Tennessee hadn’t found a quarterback they truly love in the 2019 recruiting class up to this point. But they may finally have found a signal caller who they want to invest a lot of time and energy into this cycle.
Zach Calzada is arguably the hottest name at the quarterback position in the 2019 recruiting class right now. His stock has blown up recently, and he confirmed last week that he was planning to visit Tennessee on Monday.
And while Calzada was on that visit, Tennessee’s coaching staff extended a scholarship offer to him.
Received an offer today from Tennessee‼ pic.twitter.com/vfnQXGk1Ax
— Zach Calzada (@ZachCalzada) June 11, 2018
Calzada is just a three-star prospect according to every major recruiting service, but he’s risen up recruiting boards a ton over the last month, and his rankings have soared in response. This time last week, Calzada was the No. 621 overall player and No. 21 pro-style quarterback in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Now, he’s jumped up nearly 200 spots and is the No. 431 overall prospect and the No. 18 pro-style QB according to the composite ratings.
The 6-foot-3, 195 pound quarterback from Buford, Georgia has recently unofficially visited Texas A&M, North Carolina, UCLA, and Northwestern over the last three weeks. He’s picked up offers from Texas A&M and Georgia over the last month as well, and he’s scheduled to go on an unofficial visit to Clemson on Wednesday of this week.
Looking at Calzada’s film, it’s apparent why schools have started to take notice of him. He has a lot of raw talent that looks like it has room to grow and improve. His throwing motion is smooth, and he has a very strong arm. He zips some passes in to tight windows but also has the touch necessary to complete deeper passes. His deep passes are a thing of beauty to observe. He’s not a run-first type quarterback, but he’s more than capable of dodging defenders and escaping the pocket. He’ll pick up more than a few yards on the ground if the defense isn’t careful.
Calzada needs to work on his accuracy, but the talent is obviously there for him. His visits to campuses and to camps this summer will go a long way to figuring out if he’s more of a project or someone who could come in and start immediately at a school.
As a junior, Calzada completed 51.1 percent of his 227 pass attempts for 1,706 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions according to MaxPreps. He also added 117 rushing yards and three scores on 34 carries.
This summer and fall will be huge for Calzada. His development will be key in just how much his stock will rise, fall, or plateau. Right now, he’s becoming a bit of a hot commodity because he has some undeniable arm talent and camps well in a weaker quarterback class in this cycle. That may cause teams to overvalue him even if he proves he’s already hit his ceiling his senior year.
Time will tell just how good of a quarterback Calzada is, but he’s intriguing enough for Tennessee and other Power Five schools to start to pay attention to him. He could be a steal for whoever lands him if he continues to improve over the next six months.