MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. â€” Quinn Ewers is used to having all eyes on him.
That comes with the territory for the 5-star Ohio State commitment. The quarterback’s perfect recruiting ranking is as rare as his hair style, and both unusual identifiers bring him plenty of attention.
In most instances, Ewers is unflappable.
On Wednesday night, the first competitive outing of the latest iteration of theÂ Elite 11, he was easily one of the top performers. He delivered pass after pass on time, in perfect rhythm and in the perfect place. It was the type of show those who’ve seen Ewers in person have come to expect.
And that’s why it could be the final throw of the night from Ewers, his only errant delivery, that was the best thing for him. It was a reminder that the 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterbackÂ isn’t perfect, even if his recruit rating is. It was also a reminder that his process is important. In the evening’s final drill — and first real competition — Ewers was focused on the wrong things. It led to a ball delivered late, knocking him out of the competition after one round.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s what Quinn Ewers needed.
“It sucks not going too deep in that little competition,” Ewers said. “That’s just motivation for tomorrow.”
Ewers is the top-ranked player in the country in the Class of 2022. He knows that, and so does everyone else. He’s rarely around players anywhere near his equal on the field. He enjoyed that unique opportunity night at Mira Costa High School.
“It challenges everybody a lot more,” he said. “But honestly, I feel like everybody came out here and had more fun than we’ve had at [other] camps. We just kind of rolled with the flow and had fun with it.”
Ewers and his Elite 11 counterparts did have fun, but make no mistake: He’s here to win and compete.
“For me, I try and just have fun the whole time,” Ewers said. “But definitely there’s a switch that flips. When you’re getting ready, that switch just flips.”
When watching a player like Ewers on the field, the nonchalance belies the competitiveness. People misread it as disinterest sometimes, but ultimately it’s just a young person who knows who he is and isn’t worried about how it comes off.
“I don’t feel like I’m being like nonchalant or whatever,” he said. “But, you know, people tell me that all the time, for sure.
“I’m just being myself out here.”
Quinn Ewers being himself means he’s being the best young quarterback in the country. That means making sure one poor throw doesn’t ruin the rest of his week in California.
“I was focused on the freaking snap count,” he said, still thinking about the last throw. “I was trying to be loud, a little funny and just wasn’t very accurate with the throw and it hit a little behind him. It sucks being accurate all day and then missing the one in competition. I’ve got to come out here tomorrow and make up for it.”
And on Thursday, once again, everyone will be watching.