July 18, 2006

Rewind: 2000 Elite 11 Quarterbacks

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The eighth annual Elite 11, which has developed into the premier quarterback event in the nation, kicks off in just six days on July 24th.

A four day event based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the Elite 11 will actually feature 12 of the best young high school quarterbacks receiving tutelage from top college counselors as well as the Elite 11 coaching staff.

In the next week leading up to the start of the event, StudentSportsFootball.com will be looking back at the past Elite 11 classes.

Today, check out the 2000 edition of the Elite 11 and how they've fared since the end of their respective high school careers.

The class has been a tremendous success to this point, as eight of the 12 quarterbacks are currently on an NFL roster and one of the quarterbacks, USC's Matt Leinart, won two national championships and one Heisman Trophy during his college career.

2000 Elite 11 Quarterbacks

Derek Anderson
Height: 6-6
Weight: 245
High School: Scappoose (Ore.)
College: Oregon State
NFL: Cleveland Browns
Andeson was the first athlete in the history of the state of Oregon to be named Player of the Year in football and basketball in the 3A classification in the same year (2000-01). As a senior at Scappoose High School, he completed 217 of 329 passes for 3,603 yards and 40 touchdowns to lead Scappoose to the 3A state title. Anderson was also selected to play in the inaugural Army All-American Game. He completed 61 percent of his passes for 8,177 yards and 85 touchdowns in his high school career. Anderson saw action at Oregon State as a true freshman in 2001 in six games backing up Elite 11 Counselor Jonathan Smith, completing 17-of-41 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown. Assumed the starting role as a sophomore and set OSU single season records with 3,313 yards passing and 25 TD passes, leading the Beavers to an 8-5 record and an Insight Bowl appearance. Shattered his own single season passing mark in 2003, hitting 261 of 510 attempts for 4,058 yards and 24 touchdowns, leading the Beavers to another 8-5 season and a Las Vegas Bowl victory over New Mexico. Served as an Elite 11 Counselor in the summer of 2004. Completed 279 of 515 passes for 3,615 yards, with 29 touchdowns as a senior, leading the Beavers to an Insight Bowl victory over Notre Dame, and finished his career as Oregon State's career passing leader with 11,249 yards and 79 touchdown passes, which ranks second all-time in the Pac-10. Was selected in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens but signed away off the Ravens' practice squad by Cleveland in September of 2005. Didn't see action in '05 but will compete for backup duties behind Charlie Frye in '06.

Nic Costa
Height: 5-11
Weight: 211
High School: Aloha (Ore.)
College: Arizona/Portland State
Costa caught Student Sports' eye when he ran a 4.28 as a freshman and 4.31 in the 40 at the NIKE Football Training Camp in Portland when he was a sophomore. With his ability to make plays outside of the pocket to go along with arm strength, Costa had schools from all over after him before choosing the Arizona Wildcats. Costa redshirted at U of A in 2001 and then served as Jason Johnson's primary backup in 2002, appearing in four games and completing 7 of 19 passes for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Saw action in 11 games in 2003 as part of a three-man quarterback rotation, completing 30 of 76 passes for 362 yards with four touchdown passes and two interceptions. Left Arizona at the start of the 2004 season and transferred back home to Portland State, where he played in one game as a quarterback in the 2005 season, passing for 99 yards and a score while rushing for another 73 yards. Hopes to get an NFL tryout this fall.

Kellen Clemens
Height: 6-2
Weight: 215
H.S. Burns (Ore.)
College: Oregon
NFL: New York Jets
Clemens completed 218 of 395 passes for 3,226 yards and 37 touchdowns his senior year at Burns (Ore.) in addition to rushing for 325 yards and 15 more scores. He also achieved first team all-state acclaim as a senior on defense, collecting 63 tackles (49 unassisted) and 12 interceptions as a safety, after finishing his junior campaign with 11 picks. Kellen was a three-time first team all-Greater Oregon League standout and led the Highlanders to a 31-7 ledger during his prep tenure, while carrying his team to the state championship game in 1999 and state semifinals in 2000. He closed his high school career throwing for 8,647 yards (610-1,112) and 102 TDs his last three seasons. Signed with Oregon where he redshirted during the 2001 season behind Heisman Trophy finalist Joey Harrington. Saw limited action behind Jason Fife in 2002 until Oregon's bowl game versus Wake Forest, when Clemens sparked the team by coming off the bench to complete 19 of 31 passes for 161 yards and one TD. Started off the 2003 campaign splitting snaps with Fife but emerged by season's end as the team's leader and quarterback. Finished 2003 with an even 2,400 yards passing, completing 182 of 304 passes with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Improved his numbers slightly even as Oregon slipped below .500 in 2004, completing 223 of 372 passes for 2,548 yards with 22 TDs and 10 interceptions. Was having a breakout season with 2,406 yards and 19 touchdown passes with just four interceptions through eight games before breaking his leg and missing Oregon's final four games as a senior. Was selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft and will compete for playing time and perhaps a starting job in training camp.

Brodie Croyle
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210
High School: Westbrook Christian (Rainbow City, Ala.)
College: Alabama
NFL: Kansas City Chiefs
Croyle was regarded as the nation's finest quarterback prospect heading into his senior year at Westbrook Christian before tearing his ACL in the first game of the season. At the time of his graduation, Croyle held Alabama records for season passing yards (3,787) and season touchdown passes (44), as well as career passing yards and touchdowns, despite missing basically all of his senior year. Eventually signed with Alabama where his dad played and won a National Championship under Bear Bryant in 1973. Croyle redshirted at Alabama in 2001, rehabbing his knee and then came on as a redshirt freshman in 2002 to have a promising debut. Croyle started two games and appeared in 12 in 2002, completing 60 of 123 tosses for 1,046 yards with five TDs and five. Entered his sophomore season primed for a big year, but a late coaching change and a dinged up shoulder limited both Croyle and the Tide in 2003. Croyle finished the year hitting 182 of 341 passing for 2,303 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 games, missing one start due to injury as the Tide limped to 4-9 record. 2004 was looking like a breakout year before Croyle tore his ACL versus Western Carolina in the third game and was lost for the year again, after completing 44 of 66 passes for 534 yards with six TDs and no picks through the season's first 10 quarters. Led a resurgent Alabama team in '05 as a senior, leading the Tide to a 10-2 record and Cotton Bowl win while completing 202 of 339 passes for 2,499 yards with 14 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

Billy Hart
Height: 6-2
Weight: 200
H.S. Mission Viejo (Calif.)
College: USC
MLB: Houston Astros (minor leagues)
As a senior, Hart completed 95-of-180 (52.8%) of his passes for 1,800 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for six more scores. Threw for 1,700 yards and 15 TDs as a junior. At the NIKE Football Training Camp in Southern California, heading into his senior year, Hart showed his athleticism, running a 4.56 in the 40 and jumping 31 inches in the vertical. He signed with USC where he redshirted in 2001, and served as a the Trojans fourth-string QB behind Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel and Matt Leinart in 2002. Hart continued as a backup behind Leinart for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and also assumed a starring role on the Trojan baseball team, where he led USC in hitting in 2004 and was an All-Pac-10 third baseman in 2005. On the diamond is where his future came professionally, as the Houston Astros selected Hart in the fifth round of the 2005 MLB Draft. Is currently playing for the Astros' Class A team in Salem.

Matt Leinart
Height: 6-5
Weight: 220
High School: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
College: USC
NFL: Arizona Cardinals
As a senior at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.) in 2000, Leinart was the All-CIF Division I Co-Offensive MVP, completing 192-of-309 passes (62.1%) for 2,870 yards, 28 TDs and 10 interceptions, including a 411-yard, four TD performance vs. national champion De La Salle. As a junior, he was the All-Serra League Offensive MVP while hitting 150-of-233 passes (64.4%) for 2,400 yards with 15 TDs and six interceptions and leading Mater Dei to a co-CIF SS Division I title. He signed with USC where he redshirted behind Elite 11 Counselor and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer and 1999 Elite 11 QB Matt Cassel in 2001 and served as the Trojans third-string QB in 2002. Leinart then won the starting job in the spring of 2003 and showed that the Trojans would be in capable hands in 2003 by leading USC to an impressive season-opening win at Auburn. Leinart only got better from there, finishing his sophomore season as the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and also the sixth-place finisher in the Heisman Trophy voting, leading USC to a 12-1 record and the Associated Press National Championship. Leinart finished 2003 with better numbers than Palmer in 2002, completing 255 of 402 attempts (63%) for 3,556 yards, with 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. 2004 was more of the same for the smooth lefty, as Leinart led the Trojans to another national title and captured the biggest individual award in college football, the Heisman Trophy. Leinart returned for his senior year and led USC to another successful season, although the Trojans fell short versus Texas and Vince Young in the Rose Bowl and Leinart lost out on the Heisman to Trojan teammate Reggie Bush. Leinart still set career highs in both competitions (283) and yards passing (3,815) while throwing 28 touchdowns and just eight interceptions and also rushing for six scores. Leinart finished his career at USC 37-2 as a starter and was the Trojans and Pac-10's all-time leader with 99 touchdown passes. He was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 10th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Ingle Martin
Height: 6-3
Weight: 223
High School: Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.)
College: Florida/Furman
NFL: Green Bay Packers

Martin was the Division II State Player of the Year in both his junior and senior years and led his high school team to three straight Tennessee state championships. At one point, Montgomery Bell won 32 consecutive games with Martin at the helm. As a senior, he completed 62-137 for 964 passing yards with seven touchdowns and also rushed for 935 yards. As the team's kicker, Martin was 6-of-9 on field goals, including three over 50 yards and a school-record 56 yarder. Martin signed with Florida and redshirted in 2001 before taking on a jack-of-all-trades role in 2002 while backing up Rex Grossman. Martin appeared in 12 of the Gators' 13 games in 2002, completing 7 of 10 passes for 96 yards, lining up at receiver in eight games and catching two passes for 14 yards and also punting in seven games where he averaged 35.2 yards per punt. Also rushed 11 times for 51 yards. Opened the 2003 season as UF's starting QB, just ahead of fellow Elite 11 campers Chris Leak (2002) and Gavin Dickey (2001). Martin started the Gators first four games, but eventually gave way to Leak in game five and finished the season 47 of 77 passing for 654 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He transferred to Furman following the season and was eligible in 2004, leading the 1-AA Paladins to a 10-3 mark and No. 5 national ranking, completing 198 of 320 passes for 2,792 yards with 22 TDs and nine interceptions while also rushing for 292 yards and three more scores. Had another big year as a senior in '05, hitting 212 of 349 attempts for 2,959 yards and 20 TDs with 13 interceptions, while also rushing for five scores as Furman went 11-3. Finished as the school's all-time leader in passing yards (5,751) and touchdowns (42). Was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Adrian McPherson
Height: 6-3
Weight: 218
High School: Southeast (Bradenton, Fla.)
College: Florida State
NFL: New Orleans Saints

Named Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball for the state of Florida as a senior at Bradenton Southeast in 2000. McPherson was a first team Class 4A All-State pick as well, passing for 3,727 yards with 42 TDs and rushing for 765 yards and eight TDs. Threw for 75 TDs and 6,161 yards in his junior and senior seasons. He was MVP of the Califlorida Bowl II after hitting 14-of-21 passes for 243 yards and two scores as Florida topped California 17-14 in Santa Barbara, Calif. in the summer of 2001. Saw action in nine of Florida State's 11 games as a true freshman in 2001, completing 18-of-37 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns in a reserve role behind fellow Elite 11 QB Chris Rix. Overtook Rix for the FSU starting job midway through the 2002 season, in which he threw for 1,017 yards with 12 TDs and just one interception, before he was dismissed from the team over alleged gambling and check theft and forgery charges. McPherson received 30 months probation after a plea bargain and enrolled at both Murray State and Tennessee State before being told by the NCAA that he was ineligible to play. McPherson signed on with the Indiana Firebirds of the Arena Football League in 2004, and immediately began to blossom under the tutelage of former NFL quarterback Steve DeBerg. On his way to winning the AFL's Rookie of the Year honors, McPherson led all AFL rookie quarterbacks in passing attempts (397), yards (3,297), touchdowns (61), and passer rating (119.6). His passer rating ranked No. 4 among all AFL quarterbacks and he also finished No. 3 in the AFL in rushing touchdowns (19) and yards (259) on 65 attempts, his 19 rushing touchdowns being the most ever in a season by a quarterback. McPherson parlayed his strong AFL rookie season into the 2005 NFL Draft, where the New Orleans Saints selected him in the fifth round. He served as the Saints' No. 3 quarterback during the 2005 season.

Kyle Orton
Height: 6-4
Weight: 226
High School: Southeast Polk (Altoona, Iowa)
College: Purdue
NFL: Chicago Bears

Strong-armed QB saw his stock skyrocket at the NIKE Football Training Camp in Illinois where he showed off a big-time arm and great accuracy, lighting it up with a high school receiver named Larry Fitzgerald. Earned All-League and All-State honors after completing 95 of 192 passes for 1,366 yards with 12 touchdowns his senior year at Southeast Polk. Signed with Purdue over Colorado, where Orton played in six games (starting two) as a true freshman for the Boilermakers, completing 69 of 142 passes (48.6%) for 686 yards and two touchdowns. Threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns in the 2001 Sun Bowl versus Washington State. Had a solid sophomore year in 2002, hitting 192 of 317 attempts for 2,257 yards with 12 TDs and nine interceptions. Threw for 283 yards and a score in Purdue's 34-24 win over Washington in the Sun Bowl. Had a better junior season in 2003 starting all 13 games and earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, hitting 251 of 414 attempts for 2,885 yards, with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Orton also rushed for 237 yards and three more scores. Returned in 2004 as an Elite 11 Counselor. Had a great start to his senior season before slowed by a hip injury, but still finished with amazing numbers, completing 236 of 389 passes for 3,090 yards with 31 TDs and just five interceptions, finishing his career fourth in Big Ten history with 9,337 passing yards. Selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft and emerged as a surprise starter after Rex Grossman went down in the preseason, starting 15 games and leading the Bears to the playoffs while passing for 1,869 yards and nine touchdowns with 13 interceptions. Will serve as Grossman's backup starting the 2006 season.

Casey Paus
Height: 6-5
Weight: 225
High School: Lincoln-Way (New Lenox, Ill.)
College: Washington
Paus earned Gatorade Illinois State Player of the Year honors after throwing for 1,702 yards, 18 TDs and just five interceptions as a senior. He led his team to a 12-1 record and a No. 3 state ranking and lost just twice in four years, posting a 42-2 record as a starting quarterback. Paus finished his career with 5,734 yards passing and 51 TDs and signed with the Washington Huskies, where he redshirted in 2001 behind Cody Pickett and former Elite 11 counselor Taylor Barton. Was the Huskies' third-string QB again in 2002, seeing action against both Wyoming and Idaho. Saw action in six games in 2003 as Pickett's primary backup, completing 10 of 23 passes for two touchdowns and 151 yards with one interception. Saw his most action in 2003 against Oregon, coming on for an injured Pickett and hitting five of eight attempts for 117 yards and two touchdowns, helping UW erase a 10-0 deficit and record a 42-10 victory. Emerged as the Huskies' primary starter in 2004, starting eight games in playing in 11, completing 116 of 274 passes for 1,476 yards with five touchdowns and 17 interceptions as UW suffered through one of the school's toughest seasons ever. Saw action in just two games as a senior in '05, completing two of three passes for three yards. Was playing this spring for the Stockholm Mean Machines in the Eurobowl league.

D.J. Shockley
Height: 6-1
Weight: 206
High School: North Clayton (College Park, Ga.)
College: Georgia
NFL: Atlanta Falcons
Earned Student Sports All-American honors his junior and senior years and was hearing from every top program in the South before he committed to Georgia. As a senior, Shockley threw for 1,861 yards and 11 touchdowns while running for an additional 864 yards and eight more scores. Threw for 1,352 and ran for 733 as a junior. Redshirted at Georgia in 2001 and then saw substantial action in 2002 behind David Greene, completing 32 of 52 passes for 415 yards and five TDs while rushing for 115 yards and two more scores in 10 games. Played in parts of six games as Greene's backup in 2003, completing nine of 21 passes for 88 yards with a touchdown, while rushing for 101 yards and another score. Saw action in 10 games as a junior in 2004, completing 26 of 60 passes for 464 yards with four touchdown passes while also rushing for 113 yards. Finally assumed the starting job as a senior with Greene's graduation and starred in the role, hitting 173 of 310 passes for 2,588 yards with 24 touchdown passes and just five interceptions while also rushing for 427 yards and five touchdowns. Shockley led Georgia to the SEC title and earned MVP of the SEC title game versus LSU, as well as all-SEC honors. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.

Paul Troth
Height: 6-5
Weight: 233
High School: Vance (Charlotte, N.C.)
College: East Carolina/Liberty
inished his senior year with over 2,200 yards passing and 25 touchdowns to earn All-League and All-Area honors. Troth signed with East Carolina and graduated from high school in January of 2001, participating in spring drills with the Pirates. Troth played in three games for East Carolina as a true freshman backing up current NFL QB David Garrard. He assumed the starting role in 2002 with mixed results, as the Pirates dipped to a 4-8 mark and Troth completed 177 of 359 attempts for 2,315 yards with 15 TDs and 20 interceptions. He started the 2003 season as the backup to Desmond Robinson and saw action in six games, completing 34 of 69 passes for 380 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. Troth announced following the season that he would transfer to Division I-AA Liberty. Played his senior year for the Flames in 2004, seeing action in seven games, completing 57 of 118 passes for 694 yards with just one touchdown pass, while also rushing for a score. Is now a graduate assistant coach at East Carolina.

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