Penn State commit Justin Fields is spending June 2-4 in Los Angeles, competing at Elite 11 national finals. Keep up with Fields’ development as the weekend progresses, and look for another Land of 10 update at the conclusion of Sunday events.
Justin Fields continues to turn heads in a national spotlight, building his case for consideration as America’s top quarterback recruit for 2018. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Nittany Lions pledge traveled across the country to spend this first weekend of June at Elite 11 finals.
The acclaimed competition features 25 premier quarterback prospects, and 12 will advance to compete at The Opening, held later this month in Beaverton, Ore., at Nike’s world headquarters. Fields and fellow finalists have been busy with intensive drills and training, related to both mental and physical prowess.
Find a way to get better. Every day. The standard has been set. Will you rise up? 📈 pic.twitter.com/PDYh2pm2dk
— Elite11 (@Elite11) June 3, 2017
The Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.) High School product aims to join an Elite 11 fraternity that features former college football stars Andrew Luck, Tim Tebow and Deshaun Watson. Aside from working with a knowledgeable staff headlined by Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer, this collection of young passers also enjoys the guidance of multiple counselors who are currently playing at the FBS level.
According to Stephen Nelson of Bleacher Report, the latest group of counselors includes Will Grier (West Virginia), Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Malik Zaire (currently in the process of transferring from Notre Dame). Fields, a 5-star talent, is considered a strong contender for Elite 11 MVP.
Based on a limited sample size in Southern California, SBNation recruiting analyst Bud Elliott believes Fields looks the part.
“What’s not to like?” Elliott wrote. “A sharp guy, big arm, mechanics that are better than you’d expect from someone who also plays a lot of baseball, and elite athleticism.”
The weekend is also filled with moments that push prospects to display their football IQ. Elite 11 coaches asked Fields to draw up his go-to play, and the 247Sports 5-star prospect delivered:
— Justin Fields (@justnfields) June 3, 2017
Fields is considered a quarterback recruit who provides everything a coaching staff searches for at the position — size, poise, mobility, arm strength and intelligence. Just two weeks ago, 4-star Penn State WR commit Justin Shorter referred to Fields as a “dream quarterback” during a conversation with Land of 10.
While he provides a significant offensive threat on the ground, Fields can decimate an opposing defense from the pocket. His long-distance range as a thrower was apparent early in Los Angeles, according to Luke Stampini of 247Sports.
“When asked to drive the ball down the field, Fields separated from the pack quickly with dime after dime on fades and corner routes,” Stampini observed. “While other quarterbacks struggled, Fields appeared to thrive stretching the field vertically.”
He completed 67 percent of passes as a junior, per MaxPreps, collecting 2,770 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air. Fields also rushed for 1,176 yards and 15 scores.
His success on the spring camp circuit and a superb Harrison High spring game (4 total touchdowns in one half) have sent his stock soaring in industry rankings. Fields is now listed No. 6 overall in 247Sports’ 2018 composite rankings, trailing only fellow Elite 11 finalist and No. 1 overall recruit Trevor Lawrence among quarterbacks.
Past Penn State commits to compete at Elite 11 finals include Christian Hackenberg, Sean Clifford, Jake Zembiec and Brandon Wimbush, who ultimately signed with Notre Dame. Fields will face a key stretch of drills Sunday, vying for inclusion in the Elite 11 fraternity and a trip The Opening.
If selected as an Elite 11 quarterback, he would join fellow Nittany Lions pledges Shorter, Ricky Slade and Zack Kuntz at Nike’s world headquarters this summer. Committed to Penn State since December, Fields continues to attract consistent interest from schools such as Auburn, Florida, Georgia and LSU.