Recruiting season is getting to the critical point right now with signing day right around the corner, and Syracuse looks like it might have a few fires to put out with the departure of ace recruiter George McDonald, who is headed to NC State. But among the prospects Syracuse will be looking to hang onto is Eric Dungey, a signal caller from Oregon who, with the number of questions swirling around the quarterback position, could find himself in an open competition as soon as he gets on campus.

Prospect Info: 
#2 QB Eric Dungey –Lakeridge High School  – Lake Oswego, OR
6’4, 200lbs
Offers from – Syracuse, Air Force, Brown, Colorado State, Harvard, Montana State, Navy, Nevada, UNLV, Wyoming, Yale

Tale of the Tape

One of the most important positions to “hit” on in college football recruiting is the Quarterback position.  If you don’t have a field general who can run the offense effectively, the defense’s job gets a lot easier.  Syracuse went down to Lake Oswego, Oregon to snag the #1 rated Quarterback in the state, Eric Dungey.   I had the privilege of sitting down with one of the best Quarterback’s I’ve ever played with, SUNY Cortland’s record breaking signal caller, Ray Miles, to watch Eric’s tape.  Ray had NFL looks out of Division III Cortland, and could be a name many Syracuse area residents know very well in the future, as he may be suiting up for the Syracuse Strong arena football organization very soon.  Ray had lots of positive comments about Eric’s tape and we had very similar thoughts on Eric’s skill set.  There’s a lot to be excited when looking at his tape.

Let’s take a look at some highlights from Eric Dungey. 

:15 mark – Right off the bat we see what makes Eric an effective Quarterback.  When a QB has the ability to cause damage with his legs, it gives the defense something else to be accountable for.  When you have multiple things to be accountable for on the defensive side, you can have breakdowns.  Breakdowns lead to big plays and big plays lead to more points on the scoreboard, thus completing the circle of life.  Eric runs the read option in this play, which has been taking the game of football by storm over the past 5 years.  He makes a wonderful read on a linebacker shedding a block and decides to keep the ball, where he gets to the second level very quickly.  We then see his exceptional mobility and field vision.  He makes a few quality cuts that spring him for a touchdown.  For being 6’4 and 200 lbs, Eric possess great speed at the QB position.  While there are no published numbers for his 40 yard dash (we haven’t even seen his senior tape yet), I would guess he runs in the 4.6 range.  Syracuse has ran a lot of read option over the past two years, which could make Eric a favorite of Offensive Coordinator Tim Lester. 
2:17 mark – Let’s take a look at two things that are consistent throughout Eric’s highlight tape that you can see well on this clip.  Take a look at where Eric holds the football while he is dropping back.  He has great footwork, but he holds the ball low in the pocket, which takes him close to a second when bringing the ball back higher before he releases the ball. This is a wasted motion that causes him to be late on some of his throws.  There are a number of clips throughout the highlight where Eric throws behind the receiver or is late while throwing across the middle of the field.  At the next level, those throws turn into interceptions quickly.  A kiss of death for a Quarterback is throwing late across the middle.

We also see in this highlight a trend of locking on the receiver he is throwing to.  While there are some nice plays in this highlight that show Eric progressing through his reads, he often locks into his primary target, and if the pass is not there, he escapes the pocket.  It’s almost as he’s thinking with his feet rather than his mind.  While this works for Eric because he shows very good instincts, progressing through reads are an important skill for a Quarterback to keep developing as they get older and more mature.  I have no doubt Eric will increase these skills when he gets to the hill, as many college Quarterbacks show these traits coming out of High School.
2:38 mark – This is quite possible my favorite play on the whole highlight and is a play that shows a lot of promise for this Quarterback.  On the drop back, Eric shows great weight distribution throughout his lower body.  He notices the cornerback covering his primary target has his back to the play, and zips the ball back shoulder to his wide receiver for the touchdown.  This throw was a play you see on Sundays.  The football IQ displayed here is promising and very impressive for a then High School junior to have made.

3:00 mark – We see a lot of throwing on the run from Eric in his highlight, which is a definitely a strength of his.  On this play, we see what his ball looks like when everything is lined up perfectly.  When I say “lined up perfectly”, this means his ball positioning is good, his mechanics are sound, his foot is forward, and he is following all the way through the throw.  When these things all line up, Eric throws a ball with high velocity, probably the best in throughout his highlight tape.  This is important, because this shows that he has the arm strength needed to become a sound pocket passer – which would add another valuable tool in his tool-set.  While Eric shows good arm-strength throughout the highlight clip, he definitely can increase it with proper mechanics.

3:32 mark – Here is another NFL quality throw by Eric.  Many football coaches say one of the hardest throws a QB has to make is a 15-20 yard out.  When you add throwing across the hash to this, it becomes even more difficult.  Here we see Eric drop back on the right hash, set his feet, and throw the ball 35 yards ACROSS THE HASH to hit his receiver on the outside shoulder for a touchdown.  If you watched any of the NFL playoff games this past weekend, you saw many quarterbacks throw the ball out of bounds on throws similar to this.  The throw that young Dungey makes in this clip gets me very excited for him to be wearing orange.

4:25 mark – The last play we look at is a throw that many think is a simple pass to complete, when in all reality it’s quite more difficult than you think.  If you guessed that I’m talking about the fade, you would be correct.  It involves accuracy, timing, and placement to complete.  In this clip, Eric makes the fade look easy (as he does with all his fade throws).  This is a great weapon to have inside the 10 yard line, which could help Syracuse get better with their red zone problems they suffered this past season.   

Final Analysis

Strengths – Eric possess great size and good speed at the quarterback position.  You can’t teach height, and Eric has plenty of it.  He shows very good strength when getting away from pass rushers and breaking tackles in the open field.  He makes some very good throws and does a nice job at keeping his eyes down field when things breakdown in the backfield. This is an important trait for a Quarterback to have.  He has great instincts with good (which can be great) arm strength – and can really spin the ball on the run.    

Areas of Improvements – As I mentioned above, his mechanics do need some work, but that will be taken care of when getting on campus and working with a college level coaching staff.  If he can keep the ball higher on his drops, the wasted motion will be eliminated and help his throws.  He will need to continue to work on his progressions and getting through his second and third reads.  With better mechanics and no wasted motions, he can show better accuracy in hitting his receivers in stride.  His work in the pocket will be key to him progressing as a Division 1 starting Quarterback, as the pocket will be faster and louder at the next level.

In conclusion, Eric is rated 3 stars across the board by the recruiting websites, and I think that’s a respectable rating for Eric.  Eric shows a lot of positive attributes you want in your Quarterback.  He isn’t afraid to take what the defense is giving to him, he isn’t afraid to make certain throws, and he even delivers a cleat cleaning block when blocking for his running back down field.  There’s lots of potential in Eric Dungey, and it’s easy to see why Syracuse pushed so quickly for a commitment. Here’s hoping there aren’t any PAC-12 schools that come calling at the last minute, because Eric could be in some serious contention to start after a redshirt freshmen year at Syracuse University. 

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