Phil Jurkovec was the first commit in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s class of 2018. The dual-threat QB may end up being their best.
Jurkovec is the hottest commodity from the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League since Terrelle Pryor. The Gibsonia, Pa. product will join a lineage of WPIAL alums that reads like a “whos who” of Irish greats: Johnny Lujack, Leon Hart, Joe Montana and Tom Clements, just to name a few.
The four-star athlete — ranked No. 65 overall in the 247 Sports Composite — put up numbers this year that wouldn’t look out of place on a Madden screen. He set a state-record for offensive yardage in a single season: 5,180. He completed nearly 73 percent of his passes for 3,969 yards and threw 39 touchdowns, while rushing for an additional 1,211 yards (10.9 yards per carry) and scoring 24 more times with his feet.
In two and half seasons, Jurkovec accounted for 11,144 yards, which is second best in the history of the league, which dates back 110 years. He threw for 8,202 yards, fourth most in the league’s history and ran for an additional 2,942 yards.
Jack McCurry, who coached North Hills from 1978-2012, said Jurkovec “is probably the best quarterback I’ve seen in high school.” This is coming from a guy who coached against Dan Marino.
“Marino certainly could throw and Marino could run, but not run like this kid,” McCurry told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m certainly not saying that this kid will do what Marino did in college or the pros. We have to wait to see. I’m just saying in high school, I haven’t seen anyone do what this kid has done.”
Roy Hall was an assistant at Jeannette during Pryor’s days.
“I might a little partial because I coached Terrelle,” he told the newspaper. “I think Jurkovec might have the edge as far as passing. But with moves, running and speed, I’d go with Terrelle. But I think Jurkovec is one of the best quarterbacks in years.”
Despite this high praise, Brian Kelly won’t be channeling Beano Cook and declaring Jurkovec to be a future two-time Heisman Trophy winner. Jurkovec will enroll early, but will start fourth on the depth chart behind Brandon Wimbush, Ian Book and Avery Davis.
If you think that’s crazy, consider this:
Apparently, MaxPreps led me astray. Here are QB2's complete numbers (although some discrepancy about whether he rushed for 5 TDs or 9 his senior year of HS). Remarkably similar. h/t to Tyler James for pointing out that I had incomplete info (and for being on top of this Saturday) pic.twitter.com/xZIO6v6rdf— Jude (@andrewwinn) November 29, 2017
QB1 is Phil Jurkovec. QB2 is Brandon Wimbush.
High school success is not always indicative of how well a quarterback performs in college. While Jurkovec may lead this Irish team someday soon, don’t expect it to be in 2018.