Zo huddle
Photo Credit: Jay Metzger

FSM Presents: Rebel Vision ’21 – On Field Analysis of QB Jayden Maiava

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JaRon Turner is back with another breakdown of one of the latest UNLV commitments, Hawaiian quarterback, Jayden Maiava from Kaimuki High School.

 

Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Jay Metzger

So far, the UNLV coaching staff has made significant strides in bolstering the quarterback room within the program. Throughout the spring, Justin Rogers, Doug Brumfield, and Cam Friel have made compelling cases to be the starting quarterback come August when Fall camp begins.

While it seems no quarterback has “separated himself” from the rest, a quarterback battle, the likes of which has never been seen in UNLV’s almost 64-year history, is about to happen.

Once again, head coach Marcus Arroyo and his staff made their way to the Hawaiian islands to find another impressive quarterback in Jayden Maiava. He is a strong-armed, athletic quarterback who has traits that can’t be taught or coached up, while he has others that still need some refinement.

You have to have a triggerman running your offense for the offense to run smoothly. UNLV added another high upside player in Maiava, who turned down offers from Tennessee, Auburn, and Louisville. I watched his film, and I broke down the things I like and the things I think Maiava needs to improve on.

Let’s get to it!

 

Player Profile:

 

Name: Jayden Maiava

Position: Quarterback

High School:  Kaimuki High School, Kaimuki, Hawai’i

Height:  6’5

Weight:  235lb

 

Positives:

 

Zo Huddle
Photo Credit Jay Metzger

There isn’t much that doesn’t stand out with this quarterback: he’s enormous, strong, with incredible, off-the-charts arm strength. He shows good reaction and pocket skills needed to be a starting quarterback on the next level. He can scramble and create time in the pocket even though he isn’t supremely fast.

He has a Patrick Mahomes type elusiveness to his game, meaning he won’t run by you, but he is fast enough and elusive enough to make defenders miss. By creating ways for defenders to miss him, and having the hip power and arm strength to deliver a ball, with the accuracy to fit it into tight windows, is something god blesses a select few people with, which makes him even more impressive, even when he isn’t considered “mobile”.

This kid can make all the next level throws that college recruiters discuss when evaluating talent and draft evaluators look for in quarterbacks. Maiava’s feet are excellent, and his technique is, without question, some of the best I have ever seen out of a high school quarterback on tape. His skill-set is some of the best I have seen in a high school quarterback since doing my evaluations.

However, his drawbacks, although not a deal-breaker, are somewhat concerning.

 

Needs work:

 

Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Star-Advertiser

From what this analyst sees on tape, Maiava relied on his size and strength more often than he needed, which creates a habit of believing he will always be able to fall back on it. A habit like that isn’t reliable on the next level considering he will still be a pretty big quarterback and will only get bigger and stronger, but relying on your size to fend off defenders isn’t always a solid strategy in Division 1 football. Especially considering some defenders are sizable themselves.

Secondly, he isn’t particularly fast, quick, or elusive. While he can make time in the pocket, the UNLV offense is looking for an athlete to run the point at the quarterback position. Guys that can run a zone read, pull the ball and go 70 yards in a flash are highly valued in the Arroyo offense. You have seen it at Oregon with Justin Herbert, who some have compared Maiava to.

Yet, what makes Maiava special, while he is a pocket passer with scrambling abilities, is his arm that has the ability to throw off-platform or off schedule. The UNLV offensive staff already has a plan in place for him when he arrives on campus, so getting him faster isn’t a huge deal.

Lastly, we don’t know how good Maiava is “on the board.” What’s his football IQ, and how quickly does he compute and translate the information from the QB room to the field? We don’t know this with many recruits, and since coach Arroyo is a “QB guru,” I trust that Maiava will be ready when his number is called.

 

Overall, his style of play and characteristics as a player on the field have tremendous upside. This player is another very good recruit for UNLV under Marcus Arroyo and will enter the very solid quarterback room the Rebels now have within their program. When will Maiava see the field? Only time will tell.

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JaRon Turner – Franchise Sports Media

Follow JaRon on Twitter: @FSMJaRonT

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