For area playoff passers it’s a game of inches

Mitchell’s Ezra Brennan and Tampa Bay Tech’s David Wright can improvise on a football field.

They can dissect defenses.

And they can flat-out throw a football.

What the two seniors cannot do is dodge the computer-printout prejudices colleges have when evaluating quarterbacks. After all, college programs measure quarterbacks not only by how many yards they can throw but by increments of height.

That is where they fall short. Both are just under 6 feet 1. Their height, or lack thereof, hangs over them like a dark cloud because colleges treat short quarterbacks like they have a virus.

Throughout the offseason — and most of the season — Brennan and Wright lived in maddening limbo, wondering whether a college would take a chance on him. 

Brennan, who has set nearly every school passing record, has no offers, only interest from several Division III programs.

“Everyone just looks at height,” Mustangs coach Andy Schmitz said.

Last week, Wright threw for five touchdowns against perennial powerhouse Lakeland to set the Titans’ career record for touchdown passes with 65. That total surpassed the previous record of 61 set by Michael Penix Jr., now a star at Indiana. 

The only offer for Wright so far has come from Iowa Western.

“I keep pounding the table with a college coach I know about not being the guy who passed on Rusell Wilson 2.0,” Tampa Bay Tech Jayson Roberts said, referring to Wright. 

The two quarterbacks are not alone. 

Of the eight area signal callers still in the playoffs, only two have committed to colleges — Gaither’s Kiael Kelly (Ball State) and Jesuit’s Joe Pesansky (Holy Cross) and just three have multiple offers. 

And it’s no coincidence that the three who have committed or have offers from schools at the Division I-A or I-AA level are among the tallest  — Pesansky (6-foot-4), Kelly (6-1) and Berkeley Prep’s Gavin Rupp (6-3). 

Still, being tall is not all there is, at least at the high school level.

After all, eight area quarterbacks still playing know how to win, no matter their height. 

Class 8A

Kamarii Findlay, Sr., Newsome

Height/weight: 5-9, 150

Stats: 38-of-75 for 810 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions (nine games). 

College offers: None

Class 7A

Ezra Brennan, Sr., Mitchell

Height/weight: 6-0, 170

Stats:  123-of-192 for 2,033 yards, 35 touchdowns and four interceptions. 24 carries for 237 yards and seven touchdowns (11 games). 

College offers: None

Tre Simmons, Sr., Bloomingdale

Height/weight: 6-0, 170

Stats: 134-of-232 for 2,262 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. 88 carries for 334 yards and seven touchdowns (11 games). 

College offers: Avilla, Chadron State, Findlay, Graceland, Keiser, Florida Memorial and Tusculum. 

David Wright, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech

Height/weight: 5-10, 193

Stats: 144-of-234 for 2,781 yards, 31 touchdowns and six interceptions. 86 carries for 340 yards and 11 touchdowns (11 games). 

College offer: Iowa Western

Class 6A

Kiael Kelly, Sr., Gaither

Height/weight: 6-1, 195

Stats: 102-of-156 for 1,432 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. 48 carries for 371 yards and eight touchdowns (11 games)

College offers: Committed to Ball State

Class 5A

Joe Pesansky, Sr., Jesuit

Height/weight: 6-4, 205

Stats: 134-of-208 for 2,485 yards, 29 touchdowns and five interceptions. 55 carries for 117 yards and five touchdowns (12 games). 

College offer: Committed to Holy Cross

Class 3A

Gavin Rupp, Sr., Berkeley Prep

Height/weight: 6-3, 200 

Stats: 46-of-84 for 901 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions (eight games). 

College offers: Gardner Webb, East Tennessee State and Tennessee Martin 

Class 2A

Titan Williamson, Sr., Seffner Christian

Height/weight: 6-2, 200

Stats: 157-of-272 for 1,753 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (12 games). 

College offers: LaGrange College