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Carson Beck, Jeff Sims become rare Elite 11 selections from area

Mandarin, Sandalwood QBs are just 3rd, 4th honorees from area

Sandalwood QB Jeff Sims, left and Mandarin QB Carson Beck, finished as two of the top 12 quarterbacks in the country at the Elite 11 event.
Sandalwood QB Jeff Sims, left and Mandarin QB Carson Beck, finished as two of the top 12 quarterbacks in the country at the Elite 11 event.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Carson Beck and Jeff Sims are officially Elite. 

Not that they needed another accolade to validate their accomplishments on the football field, but the duo from Duval County added one more title 

Beck and Sims, quarterbacks in the Class of 2020 from Mandarin and Sandalwood, respectively, wrapped up their showings at The Opening with major honors on Wednesday. 

Both Beck and Sims earned spots on the final Elite 11 team, becoming the first area quarterbacks from  outside of St. Johns County to make the prestigious list. 

The duo had made the initial cut from 20 to 11 during the Elite 11 finals on Sunday, and advanced to the finals of The Opening, the ultra-exclusive event for top recruits. That event wrapped up Wednesday. 

Beck and Sims went into the final day still in contention for the Elite 11 MVP title, but that ultimately went to Rancho Cucamonga’s CJ Stroud, a three-star prospect by 247 Sports. Stroud began the day in eighth place, sandwiched between Sims at seventh and Beck in ninth. 

While a handful of area players have qualified for the Elite 11 over the years, only two have garnered elite status when all was said and done. 

Nease’s Tim Tebow was an Elite 11 finisher in 2005, a group that eventually yielded four NFL first-round picks — Josh Freeman, Jake Locker, Tebow and Matt Stafford.

Bartram Trail’s Kyle Parker followed as an Elite 11 finisher in 2007. That class also yielded four first-round picks, Blaine Gabbert, Andrew Luck, E.J. Manuel and Parker, albeit his was by Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies. 

Among other area players who competed at The Opening were Oakleaf defensive end Chantz Williams and Trinity Christian cornerback Fred Davis. 
 


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