Quarterback is arguably the most challenging position in all of sports. Outside of the physical traits needed to be successful, a winning QB is often asked to be smart, reliable and capable of leading his team to victory.
Here's a look at five quarterbacks in the class of 2022 who will look to take their respective teams to the promised land.
Jayden Sauray | Wise (MD)
6-0, 200 lbs
2019: 15-0 (Maryland 4a Champions)
Projected Top Target: Jalil Farooq
Jayden Sauray is electric. He's dynamite -- a playmaker from the quarterback position. Sauray is ideal for today's game; he's accurate over the middle, throws deep with touch, and he's on target underneath, allowing his receivers to run after the catch.
Last season, Sauray led arguably the most prolific offense in the DMV. As a team, the Pumas scored 93 touchdowns. Individually, Sauray completed over 65% of his passes, throwing for 30 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. He also ran for over 400 yards. The Pumas ran away with the Maryland 4a title. Their closest game was a 14-point victory over Suitland.
The Pumas don't lose much in 2020. Sauray will have his two top receivers in the explosive Jalil Farooq and Keith Boddie Jr. Also anticipate Terron Kellman to contribute in the running game as well as catching the ball out of the backfield.
Sauray and the Wise Pumas are primed and ready to defend their title.
Chase Williams | Good Counsel (MD)
6-2, 195 lbs
2019: 9-3 (WCAC Champions)
Projected Top Target: Miles Cross
Chase Williams has all the tools needed to be the next highly recruited quarterback from the DMV. At 6-2,195 pounds, Williams has good size already and judging by his frame, still has room to grow. He is technically sound, has top-end arm talent and operates with equal efficiency whether in the pocket or on the run. What stands out most about Williams is his poise. He's seemingly unflappable, which plays in his favor when competing against some of the top teams in the nation.
In 2019, Williams and the Falcons won the WCAC championship in storybook fashion. Williams connected with Sy'veon Wilkerson on a screen pass late in the fourth quarter that ultimately set up the game-winning field goal.
The reality is though, it took the Good Counsel offense half the season to get on track. It was young and facing top-notch defenses. In 2020, Williams will have an entire regular season and offseason as the established starter under his belt. The Falcons will have a dominant offensive line, anchored by Landon Tengwall, and with their two quality backs -- Sean Aaron and LeJay Hatcher -- they should be able to run the ball at will, opening up play action. Add to that, Williams will have the services of playmakers Miles Cross and Jaylen Dotson on the outside.
Williams looks to lead Good Counsel to back-to-back WCAC crowns.
Wyatt Hagan | St. John's (DC)
6-1, 190 lbs
2019: 7-5 (WCAC runner-up)
Projected Top Target: Caleb Coombs
Wyatt Hagan is a winner. He's done so at every level, thus the expectations in 2020 are the same. Hagan is a student of the game and extension of his offensive coordinator. With his cerebral approach, he prepares for the moment, and once in it, his moxie allows him to rise to the occasion.
These traits were evident when Hagan stepped in for an injured Sol Jay Maiava in the fourth quarter while trailing Good Counsel. The Cadets were 3-4 at the time and a loss would have surely sent them into a spiral. Hagan connected with Rakim Jarret for a big gainer and calmly marched St. John's 92 yards for the game-deciding score.
Next season will be Hagan's first as the Cadets' full-time starter, and he will not have the benefit of the ultimate security blanket that is Jarret. He will, however, have wide receiver Caleb Coombs who he's built rapport with and may be primed for a breakout season of his own. In addition to Coombs, Hagan will have targets D.J. Linkins and Bryce Butler to stretch the field, and Colby McDonald, Antwain Littleton and Jamar Curtis running the ball.
With a great year from Hagan, St. John's will compete for the WCAC crown.
John Griffith | St. Frances (MD)
6-2, 206 lbs
Projected Top Target: Denylon Morrissette
John Griffith has a cannon for an arm. He can make every throw asked of him; his arm talent is unquestionable. He's accurate, his footwork is solid and he's technically sound. He checks all the boxes. He just so happens to play for a juggernaut, thus he doesn't have the opportunity to show off his skillset that often.
St. Frances is one of the more physical teams in the country. They beat up their opponents on offense and defense, not only winning the battle of the trenches, but frequently forcing a submission. Last season, all-purpose back Blake Corum ran his way to Maryland State Player of the Year and the Panthers defense gave up double-digits on just three occasions. Despite the strength of their schedule, the Panthers weren't required to open up the offense very often.
That said, in two years as a starter, Griffith has a combined record of 21-1. The young man wins and this season should be no different. In year three at the helm, anticipate coach Poggi and staff to give Griffith more chances to air it out, and when he does, he will look to big time target Denylon Morrissette, the rising junior wide receiver with excellent size, speed and body control.
Griffith will look to lead SFA to a national title.
Preston Howard | McDonogh (MD)
6-6, 220 lbs
2019: 11-1 (MIAA runner-up)
Projected Top Target: Dante Trader
The first thing one notices when observing Preston Howard is his size. At 6-6, 220 pounds, he looks the part. Unfortunately for opposing defenses, while they're sizing him up, he's often running past or dropping dimes behind them. Howard throws a catchable ball. Many of his deep passes look like long handoffs. With his size and athleticism, he's also a dangerous runner.
Howard led McDonogh to an 11-0 start in 2019 before falling to MSJ in the final game of the season. This year, they'll look to finish the job. The Eagles offense will be without Curtis Jacobs and Giovanni Procacaccini, but look for Howard to hook up with big play threat Dante Trader early and often. With his rushing ability, Howard could go for over 700 on the ground as well.
Howard will have McDonogh in position to compete for the MIAA championship.