2018 Prospect Interview – Phil Jurkovec

The 2018 recruiting class is still almost two years away from signing their letters of intent, but it’s never too early for college programs to take a look at young players and make scholarship offers to top prospects. Ohio State will be without JT Barrett after the 2017 season, so the coaches will be looking to add another top notch signal caller in 2018. Phil Jurkovec from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania has already garnered the attention of the Ohio State Buckeyes and has received an offer from Coach Luke Fickell. He also speaks often with Urban Meyer and Tim Beck. In his sophomore season at Pine-Richland High School, Jurkovec passed for over 2,500 yards and ran for another 1,250, which led Coach Meyer to compare him to Alex Smith, the current quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs and Urban’s former starter at Utah. Jurkovec analyzes the play of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and other NFL stars and tries to replicate their skills on the field.

It’s early in the recruiting process for 2018, and Jurkovec is in no hurry to commit. He says, “I’m not favoring any schools right now. I want to be able to visit as many schools as possibly before I commit” because “when I commit to a school, I want to be 100% committed.” Wherever he lands, Jurkovec expects to take on a leadership role immediately. “Ideally, as a quarterback, I would want to commit earlier than most so I could help develop that school’s recruiting class.” He currently holds offers from 11 schools, including Michigan State. The last Buckeye quarterback to come out of Pennsylvania was Terrell Pryor in 2008, and he certainly experienced pressure to play college ball in state. Jurkovec acknowledges the pressure, but he’s “willing to leave the state and [is] open to all schools no matter the distance.”

Most importantly, he is looking for a school with “a quality education and a competitive culture” that will help him develop into an elite athlete. Jurkovec writes, “It’s very impressive how many Ohio State players have gone on to play in the NFL. That just shows the Ohio State coaches’ ability to bring in top caliber players and develop them in college.” The threat of competing for a starting position doesn’t scare Jurkovec either; in fact, he embraces the challenge. “Most good programs have good depth at every position. I would not shy away from a school because of competition, but rather [I] welcome it.” Jurkovec knows he’ll get competition in spades if he joins the Buckeyes. “I love the Ohio State offense,” he says, “The playmakers [the team] has now and will have in the future [are] really impressive, and the coaches put them in the right places to succeed.”

The recruiting process is just beginning for Jurkovec and his fellow 2018 prospects. He has his first official visit to Notre Dame this weekend, and he plans to visit Ohio State soon. Jurkovec loves college football and watches a number of teams, but he doesn’t have a favorite. This makes the selection process both easier and harder since he won’t be focused on a childhood favorite program. Jurkovec admits his life is about to get more hectic as recruitment heats up, but he tries to find balance in basketball and reading. No matter what, he’s grateful for the experience. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to get a free education and play major college football at some great universities,” he tells me.

Phil’s junior year gets underway at the end of the summer, and I wish him luck in his last two seasons in high school. I expect he’ll get a lot more offers over the next two years, and I’m sure Ohio State’s coaches and fans are looking forward to showing him all the Buckeyes have to offer.

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