Coral Springs, FL– The 2015 Football Hotbed All-American Game is fast approaching. This year, the game is moving to South Florida, the home of Football Hotbed. In year two, our game will be played at the brand new facility located at Jupiter Community High School in Jupiter, FL. Sponsored by the Palm Beach Sports Commission, this year’s All-American game promises to be one of the best youth football showcases in the country. With the completion of Football Hotbed’s second annual All-American combine series and inaugural National Middle School Quarterback Invitational, the Future 4, the Hotbed Selection committee has finalized it’s selections. The following seven quarterbacks have received invitations to play in the second Football Hotbed All-American game beginning December 30, 2015.
Football Hotbed recognizes the importance of the quarterback position and aims to have the very best in the nation. That is why it is a requirement that each quarterback perform live in front of a Football Hotbed committee member in order to receive an invitation to play in our game. Our quarterback list spans both costs and is extremely diverse. Here’s the list of those players in the 8th grade class of 2020. All quarterbacks must be 14 years of age or younger at the time of the game and be a first time eighth grade student in order to qualify for selection.
D.J. Uiagalelei- We saw D. J. Uiagalelei at our 2015 West Coast Super Regional Combine in April and were blown away by his sheer athleticism. At first glance, he’s physically imposing, already standing at 6’2 heading into the 8th grade. He was throwing the ball around like it was a tennis ball and had great accuracy and command of each throw. What is impressive is his poise. There were nearly 200 athletes at our Upland, California Super Regional and D.J. came in with a name and performed with a quiet confidence. The zip of the ball off his hands was remarkable. His combine numbers were also very good. He ran a 5.35 40 in the cold and rainy conditions of the day and notched a 4.63 shuttle run as well. He also showed his strength by tossing the power ball 36.6 inches. That’s a high school number. Unable to attend our Future 4 contest in May because of his tremendous talent in baseball and traveling with the nationally renown, Team Phenom, D. J. still earned an invitation based on our evaluation in April. As a 2014 Eastbay All-American, D.J. didn’t get a chance to play quarterback, this year he’ll have his shot to show the nation just how talented he is. We’re excited to extend him a Football Hotbed All-American invitation.
Tucker Gleason- Tucker is the reigning 2020 winner of the National Middle School Quarterback Invitational, the Future 4. He comes in as the best quarterback in the nation, a title he earned by beating out over 20 QBs from across the nation in his class during our two day competition in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in May. It was because of Gleason’s incredible athleticism and his throwing accuracy and ability to read coverages. Gleason’s a bit of a sleeper on the national stage but is looking to cement his Future 4 1st place status by having a great All-American game in January. A pop warner stand out on Florida’s West Coast, Gleason is a nice size at 5’11 heading into the 8th grade. He’ll likely grow before our game in January and we’re excited to see what he can do this season. Gleason’s 50.6 point total in the first three rounds represented the largest point spread of any class in the Future 4 competition. He’s definitely a name to watch in the future, having truly earned his Hotbed All-American invite at our Future 4 competition.
Cade Knighton- The Oregon native came to Florida to prove that he was one of the nation’s best quarterbacks and he did just that. He left having finished just out of the top 4 quarterbacks in the National Middle School Quarterback Invitational but earned a No. 1 national ranking in the 2020 class by the independent blog QB Hitlist. The scouts at QB Hitlist thought Knighton was the best QB present in the 2020 class from a throwing stand point and gave him the top ranking in the class. That ranking was also confirmed by his performance at this past week’s Top Gun, presented by Football University at which he also earned All-American honors. Knighton is an athletic quarterback with good size and a good arm. He knows what to do with the football and led a very talented Oregon National Championship team last season in 7th grade to a run in the FBUNC. We’re excited to have Knighton to come back to Florida from the Northwest to show his talents, this time in pads.
Khalil Ali- The dual-threat Ali is a true gem in his class. He’s the youngest of our All-American selections, but plays just as well. He was finalist in our Future 4 competition and thus earned an All-American invitation from Football Hotbed. Ali is gifted thrower and runner. He led the Future 4 competition after the first day and went on to have great performance, coming up just short in the finals. Playing this season for the Inland Empire Ducks 13U team, Ali will have many opportunities to show his skill. He’s already done a ton of showcasing what he can do on the high school level as he started for a high school 7 on 7 team as only a 7th grader. We’re excited to have Khalil as one of our All-American quarterbacks this year.
Blair Garner- The distinction of being first person ever to be named a two-time Football Hotbed All-American belongs to Blair Gardner. During the time between January 2015’s first Football Hotbed All-American game and the Future 4 contest in May, Gardner grew tremendously. Both physically and as a quarterback. His arm strength improved greatly and his athleticism was much improved as well. Because of his growth and performance, he earned a finalist position in our 2020 Future 4 competition and a repeat trip to the Football Hotbed All-American Game. The growth of Gardner is really why we provide the platforms for showcasing talent to show athlete’s progression and improvement based on their experience playing with the nation’s best and using it as a barometer upon which to improve. Gardner is the epitome of that. His work out regime and dedication to becoming better is tops among any quarterback on this list. It’s a pleasure to extend another All-American invite to Blair, a South Carolina native. He’s looking to lead his team to victory for the second time winning the inaugural 7th grade game last year as the starting QB for Team Gold.
Edwin Rhodes III- Widely considered the best quarterback in the South Florida area, Rhodes just missed being a Future 4 finalist in May. In fact, he was nudged out by Khalil Ali by a tenth of a point. Rhodes competed well in last year’s Football Hotbed All-American game going 6 for 10 for 105 yards in the air. Statistically, he had the best day of any other quarterback. He also lead team Broward County to the finals of the Football University National Championship tournament in 7th grade to a runner up finish in a 64-team field nationally. Rhodes is elite and may play on one of the best 13U teams in the country in the Miami Gardens Chiefs in the Florida Youth Football League. It’s an honor to extend to him another All-American invitation.
Ryan Bolduc – Bolduc plays for the Sarasota Redskins Football League and has for the last 5 yrs. He broke his throwing hand (thumb) in his league Championship in November of 2014. Afterward, Ryan was out for 8 weeks and splinted for 2 more weeks. Ryan didn’t miss any football however and with massive padding around the cast two weeks later he played in a inter league Championship game against the Naples Gators, starting at Safety and TE on offense. He then was the starting Safety and TE for Team Sarasota in the FBU National Championship losing to Team Broward County (Edwin Rhodes was their QB) in the FL Regional Championship game. Bolduc was only 4 months out from that injury when he earned his Future 4 finalist standing. During this upcoming year, he will play for the Sarasota Mohawks and we’re excited to see what he’ll do when finally back to full strength.