Mater Dei standout quarterback Elijah Brown commits to Stanford ahead of pivotal senior season

Mater Dei High quarterback Elijah Brown prepares to take a snap in the shotgun formation during a game last season.
Mater Dei quarterback Elijah Brown announced he’s committing to Stanford.
(Jerome Miron / For The Times)

They say the young minds at Stanford are some of the brightest in the country, but it doesn’t quite take a genius to glance at a new quarterback with a 29-1 record in high school to realize major change could be coming to the football program.

On Sunday, news broke from recruiting sites that Mater Dei High’s Elijah Brown, arguably Southern California’s best quarterback in the class of 2024, committed to Stanford. It’s a major get for the Cardinal program in a new era under incoming coach Troy Taylor, as Brown has a legitimate shot to become Stanford’s best signal caller since their Pac-12 glory days with Andrew Luck — and a loss for local programs, as Brown went with Stanford over offers from UCLA and USC.

From his first games coming into a nationally renowned Mater Dei program in the middle of 2020’s COVID-altered spring season, Brown impressed with veteran poise, and his progression in accuracy and reads since has made him arguably the best quarterback in the Southland the last two seasons. He threw for 2,785 yards and 31 touchdowns with only four interceptions as a junior last fall for a 12-1 Monarchs team.


That one loss — in the Southern Section Open Division final to St. John Bosco — stings Brown, as Monarchs and Braves continue to retool and duke it out for control of the section and state at large.

“Probably could’ve audibled a lot more times than I did — kinda just let the calls come in … sometimes I need to take it into my own hands,” Brown said in March when asked about areas of improvement that he was focusing on after the Bosco loss.

Brown’s senior season at Mater Dei is pivotal for the program; gone is legendary head coach Bruce Rollinson, retired on the heels of a couple of seasons marred by allegations of hazing and sexual assault.

Brown’s new man with the headset is Frank McManus, a former defensive backs coach for Mater Dei whom the senior quarterback spoke highly of in March.

When asked in March if McManus’ hire felt like a fresh start for the embattled program, Brown responded, “Yeah, in a sense, it definitely does. We got to come out strong this year.”

He’ll have one season to try to wrestle the belt back from St. John Bosco before he heads north.