In the modern era of College Football it’s rare for a highly rated Quarterback to sit and wait for their chance for more than a year. It’s even more rare that they sit patiently and wait when they’re only given a tiny number of opportunities to step foot on the field.
Evan Prater is the exception. Now entering his third season in Cincinnati, the former four-star recruit should finally be handed the reins to the Bearcats’ offense.
The reason that Prater has had to wait his turn is of course Desmond Ridder, the Bearcats’ all time passing touchdown leader, who was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in April. With Prater waiting in the wings, Ridder barely missed a snap over the course of his impressive college career, showcasing his durability and leadership.
Whilst there’s apparently a QB competition underway between Prater and Eastern Michigan transfer, Ben Bryant, it feels like the job is Prater’s to lose as the 2022 season edges closer. So what can we expect from the highest rated prospect in Cincinnati’s history?
With his distinctive hair and dual threat ability, Prater has earned a lot of Colin Kaepernick comparisons. He stands at 6’5” with a lean frame that perfectly suits his style of play. That style of play is very much the modern all round playmaking QB, incorporating RPOs, QB runs and play action in abundance.
In his fleeting appearances for the Bearcats, Prater has very much been used as a rushing threat. Against Miami (Ohio), he scrambled, cut back on himself and leaped over an onrushing defensive back to go in for the score, he also used his quick footwork to freeze UCF’s linebackers on a six yard TD run against the Knights.
But as always, it’s Prater’s passing ability that will make or break his football career. On 11 career attempts he’s completed five passes for 38 yards and two touchdowns, he’s also thrown an interception. Looking back at high school highlights the run game is very much dominant, but when Prater does throw he shows good awareness in the pocket, an accurate arm on short routes and some nice touch passes down the field.
When the Bearcats confirm the Ohio native as the starter for 2022 it’ll be interesting to see how new Offensive Coordinator, Gino Guidugli, decides to use him. The easy way would be to embrace the run, but Prater will need to develop his arm talent if he’s to maximise his potential and jump onto the radar of NFL scouts.
There’ll no doubt be a rocky moment or two as he develops, but with Prater’s huge potential and enticing playmaking ability, the next couple of seasons should be exciting for Bearcats’ fans.
By Andy Moore – @ajmoore21