Better Than Bryce Young? @ElijahBrown_29 Leads Mater Dei

In the storied history of one the most successful high school football programs in America, Mater Dei has had exactly four freshmen who have started at quarterback for the school. Elijah Brown, a bright 2024 prospect, is the latest having started all five games of the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 season.

Todd Marinovich, Matt Barkley, and J.T. Daniels are the only others to start at quarterback as freshmen for the Mater Dei program. Brown didn’t just start either; he played well.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pound Brown completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 973 yards and he scored a total of 16 touchdowns. Those are good numbers for a high school player of any age. And remember, Brown did all that in the Trinity League arguably the toughest high school football conference in the nation.

Mater Dei QB Elijah Brown got off to a great start as a freshman.

Managing Expectations

There is a certain expectation when you line up under center at Mater Dei. It comes with being the starting quarterback at one of the premier high school football programs in America.

The quarterback alumni list at Mater Dei is a Who’s Who of outstanding signal callers. Go all the way back to John Huarte, who would go on to win a Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame in 1964. In addition to Marinovich and Barkley, don’t forget another Heisman Trophy winner – Matt Leinart.

There are plenty more too like the late Colt Brennan who starred at Hawaii, but the more recent comparisons for Brown are to Bryce Young, who will start for the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide this fall.

Brown should do just fine if he continues what he started this spring. His highlight reel makes it look like Brown has been doing this for years.


Though he is heading into his sophomore season, Brown already has offers from three Power 5 programs. Just days after his first varsity start against JSerra Catholic, Brown received his first offer which came from the University of Pittsburgh.

In that first game, Brown looked like a veteran completing 14-of-18 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns. You can see how Brown and his teammates took it to JSerra in last year’s season opener in the highlights below. Mater Dei won 52-3.

Later in April, Brown received two more offers. Both were from the Pac-12 – Arizona and Utah. After such a great start to his high school career, expect plenty more offers for the young Monarchs quarterback in the near future.

The Future

The future is bright for Brown as it was for the number of Mater Dei quarterbacks that have preceded him. He continues to prepare for the fall 2021 season. Here he is participating in the Battle at the Beach passing tournament at Edison HS.

Brown completes a pass to Raleek Brown.

Brown and his Mater Dei teammates will kick off the fall 2021 season against Corona Centennial and then will play in one of the biggest high school games of the season. The Monarchs will travel to Texas to take on Duncanville, the No. 15 team in the nation’s preseason rankings.

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