VX Blog: Marcos de Niza QB Josh Eckley returning to the radar
The summer was certainly a good one for a couple prominent East Valley high school quarterbacks.
Desert Mountain’s Kyle Allen wowed coaches and scouts at camps, earning the title as the best quarterback in the country by Scout.com. The first-team All-Tribune selection had his pick of colleges and chose Texas A&M, hoping to be the successor to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Saguaro’s Luke Rubenzer also proved himself at prestigious events, earning a scholarship offer from California which he quickly accepted.
Marcos de Niza quarterback Josh Eckley put up impressive numbers last season as a junior (2,601 yards passing, 562 yards rushing, 31 total TD) and helped lead the Padres to the Division II state semifinals. He may not be a quarterback in college, but his athleticism certainly seems on par with several other players from around the East Valley who have gained scholarship offers. Eckley, though, couldn’t afford to showcase himself at camps over the summer, and now must prove his worth on the field.
“He just doesn’t have the resources to hit up the Rivals camps,” Marcos de Niza coach Roy Lopez said. “It takes money to get out of town. He’s an incredible athlete. I’m not being biased. He’s our own athlete but you’ve seen him play. He’s up there, where you say, ‘Wow, that’s one of the best athletes in the state.’”
The Padres lost Paul Elvira, Mauriece Lee and Priest Willis to graduation while Dominique Fenstermacher and Kamron Johnson both transferred. Eckley is the only known quantity on offense, and a big year on the field won’t just help the team but his own future as well.