|Nick Juels is proving that size doesn't matter, as the 5-foot-10, 170-pound quarterback has shown his cannon arm, accuracy and toughness for Grace Brethren High School in Simi Valley (photo by Lorenzo Reyna).|
At 5-foot-10 and 170-pounds, Simi Valley-Grace Brethren quarterback Nick Juels looks like someone who can be easy to pick on.
But don’t let his diminutive stature fool you. Juels displays his scrapper and bomber side when he sets foot on the football field and has a linebacker-like edge to his game, which he gets courtesy of a PAC-12 linebacker.
“The toughness came from growing up with an older brother who plays linebacker for UCLA. He was always beating up on me,” Juels said, smiling.
Jake Juels is who he’s referencing. The elder Juels gets some credit for helping hand the Class of 2017 prospect a mean streak to his game, as the younger Juels sits in the pocket and fires an array of bombs against defenses in South Ventura County, while also getting up quickly from linebacker hits.
He was responsible for two things: tossing 30 touchdown passes and throwing for over 2,100 yards at the underrated powerhouse located on the cross streets of Cherry and Elizondo Avenues.
“My strengths are the fire I play with. I’m not a quarterback who is soft,” Juels said. “I like to get out there, get hit, but get physical, have leadership and play with fire.”
There’s also the mental aspect that comes in handy for Juels. He’s developed a trait for pinpointing a defenses’ weakness – and that comes from spending time with his Bruin brother.
“He’s a smart defensive player. When he would break down film at our house, I would be watching him and the things he would get taught, I would pick up on. That allows me to exploit the weakness of defenses,” Juels said.
Juels hasn’t generated a lot of buzz on the recruiting trail so far. Columbia, Northern Arizona and Georgetown College of the NAIA have sent him letters, while Syracuse invited him to take the plane ride and compete at one of its off-season camps. Still, Juels holds no scholarship offers.
One way Juels is trying to market his name, toughness and natural abilities to college coaches is by latching on with former NFL running back Darick Holmes and his club venture: The Pro Way. Juels is out at Calabasas High slinging the rock to Keyshawn Johnson Jr., Darnay Holmes and competing with highly-recruited quarterback Tristan Gebbia, who holds 15 reported scholarship offers including one from Alabama.
“I’ve been going to the Pro Way for a long time. Just to see it progress with all these kids and talent out here is awesome,” Juels said.
He adds that even though the practice volume among the players intensifies on multiple occasions, it’s still friendly competition between him and the other national recruits.
“All of us know each other and we want the upper hand on one another. We’re pushing each other to be better, though. Iron sharpens iron,” Juels said.
Juels is aiming to use the Pro Way practices to hone his speed, arm strength and mental skills. He’s also aware that he’s not the biggest player on the football field - which means he can be the most targeted. Juels, however, likes the fact that defenders underestimate him.
Said Juels: “It definitely makes me mad. But I wouldn’t change it any other way. It pushes me to push myself that much harder to become better and work harder than anyone else.”