Long list of quarterbacks waiting to show how much they've improved

Eric Sondheimer
·3 min read
Dartanyon Moussiaux of Capistrano Valley is one of many quarterbacks looking forward to show their improvement when season begins in January.
Dartanyon Moussiaux of Capistrano Valley is one of many quarterbacks looking forward to showing their improvement when the season begins in January. (Michael Tanaka / Tsan Media)

There have been no seven-on-seven passing competitions during the spring, summer or fall because of COVID-19 restrictions, denying exposure to quarterbacks hoping to show their improvement.

That creates opportunities for those who have been under the radar to make an impact when the season begins in January, but also makes it difficult to rank quarterbacks with little evidence of who’s made progress during more than eight months of inactivity.

It’s seven weeks before the official start of high school football practice on Dec. 14, so let's highlight players recommended by their coaches as projected top quarterbacks for 2021. Many are cherished by their communities and continue to display individual and team leadership in a time of uncertainty.

Let’s start with 6-foot-5 Dartanyon Moussiaux of Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley. He’s headed for a “breakout” season, coach Sean Curtis said. “I know what a Division I QB should look like and Dartanyon fits that mold,” said Curtis, who worked with KJ Costello at Santa Margarita and Matt Robinson at San Juan Capistrano Jserra.

Many quarterbacks are geared up for big senior seasons, from Cole Lourd of Brentwood to three-sport athlete Ivan Ostry of Rosemead to Amir Ford of St. Pius X St. Matthias (3,000 yards passing, 39 touchdowns). Cooper Meek of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame missed most of last season with a knee injury but has spent months preparing for his comeback. Zevi Eckhaus of Culver City had 4,456 yards passing last season. Hudson Jones of San Juan Hills completed 70% of his passes.

Jesse Carmona of Pomona Ganesha rushed for more than 1,800 yards as a sophomore. Aram Araradian of Burbank passed for 2,000 yards in 7½ games as a junior. Sophomore Richie Munoz of Pasadena La Salle had 30 touchdown passes as a freshman. Brandon Rose of Murrieta Valley is a junior with rising college interest. Sam Vaulton arrives at Venice as a transfer from Tennessee with a strong reputation.

With Bryce Young and DJ Uiagalelei having left Santa Ana Mater Dei and St. John Bosco for Alabama and Clemson, respectively, the case for No. 1 in Southern California is wide open.

Peter Costelli of Mission Viejo, Chayden Peery of Sierra Canyon, AJ Duffy of Rancho Verde, Noah Fifita of Servite and Malik Murphy of Gardena Serra are all candidates to challenge for No. 1 status.

Also competing are CJ Montes of Paraclete, Walker Eget of West Ranch, Deacon Hill of Santa Barbara, Jaylen Henderson of Chaminade and Bryaden Zermeno of Loyola.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.