2021 HSSN football position-by-position breakdown: Scouting the quarterbacks

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 | 7:27 AM

Starting today, TribLive HSSN will break down the top players at one position per day until Week Zero. Here’s a look at the top quarterbacks for the 2021 season.

1. Brad Birch


Sophomore, 6-2, 190

Birch already holds a college offer from Pac-12 school Oregon after a title-winning freshman season. He completed 115 of 182 attempts for 1,676 yards and 30 TDs last fall while leading Jeannette to the WPIAL Class A championship. Birch was the first freshman QB to start for the Jayhawks, a program that once produced Terrelle Pryor. Along with all-conference and all-state honors, Birch was named a national MaxPreps Freshman All-American. Now, he makes the jump to Class 5A. Birch moved into the Gateway district in the spring and is fully eligible for the regular season and postseason.

Watch Brad Birch highlights

2. Gavin Miller

West Allegheny

Senior, 6-0, 180

Miller is a multi-sport athlete already committed to play college baseball at Auburn. He showed his arm strength on the football field last fall by passing for 1,527 yards and 12 touchdowns. He completed 111 of 200 throws. The Indians are counting on him to lead them back to the WPIAL playoffs after missing the postseason two years in a row. During baseball season, the right-hander went 9-2 with a 1.79 ERA and batted .300.

Watch Gavin Miller highlights

3. Cadin Olsen


Junior, 6-5, 205

Olsen needed just eight games to surpassed 2,000 passing yards last season while averaging 254 yards per week. He finished his sophomore season with 2,035 and ranked second in the WPIAL overall behind then-senior Cole Spencer of Pine-Richland. Olsen completed 118 of 230 attempts and threw 23 touchdowns with only three interceptions. He topped 300 yards in a game three times and threw four or more touchdowns four times.

Watch Cadin Olsen highlights

4. Josh Jenkins


Junior, 6-3, 175

Jenkins was not exclusively a quarterback last season yet finished the year among the WPIAL passing leaders with 1,427 yards and 23 touchdowns. Vikings coach LaRoi Johnson at times used Jenkins at wide receiver, a “slash” role that earned him comparisons to former Steelers QB Kordell Stewart. The left-hander completed 75 of 122 throws and led Sto-Rox to the WPIAL Class 2A finals. He also made 13 receptions.

Watch Josh Jenkins highlights

5. Joey Daniels

Mt. Lebanon

Senior, 5-9, 180

What Daniels may lack in height he makes up for in talent. He topped the 1,000-yard mark for the second year in a row despite covid-19 cancellations that limited his Blue Devils to seven games. He followed a 1,300-yard sophomore season with 1,053 passing yards as a junior. He completed 71 of 101 attempts and threw 14 touchdowns for the WPIAL Class 6A semifinalist.

Watch Joey Daniels highlights


Max Blanc

Bethel Park

Senior, 6-5, 210

The Black Hawks went winless last season but Blanc’s emergence was a bright spot for a team now expecting a bounce-back year. Once he claimed the QB job, Blanc completed 49 of 92 attempts for 436 yards and two touchdowns. He drew his first Division I offer from Youngstown State in mid-July and committed there 10 days later.

Watch Max Blanc highlights

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QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | CB | S | K

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Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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