October 27, 2009
Top 2011 QB talks about recruiting
Florida, LSU, Tennessee, North Carolina and Stanford have sent a scholarship to Justin Worley, a junior quarterback from Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern who completed 309 of 543 passes for 3,641 yards and 50 touchdowns last season.
It wasn't easy either because defenses tried all kinds of trickery to confuse Worley, who saw opponents drop eight, drop 10 and even one dropped 11 in the hopes that the signal-caller couldn't fire the ball through that many defenders. He usually did.
"A lot of teams have been only rushing three and we had one team drop 11 so we're seeing a bunch of crazy stuff," Worley said. "We're trying to develop a running game right now.
"The first time they (dropped 11) we had five verticals running at them. It kind of blew my mind and I didn't know what to do. I just threw it out of bounds and it kind of shocked me. That was one team and they did it throughout the game. We have had teams rush one and drop 10, too. No other team has dropped 11."
Northwestern is 4-5 this season and Worley's numbers aren't as impressive - 2,300 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and a 66 percent completion percentage - but he has already established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the 2011 class. Repeating his performance as a sophomore would almost be impossible.
Worley runs a spread offense and attributes much of his stats to throwing the ball almost all game but there's no question his arm strength and intelligence play a big factor in his personal success as well. He said his ability to make multiple reads, something even college quarterbacks struggle with, is what he does best.
"My biggest strength is probably being able to go through multiple reads and being able if one or two guys aren't open being able to come to a third or fourth receiver," said Worley, who's also hearing from NC State, Clemson and Virginia.
"Our offensive coordinator has kind of taught me and our plays are based on reads so I'll be reading one receiver, if a DB does or doesn't do something then that might result in me going to a second or third receiver. He taught me if one guy isn't open that doesn't mean the whole play is ruined, it means to check down to other receivers or running backs."
He says Northwestern's wide-open offense and talented playmakers are the reasons why he's been so successful. Maybe he's not giving himself enough credit - but what else would you want from a smart quarterback?
"We run a spread offense so that definitely shows we throw a lot," Worley said. "I'm probably throwing 30-40 times a game at least. With the amount of throws I'm making there are bound to be yards. It's not just the amount of throws.
"I have some good receivers that have been stepping up this year. They're finding ways to get open and I'm just making the throws."
Worley, who receives about five recruiting letters every day, said he attended the Clemson-Middle Tennessee and Tennessee-UCLA games this season and he's also been to North Carolina and LSU. He's trying to find an open date to visit Florida. At this early stage, no school is considered a frontrunner.
"Every school that I've seen and just heard of has a long list of things to offer," Worley said. "Right now I'm just trying to keep everything open. Nothing has really stood out from one school to another that this one is going to be really hard to beat."
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