Recruit Focus: James Pensyl

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

James Pensyl

3 Star (5.4)
HT: 6′ 6″
WT: 205
POS: Quarterback
HOMETOWN: Land O’Lakes, FL

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Quarterback
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Sean Mannion, Matt Moore

– Great decision making ability
– Strong arm with decent velocity on deep passes
– Accurate to all areas of the field
– Throws a very ‘catchable’ ball
– Accurate when throwing on the run
– Athletic enough to extend plays
– Moves well in the pocket and has decent footwork
– Very quick release (especially for his height)
– Compact throwing motion
– Overall feel of athleticism.  Seems quick in drops, light on feet and quick on release
– Current offense uses him in the pocket a lot, so familiarity with working within those constraints.

– Very thin frame
– Deep balls can float a bit and sail on him
– No top end Division I speed

Today, i felt I should interrupt my previous schedule of big guy reviews to take a look at the Beavers’ latest commitment, James Pensyl.  As I have often said, the farther from offensive line you get the less I know, but there are a few things I think about when I look at Quarterbacks.

First of all, Pensyl threw for 22 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions last year.  That is a good indicator of his decision making in games, but even in his film you can see he knows where to go with the ball.

While relatively unknown in recruiting, James has a solid arm, fitting somewhere between Matt Moore and Derek Anderson.  He is not the flame thrower Anderson was, but has solid velocity on the ball.  One thing I like is that he is position appropriate with his passes.  Like Mannion, he can zip it in to tight spaces on the goal line (see 1:57 on this film) when needed, but he also has a nice touch to running backs out of the backfield.  Even his deep passes range from nose down bullets at the 20 – 30 yard range (3:21) or floaters that drop into the receivers hands on deep break away balls (3:37).

Throughout his film you will see a lot of plays where he moves in the pocket or rolls out and still manages to make accurate throws.  When possible he will stop his run and set up on his throws, something that is unusual in the film I see. Many QB’s instinctively just throw it on the run and don’t take the additional step of setting up. James seems to do this a lot and gets great results when he does. If you watch his Elite 11 film, you can see that he looks pretty quick and athletic in his drop and his throwing motion has some snap to it.  I like that he is not doing  a slow, windmill on his passes, but he does get a little bit sideways on his release.  At 6’6 and still growing, the fact that he releases it about six inches above his head is going to be high enough to avoid a lot of batted balls.

While he is very thin, I don’t think he is fragile. Watching him run on his highlight film I doesn’t seem to be scared of contact.  He will need to get stronger and sturdier to take the grind of Division I football, especially since he doesn’t have elite speed.  James is athletic enough to avoid rushes and roll out well, like Tony Pike from Cincinnati in 2009, but he is not going to pull away for 70 yard runs. If he can add some muscle weight and work on his strength and speed a bit, he will be quick enough to get the job done.  The one thing I like about Pensyl is that for a tall guy with long levers, he feels quick. He doesn’t take forever in his drops and his passing motion is quick and fluid.  That will only improve with work and Garrett seems to be a good guy to do this.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that when Pensyl comes to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 2-year starter at Quarterback.  I think he is better than most of the pundits I have seen, and think he will make a run later in his career.  With Del Rio, Vanderveen, Kempt, McMaryion and Mitchell in the fold, there is not a lot of playing time early.  Every year you want to come back and recruit better, so Pensyl’s window might be small for playing time. That being said, I really like him as a prospect, feel he is very much of that Mannion and Moore mold and if he can pick up the offense quickly could be a surprise.  He will have his work cut out for him though, and I expect he will redshirt his first year and fight for the backup roll in his second and third years.

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