What I learned about California’s top QB recruits at the Elite 11 Los Angeles regional

LAWNDALE, Calif. — Southern California has long been known as a quarterback hotbed. Several talented signal callers gathered at Leuzinger High School in Lawndale on Sunday afternoon as the Elite 11 kicked off its eight-city regional competitions. The Athletic caught up with a few of the participants to get an update on where things stand.

Note: All rankings are from the 247Sports Composite.

Husan Longstreet was the highest-ranked quarterback in attendance (No. 8 QB, No. 84 overall in the 2025 cycle) and was the only participant who walked away with an invite to the Elite 11 Finals.

Longstreet threw for 3,013 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions as a junior during his first season at Corona (Calif.) Centennial. He also rushed for 645 yards and seven scores.

Earlier this month, he announced he is down to eight schools and will make his decision on April 14.

On Sunday, Longstreet said he settled on those schools based on who had been contacting him the most. And even though his announcement date is approaching, it doesn’t appear he is close to making a decision.

“I haven’t been to Auburn or Oregon or Ole Miss,” he said. “I’ve got to get out to those schools, and once I see what everything’s about, I’ll be making that commitment.”



Why are quarterback recruits committing so early? ‘It just relieves a lot of stress’

It’s an interesting list. For example, Oregon already has a quarterback commitment in its 2025 class, from Akile Smith Jr., the only QB in California who is ranked higher than Longstreet. Longstreet’s brother, Kevin, is a defensive back at Louisville, which also has a QB commitment in its class.

Michigan and Miami are also among the schools in his final eight that have quarterbacks in their classes. So we’ll see if that means the path is clear for Texas A&M, Auburn, Ole Miss or UCLA, who don’t have quarterback commitments yet.

And what will be the biggest factor in his final decision? “Whoever’s going to develop me for the next level, that’s what’s going to decide it for me,” he said.

Longstreet is the highest-rated uncommitted quarterback in the 2025 cycle so it’ll be interesting to see if his commitment starts another run at the position.

T.J. Lateef is a four-star prospect who is ranked the No. 24 quarterback nationally, but he said his recruiting process is in “slow motion right now.” It’s certainly been an intriguing one to track.

Lateef has a strong arm and is a solid athlete so it’s easy to see the appeal even though injuries hampered him a bit during his junior season at Orange (Calif.) Lutheran last fall. He won the accuracy challenge for the 2025 QBs on Sunday.

In January, On3 reported Lateef’s list of seven finalists included Auburn, Colorado, Arizona, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Georgia and Florida State. Nebraska wasn’t among those seven programs, but he’s slated to visit Lincoln later this spring.

Though the Cornhuskers have seemingly generated the most buzz in this pursuit, Lateef said there are “a couple of schools in the SEC and ACC that he would be willing to take an unofficial to.”

He didn’t want to share the names of those programs yet because he doesn’t have visits set.

He did offer that he’s “looking to have a commitment by spring, start of the summer.”

On his visits, Lateef will focus on how the teams practice and an emphasis will be placed on “a school where I have a great relationship with the coaches because at the end of the day, those are going to be the coaches that are coaching me for three or four years.

“Everybody says the same thing. (I) have to find the coach who really, truly wants me. A lot of coaches say they want you but not everybody really wants you. They just want to take you so other schools don’t get you.”

By rule, Ryder Lyons wasn’t able to earn an invite to the Elite 11 Finals on Sunday because he’s only a rising junior. But he was impressive nonetheless. He finished in the top five of the event’s athletic testing and has an extremely live arm.

That combination of skills is why Lyons’ offer list is so impressive — Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, USC and Texas A&M among others — and why he is in line to be one of the top quarterback recruits in the 2026 cycle.

Lyons doesn’t plan on going on a bunch of visits anytime soon but wants to get a look at some schools during the summer and early fall.

“USC, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas A&M, BYU,” he said.

Lyons, who plays at Folsom (Calif.) High, mentioned those five programs as the ones he’s hearing from the most. He is unsure of his timeline for a commitment but figures to make a decision early in the process.

“Just because I want to build a relationship with whoever’s calling plays, my OC,” Lyons said. “I think that’s a big thing at quarterback.”

Lyons’ older brother, Walker, was a four-star tight end prospect in the 2023 recruiting cycle and signed with USC. Walker took a year off from football to serve a mission in Norway for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and will start his collegiate career this fall.

What impact will Walker playing at USC have on Ryder’s decision?

“It definitely impacts it a lot,” he said. “To play with my brother would be incredible, like something a lot of people dream for. So definitely a huge impact.”

It’s unknown if Lyons will serve a mission. If he does, it essentially makes him a 2027 quarterback since his enrollment would be delayed for a year.

Among other highlights from Sunday’s Elite 11 Regional …

• Lyons’ fellow 2026 quarterback, Jaden O’Neal, was impressive. O’Neal certainly looks the part physically with his 6-foot-3, 200-pound build. He was one of the top underclassmen in the accuracy challenge and possesses a long list of high-profile offers. Keep an eye on him over the next few years.

• Washington commit Dash Beierly posted the top rating for any quarterback during the athletic testing portion of the day. He transferred to Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Calif., and is projected to be the Monarchs’ starting quarterback this fall.

• Michael “Butter” Tollefson had some impressive moments as well. Tollefson is a four-star quarterback who has been committed to Arizona State since last June.

(Photo of Husan Longstreet: Antonio Morales / The Athletic)

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