THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The only high school game JT Shrout ever started came during the final game of his sophomore year in 2015. He fractured his fibula in the first half, which means he’s yet to play a full game as a high school quarterback. To call Shrout, a class of 2018 prospect, a sleeper recruit would be polite. A senior at Hart High School who hails from Newhall, California, Shrout is the Rivals.com No. 91 player in California. Another recruiting service ranks him as the country’s No. 1,192nd player.
After a two-day stint of wowing NFL coaches, quarterbacks and assistants at The Quarterback Collective in July, it’s become clear that Shrout could go down as the country’s most underrated quarterback prospect. Shrout is committed to Justin Wilcox at California, but he isn’t exactly the type of commitment who has the message board denizens foaming at the mouth for his arrival.
But it’s safe to project Shrout, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound rising senior, as one of the biggest steals of the 2018 recruiting class. That was the consensus of coaches at the QB Collective, including one NFL coordinator who told Yahoo Sports that Shrout was by far the most polished prospect there. Shrout wowed all the coaches with his technical precision, polished footwork and smooth throwing motion. “I think of all the quarterbacks who were here, if I were an NFL general manager or quarterback coach, [he’d be] the guy who could step in on day one and fundamentally work within an NFL system,” said Sage Rosenfels, a longtime NFL backup who works as private quarterback coach in the Omaha area. “His drop was smooth. His fundamentals were very efficient and he throws a great ball.”
Shrout shined amid a loaded field of quarterbacks that included the country’s top 2018 prospect (Justin Fields), the top 2019 prospect (JT Daniels) and the grandiose potential of an elite 2020 prospect (DJ Uiagalelei). All are stellar and have physical advantages over the slight Shrout, but none flashed the same skill set. “He’s the beautiful, natural-looking girl with no make-up in the corner of the room,” said Rich Bartel, a former NFL quarterback who trains quarterbacks in Texas. “There will be a lot of other sexy people who walk in front of your eyes, but he’s the one you should marry in terms of quarterbacks.”