Latest posts by Joe Broback (see all)
- Big Ten Championship: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers Game Preview - December 6, 2019
- SEC Championship: LSU Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs - December 5, 2019
- Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Baylor Bears - December 4, 2019
Summertime is here, and that means that college football will be here before we know it. We saw a ton of talent during the 2018 season, but a lot of that talent is gone. However, there’s still a ton of talent returning, especially at quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence battled on the biggest stage, and both return in 2019. They headline the Heisman Trophy competition this year, but also will find a ton of competition. Today, we take a look at the Top 25 (and a few more) quarterbacks in college football.
25. Joe Burrow, LSU
2018 Stats: Completed 219 of his 379 passes (57.9%) for 2894 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rushed 128 times for 399 yards (3.1 ypc) and seven touchdowns.
Is there another player that took as many hits as Burrow? His iconic moment was when UCF’s Joey Connors laid him out and responded with nearly 400 yards passing and a Fiesta Bowl win. Burrow relies on his intelligence and decision making to make up for average arm strength. An underrated runner who can make plays with his legs.
24. Jake Bentley, South Carolina
2018 Stats: Completed 240 of his 388 passes (61.9%) for 3,171 yards with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
As calm as they get, Bentley rarely gets rattled. His eyes always stay downfield to gives his receivers a chance, but he also knows when to run. His interception and his decreasing completion percentage are a concern.
23. Cole McDonald, Hawaii
2018 Stats: Completed 285 of his 484 passes (58.9%) for 3.875 yards with 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Rushed 134 times for 359 yards (2.7 ypc) and four touchdowns.
Hawaii’s offense returned to Colt Brennan/Timmy Chang form thanks to McDonald. Health remains his biggest concern, but not a large one. McDonald’s not afraid to take deep shots, and he’s fast enough to do damage on the ground as well.
22. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
2018 Stats: Completed 238 of his 415 passes (57.3%) for 3,107 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rushed 149 times for 474 yards (3.2 ypc) and seven touchdowns.
Another year under Jimbo Fisher should yield nice dividends. Mond’s passing needs to improve for the Aggies to be more dangerous, but his legs are still elite. He showcased his speed multiple times, including a long run against Alabama.
21. Zac Thomas, Appalachian State
2018 Stats: Completed 159 of his 254 passes (62.6%) for 2,039 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rushed 92 times for 504 yards (5.5 ypc) and 10 touchdowns.
A dual threat that needs to improve more as a passer. He’ll be joined in the backfield with talent, but his arm will need to help out more. Thomas runs well and has good vision to avoid tacklers as well.
20. Jordan Love, Utah State
2018 Stats: Completed 267 of his 417 passes (64.0%) for 3,567 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rushed 43 times for 63 yards (1.5 ypc) and seven touchdowns.
With Matt Wells on to Texas Tech, Love must work with a new coaching staff. Love’s a better runner than the numbers indicate, but he could do better at learning when to escape pressure. His ball placement could also use work, but he’s plenty capable of making any throw short or long.
19. Charlie Brewer, Baylor
2018 Stats: Completed 240 of his 390 passes (61.5%) for 3,019 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rushed 133 times for 375 yards and seven touchdowns.
Arguably the most overlooked and underrated quarterback in college football. Brewer has tremendous potential as both a passer and a runner. No throw gives him trouble when he uses good mechanics and makes good decisions. Entering his third year as a starter, Brewer’s poised for a good year.
18. Adrian Martinez, Nebraska
2018 Stats: Completed 224 of his 347 passes (64.6%) for 2,617 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rushed 140 times for 629 yards and eight touchdowns.
Nebraska’s hype rivals that of Martinez. He’s the biggest reason why the Cornhuskers are tabbed as a potential Top 25 college football team. Entering his second season under Scott Frost, Martinez could be in store for a monster year.
17. Feleipe Franks, Florida
2018 Stats: Completed 188 of his 322 passes (58.4%) for 2,457 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rushed 110 times for 350 yards (3.2 ypc) and seven touchdowns.
Dan Mullen finds himself with potentially the most talented quarterback he’s ever had in Franks. He’s got an elite arm, but it’s one that needs to produce more consistency. If he can work on his accuracy, NFL scouts will love him.
16. Ian Book, Notre Dame
2018 Stats: Completed 214 of his 314 pass attempts (68.2%) for 2628 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Rushed 95 times for 280 yards (2.9 ypc) and four touchdowns.
After beating Brandon Wimbush out for the starting job, Book brought Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff. Overall, he’s a solid quarterback who rarely makes mistakes. He gave the Irish a steady hand to distribute the ball to their playmakers, but might have to do more this year.
15. Justin Fields, Ohio State
2018 Stats: Completed 27 of his 39 passes (69.2%) for 328 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Rushed 42 times for 266 yards (6.3 ypc) and four touchdowns.
There’s no doubt that Fields can be an elite quarterback, but those beliefs are largely hopes. After watching the spring game in Columbus and his previous year in Athens, there are concerns. Fields’ strong arm jumps out, but so does his inaccuracy. If potential turns into results, Ohio State’s back in business.
14. Nate Stanley, Iowa
2018 Stats: Completed 235 of his 396 passes (59.3%) for 2,852 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
With both of his favorite tight ends moving on to the NFL, Stanley must find new weapons. He’s improved his completion percentage, but also increased his interceptions thrown. NFL potential who needs to learn how to throw the ball away when in trouble.
13. Kelly Bryant, Missouri
2017 Stats: Completed 262 of his 398 passes (65.8%) for 2,802 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rushed 192 times for 665 yards (3.5 ypc) and 11 touchdowns.
It’s his time to shine, and there won’t be competition this time. Bryant needed a new start after losing the job at Clemson, and can do so with the Tigers. Bryant’s a solid quarterback that gives Missouri a dangerous dual threat.
12. Steven Montez, Colorado
2018 Stats: Completed 258 of his 399 yards (64.7%) for 2,849 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rushed 94 times for 238 yards (2.5 ypc) and four touchdowns.
Montez will be an NFL talent, but it’s only a matter of how good. Good frame, strong arm, and decent running ability makes him intriguing. If he gets a cleaner pocket to throw from, Montez should torch Pac 12 defenses in 2019.
11. Shea Patterson, Michigan
2018 Stats: Completed 210 of his 325 passes (64.6%) for 2,600 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Rushed 76 times for 273 yards (3.6 ypc) and two touchdowns.
Ole Miss transfer who received better protection in his first year in Ann Arbor. There’s not a better passer on the run than Patterson, and that includes going to his left. Patterson’s poise in the pocket gives him time to make a throw, but he also can elude rushers and run downfield.
10. Bryce Perkins, Virginia
2018 Stats: Completed 225 of his 349 passes (64.5%) for 2,680 yards with 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rushed 212 times for 923 yards (4.4 ypc) with nine touchdowns.
Transferred from Arizona State and exploded in 2018. Perkins was deemed to be an athlete playing quarterback, but proved otherwise. With Jordan Ellis and Olamide Zaccheaus gone, Perkins might need to do more for the offense. Eclipsing 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing shouldn’t be a problem for him.
9. Mason Fine, North Texas
2018 Stats: Completed 303 of his 469 passes (64.6%) for 3,793 yards with 27 touchdowns and five interceptions.
An extension of the coaching staff, Fine sees everything before the snap. He’s able to make decisions and adjustments based on what he sees, and he knows where he’s going with the ball before he gets the ball. A quick release helps him fit the ball in tight windows even without elite arm strength. Not a runner, but don’t give him too much space.
8. K.J. Costello, Stanford
2018 Stats: Completed 269 of his 413 passes (65.1%) for 3,540 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
A natural in the pocket who knows when to step up into the open space. Costello doesn’t lack any confidence, and there’s not a throw that he can’t make. He won’t put a ton of zip on his passes, but he proves he can when he absolutely needs it. Throwing into traffic can give him issues as he sometimes waits too long to make a pass.
7. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
2017 Stats: Completed 154 of his 255 passes (60.4%) for 2,081 yards with 17 touchdowns and one interception. Rushed 154 times for 855 yards (5.6 ypc) and eight touchdowns.
Leaving Alabama was the best decision for Hurts, but the pressure hasn’t lessened. Oklahoma’s produced the last two Heisman Trophy winners, putting pressure on Hurts to continue that trend. He may not have been as good as Tua Tagovailoa, but he’s still extremely talented. If the Sooners get in a close game, Hurts will win it for them. There’s not a more poised or clutch quarterback in college football.
6. Sam Ehlinger, Texas
2018 Stats: Completed 275 of his 425 passes (64.7%) for 3,292 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rushed 164 times for 482 yards (2.9 ypc) and 16 touchdowns.
A bowling ball of a runner became a consistent passer. That’s dangerous for the Big 12 and college football. One man rarely tackles him on their own, and Ehlinger makes defenders sore after facing him. With a ton of talent around him, he could be on track for a Heisman Trophy run. If he does, Texas will be on track for a playoff run.
5. D’Eriq King, Houston
2018 Stats: Completed 219 of his 345 passes (63.5 %) for 2,982 yards with 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rushed 111 times for 674 yards (6.1 ypc) and 14 touchdowns.
All he did was produce 50 touchdowns in essentially 10.5 games, but he still got overshadowed by others. Can he replicate or beat that? We don’t know, but we do know King’s got talent. He might be the most complete dual threat quarterback in college football. King’s athleticism makes him a threat to keep plays alive and also produce highlight reel runs too.
4. Jake Fromm, Georgia
2018 Stats: Completed 207 of his 307 passes (67.4%) for 2,761 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions.
This season will give Fromm a new sight: no competition. After beating Jacob Eason and Justin Fields, Fromm won’t have a serious challenger for the first time. Not that it’s affected his production. With all of the attention on the three above him in this list, Fromm could be the best quarterback in college football.
3. Justin Herbert, Oregon
2018 Stats: Completed 240 of his 404 passes (59.4%) for 3,151 yards with 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rushed 71 times for 166 yards (2.3 ypc) and two touchdowns.
Herbert turned down a chance to enter the NFL Draft to finish his college football career at Oregon. You can see why the NFL will be intrigued with him as a prospect. Herbert’s arm strength and accuracy jump out on film, allowing him to make impossible throws. He doesn’t run much, but his long strides and speed make him dangerous.
2. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
2018 Stats: Completed 259 of his 397 passes (65.2%) for 3,280 yards with 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. Rushed 60 times for 177 yards (3.0 ypc) and one touchdown.
His performance in the college football national championship drove his stock up, and you could argue that he’s the best quarterback in the country after just one season. Lawrence’s talent is evident, and there’s a plethora of talent surrounding him. He can use some work on his internal clock and leading receivers, but that’s nitpicking.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
2018 Stats: Completed 245 of his 355 pass attempts (69.0%) in 2017 for 3,966 yards with 43 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rushed 57 times for 190 yards (3.3 ypc) and five touchdowns.
Like Lawrence, Tagovailoa is surrounded by a ton of talent. He’s got the skills to make any throw, whether throwing a dart or with touch. He reminds some of Johnny Manziel with the magic he makes out of nothing. That can lead to turnovers eventually, but it makes for entertaining football. His durability remains a question, and Jalen Hurts isn’t around anymore to back him up.
Others to Watch
Khalil Tate, Arizona: Coaching staff forced him to become a pass-first quarterback, but they need to let him run more. His legs are his biggest weapon.
Brady White, Memphis: Needs to improve his play against quality competition, but also still has two more years of eligibility.
Ryan Willis, Virginia Tech: After many thought Josh Jackson would be Justin Fuente’s guy, we now turn our attention to Willis. He produced over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns last year.
Blake Barnett, USF: Transfer from Alabama and Arizona State who will work with yet another offensive coordinator. Charlie Strong’s job could depend on his performance this year.
JT Daniels, USC: Received a ton of hype before he even played a snap, but didn’t live up to it (yet). Showed potential, but needs to improve as a passer.
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati: Took over for Hayden Moore to produce 3,028 total yards and 25 touchdowns.
Nathan Rourke, Ohio: Produced 38 total touchdowns and 3,294 total yards without much recognition.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State: Freshman must work without Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery. Provided excitement to the offense with 21 total touchdowns.
Tyler Huntley, Utah: Just like his team, Huntley is an underdog. He’ll only get attention if (really when) Utah overachieves.
Terry Wilson, Kentucky: No Benny Snell could put pressure on him to become a better passer. Numbers weren’t great in that area, but he’s a quarterback that can also run.
Jacob Eason, Washington: Hasn’t played a full season since 2016, but his return home gives fans hope. Huskies fans are looking forward to watching his big arm take over for Jake Browning.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA: Many are excited to see what Thompson-Robinson can do under Chip Kelly. Split time with Wilton Speight last year, but Speight is gone now.
Kelvin Hopkins Jr., Army: Last time we saw him, he rushed for 170 yards and five touchdowns against Houston in their bowl game.