For Hart High senior quarterback JT Shrout, playing in the Pac-12 has always been a dream. So, obviously, earning an offer from Cal Berkeley late last month qualified as a dream come true. It was not, however, a decision maker. “To have Cal offer was a dream come true, for sure,” Shrout said last week at the Saugus Under the Lights Passing Tournament. “But I have a lot of great schools to look at, so I’m not really narrowing in on anything right now.” Shrout, Hart’s backup the last two seasons, has received offers from Cal, UNLV, Fresno State, San Diego State, Ball State, Colorado State, Hawaii, Montana State, Weber State and San Jose State.
The 6-foot-3, three-star quarterback said the process has been a blessing and that he plans to make a decision before Hart opens against Downey at College of the Canyons on Sept. 1. “It’s kind of hectic. It’s surreal, I guess you could say,” he said. “You see all these guys getting multiple offers. Now to be in that position is pretty cool.” Over the last two seasons, Shrout completed 22-of-36 passes for 240 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions, according to MaxPreps. In 2015, he took over under center after starter Nick Moore tore his ACL. Shrout, though, suffered a season-ending injury two weeks later in a loss to Valencia. After the 2016 campaign, the Indians graduated their top five receivers, so Shrout is using the summer to get on the same page with a young group and to adjust to being “the dude” after waiting his turn. “It’s fun. The last year was tough, but I had a lot of time to learn,” he said. “Now being the dude, it’s been really fun to get under center and start slinging the rock again.” At Saugus’ passing tournament, Shrout was regularly slinging it deep to senior receiver Da’Von Jones. As the summer progresses, Shrout hopes to improve his timing with his receivers and work on his speed and strength. He is the 58th-ranked pro-style quarterback recruit in the class of 2018, according to 247sports.com. Rivals ranks him as a three-star quarterback and as California’s No. 91 overall prospect in the class of 2018. Shrout said he plans to attend a University of Oregon football camp in Redlands on June 18.