By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s coaches have had a terrific knack for identifying young quarterback talent. First it was Florida quarterback Mac Jones, who switched to Alabama after first committing to UK. Next it was Georgia quarterback Jarren Williams, who committed to UK but then changed to Miami.
Now it is Ft. Lauderdale junior Nik Scalzo who is the latest prep quarterback to give a verbal commitment to UK.
“I think Kentucky did a great job of evaluating how talented he is,” Drew Phillips, owner/director of the Phillips Quarterback Academy, said. “All you need to do is turn on the film to realize the kid is talented.
“I’ve been in several disputes with other schools about him (Scalzo) and the only thing they don’t like about his game is his size (5-11, 185 pounds). You see what Baker Mayfield and Johnny Manziel were able to do (in college winning the Heisman Trophy), and I believe Kentucky see’s that same magic in Nik.”
Scalzo points to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who is listed as 6-0 and has thrown for over 70,000 yards and nearly 500 touchdowns, as proof that a quarterback doesn’t have to be 6-4 or bigger to succeed even in the NFL.
“I have always been one of the shorter quarterbacks. I am playing in South Florida against Division I talent all the time. I deal with great players every year,” Scalzo said.
“I have had to develop my vision and also use my body to get out of trouble. I also like to think I am pretty smart. I can read a defense before the play happens and know what coverage they are in.
“I take a lot of pride in my pre-snap reads. Last season I didn’t have an interception until week nine, then I threw three in one game.”