I continue to update the football player rankings, and previewing the positions for the upcoming season. Next up is the quarterbacks.
Here are the Rankings
1. Keith Farkas - Nashua South - 2011
2. Steve Cronan - Winnacunnet - 2011
3. Matt Cannone - Salem - 2011
4. Steve Cuipa - Bishop Guertin - 2011
5. Brandon Karkhanis - Nashua North - 2011
6. Sam Carney - Hanover - 2011
7. Jared Chandler - Manchester Central - 2012
8. Jonathan Baldwin - Alvirne - 2011
9. Tate Jozokos - Kingswood - 2013
10. Michael Luks - Souhegan - 2011
The Big Four
For the running backs there was a "Big Four" and the same is true for the QB's. Farkas, Cronan, Cannone and Cuipa are all potential scholarship players at the quarterback position. All four are expected to have HUGE senior seasons.
Keith Farkas: Good size at about 6'2", most athletic QB in the state. Good speed when running the football and a very strong throwing arm. Can put up a ton of points and yards either with his arm or his legs. At times he's prone to interceptions though. He won a state championship as a sophomore then his team finished 6th last year. This year he has some good weapons at his disposal and we will see what kind of player he really is.
Steve Cronan: He started as a sophomore but last year as a junior was his breakout season. He made some amazing plays in Winnacunnet's big playoff victory over Exeter. He has the ability to avoid tackles and make accurate throws while on the run. Like Farkas, he just has to work on limiting interceptions. Loses his top 2 receivers in Harry Knowles and Jesse Gould, so he'll need some receivers to step in for them to put up good numbers. He has a good skill set though, he's a winner, and he is very good at running the option.
Matt Cannone: Cannone is a very good player, and he has shown that he can throw the football when called upon. However Salem's offense is so run-happy that it has been tough for him to truly show off his skills. He is a good field general and picks up some big first downs to move the chains, either with his arm or legs. Not as mobile as Farkas or Cronan, but he can run the ball when needed. Cannone has also gotten a lot stronger in his upper body since last year's football season which will also help him out.
Steve Cuipa: Mistake free player. I saw all four of these QB's play last year. Cronan and Farkas threw interceptions, Cannone had a couple fumbled. But anytime I saw Cuipa the kid played mistake-free football. He made very good reads when running the option. Always knew when to run it and when to pitch it. Did an very good job of limiting interceptions, fumbles and hit his receivers downfield when they were open. Has good speed when running the ball himself. Better accuracy than some of the guys ahead of him, but not as strong of an arm as the top 3. All four players have scholarship potential though, no question.
Somers Switching Back to QB?
In 2008 Luke Somers was a sophomore and was in a competition for the starting QB job with junior Ryan Simpson. Simpson won the job and was the team's QB in 2008 and in 2009. In 2008 Somers saw most of his action on defense, and last year he was a very good linebacker and on offense he saw time catching passes as well as running the football. But now with Simpson graduating what will Somers' role on the team be in 2010? Somers is a big, strong kid with a good arm. Does he go back to QB? Then again Pinkerton has a run oriented offense, and the team also graduates star back Eric Guinto. So does Somers play running back instead? This will be an interesting situation to monitor going forward.
Baldwin Just a LB?
Alvirne's Jonathan Baldwin is possibly the only QB on this list who also plays defense. Not only that, but he is one of the top returning linebacker's in NH. Also, the Broncos have another QB returning who could step in and play the position if Alvirne decides to use Baldwin strictly on defense. Baldwin suffered an injury last year, and junior Patrick Reidy stepped in for him and did a solid job at QB for him. Baldwin is a good QB, but is a better player on defense. Then again, he is a slightly better QB than Reidy. So what does Alvirne head coach Bob Nimblett do? Play Baldwin at QB and risk losing his top defensive player to injury, or start Reidy even though he's not quite as good?
Getting their Chance
North's Karkhanis and Luks from Souhegan will both be full-time starters for the first time this season. Karkhanis was a big play guy last year for the Titans, but split duties under center with Dylan Brodeur. Brodeur has graduated, so the job is now belongs to Karkhanis. With him, Andre Williams and Jamar Gathright all back North will have plenty of playmakers.
As for Luks, he is a big, strong kid with a very good arm. He would have started for most every team in the state last year, but unfortunately he played on the team with the state's top QB, DJ Petropulos. Luks was his backup, and now as a senior has the starting gig. Souhegan has a pass-happy offense and that will continue in 2010, with Luks and senior WR Brendan McKenna, who is in for a big year.