Written by: Adam Baliatico
Zamar Wise is a name that soon enough, will be a nationally known name. The 6’1 quarterback who plays at Barringer in Newark, exploded onto the scene last year as a freshman, throwing for 1898 yards and 18TDs despite entering Barringer as a wide receiver. We caught up with Wise himself, Barringer Head Coach Ronly London and his quarterback coach Jeff Lucien from Lucien Passing Academy.
As an 8th grader, Zamar was thriving at the pop warner level as an athletic, big-play wide receiver. However, upon arriving at Barringer, the team needed a quarterback only two weeks before the season started when projected starting quarterback Shamir White transferred to DePaul Catholic.
Head Coach Ronly London was preparing to use Zamar’s older brother, Steven, as the teams quarterback, when he saw Zamar throw one deep pass down the field. “We were going to use Steven as our QB,” Coach London told Rutgers 247. “But then I watched Zamar throw one pass, a deep ball, and I said, Wow! That’s my quarterback.”
Initially Zamar was skeptical, according to Coach London. “He said, Coach I am a wide receiver, I am better there.” But Coach London convinced Zamar, and his father, to trust him. “I told Zamar and his dad, just trust me and Zamar will be a star at quarterback.”
Zamar and his father took the leap of faith and Coach London was right, as Zamar threw for over 1900 yards as a freshman, leading Barringer to an 8-2 record.
What should be scary for local defenses, and future college defenses, is that Zamar had that season as a freshman without any formal QB training until two weeks before the season.
As Coach Lucien told Rutgers247, “Last year, Zamar was playing with limited training. The improvements he has shown so far this year are a testament to his tremendous work ethic and all the work he put in the past year in improving as a passer.”
While Zamar is a tremendously hard worker, Coach London spoke about other qualities that make him a tremendous teammate and quarterback. “Zamar is a great listener,” Coach London said. “He is loyal, he is a student of the game, and he doesn’t get caught up in the hype.”
In terms of being a student of the game, Coach London noted how Zamar volunteered to be the freshman team’s offensive coordinator last year. “Zamar came up to me and asked me if he could call the plays for the freshman team,” Coach London told Rutgers247. “He was willing to get up at 7am every Saturday, head to the field, and be with the guys and call the plays. That’s impressive for a high school freshman.”
Talking more about not getting caught up in the hype, we spoke to Zamar and Coach London about Zamar’s decision to attend Barringer rather than a local parochial school as so many great talents in Newark do.
“Basically, I just wanted to be a leader,” Zamar told Rutgers247. “So many kids go to Bosco or Bergen and make it big. I just wanted to show kids in the area that you can stay at the public school and make it big and I didn’t want to be a follower, I wanted to be a leader and set my own path.”
Zamar’s tremendous talent, work ethic, and leadership qualities have him projecting as an elite, power-five level recruit and has already drawn interest from two major college programs in Rutgers and Temple.
In speaking with Zamar about what he is looking for in a college, he mentioned that he wants a program with great coaches, a good environment, and a strong science program, as he loves science, particularly physics.
So far, Zamar has met one college coach in Rutgers Head Coach Chris Ash, who he met this summer at the Rutgers passing camp. “I met Coach Ash this summer,” Zamar told Rutgers247. “He is a great guy and a great coach who is really smart and he is going to try and keep all the local talent home and get them to play at Rutgers.”
While Zamar is very close to his family and said he is impressed with Coach Ash and the Rutgers program, he mentioned Ohio State as his dream school. “Ohio State is kind of my dream school,” he said. “Their tradition of winning, coaching staff, and the fanbase are just unbelievable.”
While Zamar loves Ohio State, he did mention that Rutgers, now that they switched to a power-spread offense, will be a competitor for his services.
“I want to play in a spread or a power-spread offense at the next level,” he told Rutgers247. “So with that, Rutgers now is a possibility especially because of their new coaching staff and strong academics.”
One thing Zamar made clear is that he is going to try and find the right school for himself early on, as he does not like the attention or want to get caught up in the hype. “Once things get going with recruiting, I am going to try and find the right program very early on,” he said.
“I don’t want to deal with the stress of recruiting and want to find my home, commit, and then just get back to focusing on schoolwork and football.”
As a recruit, Zamar projects as a national level recruit, and could end up being one of the top quarterbacks in the country for the Class of 2019. Coach Lucien talked about his strengths as a quarterback, noting that “his arm strength is just incredible. He has the ability to throw the deep ball better than any quarterback I have seen at his age.”
In addition, Coach Lucien noted his “improving footwork, ability to take coaching, and his leadership” as qualities Zamar possesses while also noting that Zamar is still raw, and that there is tremendous room for even further improvement.
“He’s only been playing QB for a little over a year,” Lucien told Rutgers247. “As he gets more comfortable going through progressions and making reads, he is just going to become a better and better quarterback.”
Lucien concluded, saying, “I think Zamar is one of the best QBs in the country for his class. He has all the tools. Strong arm, great ability to take coaching, leadership qualities, incredible athleticism. He just has it all. He’s going to be big time.”
Stay tuned with Rutgers247 as Zamar’s recruitment should explode in the next 6 to 12 months, once his sophomore film hits the college campuses.