JayhawkSlant - Closer look at Miles Kendrick from Elite 11 QB coach
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Closer look at Miles Kendrick from Elite 11 QB coach

The news broke this morning the Jayhawks have secured a commitment from quarterback Miles Kendrick. Over the past five years Miles has worked with Adam Tafralis, who is a quarterback coach part of the Elite 11 group.

Tafralis trains a lot of the top quarterbacks the region. We spoke with Tafralis about Kendrick and what he brings to Kansas and a lot more.

Elite 11 QB coach Adam Tafralis breaks down Mile Kendrick
Elite 11 QB coach Adam Tafralis breaks down Mile Kendrick (San Mateo)

Opening thoughts on Kendrick

Miles is unique. I started working with him when he was an incoming freshman about halfway through his eighth grade season. This little kid showed up and he was like I’m the best athlete, I’m the best quarterback, and I’m going to be a college quarterback.

He’s very respectful. He is a yes sir, no sir kid. Even though we have been together five years he still says yes coach and no coach.

What kind of traits does he have as a quarterback

He’s always been one of those kids that the ball spins a little bit better than everybody else’s. I explain just one thing and he picks it up a little bit faster than everybody. There is a uniqueness to him.

It is easy to give the Russel Wilson comparison but the truth is he is unique in the sense that he is a winner. I got to play for some really good coaches in my time and the really good ones always said you don’t judge a quarterback except for whether he wins or loses. That’s the truth. Winners win and they don’t worry about their stats. They don’t do anything other than make their team better and give themselves a chance to be in the game to win. More times than not that is going to be the guy the wins.

Miles is a perfect example of that. At no time has he ever put himself ahead of the team. In high school when you are the best athlete in the school he could’ve done that (put himself ahead). There are times he could have been an overly cocky kid but he was always about the team. Whatever the coach needs and the team needed he would do. He always wins.

We just keep coming back to what makes him unique and why this is going to work. It’s going to work because he is infectious. When you get to that level and you are playing division one football people want to follow a winner. His attitude and his everyday relentless pursuit to win is infectious. That’s the thing people are going to really, really pick up on and I don’t imagine it will take more than a couple days.

What are physical tools that jump out to you?

He has a great understanding of how to put the ball wherever he wants. He can place the ball with a lot of different speeds and pace, and height and angles. For a guy who is only 5-foot-10 he has big, big hands. The way he can grip the ball he can do a lot of things with it. That is a big advantage. His escape ability and playmaking ability are very good.

He is athletic when he needs to be and a pocket passer when he wants to be. Russel Wilson would be a good comparison or even Baker Mayfield because he is similar in that regard. He will make a play if he needs to, but he would rather get it to his guys if he can. He wants to distribute and move the ball with his arm but if he has to go make something happen he could make all 11 guys miss and go for a touchdown.

In high school I believe it was nine games he had winning drives over his career with less than two minutes left.

What kind of offense did he work in during his high school days?

They ran a Wing T. With Miles we convinced the coach to get in the shot-gun a little bit and throw it a little bit more. The reason what he did was impressive, is because in that system there is only one receiver running a route. So everybody knows who is getting the ball when it is a pass. So defenses would try to bracket things and play one under and one on top, or a soft corner would sit at the markers where they run their comebacks or digs in that system. He was still really accurate in that offense.

There are always questions about height. Talk about Miles being 5-foot-10 and did some back off because that?

It is a concern that coaches can have. The thing that I would always say that make the difference is what does a quarterback do that can make up for that? A guy who is short that has had success has figured out how to play short. You take a Drew Brees, and we just watched Tua at Alabama who isn’t 6-foot tall. He wins the national championship. The guy who’s going to start for Oklahoma, Kyler Murray is smaller than Miles. The thing that I think you should look at when you look at a kid like that is what are the other things that he brings to the table. Most likely is if he is successful he has figured out other ways to win.

He has hands that are like someone who is 6-foot-4. Usually when you think of smaller guys you think of smaller hands which means less control of the ball and less arm power. Miles is a 400-pound squatter, and a 300-pound bencher. He’s a strong as you can be and he’s got this physical makeup minus his actual height of somebody that is 6-foot-4.

I don’t worry about his height at all. I worry about… has he figured out the other things or what is his ceiling look like? I know you hear that term a lot. His ceiling is very, very high. Some people did pass on him because they say I need 6-foot-4 and as they see he isn’t 6-foot-4 they are not going to take him. That’s just how it goes.

In college football you keep seeing it over and over again were coaches get stuck. They say ‘I come from this conference’ or ‘we only recruit guys that look like this’, and all of a sudden the MVP of that conference is somebody that doesn’t fit that mold.

Kids are different. The game is different. It is faster and the way that people want to play it now. It isn’t the same that it was 10 years or even five years ago. I think it is a great thing for Kansas to get a kid like Miles because the PAC 12 is going to be upset when they watch them win. A kid that was sitting right in their own backyard.

There were tons of coaches interested in him across the country. Just going into this, there were a lot of schools with a lot of interest. But this was going to be a thing what was the best fit for Miles and what coach was going to be the most sold on him. He had to go to junior college was because he was shorter and he ran the Wing T in high school.

So people sometimes have a tough time looking past that. It is kind of like two strikes against you. Then he gets one semester of running a spread offense at San Mateo and takes the team to the state championship in California and it was only there for six months. He just needed an opportunity and that’s why we sent him to say and Mateo. There are unbelievable coaches there. They did the same thing with a kid we sent two years ago Drew Brown who is the starter at Hawaii now. He (Drew) is not 6 foot either.

Through the Elite 11 program I bring a lot of quarterbacks around that are pro guys and college guys so there a lot of them that he has had a chance to work out with. There have probably been 20, 30, 40 starters over the last four years and different professional quarterbacks in town that have worked out with him. He will ask a lot of questions and he has prepared himself for this next step.

How are his mechanics and technique?

I think what people are going to see is he will surprise everybody how easy he makes it look. It just looks easy for him. He’s not going to look like a robot. We have worked and talked about letting him be himself and show his athleticism. His arm I would call it an 8 out of 10. He may not throw it 90 yards down the field but he can make every single throw on the field. His accuracy is far better than arm strength.