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July 28, 2011

QBs benefit from summer 7-on-7

MORE: Hoover 7-on-7 page | Choosing sides

HOOVER, Ala. -- Brendan Nosovitch, a senior quarterback from Allentown (Pa.) Central Catholic, took a snap, drifted back and floated the ball down the right sideline.

He attempted another pass on the next play.

The again on the one after that. And the one that followed.

On the next series, Nosovitch threw on every play. Ditto for the subsequent possession.

At last week's National Select 7-on-7 Championships, this high frequency of passing wasn't rare; it was standard stuff. And that is why quarterbacks from across the land, from those with BCS-conference offers to those not as highly regarded, seem to love it.

After all, what signal caller doesn't like throwing the football?

"It's not like a complete simulation of a game, but it's still really beneficial for the precision of the quarterback," said Nosovitch, a three-star South Carolina commit.

How much work does a quarterback get in an event such as the National Select 7-on-7?

According to Ed Printz, his son, 2013 quarterback Eddie Printz of Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter, threw 20 to 25 passes per game in the event. Over three days, Lassiter played 14 games, he said. That means the younger Printz, one of Georgia's top junior prospects, attempted somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 passes while in Hoover.

Football, 7-on-7-style, benefits quarterbacks, and their teams, in different ways.

"It's a good way to get chemistry, to get timing," said receiver Kevin Gulyas, Nosovitch's teammate at Allentown Central Catholic. "It's made a huge difference with our passing game. We led or league in passing last year. We made a huge jump from 2009."

For quarterback Nick Schuessler of Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, 7-on-7 has helped him make the transition from the Wing-T to the spread, which likely means he'll be throwing more than in 2010, when he estimated he attempted about 100 passes .

"This probably helps QBs the most," Schuessler said. "You work on timing so much. Last year, we didn't throw that much, so it's something we had to work on. Normally, we'd just do play action and then throw the ball long. Now, we do intermediate stuff and shorter routes."

For Scotty Hosch, quarterback at Georgia's North Gwinnett, 7-on-7 has provided him an opportunity to get more comfortable in his role as the team's full-time starter. A year ago, he split reps with C.J. Uzomah, who signed with Auburn in February as a tight end.

"The big thing for me is that I get more work with my receivers," Schuessler said. "We get so many reps, in practice and in games."

Those interviewed in Hoover claim 7-on-7 isn't just about timing. It's about facilitating the growth of a quarterback.

"Seeing the zone defense helps the quarterback," said Tim McGorry, Nosovitch's QB coach at Allentown Central. "It helps them get their reads down. More than anything, it helps with the mental part. He's changing routes, he's understanding coverages. [Nosovitch] has taken a giant step forward this summer."

Those who discount a quarterback's performance in 7-on-7 play typically point to one thing: the fact there aren't any linemen making life uncomfortable for the signal caller. While he understands that point of view, Ed Printz, who also coaches 7-on-7, still sees plenty of value in it.

"It's a great way to learn a system and go through reads without having any worries about lines coming down on you," Printz said. "Does it mean something? Sure it does. Football is not a one-dimensional game. You've got the rushing game, the passing game, and then you've got play action. This isn't the end all be all, but it does help someone hone their skills. And it helps them be able to walk up and read a defense."

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kneebs01@aol.com. You can follow him on Twitter @KeithRIVALS.





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