What Makes Notre Dame QB Target Drew Allar Special
Medina (Ohio) High’s Drew Allar is having an incredible run on the recruiting front. It seems that just about every other day he’s landing a new Power Five scholarship offer, as he’s gone from relatively unknown recruit to being invited to the Under Armour All-America Game in the matter of a couple months.
A big part of his development from sophomore to junior season is thanks to putting time into his craft with private quarterback coach Brad Maendler. They’ve been training together consistently since December of 2019.
Maendler feels that Allar’s game has improved in “every way you can evaluate a quarterback.”
“His arm strength is special,” Maendler told BlueandGold.com. “I’ve seen him throw a football 70-plus yards, and it’s effortless. And his deep ball is accurate. He also throws with great touch and can layer the ball in the intermediate pass game. Arm talent is an overused phrase, but he’s got it in spades.
“Another strength is his processing speed. You will not see him hold the ball too long. His ability to throw on rhythm, anticipate open throws and take what the defense gives him is really impressive.”
With Medina mostly running from an empty set, Allar is the focal point of the Battling Bees’ offense. He regularly ad libs from the pocket, fits in throws that most quarterbacks can’t and does whatever necessary to pick up yards.
Throwing across his body with a sidearm release is actually something Allar works on.
“He doesn’t do it to be cute,” Maendler explained. “He does it because it’s what is needed in the moment.
The game of football is constantly evolving, and more than ever, the sport revolves around the quarterback position. The days of having a strictly pocket passer are mostly over. While Allar would prefer to sit in a clean pocket and methodically march downfield, he has to get out of the pocket sometimes, which is where his various arm angles and off-platform throws come in handy.
“It’s part of what we do; I try to make it as much game oriented as possible,” Maendler continued. “We want our quarterbacks to feel pressure [during training] and have to make a decision quicker than they may want to or throw from a spot that’s hurried, so they have to learn how to control their bodies and stabilize.”
Allar’s first scholarship offer came from Central Michigan in January of 2020, one month after he started training with Maendler. Currently, he’s up to 27 offers and is evaluating each offer that comes in.
“He’s super humble,” Maendler said. “Every offer is big. I don’t care if it’s Notre Dame or a smaller program — it’s a big thrill to him. He doesn’t let this stuff go to his head.”
Notre Dame extended a scholarship to Allar on Feb. 25 and is the Irish’s fourth quarterback offer in the 2022 class. One of the four is off the board (Ty Simpson, committed to Alabama) and two remain as targets (Steve Angeli, Gavin Wimsatt).
Allar’s private quarterback coach insists that his star pupil is taking the recruiting process in, but Notre Dame is a school to watch moving forward.
“It’s Notre Dame, so that will grab your interest right away,” Maendler noted. “I am being 100% honest when I say that all of these offers are big to him. He is truly interested in the best fit from offensive and program perspective and what is a good fit for him as a student.”
Notre Dame had been expressing interest in Allar for a little over a year and had him on campus Feb. 1, 2020 for a visit one month before the dead period began. Communication between the two parties heated up in January when Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees asked Allar for his best and worst game from his junior season.
“I knew when they asked for that, they were doing a deeper level of due diligence,” Maendler said. “They were either going to like it or move on, and obviously, they liked it.”
Allar recently took self-guided tour visits to Penn State and Pittsburgh. Some consider the Nittany Lions as the favorite to land Allar’s commitment, and the Panthers were the first Power Five school to offer Allar (Feb. 11, 2020). Look for Allar to visit more schools on his own in the near future.
In the meantime, Allar will continue training on the field and in the film room.
“He’s a football junkie,” Maendler stated. “One of the things he’s enjoyed the most during the recruiting process is doing X’s and O’s discussions with various coaches. He loves the football talk; his football IQ is really high. He understands coverages, fronts and how to attack defenses. He’s into the mental side of the game.”
Per his highlight tape on Hudl, Allar has a 3.6 GPA and threw for 2,962 yards and 26 touchdowns during his junior season. Allar was named All-Ohio Division I second-team offense and Ohio All-Northeast Inland District first-team offense for his efforts in 2020.
Rivals ranks Allar as the No. 15 player in Ohio and the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the 2022 class.
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