Photo by Bart Boatwright
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Opening Coach Says QB Drew Pyne "Mature Beyond His Years"

July 4, 2019

DALLAS – Drew Pyne‍ impressed just about everybody who he came in contact with during the week here for Elite 11 and The Opening finals.

So, it wasn’t much of a surprise to hear that his coach here for the week, former Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson was impressed as well.

“He’s really talented,” Johnson said of the 2020 quarterback who is committed to Notre Dame. “He really cares and he’s mature beyond his ears.”

The phrase “spinning it” has become extremely popular over the past few years when discussing quarterbacks and Johnson explained why that’s something that helps Pyne.

“The ball comes off his hand really clean,” said Johnson, who coaches with the Indianapolis Colts now. “One of the biggest signs of accuracy is the ability for the ball to spin. He spins it really well.”

The only true critique anybody has been able to lob toward Pyne this week has been arm strength, but Johnson doesn’t seem concerned.

“He’s really good in the intermediate to short game and that’s honestly what you throw most and he has enough juice to throw the deep ball,” he said. “As he gets bigger and stronger, he’ll do an even better job throwing the deep ball.”

But while those observing Pyne on the field throughout the week have been impressed, it’s the people who have spent time close to him and with him behind the scenes who have been impressed the most.

“Really, it’s been off the field,” Johnson explained. “He’s a leader. The guys have really taken well to him.”

Johnson believes Brian Kelly and the Irish are getting a talented player who fits their offense “really well.”

“They’re getting a really, really mature 17 or 18-year-old,” he said. “At the quarterback position, if a kid’s that mature, he’s got a shot.

“I know they’re going to want somebody who makes good decisions and how mature he is and how serious he is about work. He’s going to make good decisions and he’s going to be accurate. At the end of the day, with the guys who are going to be going to Notre Dame, if they can make a decision and get the ball in their athlete’s hands, they’ve got a chance to win.”

For Pyne, Johnson said the biggest area for him to improve is “just getting bigger, faster and stronger.”

“But at the same time, that’s what most 17-year-olds need to do. The coolest thing is I think he knows there are things to work on. In this setting, he’s been super eager to learn and that’s all you can really ask for. In college, there’s a huge growth from 17 to 22 and it’s the kids who are open to that coaching. I know Coach Kelly is going to do a heckuva job with him. I think they’re getting a good player.”

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