By Austen Arnaud, CycloneFanatic.com Football Analyst Follow Austen on Twitter @ADArnaud4
When watching Grant Rohach’s high school tape, it is apparent that he is a very skilled signal-caller. Playing at Moorpark High in Moorpark, Calif., Rohach played against some of the best competition in the country. He went head-to-head with tradition-rich programs such as Westlake, Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure while leading his Musketeers to a 7-5 season as a senior. Rohach threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 36 touchdowns in two years as the starting quarterback. This kid definitely belongs in playing against great competition and will be a great addition to Iowa State.
When I looked deeper at Rohach as a passer, he does some really good things for a kid who is only 18-years old. First of all, he throws the ball with a nice fluid motion. The ball comes out quickly and looks natural when he releases it. Also, he has good velocity and seems have a pretty accurate arm.
When I mention being accurate, it’s not just whether it is an accurate throw. The mechanics involved in the throw have to be consistent for a quarterback to make solid throws. Rohach doesn’t seem to be lacking in the area of mechanics. You can tell that he has been well-coached over the years. Also, what struck me is the different level throws he can make as far as the trajectory of the ball is concerned. If you play quarterback, you know that there are three levels of throwing.
1 – A ball being a firm throw used for routes usually under 15 yards.
2 – A ball that has more of a loft to it than the first (but still has good velocity in order for it to travel a distance of 15-25 yards).
3 – And the 3 ball, which is your deep ball thrown with more loft and made for a receiver to run underneath it.
Rohach throws all the above well and seems to have a very good feel on which ball is needed in most situations.
As a ball carrier, Rohach is subtly quick as well. There are few snaps of him running the zone read and he runs it pretty well when he keeps the ball, but I will say his footwork in the zone read needs work. Everyone always talks about the “it” factor at quarterback and I believe Rohach has this. He makes big plays when they are needed and is not afraid to take chances.
A weakness that I noticed is his inconsistent footwork as a passer. Rohach seems to get himself into trouble at times throwing the football. The most repetitive error I continued to see was that he sometimes would close himself off from his target. Meaning, his feet would be closed off toward his target, forcing him to throw across his body against his own momentum. This is something I struggled with early in my career. It not only takes velocity off of your ball but also forces you to over compensate with your arm. The end result of this more times than not is the ball ending up low or outside of the intended target because you are pushing the ball instead of throwing it. This can be easily corrected through continuous repetition and slowing the speed of his drop, down.
Also, I noticed sometimes Grant falls away from his throws when he is on the run. However, there isn’t a young quarterback in the country who doesn’t do this. When you are throwing on the run, your body can be tricked into believing that since the body is moving so fast, you think all you need to do is flick the ball to get it there because of your momentum. That is wrong, you still need a good throwing base and a solid follow-thru to get the ball their accurately.
Overall, Grant Rohach is ahead of the curve as a quarterback in my opinion. The future can be very bright for this kid when he gets his opportunity. The problem is with the log jam at quarterback for the Cyclones, who knows when he will be called upon.
ROHACH’S BIO FROM ISU PRESS RELEASE:
High School: Three-star quarterback according to rivals.com … ranked as the 28th-best pro-style quarterback in the class of 2012 and 68th among class of 2012 prospects in California by rivals.com … first-team Ventura County Coaches Association selection … first-team All-Marmonte League honoree … threw for 1,851 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior … recorded 493 yards and five rushing touchdowns on the ground prior to senior season, was one of 24 quarterbacks invited to Elite 11 camp in Malibu, Calif. Second-team All-Marmonte League recipient … as a junior, threw for 1,868 yards and 21 total touchdowns … completed 63.5 percent of his passes in 2010 … also rushed for 331 yards and seven touchdowns … coach for the Musketeers was Tim Lins … also competed in basketball, track and field and swimming at Moorpark.