JACKSONVILLE – Last year, Gavin Screws left the DeBartolo Sports QB Challenge disappointed by not making the finals.
On Sunday, the 2019 Baldwin quarterback redeemed himself and took full advantage of the opportunity by winning the 2018 QB Challenge.
The 6’1”, 199-pounder notched the best overall score of any passer with 45 points. He went onto the Final 8 and won it with a score 27 points, beating out 2020 Christ Church’s Ben Anderson and 2019 Ponte Vedra’s Jack Murrah, who each had 26 points.
“This year, I made the finals and wound up having the best score in the qualifications, so I said to myself “I made this, so I got to win it now because I’m already here.”, Screws said. “It was a pretty cool experience winning it.”
Screws trains with DeBartolo Sports quarterback instructor Ryan Walker often. The 26-year-old Walker played college football at Jacksonville and Florida International before suiting up professionally for the Florida Tarpons in what is now called American Arena League.
Walker ran the entire event along with experienced coaches including former Michigan star quarterback and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (VIDEO). Walker puts his quarterbacks through rigorous training and always finds ways to help them on and off the field.
Working with Walker is something that Screws values. He says last year, his only true strength at the challenge was in the Accuracy Drill.
“Training with coach Walker, we actually worked a couple of these drills,” Screws said. “The one thing I felt like I needed improvement with was my throwing on the run.”
In terms of how an event like this helps his game, Screws said it betters his fundamental skills.
“It is all fundamentals. Fundamentals are the base of your play on Friday night’s and whenever you are play. Coach Walker has really helped with my fundamentals,” Screws said. “He’s shortened up with my loads and get the ball out quicker. He’s helped me adjust my arm angles through the defensive line.”
Currently, the junior has three offers on his plate from Southern Mississippi, South Alabama and Troy.
Screws says coaches from Troy and Southern Miss contact him on a day to day basis.
He’s drawn interest from other Division I programs including USF and Rutgers as of late.
Screws plans to attend a spring practice at Ole Miss and the junior day at South Alabama here soon.
On top of his hard work and dedication on the football field, Screws pitches in on the Baldwin basketball team as a sharpshooter. He says basketball helps him with more aspects than just staying in shape.
“Basketball is kind of like boxing, it translates to every sport that you play. It helps with your quickness, hand-eye coordination, jumping ability, explosiveness and conditioning,” he said. “I feel like that quickness helps me in the pocket, so I can escape easier.”
Screws is looking to improve his arm strength and accuracy right now. He says wants to change the city and put Baldwin on the map in Class 3A ball.
Always having fun and smiling, the laid back Screws is a really good kid who works his butt off. He had a tremendous day at this year’s challenge which was highlighted by the finals win and a day-high 59 yard throw on the Long Ball.
— DeBartolo Sports (@DeBartoloSportU) February 25, 2018
—Event photos can be viewed here: 2018 Challenge Photos
Top Performers by Grade:
Gavin Screws – Baldwin High School
The leader in points on the day with 45, Screws used a 14-point finish on the Accuracy Throws, nine-point score on the Long Ball, eight-point score on the Rapid Fire and eight-point showing on the Escape Throws to propel him into the final. The 6’1″, 199-pounder led all of the finalists on the Andrew Luck Drill with 16 points. He was also one of four quarterbacks to score four points on the Moving Target Drill.
Jack Murrah– Ponte Vedra High School
With an overall score of 41 points, Murrah ranked near the top in many of the drills. He had the second-best Accuracy Throw showing (12 points) behind only Screws. The 6’0″, 205-pounder tied for the lead on the Fade Throws (11 points) and Long Ball (nine points). His best long ball was 56 yards. Murrah led all finalists in the Gauntlet Drill with 15 points and finished fourth in the Andrew Luck Drill with 11 points.
Ben Anderson – Christ’s Church Academy
Compiling an overall score of 36 points, Anderson led his class with seven points on the Escape Throws, 10 points on the Accuracy Throws and 11 points on the Fade Throws. His best Long Ball was 43 yards. The 5’9″, 143-pounder had 14 points on the Andrew Luck Drill and eight points on the Gauntlet Drill in the finals. Anderson was also one of four quarterbacks to score four points on the Moving Target Drill.
Quaid Gardner – Palm Harbor University
A score of 32 points helped Gardner move into the finals. The 6’1″, 165-pounder tied Anderson for the top score on the Accuracy Throws with 10 points. Gardner also had eight points on the Fade Throws and six points on the Long Ball. His best long ball of 49 yards ranked second to only Fletcher’s Devon Lingle (55 yards) for the 2020 class. Gardner had 12 points on the Andrew Luck Drill in the finals, ranking third among the Top 8 guys.
Will Carn – St. Joseph Academy
Consistency was on Carn’s side in the Escape Throws, Accuracy Throws and Fade Throws as he penciled in a score of nine points for each. The 5’10”, 149-pounder had the top score of any 2021 passer with 36 points. Carn’s best part of the finals came in the Andrew Luck Drill when he notched 10 points.
Kyle Lee – Yulee High School
The reigning champion generated 34 points to advance in his class. Lee, a 6’1″, 187-pounder compiled the best performance on the Fade Throws (11 points) with two other finalists, Ben Anderson and Jack Murrah. Lee scored eight points on both the Escape Throws and Long Ball. His best long ball was 50 yards, which placed second to only St. John’s Country Day’s Max Monroe (51 yards) in his class. Lee finished in third with scores of 12 points on the Andrew Luck drill and 11 points on the Gauntlet Drill in the finals.
Sean Anderson – Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School
The 5’4″, 110-pounder was the smallest passer on the day, but he put in the work. Anderson tied for the most points on the Escape Throws (7) and on the Accuracy Throws (8). He recorded the second-best fade throw score (9). He tied with C.J. Sims in the incoming freshman with an overall score of 29.
C.J. Simms – Jefferson Middle School
Proving to be the strongest armed 2022 quarterback, Sims added nine points on the Long Ball with a best ball of 56 yards. He tied Anderson with eight points on the Accuracy Throws. The 6’0″, 158-pounder notched eight points on the Gauntlet Drill in the Final 8 competition which was third-best among the quarterbacks.
Other top performers:
Longest Throw – Baldwin’s Gavin Screws (59 yards)
Note: The 2019 quarterback led all quarterbacks with 45 points overall. Ponte Vedra’s Jack Murrah (41 points) and Marathon’s Ben Anderson (38 points) were the next closest.
Most Accurate – Baldwin’s Gavin Screws led the way with 14 points. Last year, he recorded 13 points in this area.
Fade Throw – Ponte Vedra’s Jack Murrah, Christ’s Church’s Ben Anderson & Yulee’s Kyle Lee tied for most points on the fade throw with 11 each.
The Final 8 was beyond competitive. Here’s a look at some of the action from our guys Class 2018-2022.
— DeBartolo Sports (@DeBartoloSportU) February 25, 2018
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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