The nation's best high school quarterback attends St. John Bosco High School outside Los Angeles.

He goes to confession twice a semester, attends team Mass before games, huddles for post-practice prayer sessions, journeys on faith-based retreats and takes an annual religion class -- typical obligations for a student-athlete at an all-boys, Catholic high school.

And he is Jewish.

Meet Josh Rosen.

"He's really respectful," said St. John Bosco senior guard Matthew Katnik. "He sits when he has to, stands when he has to."

The UCLA-bound Rosen also stands out as a quarterback with Jewish roots. Though Benny Friedman and Sid Luckman -- playing before the 1950s -- made the Hall of Fame, Jay Fielder and Sage Rosenfels are the only two modern-era Jewish NFL quarterbacks.

When asked if he takes pride in being part of a select group of noteworthy Jewish quarterbacks, Rosen, who calls himself "kind of an atheist" and whose mother is a Quaker Christian, brushes it aside.

"(I) just happen to have that kind of background," he said. "There really isn't too much to it."

There, however, is no downplaying his accomplishments on the high school level.'s No. 1 ranked quarterback (and No. 2 ranked player overall) in the 2015 class, Rosen has thrown for 5,287 yards, 61 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

The 6-4, 210-pounder with a quick release and great pocket presence completed 68.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 39 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while leading Bosco to a 16-0 record and a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state title last year.

Rosen, 17, is one of the best quarterbacks in years from the Southern California area, a region that has produced Heisman Trophy winners, first-round draft picks and NFL starting quarterbacks.

"I have seen a lot of quarterbacks in my career -- Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley and some of those really, really talented guys," Bosco coach Jason Negro said. "Josh is every bit as talented as those individuals."

Legendary Mater Dei High coach Bruce Rollinson, who coached Barkley and Leinart, saw Rosen's entire throwing repertoire -- the touch pass, the mid-range pass and the deep ball -- firsthand as he lost to Bosco twice, 24-2 and 34-7, last year.

"He's everything that the press has been speaking about," Rollinson said. "He's a force to be reckoned with."

The senior will showcase his skills Aug. 22 when Bosco begins its season against Saint Louis (Hawaii) School at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium. There Rosen will orchestrate Bosco's explosive no-huddle, spread attack.

"We are definitely at another level in terms of our ability to be sophisticated offensively," Negro said. "We're able to do so much because of the intelligence of our quarterback."

His intelligence extends off the field.

The son of a Penn-educated father -- spine surgeon Dr. Charles Rosen -- and a Princeton-educated mother -- former journalist Liz Lippincott -- Rosen has a cumulative 4.3 GPA. He took four AP classes and Honors Pre-Calculus last year. (He's not allowed to take as many AP classes this year since he would have to drop them halfway through, because of his early enrollment at UCLA.)

"He doesn't mind helping other people that have trouble understanding something," said Katnik, who took AP U.S. History and AP Physics with Rosen. "He's a really smart kid."

Rosen's AP credits apply toward his UCLA degree requirement, part of the reason he wanted to attend the California state school. That allows him to either graduate in three years and enroll in the UCLA Anderson School of Management's MBA program as a senior -- or graduate in three years and enter the NFL.

Either way he is prepared for the next phase in life.


Rosen seemed destined to play quarterback.

Before he turned 1, he was constantly throwing things from his crib, including one time when Lippincott entered his room, after his nap.

"He launched his bottle," she said. "I swear it almost knocked me out."

Though a natural passer, his first love was tennis. Sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods, he earned a top 10 ranking in junior tennis and traveled the country for national tournaments. He even quit football in sixth and seventh grade to focus on tennis.

"That was my sport," Rosen said. "Tennis was what I really wanted to do."

But because of the repetitive swings, he suffered overuse injuries (scapula dyskinesis and glenohumeral internal rotation deficit or GIRD) to his shoulder during winter nationals in Arizona.

He avoided surgery, and his throwing shoulder healed. But his tennis interest waned, and he sought a team-oriented sport at a school. (Most elite tennis players don't attend four-year colleges; many are even homeschooled through high school.)

Football became his game, and -- with the exception of playing on the Bosco team last year -- he has not played tennis competitively since junior high.

His athletic gifts come from his parents. A nationally ranked ice skater, Charles Rosen competed in the sport until he was 20 and narrowly missed making the Winter Olympics in the mid-1970s. Lippincott captained the Princeton lacrosse team.

"There's a genetic component to athletes," Dr. Rosen said. "And he's got two jocks as parents."

In addition to the athletic bloodlines, Josh Rosen has an impressive lineage. His mom's great-great-great grandfather was Joseph Wharton.

The patriarch of one of the many Quaker families who became successful business entrepreneurs -- including the founders of Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays -- Wharton manufactured iron and nickel, co-founded Bethlehem Steel and established Wharton, University of Pennsylvania's renowned business school.

The Rosens vacation at the Whartons' Jamestown, Va., home every summer.

Joseph Wharton's daughter, Joanna, married Philadelphia publisher J. Bertram Lippincott in 1887 and named their oldest son Joseph Wharton Lippincott.

Liz's father was the last family CEO of noted publishing house J.B. Lippincott & Co, which was later acquired by Harper & Row, and Josh -- whose full name is Josh Ballinger Lippincott Rosen -- is named after the publisher's founder.

"We don't usually use (the full name) just because it's kind of pretentious," Liz joked. "It's just for the family sentimentality."

While combining those Quaker roots and Jewish upbringing, Josh had a Bar Mitzvah and attends Seder every Passover, but he also celebrates Christmas.

"My parents are pretty awesome in letting me kind of pick my own path," Rosen said, "and letting me believe what I want to believe."

Perhaps that's why Rosen has enjoyed learning the perspective of different religions and philosophies while at Bosco, the school recommended by friend and current Cal WR Bryce Treggs. Rosen recently completed a nine-page paper entitled "What is the good life?"

Bosco has about 820 students, and that includes Mormons, Baptists and several who hail from Polynesia. The football program has around 210 players, and last year's center, Elijah Zabludoff, was Jewish.

That gave the Catholic school the unusual distinction of having an all-Jewish, center-quarterback exchange in 2013.

Though Bosco has provided a comfortable environment for someone raised Jewish, Rosen, who self-deprecatingly said he has "got a relatively big nose," has received derision about that from opposing teams.

"I've gotten some slurs here and there," Rosen said, "but not anything too bad. It's all fun and games."

Rosen declined to delve further. And whether it was just meaningless trash talk as he insinuated or something more nefarious, it's a far cry from the injustices experienced generations ago.

During his late-teens, Charles Rosen remembers clearly outskating opponents -- but then ending up behind them in the final rankings. One notion was that the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) wanted to present less ethnic looking skaters as All-American champions during the Cold War era.

"It used to be difficult in athletics sometimes if you were Jewish," Dr. Rosen said. "That was 30 years ago, and things change."


Rosen will enroll at UCLA early, starting college in the winter quarter after graduating high school, following the fall semester.

The opportunity to start as a true freshman was a major reason he chose UCLA. The Bruins are slated to have an open QB competition to replace Heisman Trophy candidate Brett Hundley, with whom Rosen visits whenever he swings by the UCLA campus.

Bosco runs a similar offense to UCLA. The Bosco staff has visited that school, along with Oregon and Arizona State, during the past couple years, and those programs greatly influenced Bosco's attack, which is predicated on its quick pace.

"That's one of the reasons Josh is going to be such a good fit at UCLA," Negro said.

Despite possessing the large frame of a dropback passer, Rosen is adept at running the zone-read. He burned Mater Dei during the teams' playoff game last year, breaking tackles to the tune of 11 carries for 113 yards.

"He really had a tremendous all-around game -- running, throwing," Rollinson said. "He was on fire."

That shows that even when high school opponents try to disguise coverages on the back end, Rosen will find a way to lead his team to victory.

It's a trait he began showcasing as a sophomore, after playing on the JV as a high school freshman.

On fourth-and-goal with 3:11 remaining and Bosco down 17-10 to Notre Dame (Calif.) High in the 2012 CIF Pac-5 Division Quarterfinals, Rosen rolled right and connected on a nine-yard, pylon route to A.J. Holman to tie the game. He then led the team down the field to score the game-winning touchdown with 1:19 left.

"That was pretty much the defining moment," Negro said. "We knew he was going to be special."

Rosen is certainly an exceptional case, but while many may focus on a talented Jewish quarterback leading a Catholic school, ideologies are secondary for the heralded passer.

"They could be praying to Zeus every time at those games," Dr. Rosen said. "And he wouldn't care as long he gets to throw a football."

-- Follow Jeff Fedotin on Twitter @JFedotin.