The Year of the Quarterback in South Carolina: Class of 2020

Much as been said in reference to the quarterback crop in South Carolina since the announcement of the Shrine Bowl. This is the deepest group of talent at this position I’ve ever seen in the state. If we go back to the 2011 Class, it was strong at the top with Everette Golson (Myrtle Beach), Justin Worley (Tennessee) and Tony McNeal (Chester) all going to Power Five/BCS programs. Back in 2003, there was a strong group at the top, as well, with Syvelle Newton (Marlboro County), Eric McCollum (Camden) and Brandon Sims (Spartanburg) were all top level guys, with Newton and McCollum signing with BCS programs and Sims with UT-Chattanooga. In 2014, Jacob Park (Stratford) and Mason Rudolph (Northwestern) both went Power Five and Bo Baldwin (South Aiken) was a sound talent.

But this year’s crop is way deeper than any of those, or any other that I can remember. There are eleven quarterbacks that are Division I level players, with at least three of them Power Five caliber.

Here is a look at this impressive list of players and how I rank them.

Ty Olenchuk

1. Ty Olenchuk, Dutch Fork – I don’t think anyone in the state throws a prettier football than this kid and he is a winner. Hasn’t lost a game as a starter for the Silver Foxes. Committed to Clemson in baseball (full)

2. Luke Doty, Myrtle Beach – Obviously, great athlete with a live arm. Has been at the top of the SCVarsity list for this class since his 8th grade year. Committed to USC.

3. Mason Garcia, Carolina Forst – Probably the best arm of the top three. Committed to East Carolina but I believe he’s even bigger than that.

Mikele Colasurdo

4. Mikele Colasurdo, Chapman – Like Olenchuk, this kid throws a pretty football and is a dangerous dual threat player. Committed to Georgia State

5. Aveon Smith, White Knoll – Probably the most under rated of the group, this guy is a football player. He’s got a strong arm and is the best runner of any of them in this group. Committed to Miami of Ohio

JW Hertzberg

6. JW Hertzberg, Southside Christian – I think JW is the most under rated passer in the state. He has the ability to play in the FBS level. Committed to FCS Marist College.

7. Noah Bell, Saluda – Very good athlete with ability to throw and run. Dangerous running the ball. Not as many weapons around him as some of these others.

8. Jy Tolen, Gilbert – Strong dual threat, one of the best in the state. Getting strong interest from some FCS schools.

9. Hunter Helms, Gray Collegiate – Helms has a strong arm and is a very cerebral player. Doesn’t have the mobility that some of the other guys have but a strong Pro-Style player. Committed to Holy Cross

10. Matthew Duncan, Ashley Ridge – Big frame with a strong arm. Good dual threat quarterback. Committed to Temple.

Josh Strickland

11. Josh Strickland, Blythewood – Solid passer with good leadership. He’s got good accuracy and better than average arm strength.

12. Ahmad Green, Westwood – Big bodied athlete with a big arm; has the ability to run the football. Committed to Georgia State.

13. Jackson Muschamp, Hammond – Muschamp has all the tools and is a very good athlete. He throws a good ball and can move chains with his legs. Has offer from Boston College.

14. Roger Pedroni, Chapin – solid playmaker and very cerebral. Has ability make the throws and makes good reads. Has some small school offers.

15. Kesean Glover, Union County – Glover is ranked here because he is still raw from a skills standpoint but make no mistake about it, this kid can play. He’s got a strong arm and is one of the best dual threat guys in the state.

Stone McDonald

16. Stone McDonald, Hilton Head Prep – Another private school guy who can sling it. Strong arm, very cerebral player. Throws well from pocket or on the run. Committed to FCS Lafayette College.

17. Lawrence Scott, Byrnes – Very athletic dual threat; great in the short pass game. Pulls and runs a little quick but is effective for the offense he is in.

18. Sean Cooney, Oceanside Collegiate – 6-5 frame with a big arm. One of the better arms in the state in terms of accuracy.

Gaston Moore

19. Gaston Moore, Hilton Head – Strong armed, athletic. More of a pro-style passer who makes the long ball very nice. Mobile enough to extend plays and run RPO. Multiple small school (DII) offers and FCS interest.

19. Hayden Lee, Dorman – Dual sport, dual threat; this kid can throw the football and is dangerous with his legs.

20. Craig Pender, Barnwell – Executes the spread offense well. Throws the long ball well; not lethal with his legs but mobile enough to move chains and extend plays.

About Jim Baxter

Founder of Nationally published recruiting anlayst witih 30 years of experience in the industry. His work has appeared in publications such as Athlon, Sporting News, The Recruiting News and Deep South Recruiting and he is the author of the best selling book, The Book On Evaluating Football Players.

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  1. Jim, I have only seen 4 of the 20 quarterbacks mention in your list but I think Ty Olenchuck does not get the recognition he deserves. He has been left off post seasons rosters last year and so far this year in spite of leading his team to three straight state championships and an undefeated season thus far this year. I think the fact he is a Clemson commit in baseball skews those voting to avoid including him for consideration. I hope that isn’t true but…

    • Tom, I have him as the NO. 1 QB in the state. As for the recognition in all stars, I said months ago he wouldn’t make the Shrine Bowl team because of the two-player limit per team. They had to have Hyatt as a playmaker and Irby is the best DL in the state and it was a position of necessity. So that left Ty out. I am almost certain he will make the South team in the North-South game. He would have to. I would suspect it will be he and Mason Garcia from Carolina Forest. As for the Mr. Football award, again, you’re only going to see one player per team ever make it to the finals and Haytt, in my opinion, is the best player in the state so that was really not a disrespect to Ty. I am happy for Ty being able to play baseball because I know he loves that sport but it saddens me because he, in my opinion, is a Power-Five quarterback at the next level. As we old school coaches used to say, he is a “child of God” with his abilities.

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