The nation is full of rising stars from the 2023 class. Youth1 Media recently released our annual Elite101 rankings, which highlights elite prospects from around the country entering their 8th grade season.
A rising star from the city of Knoxville, Tennessee is QB Zach Lunsford, who was awarded the #97 spot on the Elite101 rankings. Lunsford's name is on the come up in youth football circles and his talent has began to garner national attention.
Lunsford spent the past 3 years as the QB of Hardin Valley Middle School, and is now leading the Knoxville Catholic 14U team this fall.
"I play Quarterback. I like being a leader of the team and running the offense," Lunsford told Youth1.com.
Standing at 5'11" 140 lbs., Lunsford is a dime dropper from the pocket. He makes quick reads and delivers the ball with velocity. His accuracy is among his best attributes, as he specializes in carving up defenses with his ability to delivery the ball in tight spots. His arm strength pops off the screen when you put on the tape, as he can delivery beautiful balls on the move as well.
Though he's already one of Tennessee's top youth QB prospects, that doesn't keep Lunsford from pushing himself to progress.
"I am always looking to get better and stronger. I stay active year round with camps, 7v7 and QB training," Lunsford said.
"I participated in a couple TN Gridiron Camps this past spring. One was the Tennessee showcase with mostly high school players. I did really well and it helped me with my speed and timing as the speed at the high school level is much faster," he added.
His hard work and training has clearly helped him develop into a QB to be reckoned going forward. Aside from his obvious positive attributes such as arm strength and accuracy, Lunsford is great at dealing with pressure in the pocket and using his speed to scramble when necessary.
"I have learned a new offense and plays this year playing for Catholic, which is ran more like the high school versus what you normally see in youth football.It has helped me with reading defenses, my timing and making decisions quicker. As I grow my arm is getting stronger. I can throw almost 50 yards," Lunsford said.
After a quick undefeated start to his season as QB of Knoxville Catholic, Lunsford is on his way to taking the Catholic offense to new heights. He knows much of the team's success will stem from his quarterback play.
"We are in week four of the season and are currently 3-0," Lunsford said.
"My first game I threw for 174 pass yards and had 1 rushing TD. We won 42-21 over the previous year champs. No interceptions so far. I am surrounding by great group of guys and that helps a lot. I couldn't do it without my team."
Being named to the Elite101 rankings is a great honor. It's recognition of talent and the hard work young athletes like Zach Lunsford are putting in. Lunsford isn't satisfied and remains dedicated to improving.
"Getting my arm stronger. Working on my speed and footwork, timing and reading defenses," Lunsford said of his focus areas of improvement.
QB Zach Lunsford is one of the elite prospects from the 2023 class. He's a name to get familiar with, as he'll be picking a part defenses for many years to come. For now, he'll continue to guide the Knoxville Catholic 14U football team with his strong arm and leadership.
For more on Zach Lunsford check out his Youth1 Player Profile -> here.
Click here to see who made the Elite101 rankings for 2018.
Check out Lunsford's highlights below.
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