BEAVERTON, Ore. - Trent Dilfer and the rest of the Elite 11 coaching staff saw enough from DeShone Kizer to invite the 2014 Notre Dame quarterback commit here to participate in the showcase event, but they still want to see more from the Ohio native.
“DeShone is off the charts in the subjective stuff; the competitive stuff, the trainability,” Dilfer said after Sunday’s session.
“He is struggling with some mechanics that we tried to fix in Columbus (at the Nike Football Training Camp). We have the tools to fix it, he’s just not feeling it yet.”
Dilfer is planning to sit down with Kizer and show him what he’s talking about mechanically on film. The former NFL quarterback believes the source of Kizer’s mechanical flaws is actually a positive.
“It’s because he’s an all-sport athlete, which I love by the way,” said Dilfer. “I love the fact that Notre Dame gets a guy that’s going to get so much better once he gets this cleaned up. He’d be the first to tell you that he’s been inconsistent.”
Kizer and the other 17 quarterbacks here have not only had the chance to learn from Dilfer and his staff, but also from current college quarterbacks like San Diego State’s David Fales, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Devin Gardner of Michigan and Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
“I’m learning a lot from some great coaches and learning from my own peers who are also going through the same thing,” Kizer said. “Each coach finds something different in me. Lately, it’s been a lot about my shoulders and keeping my shoulders level. That’s kind of a small adjustment.”
He believes he’s starting to grasp the new mechanics.
“I think from yesterday to today, that it’s definitely gotten a lot better and hopefully I can continue to do that with each session and eventually it’ll make me more successful,” he said.
“Other than that, they’re telling me I have a really fast motion and a really good arm, but it’s going to be the feet that are going to help the arm be even quicker and make even better throws. As long as I continue to learn from these guys and continue to work hard, hopefully I can make the Elite 11 and eventually win MVP.”
Dilfer believes Kizer definitely has that kind of potential, but needs to show more consistency.
“His good is awesome, unfortunately, his bad has been bad,” said Kizer. “It doesn’t mean he’s out of it, but he’s a guy who needs to be more consistent to get the most out of this week.”
Dilfer isn’t sure Kizer can fully correct his mechanics this week, but he can start.
“In a short period of time, we can give him the tools and he’s showing the ability to change at times,” he said. “It’s just not ironed in. The change hasn’t been stamped yet.”
But Dilfer isn’t concerned about Kizer’s long-term prospects at all.
“Oh no,” he said. “It’s an easy fix over time.”
At this point, Dilfer identified six quarterbacks ahead of the rest, uncommitted Sean White, Miami commit Brad Kaaya, Purdue pledge David Blough, Vanderbilt commit K.J. Carta-Samuels, Clemson pledge DeShaun Watson and Kyle Allen, who is headed to Texas A&M.
“Right now, if you put a gun to my head, I know those guys would make the 11.”