Three-star quarterback Jake Sopko has officially signed with the Cincinnati Bearcats for their 2016 recruiting class on National Signing Day.
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) February 3, 2016
The first thing I notice about Sopko is his accuracy and touch on the ball. You might not be able to teach arm strength, it’s all about winning the genetic lottery, but placing the ball anywhere you want is difficult to learn. Sopko has that kind of accuracy in spades. He does need to refine his delivery, though, as that long wind up looks much like Munchie Legaux’s and will allow defenses extra milliseconds to react to the pass. If Sopko tightens that up by keeping his elbow higher when cradling the ball, he’ll be fine.
I’m also impressed with his ability to scramble out of a collapsing pocket. Some quarterbacks tend to wait too long and are prone to sacks. Sopko understands when there’s nothing available downfield and when to bail out to make something out of nothing. He’s a fairly agile football player for being 6’3″ and 200 lbs, which I’m sure Cincinnati’s coaches love considering how much they leverage the read-option.
There’s a lot of aspects of Sopko’s game that suggest he could become a solid collegiate quarterback sometime down the road.
Sopko’s staring at a redshirt his first year in Clifton if Hayden Moore and Ross Trail develop over the next year and especially if Gunner Kiel stays for his senior year. Nothing against the Avon QB but I hope this is the case as I can’t imagine Cincinnati leaning on a true freshman to start or even backup at quarterback in 2016. But that scenario will also behoove Sopko as he’ll be able to grow and learn in the system at his own pace before shouldering huge responsibilities potentially as early as his junior season. If all goes to plan, UC could continue to have stability and talent at quarterback through the 2020 season.