Prep Roundup

Foothill Prep QBs Look Talented

Rocklin's Laughrea Tops Impressive Quarterback List
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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The opening of the prep football season is less than a month away but that didn’t stop college recruiters from making checks in their notebooks this past summer that the I-80 and Highway 49 corridors through the foothills could be a hot bed for quarterbacks in 2010. In a season which may ending up being dubbed the “Year of the Quarterback”, no fewer than five area schools return their starting QB from last season. Also on the horizon are another group of young quarterbacks that possess the size and arm strength to hopefully lead their teams to success in the coming season. Heading the list of QB returnees is Rocklin quarterback Jimmy Laughrea who earlier this summer verbally committed to Boise State. Laughrea, who threw for 2,635 yards and 22 touchdowns a year ago, turned down offers from Washington State, Wyoming and San Diego State to become a Bronco. Laughrea, who attended Granite Bay, where his father is an instructor, as a freshman, hit on 157 of 287 (.547) of his passes while leading the Thunder to the State CIF Div. II championship game. However, last season was bittersweet for the Rocklin quarterback as he was injured in the section title win over Del Oro and missed the CIF State Championship contest, a 33-30 loss to Servite. “He’s a good one,” said Sierra College coach Jeff Tisdel who got to witness Laughrea’s talents firsthand back in June during Sierra’s team camp which the Thunder attended. “He’s got great arm strength and has football savvy.” Another returning quarterback to keep an eye on is Del Oro’s Max Magleby who had a 64 per cent completion rate while throwing for 2,116 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2009 for the Golden Eagles. Placer’s Collin Burnett, a 6-4 senior, arrived on the scene a year ago as an untested junior but he rose to the occasion to throw for 1,692 yards and 14 touchdowns in helping the Hillmen reach the CIF Sac-Joaquin Div. IV title game. Burnett, who was the first team all-PVL quarterback in 2009, also had a great summer and is being looked at by several Div. I and Div. I-AA schools. Juniors also could be key factors for their teams in 2010. At Whitney, 6-2 205-pound Jake Rodrigues hopes to make an impact for the Wildcats who are moving from the PVL to a realigned Capital Athletic Conference. Rodrigues was Whitney’s starter as a sophomore when the 2009 season opened but was sidelined for much of the campaign with an ankle injury. Still, the run-pass threat threw for 205 yards and also carried the ball for 520 yards and scored six rushing touchdowns. Just up Highway 49 a spell, Bear River also returns its starting quarterback in 6-2 junior James Harris. Learning on the job last season, Harris hit on 62 of 135 passes for 666 yards and four touchdowns. His experience gained last season should be invaluable to the Bruins in 2010. He’ll vie with another junior, Dallen Huetter, who guided the Bruins’ JVs to a perfect 10-0 season in ’09. Followers of the Colfax Falcons might recall seeing 6-4 205-pound Austin Young on the field last season – it just wasn’t too much at quarterback. As a sophomore, Young lined up both at tight end and wide receiver while learning the Falcons’ Pistol offense but did complete passes in season closing games to Lincoln and Modesto Christian. According to Colfax coach Tony Martello, the strong-armed Young looked impressive this summer in the Falcons’ passing league match-ups. At Nevada Union, coach Dave Humphers’ Miners look to have a pair of quarterbacks who will keep “Miner Magic” continuing. At the varsity level, Josiah Paye, the half-brother of former Stanford and San Francisco 49ers quarterback John Paye, heads to the varsity level. Meanwhile, NU”s JVs, who dominated foes during a 10-0 frosh season a year ago, have a fine quarterback in Kyle Cota, the son of NU JV head coach Chris Cota who was one of the area’s first 2,000 yard passers while at NU in the early 1980s. And, not to be forgotten, another top “I-80” prospect is Truckee’s Ben Bolton. Bolton, a 6-4 200-pounder, threw for 2,085 yards and had a touchdown-interception ratio of 28-6 while leading the Wolverines to the Nevada state AA championship and a 12-0 record. He also drew several visits from college recruiters last spring.