2016 Recruiting Breakdown – Quarterback

The Recruits

Zach Buchan – QB – 6’3″ 192 – NCAA transfer via Kennesaw State U – Dawson County HS [Dawsonville GA]

The Breakdown

The Gryphons return 3 quarterbacks for the 2016 season including the starter of all 11 games in 2015, James Roberts. A sophomore, Roberts completed 206 of 346 passing attempts and 19 touchdowns. The only other QB who threw more than two passes was Alex Skinner and he was only with the team for 3 games.

Theo Landers dressed for 8 regular season and playoff games as a freshman. His most extensive action was in the preseason game at Manitoba. He became the holder for FGs and converts as the season went on. The other freshman QB was David Luke. He won the Offensive Scout Team P-o-Yr award.

The Outlook

With only three inexperienced QBs on the roster for most of 2015 the Gryphons made out pretty well. An injury to Roberts mid-season could have been disastrous. Roberts now looks like a veteran heading into just his 3rd year. Landers and Luke gained some valuable experience. Guelph is in a much better position with respect to quarterbacking this year than last.

My Thoughts

His commitment came out of left field last winter but I really like the addition of Zach Buchan. I believe he has the talent to immediately increase the level of competition among the quarterbacks. He played in a different type of offense in Georgia and he has never played 12-man football but I don’t expect it will take long for him to get up to speed. He did move to Guelph in late July and joined the team in their off-season workouts.

As I said a week ago Buchan comes in with solid throwing mechanics and footwork. He is well ahead of the typical Canadian high school QB recruit in that way. Not having to correct too many things will speed his development. A solid student who will study Mechanical Engineering, I doubt he will have any trouble learning the playbook.

I don’t think there is any question that James Roberts, barring injury, will be the starter throughout this season. I do hope that there is plenty of competition behind him and some pressure on him from Landers and Buchan. I  hope we don’t have a repeat of last year where one QB is throwing 346 out of the 360 passes attempted. In order to keep Roberts fresh and develop the younger QBs it would be better to see the workload shared a lot more.

Recruit Profiles

QB recruit BuchanZach Buchan – QB – 6’3″ 192 – NCAA transfer via Kennesaw State U – Dawson County HS [Dawsonville GA]

  • A Canadian (or dual citizen) who has been outside the country for more than a decade. Buchan attended a Cambridge, ON elementary school in his primary years.
  • He still has an aunt and uncle living in Kitchener.
  • His earliest QB instruction, back when he was still in middle school, came from Rush Probst of Colquitt County HS. Propst has built powerhouse high school teams in Georgia and Alabama and gained national notoriety through the MTV series Two-A-Days, which chronicled the 2005 and 2006 seasons of his Hoover, Alabama team.
  • Buchan became the starting QB at Dawson County HS in his junior year. He was an All Region Honourable Mention selection at QB. The 1st Team QB on the All Region team was this year’s leading Heisman candidate DeShawn Watson of Clemson.
  • Buchan’s 2013 performance brought him recruiting attention from two dozen NCAA FBS & FCS teams. He was among a select group of young QBs who received several hours of personal coaching from Mark Richt and Mike Bobo at a Univ. of Georgia football camp.
  • A summertime injury to a finger on his throwing hand ended up derailing his senior season. He had surgery on the finger twice during the season and only started 3 games at QB. In several other games he played Safety and kicked field goals. He was his team’s leading tackler in one game.
  • Buchan received a scholarship offer from Kennesaw State. He was on the Owls scout team in 2015. The situation wasn’t what he wanted and he researched CIS football programs before contacting Guelph back in January.
  • In the spring and summer Buchan was working out with a group of college quarterbacks and receivers in the North Georgia area including Watson.

Buchan’s HUDL highlights.

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