Returning Cienega quarterback Adriell Alvarado passed for 1,994 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.


Over the next 16 days, we will feature our picks of Southern Arizona's top preseason high school football players.

Our countdown continues today with Adriell Alvarado, Cienega's promising young quarterback.

Adriell Alvarado

• The rundown: Adriell Alvarado, QB, 6-0, 170, Cienega, junior

• Who he is: An accurate, young pocket passer who stepped in and succeeded as a sophomore after transferring from Salpointe Catholic. The move turned out to be beneficial for both Alvarado and the Bobcats: He threw for 1,994 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2012 and led Cienega to the playoffs. Alvarado said he's now more comfortable in the Bobcats' offense, which will allow them to open up the playbook. The loss of top receiver Luke Holley will hurt, but Alvarado said he's mainly used the offseason to develop timing and rhythm with his new weapons. He doesn't have any scholarship offers yet but has interest in several California schools.

• Proof he's good: His composure in the pocket. While Alvarado threw three interceptions in a 19-17 nail-biting playoff loss to Mountain View in the first round, his season statistics were stellar. He was picked off only five times all year, and was named a second-team All-Southern Arizona selection. He also completed 64.8 percent of his passes. Coach Nemer Hassey said Alvarado has a great understanding of both the game and the complex offense the Bobcats run.

• He said it: "He just has a good football sense overall. He can read second- and third-option receivers, he can go through a progression and find the open guy and he understands how to throw at open areas away from defenders. He's not robotic as a quarterback; he's fluid."- Hassey