If you were searching for a quarterback to lead this talented Kentucky high school football senior class, two guys would pop up immediately on your scouting radar:
Elijah Sindelar of Caldwell County and Reese Ryan of Lexington Catholic.
It seems like Sindelar has been around forever. He threw for 2,700 yards and 19 touchdowns as a freshman, and hasn't let up since.
He led Caldwell County to a Class 2A runner-up finish in 2012 and an undefeated regular season last year.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Sindelar committed to Purdue in February, picking the Boilermakers over Kentucky and Ole Miss. A 4.0 student, Sindelar cited Purdue's engineering program as a major factor in his decision.
Sindelar has thrown for 9,028 yards and 95 touchdowns in his career. If he matches last year's production (3,400 yards and 44 TDs), he would finish third all-time in yards and No. 1 in TD passes in the state record book.
Caldwell County Coach David Barnes said Sindelar's No. 1 job this season "will be showing senior leadership."
Sindelar's goals are lofty:
"Win each game by winning each quarter, to be district champs, to be regional champs, and ultimately to be state champs," he said.
Ryan is aiming high, too. He wants to lead Lexington Catholic to its first state title since 2007.
New Knights Coach Mark Perry will have Ryan piloting an Air Raid offense that puts a premium on quick decision-making in a rapid tempo.
Ryan, who's thrown for 4,700 yards and 52 TDs the last two years, figures to excel in that style of play.
"It's a blessing to come here and have a quarterback like Reese," Perry said. "He's very smart, he's a coach on the field, he's very skilled and he has all the intangibles."
Perry was impressed by Ryan's play in a 7-on-7 camp in Georgia last month.
"There were throws that were only a hand's length difference from being a great pass or an interception, and he put it where it it needed to be over and over again.
"He wasn't afraid to throw the ball into a tight spot. He was confident he could put it where it needed to be."
Ryan said he's taken more ownership of the team now that he's a senior and feels "more responsible to take a leadership role. I've got to keep everybody happy."
The 6-2, 175-pound Ryan has college offers from Akron, EKU, Illinois and Murray State. He had an offer from Louisville when Charlie Strong was coach, but not one from Bobby Petrino.
After Ryan impressed UK's coaches in camp this summer, they told him they'd offer him if one of their current quarterbacks transferred. That hasn't happened yet.
Harvard, Middle Tennessee and WKU are also interested in Ryan.
While Madison Southern's Damien Harris, the top-rated running back in the nation, is the early favorite for Mr. Football, Sindelar and Ryan have to be in the conversation.
Remember last year? Conner quarterback Drew Barker and John Hardin defensive lineman Matt Elam were touted in the preseason as Mr. Football favorites. Bowling Green receiver Nacarius Fant won the award, though, after helping the Purples to a third consecutive undefeated state championship.
This year's senior class is deep in talent.
Warren East linebacker Eli Brown (UK commit) and Warren Central linebacker Emmitt Smith are Division I prospects. So are Henderson County lineman Mason Wolfe (UK commit) and Scott County safety Grayson Miller (Michigan State).
WKU has commitments from several seniors, including Lafayette linebacker DeVon Quincy and receiver Dontavion "Lucky" Jackson; DeSales defensive end Bryant Pirtle, and Doss tight end Tyler Jefferson.
The junior class has some high-profile prospects, too.
McCracken County athlete Zy'Aire Hughes and Lafayette lineman Landon Young have committed to UK. Ashland Blazer running back Quinton Baker, Henry Clay safety Davonte Robinson, Male wide receiver Keion Wakefield and Woodford County lineman Drake Jackson have offers from the Cats.