In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a player with good talent and a solid pedigree: QB Cade Weldon.
Looking to find the QB of the future, Miami is bringing in 2 signal callers in this class, with Weldon being one of them. The son of Former FSU QB and 1992 Heisman Trophy Runner-up Casey Weldon, Cade has good size at 6’2” 205lbs, and a very good athletic pedigree.
Weldon had an interesting path as a prospect. In his junior season, Weldon tore his ACL/MCL on the first drive of the season opener. That knee injury caused him to miss the entirety of his junior year, which is the biggest year for rankings/recruiting purposes.
In the spring of 2016, Weldon made his return to the field on the camp and 7v7 circuit, showing good talent and plus accuracy. I saw him at Nike The Opening’s Miami Regional, and I thought Weldon was the best QB prospect at the event, even over some other players who carry a higher ranking.
On the strength of his camp season showing, and several visits to Coral Gables, Weldon committed to Miami in March of 2016. From there, he was totally locked in with the Canes, and did not take any other visits.
In his return to game action in the fall of 2016, Weldon showed that he has the talent most expected. In leading the Tampa (FL) Jefferson Dragons into the playoffs, Weldon threw for 3,135 yards with 19 TDs and 11 INTs. Yes, the INTs are more than you’d like, but those mainly came from Weldon trying to make a play for his team.
Like fellow 2017 recruit Bradley Jennings Jr, Weldon decided to go against the family legacy, picking Miami as his college home instead of Florida State. And, like Jennings Jr, Weldon is an early enrollee, and started classes at Miami in Mid-January.
On the 247sports composite, Weldon is a 3-star prospect, the #37 Pro-Style/Pocket Passer QB in this class, #134 in the State of Florida, and #969 recruit overall. I think that Weldon’s low ranking is due to the fact that he missed the entirety of his junior year with a torn ACL/MCL (torn on the first drive of the first game of the year). When you look at his productivity as a senior, it warrants a higher ranking than that.
Weldon committed to Miami over 6 other offers, including Kentucky and South Carolina.
Weldon as a player
Weldon has good size at 6’2” 205lbs. Not the tallest QB in the world, but his height isn’t a negative issue to me.
Outside of that, Weldon is a better athlete than first glance might have you believe. He rushed for more than 300 yards as a senior, and has the mobility to be elusive in the pocket, and pick up first downs in key situations with his legs.
Weldon’s arm strength is average. He can make the throws you need, but he’s not powering the ball down the field late or into tight windows. He shows good anticipation in his throws, something that is absolutely necessary given his arm strength limitations.
Being the son of a QB, Weldon has a good grasp on the game and high football IQ. He does well reading HS defenses, but like all players stepping up to the college level he can improve on this as college defenses and offenses are more complex than those at the HS level.
Here’s a look at Weldon as a player from a former QB friend of mine, who was a D1 recruit back in his day:
Cade Weldon 6’2” 200 lb. Quarterback from Jefferson High School in Tampa, Florida is son of Ex NFL QB Casey Weldon. His lineage and stock are very heir and air apparent.
You can tell Cade has been well coached and has exceptional footwork and rhythm for the position at the high school level. One of the things on film that you instantly gravitate to is Cade’s command in the pocket and rather quick release. A shorter rotational thrower likened to the Danny Weurffel-esque class of delivery systems, Cade amassed 3135 yards in the air with 19 touchdowns in only 10 games his senior campaign.
Cade is a very athletic and capable runner compiling 368 yards on the ground in 2016. Whereas I wouldn’t categorize Cade as a dynamic take it to the house “Dual Threat”, his ability to create plays with his feet and make plays outside the pocket flash throughout his film. Cade also can be found in highlights sacrificing his body for the sake of extra yardage. Now coaches might not approve of unnecessary punishment but this sacrificial leadership can spark passion and belief amongst future teammates.
What I do consider concerns however is Cade’s TD to interception ratio his senior campaign. 19 TD’s to 11 Int’s. I personally like to see High School Ratio’s at least 3 to 1 and higher especially from seniors. ( I feel this can be attributed to him at times trying to force the ball into some tighter windows) Also Cade’s overall arm strength isn’t breath taking. Cade is still capable of making throws across the yard and has particularly great touch on deep balls but Cade will not join the Hurricanes boasting the strongest arm on campus.
Ultimately with all things considered, Cade should not be considered a 2nd fiddle quarterback to anyone but rather someone in their own right capable of coming in and legitimately competing for the job. If Cade wasn’t hurt with a season ending injury his Jr year, I unwaveringly believe he’d be a much more heralded and celebrated prospect. Cade Weldon is a son of a coach who is exceptional in execution and who I believe can easily win over his teammates with his work ethic, skill set and resolve.
Miami is looking to replace QB Brad Kaaya, who rewrote the UM passing record books in a statistically stellar (yet W/L uninspiring) 3 year collegiate career. Weldon, who has already enrolled at Miami, is one of several players vying to replace Kaaya as Miami’s starter.
While he’s not the top QB in this class (that’s fellow signee N’Kosi Perry, for those wondering), Weldon has the skills and savvy to be a serious competitor for the starting QB job. That being said, I think it would take a yeoman’s effort for him to win that job, and if he doesn’t, then I see a Redshirt coming in Weldon’s immediate future.
Chance for a redshirt: 9/10
(with the 1/10 chance that he wins the job being the only thing that saves him from that).
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.