USC OC Tee Martin: ‘West Coast Is Quarterback Heaven’

    USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin spoke with Campus Insiders about the growing number of elite quarterbacks in the Pac-12, and he attributed it to the west coast being "quarterback heaven."

    March 7, 2017

    USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin spoke with Campus Insiders about the growing number of elite quarterbacks in the Pac-12, and he attributed it to the West Coast being “quarterback heaven.” 

    When the 2017 college football season begins, we’ll likely have one last look at the Pac-12’s “Golden Four Quarterbacks.”

    Jake Browning, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold will all probably move on and try their hands at the NFL, leaving Justin Herbert with at least one more year at Oregon. Even Luke Falk, who surprised many by returning to Washington State, can’t stay in Pullman forever.

    But there will be more. We’ll see the next wave of big-time, star-studded quarterbacks come strolling through the Pac-12.

    If you’re skeptical, take Tee Martin’s word for it. The USC offensive coordinator spoke with Campus Insiders and addressed why the Pac-12 is filling up with highly skilled quarterbacks at a quicker rate than any other Power Five conference, chalking it up to geography.

    “The West Coast, particularly California and Southern California, is quarterback heaven. You go back through the history of USC and just look at where the quarterbacks came from. That’s just something that is by geographic location. The Pac-12, with these young men staying home and going to Pac-12 colleges, I don’t know if it’ll ever stop,” Martin said.

    And it’s not as though this is a relatively new phenomenon.

    Schools from across the country, from across Power Five conferences and Group of Five conferences alike, realize the talent pool the West Coast offers. It’s been going on for years, and now it’s really shining through with modern recruiting having turned into the open, free market that it is.

    “Even when I was in the SEC, we came out here and signed a quarterback from California. West Coast quarterbacks are now starting to go [East]. You look at Georgia having a quarterback from the West Coast [Jacob Eason],” Martin said.

    It’s not about the coaching. It’s not about genetics or random selection. The fact of the matter is the more time you can dedicate to your craft, to refining your skills and honing your talents, the better you’ll be.

    Oh, and it helps when mother nature clears the way. She tends to favor the West Coast.

    “The weather is good the majority of the time, so they’re outside all the time. I think that’s where you see the difference. Whether it’s the receivers on the West Coast, the quarterbacks on the West Coast, we don’t wear pads out here in the spring,” Martin said. “You look at down south, the interior linemen and D-linemen, O-linemen, those kids are developed more. But then on the West Coast, because you do more work with the skill players, the skill players are more advanced and more developed. I think it has a lot to do with the geography of where players are coming from — particularly quarterbacks.”

    Darnold is originally from Capistrano Beach, California. So, the Trojans struck gold once again by keeping an in-state gunslinger close to home.

    They’re hoping they can hit on their next addition, too. In the 2017 recruiting class, they managed to flip 4-star quarterback Jack Sears from Duke and keep him close to home. And they have their guy for the 2018 class as well, 5-star quarterback and Long Beach, California prospect Matt Corral.

    As for the other Pac-12 powers, their futures are looking bright, too.

    Washington recently signed 3-star quarterback Jake Haener (Danville, California), and it also has a commitment from 5-star quarterback Jacob Sirmon (Bothell, Washington) in the 2018 cycle.

    UCLA signed 4-star quarterback Devon Modster (Las Flores, California) in the 2016 class, and the Bruins are also considered a heavy favorite for 4-star quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (Las Vegas).

    Of the top 20 quarterbacks in the 2018 class, seven are from the West Coast. Last year, six of the top 20 were from out west. There’s an obvious trend, especially when it comes down to the quarterbacks who pan out at the next level.

    Finding an elite college passer doesn’t seem that hard. Just make a trip to quarterback heaven.

    MORE: Tee Martin Preparing Sam Darnold As If 2016 Never Happened


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