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Will Justus be served in 2015?

Will Justus be served in 2015?

No matter the level of play having a quarterback that performs at a high level is paramount for success.

Historically the top teams within the national rankings have been lead by players with next-level ability and that doesn’t figure to change anytime soon.

NationalHSFootball.com has begun its dig into teams around the country for the upcoming season that has preseason rankings potential and chose starting quarterbacks for its initial evaluation point.

The series began with five fresh faces in New Jersey that will have an impact on the HSFB100 rankings and moved to transfers around the country. It will conclude Friday with young guns to keep an eye on.

Today is a look at senior players that will need to rise to the occasion this season.

Whether it is recovering from an injury or taking the next step to carry a team the five players below are leaders that will need to have big years to maximize the results for his team.

PLAYER

SCHOOL (CITY, ST)

IT IS TIME TO…

Jon Randall Belton West Monroe (LA) Stay healthy
In the limited time that Belton has been on the field he has flashed a brilliant game. The 6-foot-3, 200 pound prospect has been the victim of bad luck, twice. In 2013 he tore his ACL late in the season on a fluke play heading out of bounds. Following surgery he worked hard to get back healthy and his projected return pushed West Monroe into the Top 50 of the preseason HSFB100. He didn’t make a single start last year after he tore the same ACL — and his meniscus — in an August scrimmage. The loss of the three-star talent was a blow to the Rebels as they had to turn to a backup for a second year in a row. Belton recently said he was back to about 80-percent and expects to be ready for the season. For West Monroe to get back to its storied past it will be on the knees of Belton to stay healthy. Belton has offers from Arizona State and TCU, among others, and with a solid season figures to move up the board of plenty of other programs.

Kasey Ford Bentonville (AR) Take the next step
It is odd to put Ford on this list as all he has done since taking to Bentonville is lead the team to two state titles in football and pitch it to a state title in baseball — but his play on the gridiron regressed last season versus his sophomore campaign. Ford completed 107-of-185 passes for 1,846 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore. He also rushed for four more scores and was named MVP of the Class 7A state title game. As a junior he dipped under 1,500 yards passing and saw his touchdown passes slide, too. The Tigers failed to live up to the preseason hype as it opened with three straight losses to Rockhurst (MO), Bergen Catholic (NJ), and Southside (AR) and ultimately finished the year unranked after a Top 50 placement. Those three losses were saw Ford throw more than 20 passes in every game, completing just over half those attempts with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Additionally the secondary prospects may have shifted to baseball as well. His college options looked promising as a youngster with Louisville coming in early but he didn’t add any additional offers entering his senior season, where as plenty of programs have inquired about baseball. He has also continued to, potentially, outgrow the position going from 6-foot-4, 235 pounds as a sophomore to 6-foot-5, 262 pounds coming into the season. With the Bentonville school district set to split into two next year and the loss of head coach Barry Lunney there is more pressure on Ford to lead the team to a three-peat.

Feleipe Franks Wakulla (Crawfordville, FL) Take the next step
Franks, similar to Ford, has plenty of upside in both football and baseball but for this exercise the gridiron game can be improved for the No. 88-ranked player in the country according to Rivals.com. Franks has plenty of arm strength and performs well at camps so translating that will be key for Wakulla to get back to the state finals for the first time since 2011. Franks threw for 2,249 yards and 28 scores last year but the team went just 8-3 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. This season the War Eagles open the year on ESPN with a showdown game against Spartanburg (SC) and while it will enter as the underdog the team could pull the upset and break into the HSFB100 as it will enter the year on the fringe. Wakulla returns Franks and his top target Keith Gavin — which causes matchup problems for most teams — as well as every player that caught a pass and every player that carried the ball on the ground last year. The offensive line brings back the majority of players as well and so there are a lot of buy-signs for this team. It will be on Franks to get the team into the win column and the rankings.

Justus Rogers Bellevue (WA) Take the next step
Rogers may be the best passing quarterback that Bellevue has had in a while but in a Wing-T offense his ability to run instead of throw the ball is what has to improve this season. Rogers is listed as a three-star prospect and No. 9 in the state of Washington but he hasn’t added a second offer to his profile since May of 2014 when Washington State pulled the trigger. The Wolverines are slated to take on Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) and is still negotiating another potential out-of-state game which will test the mettle prior to its playoff path. Last season ended with Rogers going 0-3 passing in the state finals loss to Eastside Catholic and only called his own number eight times for 11 yards — seemingly impossibly low numbers in the offense. Listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds the dual-threat player will have to figure out a way to be more comfortable in the offense to get Bellevue back to brining home state titles and climbing national polls.

Anthony Sweeney De La Salle (Concord, CA) Stay healthy
De La Salle figures to be in contention for a preseason No. 1 national ranking and with an unblemished season may push for its first National Championship since 2003. Games against Euless Trinity (TX), Orange Lutheran (CA), Long Beach Poly (CA), Servite (CA) and an Open Division finals potentially with St. John Bosco or Corona Centennial — both of which may prove to be Top 10 teams — will test the mettle of the team more so than in any other year. Many of the evaluation points could be tied the health of the dual-threat quarterback. Sweeney has been hurt the last two years — missing parts of his junior season with a shoulder and knee injuries — figures to return healthy this year. He listed at 5-foot-8, 166 pounds and is unranked by Rivals.com but understands the De La Salle offense and runs it as efficiently as any player in recent history. With running backs Antoine Custer and Andrew Hernandez continuing to carry the load the Spartans level of play was noticeably raised when Sweeney was in the lineup. The veer — and the running backs — helped push De La Salle to another state championship last season despite being down to its third quarterback however to take to the top spot in the national poll a healthy Sweeney pushes the team to another level.

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I am the Founder of the Northwest Prep Report. For 17 years I have led the way to the best of my ability to promote the best talent from the Pacific NW free of charge. It is my pleasure to continue to serve High School athletes from all over the Pacific NW and beyond. Formerly with Rivals.com my sites have now crossed over 8,000 stories, 7 MILLION Video Views, and 15,000 regular followers. Together with the best football people in the USA we pursue excellence for our NW athletes.

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