Florida Mr. Football Nick Tronti commits to Indiana

Indiana’s 2017 recruiting class now features the state of Florida’s Mr. Football honoree.

Nick Tronti, a dual-threat quarterback from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., made a verbal commitment to IU on Tuesday night, giving the Hoosiers one of the missing pieces to their 22-man class.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback passed for 3,328 yards and 34 touchdowns, while rushing for 650 yards and 19 scores for Ponte Vedra High School’s Class 5A state runner-up squad. He was originally committed to Charlotte, but flipped his commitment on Tuesday. 247 Sports and Scout each consider him a two-star prospect.

“His performance this year is going to go down as one of the best in the history of the state,” Ponte Vedra quarterbacks coach Aaron Avery said. “That’s saying something. We’ve had some heavy hitters. In our county alone, it’s basically Tim Tebow and Nick Tronti. That’s good company to be with. He’s had such a phenomenal season and put up such ridiculous videogame numbers that people had to take notice.”

Tronti’s decision to flip comes after a visit to Bloomington last weekend. He began fielding interest from bigger programs after the high school season, which concluded with a 35-33 loss to powerhouse Plantation American Heritage. In that finale, Tronti passed for three scores and ran for two more. Tronti was scheduled to visit Arizona next weekend after landing a scholarship from the Wildcats, who offered last week.

Now, he’s a Hoosier.

Indiana’s offer came shortly after it announced former Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord was taking the same position at IU on Jan. 4.

“They jumped all over him,” Avery said.

For good reason, it seems.

Tronti passed for more than 7,000 yards in three seasons, while his 72 career touchdown throws are tied for second all-time in St. Johns County. Tebow owns the county record with 95 touchdown passes.

DeBord and new IU coach Tom Allen seem to value dual-threat quarterbacks in their proposed tempo-spread offense, and the Hoosiers have long been looking to add a prospect at the position during the current recruiting cycle.

“I think he’s a great fit for Indiana because of what they want to do offensively,” Avery said. “What the OC DeBord did at Tennessee, I think, fits his skill set. He’s a unique dual-threat guy in the sense that he can actually throw it. Dual threat is a term they throw around now for guys that can run and just kind of throw the football around. He’s a guy that can throw, and he just happens to be super athletic.”

Though Indiana’s class is ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten by 247 Sports, it fills several areas of need, including along the defensive line and at linebacker.

IU also wanted to add a quarterback in this class, and on Tuesday, it got its man.

The Hoosiers should be getting much more selective with who they add from here, with National Signing Day looming on Feb. 1. The class stands at 22, and Allen said recently on a video posted on the official athletics website that this year’s haul won’t get much bigger than as it currently stands.

“Probably going to be in the low 20s,” Allen said. “It won’t be a full group just based on our numbers. Every year that varies based on how many seniors and guys that leave the program.”

25 comments

  1. This is a good player that fits at IU well. I do not quite understand why he would not be at least rated a 3 star. (mid to high 3). Diamond in the rough?

  2. At 6-2, 210….I think he’s a Diamonte in a much larger carat rough?

    Though Indiana‚Äôs class is ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten by 247 Sports…..

    Ouch.

  3. Well, if nothing else they can put him on the cover of the media guide.

    Sounds like an unexplainably good pick up. Guess we’ll just have to see how this hashes out. You know what they say about things sounding too good to be true…

    Sure sounds good, though.

  4. Rankings for IU’s class is a joke based on the quality of players they have this year. Many will criticize this recruiting class banked on rate. The quality of this class is very good and I hope that Ellison follows through with picking IU as his team because he is a very good quality power back to balance out the quick backs we have.

    Tronti is very well built and will be able to withstand B1G tackling. He will be very competitive in our QB room so the other QBs need to really study and prepare well if they want to play QB at IU. He had a great senior year and named Mr Football for Florida. If FryFogle was ranked he would be a upper 3 star or 4 star player. What really counts is not the ranking but the ability of the players and IU looks like they have players that will be very good.

  5. Tronti, if he didn’t focus on school work and not going to camps is why he is ranked 2 star instead of a 4 star QB. IU now has a stable of very good QBs and Lagow better improve a lot or another QB will be the starter at IU.

  6. My kids didn’t get overwhelmed by ‘outside of school’ athletics. They all competed in D1. Two had lukewarm careers, one competed in the NCAA Championships. They all did pretty good in the big picture.

    The pressures to compete in off season camps (costing thousands of dollars) is intense. Many great athletes (and people) do not compete in these camps. Low income families rely almost completely on limited financial aid. Considering the numbers involved there are plenty of great athletes that may not show up up the radar of paid sites. We were at the low end of the spectrum. It wasn’t that important, to be honest.

    I have no reason to believe this kid might not be amazing.

  7. This smells like the bill lynch era of low grade athletes i hope im wrong though atleast kevin wilson got guys other big schools wanted tim tebow like? give me a break man

  8. Brownbomber, Tronti is Tebow like with a better passing arm and game. He is really well built for a HS QB, looks bigger than most HS LBs. The low grades are bogus because the players are far better than they are rated. Tronti should be a 4 star QB, watch his films, 38 TDs passing with 4 ints and 4,000 yds total [ 660 yds rushing] with 53 TDs and this is at the highest level in Florida football. He didn’t attend football camps or go to the regional camps is why he is rated so low.

    Fryfogle is not rated due but had great numbers as a senior 6-foot-2, 203-pound with 89 catches for 1,430 yards and 13 touchdowns. He isn’t rated because he was a Bball player until his senior year and with his size and 4.6 forty time along with production on the field he should be a 3 to 4 star rated receiver. Burgess is a 4 star player that flipped from USC to IU along with Burnam a 3 star LB flipping from TN to IU. This doesn’t sound like low grade athletes from the Lynch era. Dig deeper into these kids playing and you will see this is turning into a very good class.

  9. Do you think for a second that if Tebow had been somewhere other than what was the best collegiate program in the country at the time that we would have ever heard of him? He was a great college player and athlete. He was not a very good quarterback.

    That’s been established.

    There’s no crime in that. It’s just who he is. This kid may well be a better quarterback than Tebow. We’re not talking Andrew Luck as a comparison.

  10. Chet may be on to something. I think Rex Grossman went to one of those Florida colleges… Lord, did he stink it up at the next level? You’re welcome, Colts.

    1. Love this commit. Tronti definitely could surprise a lot of people and turn out to be a really good QB for IU.

      On a down note, did anyone read the article this morning in the Tampa Bay Times talking about the Tampa area pipeline to IU? According to that article, Greg Frey is the biggest reason IU has had so many commits and players from that area. I sure wish Glass and Allen could convince Frey to stay. The big question is that if he moves to Michigan at this late date, will IU lose any of its Tampa area recruits? It wouldn’t have hurt Michigan’s class one way or the other if Harbaugh hired Frey this week or next week, but it sure could hurt IU’s class.

  11. This kid looks like he has a chance to be good. Everything Lagow struggles with, Tronti excels at- pocket awareness, throwing on the run, seeing the whole field, finding 2nd and 3rd receivers, accuracy and running. But what Lagow has that Tronti doesn’t have is arm strength. Tronti is accurate but his deep balls are rainbows that take a long time to get down field. That usually doesn’t work too well in the B1G. But he really improved his arm strength from junior to senior year and also put on a lot of muscle. Watch his junior year tape and you understand why he was a high 2 star. Watch his senior tape and you understand why IU and Arizona wanted him. Now do they tweak that baseball player throwing style to get his delivery up higher and get more of his legs into his throws?

  12. Another level of classification is made based on school population and is statewide. Eventually, schools with the best records in this type of classification will meet each other for seasonal playoffs to determine the state champion. That classification is calculated every two years for each sport and provides schools the opportunity to appeal their classification based on certain factors, primarily transportation expense. There are as many as eight classes, from 1A to 8A, based on population, the largest schools compete in 8A(courtesy: Wikipedia, Florida High School Athletic Association)

    Also found this link(somewhat out of date): http://floridahsfootball.com/2012/11/28/fhsaa-student-population-report-football-only-schools/

    Wow…Florida has 8 class designations for football based on high school size. Gotta be real careful with “state champions” wording when talking of these rather significant differences in numbers(sizes of high schools) and level of competition played.

    Carmel H.S. (4800 students) competes in the highest “class” designation in Indiana(6A). Ponte Vedra(a relatively new school opened in 2010 to relieve overcrowding at Allen D. Nease High School) has somewhere around 1500 students.

    This young man might be the best QB in Florida…I have no idea. Still might be a bit more objective reporting to actually let the reader know that the state of Florida has 8 high school football class designations and this young man played his football within a relatively smaller system with similar competition to match.

  13. I hope they don’t do more than tweak his throwing motion but do work on using his legs in the throws. The NFL has shown all types of throwing motions can succeed, Bernie Kosar had an awful looking delivery but was one of the better QBs at that time. Johns changing Lagow’s throwing motion last year destroyed his passing, just look at his JC tapes and see a QB with accuracy and getting the ball out quick.

    IU has a good QB room and we will have to wait and see how coach Watson can develop the QBs. I think going to a zone read offense like DeBord used at TN will really help the offense if they use the zone read.

  14. Ranger 67…Nice catch on the Tampa Bay article. After reading it, appears Coach Frey is/was worth his weight in gold. Hope someone from IU steps into the Florida market. Sounds like UF & FSU taking a public relations beating with the # of kids going out-of-state (another article in the TB Times).

  15. Early this AM watched 2 episodes of film on this QB. 1st off what I observed makes me excited he is going to be a Hoosier. In their state championship game his team played a hell of a good team with a very strong D and he played his position very well and under control. Very accurate, strong enough arm, stays with progressions to find open target, has good feet but does not suffer nervous/happy feet, not a weak runner by any means but would hesitate calling him a true dual threat QB, he to me is a pro style passer who throws well on the run, physically tough, abundance of competitiveness giving him a heart for the game. Kinda silly a Mr. Florida FB honoree’s line on the graph does not intersect with a line with higher rating. I’d bet a k$boy he is not 6’1″. But in CFB that does not count as high as in the NFL. He has a real chance.

  16. I trust DeBord and Allen to be good judges of football talent. I also know from having followed Rich Rod at Arizona, that he knows potential when he see’s it, especially for dual threat QBs, so I’m glad Tronti committed to IU. I’m very curious about why “Florida’s Mr. Football” was only rated as a 2-star QB, and why so few “bigger” programs failed to offer him a scholarship. That just does not make sense. Regardless, I seriously doubt Tronti will compete for a starting position in 2017. He’s got the physical tools, but he’ll need time to grasp the mental aspects of the game at the college level. If he does get a lot of playing time, IU will need to recruit several more QBs next year because the writing will be on the wall for the current back-up QBs, and in addition to Lagow’s graduation, the team will probably lose two or three of rheas guys to transfer.

  17. V13- I think they can quickly tweak his throwing motion and get him to have a lot more power. All you need to do is look at his pictures on 247 sports: http://247sports.com/Player/Nick-Tronti-78625
    What you will notice is his right arm is dipped down and his left elbow is up and away from his body. His shoulders should be about even when he throws and his left elbow should be pointed down and close to his body. Holding his left elbow up and out means he can’t get his right arm up and into the throw. Try dipping your right arm and putting your left elbow up and out and try to go through the throwing motion. You will quickly see what I mean. His throwing style means he’s not getting the power from his legs and hips. I think just getting him to lower his left elbow to his side would open up his throwing motion and give him a lot more power. I think this is an easy tweak that could pay off huge.

  18. 123, thanks for the pictures as I didn’t see them before now. I coached QBs for most of my HS career and tweaked their throws but didn’t change it as much as Coach Johns did with Lagow. If you look at his JC films would would see he was more accurate and quick releases when blitzed, I agree with the tweaks on his motion. I had a strong arm as I grew up but never played organized football. I could imitate any NFL QBs throwing motion to show my QBs it wasn’t hard to make small changes if they worked at it.

    IU really lucked out on getting this QB and I think he will be a very good or excellent QB for IU. This class is going to be very good despite the rankings of the players and the Ohip RB tweeted he is coming to B1G school which IU is the only one recruiting him as far as I know and he had IU as his favorite.

  19. V- I agree Lagow was probably a better QB as a Juco. I think they overwhelmed him not only by changing his throwing motion but also with decision making. I think he was thinking too much and was too tight to play. Sudfeld had some of the same head scratching throws. I think both were so worried about Wilson second guessing them that they couldn’t play loose. As far as Tronti, I think changing his throwing motion could quickly improve his ability to throw with power. His motion isn’t allowing him to follow through on his throws. But I’m just stating that on what I see as an armchair QB. And in my mind, I’m undefeated!

  20. Based on hope. IU has a stable of qbs. None of them are great. Looking for a couple (meaning 2) emerge as decent big ten qbs and not hurt IU chances of winning games but just holding their own from game to game making a positive play here and there…and staying healthy.

  21. t, have you seen tape on Tronti? His team played the highest level of Florida football and took them to the state championship. Despite losing a close game against a team loaded with D1 DB talent Tronti threw for 3 TDs and rushed for 2 TDs. It is his performance against top competition that gives many of us hope he is much better than a decent QB. If IU ends up running the offense DeBord did at TN then Tronti and Ramsey may excel instead of just being decent QBs. We won’t know until we see them play.

  22. That’s a good point. Of course qb play will be better and very much complimented with good/better offensive line, running back, and receiver play including tight end.

  23. t, you are right about OL, RB, and receiver play including TE is correct and this coming year looks like several may be better. RB has players coming back that may be better and incoming targets could really improve the RB room. Receiver play may be better because of the competition between players and getting Cobbs back. Our TEs will be better in the passing game because they will be used as receivers instead of just a third tackle. IU has several good pass catching TEs and as long as Hendershot stays committed to IU like he says, he will bring very good hands to the TE room. We will have to wait and see how the OL comes together especially with a new coach, but I expect other than Feeney, Camiel, and Rogers missing the OL could be better than last year due to the games missed by Feeney and Rogers. Rogers wasn’t a very good block as center, Feeney can’t be replaced put someone new can be a solid Guard. Camiel was very good but IU has a couple of Tackles with experience.

    If Lagow doesn’t improve enough then IU will be running a zone read offense, from what I read, and that takes pressure off the OL as they don’t have to be so dominate to have the offense excel. In all likelihood if this happens then Ramsey or Tronti will be the QB and who knows how well they will play in the B1G but both have played some form of zone read in HS.

    By the way, in today’s Senior Bowl I think Feeney made himself a lot of money by waiting a year. He was called the best OL player on both squads by Mike Mayock and other announcers.

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