Basha High now has top dual-threat QB in Class of 2017

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                </div>  The Basha High School football team now has the No. 1 college prospect in the country under center. No, the Bears didn’t just acquire Ryan Kelley.  The 6’3″, 180-pound […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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The Basha High School football team now has the No. 1 college prospect in the country under center.

No, the Bears didn’t just acquire Ryan Kelley.  The 6’3″, 180-pound quarterback has been putting up big numbers at the Chandler school the last couple of years.  But the recruiting services have begun taking a closer look at him.

Kelley is a four-star college prospect who was a top-five pro-style passer when he committed to play for Oregon after graduation next year.  But ESPN has re-evaluated his ranking in the Class of 2017 and decided he rated higher as a dual-threat quarterback – and now lists him as the top 2017 prospect at that position.

If you look at his numbers, it’s apparent why he was re-evaluated.  Besides throwing for nearly 6,000 yards over the last two years – 3,108 as a sophomore and 2,606 this season – he also averages five yards a carry when his number is called for the run.  He picked up 459 yards rushing this season.

Arizona State was reportedly included in his top five college considerations before he announced his decision to go with the Ducks in a packed Basha’s gym last Nov. 12.  The Sun Devil program lost out on a prized recruit right in their own back yard, but they were in good company.  In picking Oregon, Kelley also turned down dozens of other offers, including those from some of the nation’s top-tier programs like Michigan State, Nebraska, UCLA and Texas A&M.

He said at the time that he liked the small-town, collegiate atmosphere he found in Eugene during his recruiting visit. But maybe he also liked the idea of being less of an insider at Oregon since the Ducks’ roster already includes a handful of Arizona graduates.

At one point, it looked like ASU might get another shot at bringing him to Tempe when Oregon’s offensive coordinator Scott Frost, who was the point man in his recruitment, left the program to become Central Florida’s head coach.  But Kelley didn’t waver, feeling he had also made a connection with head coach Mark Helfrich.  So that window of opportunity closed very quickly.

Kelley was ranked this season as the top QB in the state by azcentral sports.  That likely won’t change as the 2016 season gets underway.  But, hopefully, his team’s success will follow.  So far, the Bears haven’t been able to ride his dual-threat talents to a higher level.

Basha went 8-5 in his sophomore season, but fell off this past season when it finished 4-7.

The Bears finished the 2015 schedule by losing four of their final five games, including a first-round loss in the state tournament to Centennial High.  But those five games were the toughest part of their schedule and included traditional powers Hamilton High, Chandler High, and Brophy Prep.

Next season, much will be expected of the youngster who earned ESPN’s respect.  We’ll just have to wait and see if he can translate that into more than four wins.

(Photo: Scout.com)