Arizona has become a quarterback factory, turning out some of the state’s best dating to 1970 and Danny White.
But it has only been in the past five years where local quarterbacks have spread their wings across the country.
Let’s look at who built their way to become college starters after carving up defenses on Arizona’s high school football fields:
FOOTBALL FACTORIES: Arizona high schools producing college talent
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Arizona’s top HS football prospects – 2011
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Arizona’s top HS football prospects – 2012
Kyle Allen, Scottsdale Desert Mountain, Texas A&M
On Monday, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin named Allen his starter for the Sept. 5 opener against Arizona State in Houston. Allen took over the offense midway through last season. Winning the job this fall is even more impressive, considering Allen was up against Kyler Murray, a five-star true freshman who led Allen (Texas) to a 43-0 record and three state titles. Allen was 3-2 as a starter last season as a true freshman, with one of those wins coming at then No.3-ranked Auburn, 41-38. He was MVP of the Liberty Bowl in a comeback win over West Virginia.
Ryan Finley, Paradise Valley/Boise State
Finley, a sophomore who had a red-shirt year at Boise State, was named over the weekend as the Broncos’ starter. Finley appeared to be the front-runner since the end of last season, but Finley had to earn it in fall practices. His accuracy stood out in practices. He has game experience as a backup last season, completing 12 of 27 passes for 161 yards and two TDs.
Blake Decker, Mesa Mountain View/UNLV
A long, winding road after leaving Mountain View concludes this season in Las Vegas, where he will be in his second season leading the UNLV offense, but his first with Tony Sanchez as the head coach. The senior passed for 2,886 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, but it was the 18 interceptions that had him working hard in the off-season to cut down on the turnovers. If he can do that, he’ll take off.
Arizonans on college football rosters – 2015
Tyler Rogers, Peoria Liberty/New Mexico State
The 6-foot-3 junior will be leading the Aggies, after starting 11 games his sophomore year, passing for 2,779 yards and 19 touchdowns. He had a 404-yards game against Texas State. Rogers came out of the same class at Finley but he was lightly recruited in high school, even after being a four-year varsity starter. He started his college career at Arizona Western.
Kyren Poe, Chandler Hamilton/Northern Arizona
Poe started at NAU last season as a junior, leading the Lumberjacks to nine wins. He had more interceptions (eight) than TD passes (six) and finds himself in a three-way battle for the starting job this fall. He spent much of NAU’s latest scrimmage working with the second team.
On the cusp:
Jordan Gehrke, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep/Colorado
He is listed as the backup on Colorado’s depth chart, but he is ready if called. As a sophomore last season, the Scottsdale Community College transfer started at Oregon and played against Arizona State, USC and Arizona. A great way to get his feet wet for major-college football. He completed 20 of 44 passes for 170 yards.
Blake Kemp, Chandler Hamilton/East Carolina
Kemp was a redshirt last season after transferring from Mesa Community College. He will enter this season as the backup to Kurt Benkert, a redshirt sophomore. Kemp was at Hamilton during its 53-game winning streak and led the Huskies to a 13-1 record and part of Hamilton’s 53-game winning streak that ended in the championship game his senior year in 2011.
Bryce Perkins, Chandler/Arizona State
Perkins, a true freshman at ASU, is battling to be the backup this season but he likely will end up a redshirt. He came out of Chandler as the most successful quarterback in its school rich history, beating Hamilton three times, including the Division I championship game last year.
Connor Brewer, 6-2, 210, Scottsdale Chaparral/Virginia
Brewer, it seems, has been waiting an eternity to lead a college offense. He transferred to Virginia this summer after it appeared he was headed to Northern Arizona, after leaving Arizona, where he was buried in the depth chart last season. Brewer’s college career began at Texas. Whatever happens at Virginia, who knows. But give him an A for patience. He already has his bachelor’s degree without ever throwing a college TD pass.
Darell Garretson, 6-0, 196, Chandler/Oregon State
He won’t be playing this season because of the NCAA transfer rules. But Garretson has plenty of college experience already, starting 11 games over the past two years at Utah State.
Dalton Sneed, 6-0, 180, Horizon/UNLV
UNLV keeps going into Arizona to find quarterbacks. Blake Decker, the former Mesa Mountain View QB, is the man now. Sneed is coming in new this fall. And next year, Phoenix Mountain Pointe’s Jack Smith will be joining the Rebels after his summer commitment.
Arizonans on Pac-12 football rosters – 2015
James Sosinski, 6-6, 240, Hamilton/Massachusetts
Sosinski was starting at QB last season for Hamilton.
Brian Lewerke, 6-3, 192, Phoenix Pinnacle/Michigan State
Lewerke led Pinnacle to the state quarterfinals the last two years.
Zach Werlinger, 6-1, 192, Chandler Basha/Arizona
The redshirt freshman, much like Connor Brewer was, will have to dig his way out of a huge depth chart of QBs to find the field.
Brian Woodward, 6-3, 200, Brophy Prep/South Dakota
He started his career last year as a redshirt.
Michael Sanders, 6-3, 221, Pinnacle/Idaho State
The junior started the QB factory that has been developing at Pinnacle, preceding Lewerke.
Jordan Scelfo, 5-10, 190, Tucson Salpointe/Incarnate Word
The senior continues to grind.
Eric Prater, 6-2, 205, Lake Havasu/Montana
A freshman, Prater hopes to have a chance.
Devon Palomino, 6-4, 205, Glendale Deer Valley/San Diego
A redshirt freshman, Palomino is finding his footing.
Luke McDermott, 6-3, 181, Fountain Hills/Stetson
He is coming in as a true freshman hoping to leave his mark.
Gaven DeFilippo, 5-10, 209, Tucson Sabino/Stetson
Stetson is hoping to make Arizona a QB pipeline. DeFilippo is a sophomore.
Brad Schencker, 6-3, 215, Chaparral/Fort Hays State
Schencker followed Connor Brewer at Chaparral. Now he is battling for playing time at the Division II college as a junior.
Michael Putko, 6-0, 190, Glendale Cactus/Wabash
Putko looks to start for this Division III power as a sophomore. He played in two games as a freshman.
Adam Abbatacola, 6-4, 185, Apache Junction/Wabash
Competing for the starting job as a true freshman.
Football factories: Ranking Arizona high schools by college football players
Reach Obert at email@example.com or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert, Listen to the Which Wich High School Football Preview Show every Friday from 6-7 p.m., on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 with Dan Manucci and Richard Obert.