SBLive California is previewing the top football teams and players in the state ahead of the 2020-2021 high school football season. Even with the season on hold, we will continue to highlight the best teams, players and coaches in California.
Here’s a closer look at the Top 10 quarterbacks in the CIF North Coast Section. The rankings were compiled by SBLive reporter Lance Smith.
The main criteria for our quarterback rankings are statistics from the 2019 high school season relative to team success (on offense) and strength of schedule. Performances in club football or at camps were not taken into consideration.
TOP 10 QUARTERBACKS IN CIF NORTH COAST SECTION
10. Weston Lewis – El Molino – SR.
In only nine games of action, Lewis put up dual-threat production last season that is unmatched among returning quarterbacks. He threw for 1,395 yards and 14 touchdowns to only six picks. And he was in rare air among section QBs with 955 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing. He did that on over seven yards per carry, which is huge for a quarterback. Lewis already has a few college offers coming into his senior season.
9. Jack Quigley – San Ramon Valley – JR.
A 3-star prospect with multiple Division I offers, Quigley is coming off a strong sophomore season in which he held his own against many of the CIFNCS’ top defenses. He threw for 1,502 yards and 15 touchdowns to only six picks in the brutal East Bay – Mountain League. The Wolves return a strong, experienced receiver corps and Quigley is sure to take a big leap statistically if he has a junior season.
8. Shaun Smith – Livermore – SR.
Smith, a 2-star prospect, was an All-East Bay – Valley League honoree last season as a junior. He’s a big-time candidate to take another leap this season for a resurgent Livermore program with some talented upperclassmen. Smith has multiple college offers already but he could be a potential D-I player if he can get another season to make a name for himself.
7. Vann Wilkins – Lower Lake – SR.
In only 11 games, Wilkins was the most productive quarterback in the section among non-seniors in 2019. He threw for 2,807 yards on 60.1% completion, and his 36 passing touchdowns was third in the NCS. On top of his aerial production and 118.6 passer rating, Wilkins ran for 490 yards and four TDs. In total, he finished with 40 touchdowns and nearly 3,300 yards of offense.
6. Michael Ingrassia – Marin Catholic – JR.
Based on the 2019 season, Ingrassia is the section’s top junior quarterback coming into 2020-21. He helped lead the Wildcats to an 11-2 season and Division IV championship appearance as just a sophomore with 1,688 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 315 rushing yards, and four rushing TDs. Ingrassia was particularly efficient in the air for an underclassman, completing 63.7% of his passes and allowing only five picks all season – good for a passer rating of 119.
5. Hudson Beers – Justin-Siena – SR.
In terms of passing yardage, Beers is the top returning QB in the section. Last season he completed over 60% of his passes for 2,942 yards and 30 touchdowns, finishing with a passer rating of 111.1. He’s already been offered at the college level and is likely to rack up more offers if he has a senior season.
4. Jake Kern – Clayton Valley Charter – SR.
With a 2019 state championship under his belt, Kern is one of numerous nationally-ranked talents on this list overdue for a D-I offer. The 2-star prospect threw for 1,685 yards and 12 touchdowns for the run-first Ugly Eagles last season, who went 10-5 to win a Division 2 section title and a CIF 2-AA state title – their first ever. He also ran for six touchdowns, and had only two interceptions all season, which is a remarkable feat.
Clayton Valley Charter returns the majority of its offensive stars this season. Kern only attempted 190 passes last season, and could lead another winning season – with potentially flashier numbers – if they have games to play.
3. Brady Huchingson – Acalanes – SR.
Huchingson, a 2-star prospect, threw for 2,646 yards and 29 touchdowns last season for the 9-3 Dons. He also completed 63.2% of his passes and only had five picks, good for an impressive passer rating of 128.3. Huchingson ran for seven touchdowns as well, and the numbers say he’s arguably the best senior QB in the section without a D-I offer.
2. Eli Brickhandler – Pittsburg – SR.
Brickhandler threw for 2,259 yards and rushed for 743 more as a junior at Whitney, making him one of the only returning quarterbacks in NorCal to surpass 3,000 yards of offense in 2019. He also had 18 touchdowns passing and eight more rushing while leading the Wildcats, who play a very challenging schedule, to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title game.
Now a Pirate, Brickhandler is in great position to put himself on D-I radars if there is a season. 247Sports lists him a 2-star prospect with multiple college offers, but none at the Division 1 level. This season he’ll hopefully have the opportunity to run the show for a talented Pittsburg team with big expectations.
1. Dorian Hale – De La Salle – SR.
Before even starting his senior season, the 3-star Sacramento State commit is one of the more accomplished quarterbacks in the state. Hale has been on three NCS Division I championship/CIF Open Division state finalist teams, and was the starting signal-caller on two of them.
Last season as a junior, Hale had 2,047 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns and three interceptions on a strong 118.6 passer rating. He also had 588 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. In 2018, when the Spartans played more through their running backs, Hale threw for 1,215 yards on under 100 pass attempts, good for an outstanding passer rating of 133.7. If there’s a 2020-21 season, he’ll be ready to take on a bigger workload than ever for NorCal’s incumbent top dog.
Several quarterbacks were considered for our Top 10, but narrowly missed the cut. Here are honorable mention North Coast Section quarterbacks who were in the conversation:
D.J. Bryant – San Leandro – SR.
Alejandro Villanueva – Mt. Eden – SR.
Shamoun Duncan-Niusulu – James Logan – SR.
Jacob Aaron – Vintage – SR.