In football, they often say that the tape doesn’t lie. As someone who watches a lot of tape of recruits, I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.
However, I will say that the tape doesn’t always tell the whole story. It can’t always give an indication of what level of a competitor a recruit is and it also definitely doesn’t tell you how hard a player is willing to work to improve.
I can see from his film that quarterback Jett Duffey is not a big time prospect and why he has a lack of FBS offers. Separately from that though, I also know what kind of competitor and how much he wants to get better by him competing in three Opening regional camps, earning the quarterback MVP at two of them, before ultimately earning a ticket to the Elite 11 and The Opening finals in July. He’ll have another chance to get better and turn some heads, garner more interest, and hopefully earn some more offers.
A big part of the reason why Duffey has failed to earn the offers that he wants have to do with his lack of size. He is listed at 6’0″, but it looks generous based on what he looks like on film and he is also rail thin. I’m not sure if he has the frame to get put on too much weight and that could be a serious issue when it comes to holding up as a runner at the next level.
He is a very good athlete with good speed and solid lateral agility. He doesn’t have great burst and I wouldn’t label him as an explosive athlete.
The likes with Duffey start with his ability as a runner. He does an outstanding job with the zone read and can make defenders miss in space. He is a slippery player who can maximize yardage when he runs. He can be more than just a chain mover on scrambles and can create the occasional big play with his feet. More importantly than just being a runner, Duffey can escape the pocket and that leads to opportunities down the field through the air in addition to him gaining yards as a runner.
Another way Duffey can produce big plays is with the deep ball. It’s probably the best ball that he throws as a passer. He does a nice job of putting the proper amount of air under it and gives his receivers a chance to make plays.
Another thing I like about Duffey is his willingness to take a hit and make a throw. It may cause him to fade away, but isn’t going to let contact deter him from trying to make a play.
In saying all of that, it didn’t take a long to see why Duffey has not had a ton of FBS offers yet. It starts again with his size and how it affects him in the pocket. He missed some easy throws on crossers over the middle because it looked like he couldn’t see the players running open. He either threw the ball much later when they couldn’t make a play after the catch or dumped the ball down to a running back on the play. His inability to throw the ball with anticipation and him waiting for a receiver to run wide open is an issue.
In addition to that, his mechanics are inconsistent in the pocket. He rarely gets the ball out in rhythm and when he is late getting the ball out, his feet start getting happy. That affects his accuracy and especially his velocity. He doesn’t have a big arm or throw a tight ball to begin with. He isn’t the kind of player who can get away with bad mechanics very often and his mechanics are off far too often for my liking. This is something you hope is improved from him attending so many camps and working with good coaching like he is doing in the spring and this summer, but it also has to be remembered that he is performing against air without a threat of a rush affecting his vision.
I would like to see him get his feet planted and step into more throws. Almost everything is a touch throw with him. There is nothing wrong with throwing a catchable ball, but I never saw anything from him to suggest he can zip a throw into a tight window when he needs to from his junior film.
Because of his mobility, I would have thought it would be best for him to be used out of the pocket more often, but he did not do a good job of getting his feet under him when throwing on the run. That is something he really needs to improve on.
He is clearly a spread quarterback that is best suited in a system that asks him to use his legs more than his arm.
I’m not going to count out a player who has the desire to get better and competes like Duffey, but I can certainly understand why many FBS programs are skeptical of making the transition to the college level based on his film. I think he is probably someone that will have to wait until after some senior film is available before he possibly earns higher tier offers. The odds are against him to be a big time quarterback at the next level, but the odds were also against Vernon Adams as well and he has certainly proved many people wrong with his college career. Time will tell if Duffey can do the same.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).