Without a doubt, quarterback is the most important position in any sport. There is a reason why the top two selections in the previous two NFL Drafts have been quarterbacks.
Looking ahead to the 2016 NCAA Football season, here are a few lists of college quarterbacks to keep an eye on.
Top Ten NCAA Quarterbacks
- Deshaun Watson, Jr. – Clemson
– The first Division-I player to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. Looking to find similar success in 2016 and return his Tigers to championship.
- Chad Kelly, Sr. – Ole Miss
– Polarizing talent must keep his mouth shut and head on straight for Rebels to recover from damaging offseason (see Laremy Tunsil NFL Draft).
- Josh Rosen, So. – UCLA
– Can Rosen continue to put up big numbers as he starts taking more snaps under center?
- CJ Beathard, Sr. – Iowa
- Seth Russell, Sr. – Baylor
- Brad Kaaya, Jr. – Miami, FL
– A lot of hype surrounding this kid heading into 2016.
- Mason Rudolph, Jr. – Oklahoma State
- Patrick Mahomes, Jr. – Texas Tech
- Luke Falk, Jr. – Washington State
– Could the QB from Wazzu really be the best on the west coast?
- Cooper Rush, Sr. – Central Michigan
Top Sophomore Quarterbacks
- Josh Rosen – UCLA
– Sky-high expectations heading into year two as UCLA’s starter.
- Keller Chryst – Stanford
- DeShone Kizer – Notre Dame
– Kizer showed a tremendous amount of heart and class in spot duty last season.
- Tanner Mangum – BYU
– Will likely start the season as oft-injured Taysom Hill’s backup. The jury is still out if he is that good, or just that lucky.
- Brent Stockstill – Middle Tennessee
Freshmen Quarterbacks Most Likely to Play at BCS Schools
- Jacob Eason – Georgia
– True freshman was nation’s top-rated quarterback in high school. New coach Kirby Smart will likely hand over the reins early to this beast.
- Deondre Francois – Florida State
– Redshirt freshman will battle upperclassmen and highly-rated true freshman Malik Henry, alike.
- Brandon Peters – Michigan
– If the John O’Korn experiment struggles early, I predict Coach Harbaugh will look to develop the true freshman this season.
Best FCS Quarterbacks
- Case Cookus, So. – Northern Arizona
– Rumor has it Cookus turned down multiple offseason scholarship offers from major universities. Definitely deserves to be on the “Top Sophomore” list.
- Eli Jenkins, Sr. – Jacksonville State
- Aaron Bailey, Sr. – Northern Iowa
- Brady Gustafson, Sr. – Montana
- Easton Stick, So. – North Dakota State
– NDSU always finds a way to keep going, and Stick went 8-0 as Carson Wentz battled injuries last year.
Funnest Quarterback Battle to Watch
University of Utah
– Gone is four-year starter Travis Wilson. Gone is Oklahoma transfer and spot-starter Kendall Thompson. In what is assumed to be a down year for the Utes, junior college transfer Troy Williams will battle highly-touted true freshman Tyler Huntley. Williams was a top-ten recruit coming out of high school. He spent a year at Washington (including one start) before transferring to a junior college, where he had an amazing 31-4 TD-INT ratio. Huntley, on the other hand, has received much praise for his performances in spring practices. I think the winner of this QB Battle will shine early and guide the Utes to double digit wins.