Quarterback transfers growing trend on prep landscape

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Transfer seems to be the theme for high school quarterbacks this offseason.

Come the fall ...

■Jairus Grissom leaves Dearborn Heights Robichaud for River Rouge.

■Dwan Mathis leaves Belleville for Oak Park.

■Jahz Watts leaves Ypsilanti Community for Belleville.

■Caden Prieskorn leaves Lake Orion for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

■Ladarius Jefferson leaves East Marion High (Columbia, Miss.) for Muskegon.

“There are a lot of reasons kids transfer, and it’s not the kid that transfers himself,” Belleville coach Jermain Crowell said. “A parent felt he had a better opportunity either in football or feels the school is better academically. Every place is not for everybody and you don’t want them to stay if they don’t want to be there because that causes more problems than it’s worth.

“Social media is what changed things. Folks believe what is out there on Twitter. I don’t like kids transferring, but I don’t want to deal with parents who don’t want their kids here, don’t believe in what we’re doing because that poisons and corrupts the whole team.”

Grissom leads the pack, though.

A three-star senior, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Grissom is a dual-threat quarterback who has received several verbal offers — among them Houston, N.C. State, Syracuse, Purdue, Indiana, Rutgers and multiple Mid-America schools.

Grissom accounted for 39 total touchdowns last season as Robichaud reached the Division 5 district championship. He threw for 2,624 yards and 25 touchdowns, and rushed for 700 yards and 14 scores.

“It’s a better environment for me, more of a family atmosphere,” said Grissom, who who has a 2.8 grade-point-average. “We run the spread at River Rouge and I like play-action. My strength is how I can see the field, my pocket presence and how I can throw on the run.”

Mathis, who received offers from Akron and Cincinnati before his freshman season, wanted to get more time at quarterback after playing multiple positions last year.

“Playing time at quarterback was the biggest factor,” the 6-3, 185-pound Mathis said. “I played quarterback about 35 percent of the time last year.”

It also helps that the sophomore has an offensive line that can protect him — Michigan-bound tackle JaRaymond Hall (6-5, 275), four-star junior guard Marquan McCall (6-4, 320), senior center Patrick Riley (6-1, 295), sophomore guard Andrew Elly, and freshman tackle Justin Rogers (6-4, 270).

McCall has offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi and Penn State, and Rogers has an offer from Kentucky.

As for Watts, all he did last season was throw for 339 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-24 victory over Division 3 state runner-up Chelsea and 317 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-40 loss to Monroe.

Prieskorn, a 6-5 junior, threw for 800 yards and eight touchdowns at Lake Orion last season.

Then there’s Jefferson, who grew up in Muskegon. At 6-1 and 210, he also plays linebacker and is getting interest from multiple schools, including Virginia Tech.


Twitter: @DavidGoricki