Town not down at Elite 11 Day Two

Town not down at Elite 11 Day Two

Battling a knee injury, St. Bonaventure quarterback Ricky Town didn't get the nod to be a Elite 11 participant after the Los Angeles NIKE Camp, so he traveled to Eugene (Ore.) to get an invitation to Beaverton (Ore.).

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Trojans committed quarterback Ricky Town took a road less traveled the the Elite 11 this year.

The St. Bonaventure star quarterback performed at the NIKE Camp in Los Angeles, but the event came and went without an invitation to NIKE World Headquarters.

Instead of sulking and missing a shot to compete against the best, Town packed his bags and went to Eugene to win a spot at the Elite 11 by performing at the Oregon NIKE Camp.

“It’s definitely been a journey,” said Town. “I think I was the last one invited, so it’s been a grind but it’s been fun too.

“I was just determined to be a part of this event. Growing up watching the show and know about the Elite 11 being the best of the best, I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to be an Elite 11 quarterback.

“The first time I didn’t get it, the second time I didn’t get it, but I just kept fighting for it. Now I’m here just trying to win it all.”

Whether he wins it all remains to be seen, but while some recruiting analysts are skeptical of Town’s passing tools, Scout National Recruiting Analyst Brandon Huffman has been complimentary of his performance this week in Oregon.

“He's the type of quarterback that you really can't fully appreciate in a seven-on-seven or camp environment,” said Huffman. "He has a will to win that you can't measure outside of game day.

"One thing he does do well, and I saw that from him especially today, is that he didn't force his passes. What hurts a lot of quarterbacks in this setting is that they try to show off their arm. Ricky doesn't do that.

"He measures his throws and did a great job of taking the high percentage passes and moving the ball down the field. A lot of other guys are out there going for the home run every throw.

Town is coming off a bone bruise in his knee that has hampered his performance all off season.

"Even from the Oregon NIKE Camp to now, I see that his drops are much smoother. His knee injury was on his plant leg, so is getting back in his drop and setting his feet much better than he did earlier this spring."

The Elite 11 and NIKE Camps are one of the few settings where a quarterback like Town can trade reps with other D-I quarterbacks and camp counselors from the NFL. It’s a preview of what walking into USC as a true freshman will be like next fall.

“These are the best quarterbacks in the country, so it’s good to see where you compare, let it rip and have fun,” said Town. “Competition is why we’re all here.”

Competition includes a little trash talk between quarterbacks.

“Yeah, there’s a little,” laughed Town. “I mean, especially between me and Josh (Rosen) because he’s going to UCLA.

“We’re just looking forward to being in the big time like that. We want to play in the big rivalry, but it’s fun. It’s good, competitive fun.”

When Town isn’t taking trash to put Rosen on tilt, he’s trying to help build the USC class of 2015 into a juggernaut.

“Oh for sure,” said Town. “When I committed, the coaches said, ‘Alright, time go after this guy and that guy.’

“I’m definitely talking to (Equanimeous) St. Brown, Christian Kirk and RayRay McCloud. We’re really trying to get RayRay. He went up to Rising Stars and was a really good receiver.”

Having commit to USC five months ago after being committed to Alabama last fall, Town knows exactly what to say to prospective recruits about the Trojans.

“One of the biggest things that just happened recently was that they announced four year scholarships,” said Town. “That’s huge. Also, the coaches staff is new.

“I think they’re a great coaching staff. Coach Sark did big things at Washington and I’m excited to see what he can do at USC with the athletes they have.

“We’re also coming off the sanctions, and I think we survived those extremely well. I think we're going to be deadly without those. Plus, the offense is up beat and fast. A lot of plays and everyone gets involved.

“Lastly, it’s the education. Even if football doesn’t work out, having a USC degree is life changing and it opens up a lot of doors.”

As tweeted out by Pat Haden and the USC athletic department three weeks ago, USC is granting four year scholarship offers rather than the standard scholarship offer that has to be renewed annually.

The subject has been hot with some recruits, but not with others.

“I think the majority of the athletes will so, ‘Oh well, whatever,’” said Town. “I do think that for a parent, that’s a really big deal. To have that security or fours years rather than one is a huge advantage.”

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