Louisiana’s current top crop of varsity quarterbacks

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Cole Canatella

If you look back at the history of outstanding quarterbacks the state of Louisiana has produced, the list you compile is one of the best in the nation.

Terry Bradshaw, Bert Jones, Doug Williams, Joe Fergurson, Tommy Hodson, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Josh Booty, Dak Prescott, Bobby Hebert, John Fourcade, Norris Weese and Brock Berlin, just to name a few, made considerable marks in the game.

If you look at the lay of the land today, the future is extremely bright as well. Quarterback camps have had a hand in the maturation process of the young, talented, aspiring signal callers reaching their potential. Add to that process superior coaching.

Here are quarterbacks that you’ll potentially keep seeing and hearing about well into the future.

2024 class

Daniel Beale (6-3, 215) Catholic-Baton Rouge

A ULL commit. The Bears are the No. 3 seed in Division I Select. Beale was Class 5A All State as a junior in 2022 over heralded senior competition like Rickie Collins (LSU) and Eli Holstein (Alabama). Catholic has had success at the position with Major Applewhite and Garrett Graves alum.

Sam Altman (6-3, 195) St. Thomas More

A pro style for Division II Select’s No. 1 seed, he has followed in the footsteps of Walker Howard with the Cougars. Offensive coordinator Shane Savoie is one of the state’s best. Altman threw for 2,145 yards, 23 touchdowns and 3 interceptions this past regular season. Last season, he accounted for 3,206 yards passing with 33 TD’s and 6 interceptions, leading his team to the Division II Select state title. In the championship game, Altman threw for 422 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Cole Canatella (5-10, 180) Holy Cross

The leader of the Division I Select top-seeded Tigers, Canatella completed the regular season as the New Orleans Metro area’s top passer with 1,897 yards, 20 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He completed 69.3% of his throws. Canatella had 6 touchdowns against St. Augustine.

Holy Cross’ last trip to the state final happened in 1967. Last season, he tore a shoulder muscle that cut his 2022 campaign short.

Canatella won’t wow you with his size, but his performance and leadership ability will grab your attention. A Southland Conference school may get a real bargain on him.

Peyton Fulgham (6-1, 200) Evangel

The four-year starter was the state’s fourth rated passer this season with 2,621 yards, 27 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, completing 67% of his passes. Nicholls, Evangel College and Southern Arkansas have all expressed interest in the son of Josh Booty. Evangel bowed out of the playoffs to Shaw. His twin brother Parker is a standout receiver who has 223 career catches for 3,731 yards and 34 scores.

Preston Welch ( 6-2,200) Teurlings Catholic

Already with an offer from UAB, Welch has Tulane, ULL, Troy and Liberty monitoring. He has a school record of 37 touchdown passes in 2022 and has thrown for over 5,000 career yards and over 60 scores. He broke the former Teurlings Catholic record previously held by Jake Delhomme. Welch can make the deep throws, featuring a quick set up and fearlessness in the pocket.

Amyne Darensbourg (6-1,205) John F. Kennedy

SWAC and state schools are monitoring him. In The Cougars’ 46-6 win over Vandebilt Catholic last week, Amyne was 16 of 26 for 183 yards and 5 touchdowns. The lefty was the third rated passer in New Orleans Metro area for the season with 1,886 yards, 28 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He moves well in the pocket, shows ability to escape pressure and gets the ball out quickly.

2025 class

Emile Picarella (6-3, 210) University High

The transfer from Mississippi holds offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Boston College, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Akron and Pittsburgh. Picarella is rated as the nation’s No. 9 pro style passer. In the ’23 season, he threw for 27 touchdowns. Picarella has good agility in the pocket, good touch on deep throws and above average accuracy. He throws with anticipation and velocity via an over-the-top delivery.

Jackson Bradley (6-3, 200) Oak Grove

Having committed to Louisiana Tech last week, he also has good bloodlines. His father Josh played one season at LSU (1993) before transferring to Louisiana Tech as tight end who is now considered one of the top 50 players in Tech history.

Evan Arceneaux (6-1, 200) De La Salle

The eighth rated passer in the Metro area this season threw for 1,543 yards, 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. As a senior in 2024, he will be a 3 year starter. Arceneaux gets the ball out quickly, recognizes defenses, and has good placement on throws.

Ben Taylor (6-1, 180) Airline

The state’s passing yardage leader in ’22 and ’23, Taylor was a starter as freshman. Last fall, he passed for 3,507 yards with 44 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while completing 73% of his tosses. During the 2023 regular season, he racked up 3,098 yards and 37 scores. Centenary has extended ab offer. He is getting looks from Baylor and Arkansas State.

Abram Wardell ( 6-0, 190) Calvary Baptist

The second leading passer in the state this year with 2,921 yards passing, 33 touchdowns and only one interception while completing 79.6% has been close to perfect for the Cavaliers. Head coach Rodney Guin also coached Dak Prescott in high school (at Haughton).

Eli Friend (6-1, 185) Newman

Ivy League teams have lots of interest. He finished sixth in the Metro area in passing this season with 1,603 yards, 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, completing 66.4 % of his throws. Friend doesn’t get rattled and has a high football IQ. Waiting in the wings behind Arch Manning did not hurt Friend’s development.

2026 class

Luke Delafield (6-2, 180) North DeSoto

Holding offers from ULM and Northwestern State, he passed for 2,475 yards, 29 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with a 65%. completiont rate this season. With an undefeated 11-0 record, his squad bested DeRidder 63-21 last week and he had 185 yards passing and 4 touchdowns while playing in only one half.

Jackson Fields (6-2, 185) Destrehan

The New Orleans Metro area’s top passer for the 2023 season is very accurate on the move. Fields was 14-of-20 for 243 yards and 3 scores in a second round win over Belle Chasse.

Jerry Bottley IV (6-3, 175) Southern Lab

He holds an offer from Grambling as a dangerous dual-threat.

John Johnson (6-0, 175) Edna Karr

The fourth rated passer in Metro area with 1,698 yards, 19 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 72% completions is a very advanced sophomore. He is following in the footsteps of some outstanding quarterbacks for Cougars like Aldon Clark, A.J. Samuel, Skyler Perry, Leonard Kelly, Speedy Noil and Tonka George,.

Chantz Babineaux (5-11, 185) Carencro

Holding offers from Tulane and ULM, the sixth rated passer in the state this season managed 2,545 yards, 28 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. It’s his first season as a quarterback. Last season as a wide receiver, Babineaux snared 47 balls for 983 yards and 11 scores, adding 31 tackles and 7 passes defended as a two-way player. Against Sulphur this season, he threw 394 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 185 yards on 7 carries with 4 more scores. Babineaux is viewed as a wide receiver or defensive back in college.

2027 class

Elijah Haven (6-5, 195) Dunham

Texas Tech has already offered with many more to come. He threw for 1,967 yards, 33 touchdowns and 3 interceptions this season. During his first varsity start against Parkview Baptist in the season opener, Haven threw for 379 yards and 5 touchdowns while running for 155 yards and 2 more scores. A talented basketball player as well, he averaged 10.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists last season.

Haven has terrific arm strength up to 80 yards. He wears the jersey #5 with a resemblance to Jayden Daniels but he is more comparable to Ryan Perriloux at the same stage of development.

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Rene Nadeau


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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to play football at LSU, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in…

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