2014 Texas Football Recruiting: New Mexico QB Zach Gentry Scouting Report

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-6 QB was Alabama and Tennessee's #1 QB prospect.

A quick breakdown of 4 star El Dorado New Mexico QB Zach Gentry.

Speed/Mobility/Body Control

Gentry is a long strider who eats up ground once he gets going and he has a reasonable amount of niftiness despite his height.  Some recruiting services claim a 4.7 40, which isn't unrealistic, but he's not going to be confused with Jamelle Holloway in small space.

While Gentry doesn't project to a traditional run threat in the college game, he'll be very capable of pulling the ball down and making a defense pay if they ignore containment - sometimes even big yardage if the sea parts properly.

Gentry is hardly a statue and certainly athletic enough to throw capably on the move, run bootlegs, bring diversity to play action etc.

A high base on a 6-6 frame means elusiveness from a static set in the pocket won't be a primary strength and his change of direction and ability to shake a pass rush will rely more on developing lower body strength to ignore glancing blows, stepping up into the pocket and showing good feel with his eyes downfield.

Gentry is a star 20ppg/10rpg player on the El Dorado basketball team.  I like good QB basketball players as competence in the game suggests decent feet, body control and coordination that translates well to the intangibles of football.

Throwing

Gentry is raw (really? A high school junior?) but he throws fairly effortlessly - even without consistent coaching, optimal mechanics and the benefit of a college S&C program.  He flicks the ball out with decent accuracy and anticipation and his motion and release is quite workable.  A 6-6 throwing platform with long arms isn't going to have problems getting the ball out with velocity - the question is how quickly and to where?  Given that he recorded a 73 yard test-for-distance throw at the Louisville camp before his junior year, I think we can check the arm strength box.

His high school statistics are actually pretty poor (though he doesn't turn it over), but the personnel around him aren't brimming with talent  Basically, Gentry is a one man gang on a bad team playing El Paso equivalent football.  A better statistical senior year might reassure me a tad, but dude can't pick his teammates.

Arm strength is fantastic but once it meets my minimum requirements, accuracy and anticipation are far more valuable.

Frame

Gigantic with room to grow.  Currently 6-6, 230, he can reasonably be expected to fill out to 245-250 and Moorer and Watson will need to actively monitor how he fills out his frame so that he doesn't lose dexterity in the pocket.

His size will offer value in goal line and short yardage situations.

Intelligence/Football Acumen

I have no idea how Gentry sees the game - most of his high school throws were short and intermediate routes to marginal receivers, but his interviews reveal a mature, thoughtful personality and the intense interest from Alabama, Tennessee and our own Shawn Watson suggest camp interactions that demonstrated a coachable nature and quick improvements under tutelage.  He didn't go from New Mexico State level offers to Alabama in a few weeks just because of his frame.  

Summary

Admittedly, Gentry is not my preferred style of college QB (give me Vince Young over Peyton Manning in the college game), but given the right time and development, it's not hard to imagine the Longhorns could create their own version of Brock Osweiler/Erik Ainge/Nick Foles/Joe Flacco (insert your own preferred tall guy QB).  With the right weapons around him and a Wickline OL, that's pretty damn good.

While height is a boon to QBs in seeing the field and long arms (particularly a long ulna to upper arm ratio) allow an effortless javelin effect on deep balls, the college game rewards improvisation over execution and accuracy over cannon arms. If given the right pieces and the expected growth in all facets, Gentry could flourish.

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