Leading into the announcement of the American Family Insurance ALL-USA preseason football team later this month, we’re profiling some of the likely candidates for that team. Today’s candidate is St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) senior quarterback Josh Rosen.
Josh Rosen has a simple technique for dealing with the pressure of playing for the No. 2-ranked high school football team in the country.
“You win, that’s how you deal with pressure,” Rosen said. “There’s really not that much pressure. If you can’t deal with it, we don’t want you on the team. Playing for a team like ours isn’t that big a deal. It might mean a few more media interview distractions and you get a 100 percent of every team’s effort that you play, but it’s not like we play any bad teams.”
Growing up, Rosen was a nationally ranked tennis player. While a shoulder injury forced him to take a break from tennis and led him back into football, his time between the lines helped prepare him to be one of the top quarterback recruits in the country.
“Playing tennis helped me try to get over plays,” Rosen said. “In a match, you go through hundreds of disappointments. You have to have a short-term memory to survive. Plus, in football, everyone praises my footwork. When I was playing tennis and everyone was 5-foot-6 and 120 pounds (Rosen is 6-4 and 190, but was around 5-11 then) and I was clunking it around out there in size-14 shoes, everyone criticized my footwork.”
Rosen has attended high-profile camps this summer such as the ESPN RISE Elite 11 and Nike’s The Opening, but is realistic about what he can get out of them.
“Everything is overexposed at those,” Rosen said. “I don’t think anyone at those camps intends to get anything out of it besides friendships, free stuff and an experience. There’s not much you can coach a kid in three days.”
He does give plenty of credit to Braves offensive coordinator Chad Johnson, who has helped him master the Braves’ simple yet deceptively complicated zone-read spread.
“I can call him and text him at any time,” Rosen said. “He’s like a second father. Everything that I know about football is attributed to him. His control of our offense is crazy. His goal is to give me every speck of knowledge he has.”
Though Rosen says playing quarterback is more a mental than physical exercise, he also says people, particularly some quarterback coaches, complicate what it means to be a good quarterback. He has been working with quarterback coach Armin Youngblood since he was in the eighth grade.
“My training with him is not a technical thing and it has been doing pretty well so far, so I don’t want to change anything,” Rosen said.
“He’s a very intelligent young man,” Youngblood said. “It can be intimidating to other players. He’s really different; he’s kind of like a coach in that he understands personnel. He’ll go through a receiver line on a drill and be able to understand where those guys are on a talent level.”
Rosen said he tries to keep his fitness routine simple.
“When I work out, I lift with the linebackers and running backs. There’s really not that much too it. The problem with football (training), is there are so many little things you can do. People are inventing new exercises you can do. I take a much simpler approach to the sport. Some people over-complicate the regimen. Most of the extra exercises I do are to make sure I look good at the beach.”
Super stats: Last season, as a junior, he threw for 3,200 yards and 39 touchdowns and ran for 416 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Braves to the state Open Bowl Championship. .
Rankings: No. 1 quarterback by Rivals, Scout, Tom Lemming and No. 2 by 247Sports and ESPN.
On film: He’s very accurate and throws a good deep ball. He gets rid of the ball quickly once he goes through his progressions. His footwork is solid, except when he rushes his throw and throws off his back foot. Most of the time, he does a good job of stepping up in the pocket to make his throw.
Strong lean: He committed to UCLA in March.
Others’ take: “He has arm strength, poise, he’s smart and has natural instincts. He had great production on a great team and everybody they go up against is a good team. He has good feet, but he’s not a runner. I see him more as a pro style quarterback.” — recruiting analyst Tom Lemming