6-foot-4 and around 220 pounds, Cherry has a live, quick arm. The ball jumps out of his hand. He’s able to drive the ball to the boundary and fit his throws into small windows over the middle of the field. Cherry is a loose and fluid mover in the pocket. He led his high school to a state title as a junior and elevated his play as a senior, completing 71.5% of his passes for 3,156 yards and 34 touchdowns against six interceptions at 10.3 yards per attempt. Cherry came on the scene relatively late – he sat behind then-Tennessee commit and current Indiana quarterback Tayven Jackson at Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove before taking over as a junior. He also was not on the camp circuit. The one-time Duke pledge opened up his recruitment following Mike Elko’s departure for Texas A&M before joining Indiana’s class.

Best Mechanics – Ethan Grunkemeyer, Penn State

Ethan Grunkemeyer is one of the most natural passers in the 2024 cycle. The Penn State signee showed his live arm and fluid mechanics on the camp circuit over the summer and was a standout at the Elite 11 Finals. He carried that momentum onto the field as a senior, where he was one of the most improved 2024 quarterbacks during the fall. Grunkemeyer had by far the best season of his high school career as a senior, completing 66.3% of his passes for 3,517 yards and 39 touchdowns against nine interceptions while leading Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy on a playoff run. The smooth release, strong arm and overall coordination have been evident over the past nine months.

Strongest Arm – Miles O’Neill, Texas A&M

Miles O’Neill has shown the ability to drive throws with considerable velocity to all levels. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds with the biggest hands of any blue-chip quarterback in 2024, O’Neill is easily able to generate force on his passes. The Texas A&M signee played in an under-center, run-heavy scheme at Princeton (N.J.) The Hun School as a senior after transferring from Marblehead (Mass.) High. In addition to his live arm, O’Neill has shown good accuracy, pocket movement and ability to throw with touch. He’ll need to continue playing faster and will have to adjust to the speed of the game, but there’s no doubting the arm strength.

Biggest Gunslinger – Ryan Puglisi, Georgia

Ryan Puglisi has made a name for himself as a live-armed, competitive signal caller. The Avon (Conn.) Avon Old Farms product has no hesitation in firing fastballs. We saw his arm on display at the Elite 11 Finals in June and again this fall. Puglisi is able to deliver from different arm slots and platforms and is effective throwing on the run. There’s noticeable juice on his passes. Additionally, he’s a chippy competitor and plays with a kinetic verve.

Smoothest Release – Dermaricus Davis, Washington

Another two-year varsity starter turned senior riser, Dermaricus Davis has one of the strongest mechanical foundations among 2024 quarterbacks. The 6-foot-4.5, 190-pounder is a smooth, natural passer. He has an effortless, tight throwing motion that points to a projectable upside as a passer. The throwing motion and ability to manipulate trajectory with a high release point remind us of CJ Stroud at the same stage. Make no mistake, Davis is still developing as a player, but the natural passing skill set and resulting upside make him an intriguing get for Washington.

Best Athlete – Hauss Hejny, TCU

Everything about Hauss Hejny is twitchy. At around 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, Hejny is a quarterback who happens to be a top athlete – he consistently runs sub 11.0 seconds in the 100 meters and touches in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash. The TCU legacy’s athleticism transfers over to the field on Friday nights. He ran for 2,317 yards and 28 touchdowns while leading powerhouse Aledo (Texas) High to back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior. We see the athleticism as a passer, as well. Hejny puts his entire body into his throws. He uses an extreme level of torque to generate very good – and honestly surprising – velocity on his passes.

Most Physically Developed – Walker White, Auburn

At 6-foot-3.5 and around 220 pounds, Walker White has long been one of the more physically-developed and impressive 2024 signal callers. White owns a big, muscular build that is more college-ready than the vast majority of his peers. The Auburn signee is a physical, tough player who is able to shrug off defenders in the pocket and lower his shoulder to pick up extra yards as a runner. The On300 prospect led his Little Rock (Ark.) Little Rock Christian Academy team to a state title game appearance as a senior.

Biggest Gamer – Will Hammond, Texas Tech

There may not be a 2024 quarterback who put their team on his back more than Will Hammond. The Texas Tech signee was everything for his Hutto (Texas) High team. Hammond was one of the most productive 2024 quarterbacks as a senior, passing for 3,701 yards and 34 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,068 yards and 19 more scores. He’s the only On300 quarterback to eclipse 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards as a senior and did so in just 11 games. Hammond did this while playing for a 4-7 team and with a defense that gave up 48 points per game. Any success Hutto had was due to his play. This could best be exemplified by the week two 82-80 loss to Liberty Hill (Texas) High, that saw Hammond dig Hutto out of a multiple-score deficit and account for 807 yards and 10 scores.

Most Seamless Scheme Fit – Cutter Boley, Kentucky

Cutter Boley is a seamless fit for Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen’s scheme. Over the past two seasons at Lexington (Ky.) Lexington Christian Academy, we saw Boley run similar concepts to what he’ll be asked to do for the cross-town Wildcats. At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds with a live arm, Boley fits what Coen and Mark Stoops like behind center. It’s easy to see how his ability to drive the ball downfield while working off of play action will mesh well with the scheme at Kentucky.

Most Polished – CJ Carr, Notre Dame

CJ Carr is most comfortable in structured settings that allow for his advanced technical polish to shine through. The Notre Dame signee is refined mechanically with a smooth, fluid release and good footwork. He is at his best when everything is on time and in a defined rhythm. When clean, Carr is an accurate passer. He excels in working the quick game and targeting the short and intermediate areas of the field. The Saline (Mich.) High product will need to continue to develop in regards to his reaction to pressure, but the technical skills and polish are there.

Stat Stuffer – Jadyn Davis, Michigan

One of the first names to emerge on the national scale in the 2024 cycle, Jadyn Davis has long been considered a blue-chip prospect. The Michigan signee transferred to Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day alongside a number of fellow blue-chip and Power Five prospects for his final two seasons of high school football and put up some gaudy stats through the air. Davis showed the ability to get the ball to playmakers in an efficient manner over the past two seasons. As a junior, he completed 72.5% of his passes for 3,425 yards and 43 touchdowns against six interceptions. The senior production was eerily similar, with Davis hitting 70.8% of his passes for 3,370 yards and 43 touchdowns against nine picks.

Most Efficient – Jake Merklinger, Tennessee

Other prospects may be more impressive from an arm talent and athletic perspective, but few operate a high school offense in a more efficient manner than Jake Merklinger. The Tennessee signee has a very good feel for the game and is able to throw with accuracy and timing for chunk yardage. He didn’t throw a ton of passes at Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day relative to his peers, but was deadly when he did – completing 72.1% of his passes for 3,028 yards and 38 touchdowns against just two interceptions. His 13.4 yards per attempt and passer rating of 238.4 is among the best in the cycle.