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Football Preview: Top 10 quarterbacks for the 2018 season

Naperville Central quarterback Payton Thorne tops the list of the area's best quarterbacks. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

The Chicago Sun-Times preps team is busy previewing the upcoming football season. A big part of that is the annual preseason Super 25 rankings. In addition to analyzing the teams themselves, we’re ranking the top players at several key positions. One of those is quarterback. Here is a look at the area’s top ten quarterbacks for the 2018 season.

1. Payton Thorne, Naperville Central, Sr. (6-2, 170)

Western Michigan recruit. Thorne passed for 2,200 yards and 33 touchdowns as a junior. He puts the ball in the sweet spot for his receivers and is calm and collected. His experience and ability makes him one of the best quarterbacks in the state.

Simeon quarterback Alante Brown is one of the area’s best quarterbacks. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Simeon quarterback Alante Brown is one of the area’s best quarterbacks. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

2. Alante Brown, Simeon, Sr. (5-11, 170)

Michigan State recruit. Brown is so athletic that he can take a hopeless situation and consistently turn it into a big yardage gain. He can play in many slots on the field but is expected to start at quarterback for the Wolverines.

3. Carson Ochsenhirt, New Trier, Sr. (5-10, 175)

A true dual threat quarterback that can also play safety and receiver. Ochsenhirt often defaults to the run first, but he has big play capability. He shared time as the starter last season, but is expected to be the full-time starter this fall.

4. Sebastian Castro, Richards, Sr. (6-1, 200)

Iowa recruit. Castro is very good on both sides of the ball, he could have ended up on the list of best defensive players. He has good field vision and a high football IQ. He is expected to be a major contributor for a Bulldogs squad that should be one of the area’s best teams.

Marist’s Mike Markett throws a pass in practice. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.
Marist’s Mike Markett throws a pass in practice. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.

5. Mike Markett, Marist, Sr. (6-0, 180)

Put up major numbers last season with more than 2,100 yards and 25 touchdowns for the Class 8A quarterfinalists. Markett has always had a strong arm and good field vision but he’s improved quite a bit over the offseason. He has a very talented group of receivers to throw to, so expect big things.

6. Austin Martineau, Grayslake North, Sr. (6-3, 185)

A three year starter for Grayslake North, Martineau has been a quiet weapon for the Knights. He recorded 21 touchdowns and 1,600 passing yards last season. He’s comfortable and collected in the pocket and keeps his feet moving and can throw the long ball. An athlete to keep an eye on.

7. Matt McGraw, Lake Zurich, Sr. (6-4, 190)

The Grant transfer can move around in the pocket and can elusive against the blitz. He’s got good arm strength and can make plays. He will be a major addition to a consistent and talented Lake Zurich squad.

8. JJ McCarthy, Nazareth, So. (6-2, 180)

One of many players on the Roadrunners that can make big plays. McCarthy has a host of weapons that he can target this fall. He’s got good length and multiple scholarship offers. This season will likely contain a bit of a learning curve for McCarthy, but chances are he earns his spot on this list quickly.

9. Jack Meyers, Batavia, Sr. (6-2, 175)

Meyers is making his true debut this fall after backing up Riley Cooper last season. He’s got plenty of size and speed and good footwork. Meyers has the potential to be a game changer for the defending Class 7A champions.

10. Greyson Grimm, Lincoln-Way West, Sr. (5-10, 190)

He was an offensive jack of all trades last season, playing both wide receiver and running back. Grimm is a smart athlete who makes good decisions with the ball in his hands. He doesn’t have varsity experience as a quarterback, but his experience with the rest of the offense gives him some very good potential at the position.

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