Spring practices are underway nationwide and we’re already starting to see early looks at college football’s 2019 rosters. College football doesn’t have a true preseason schedule to give us a first-hand look at how rosters shape up for week one, so spring practices are the best we’ve got.
These weeks will give us a first look at several position battles prior to the 2019 campaign and how they may turn out. Here are some of the most interesting QB roster competitions around the nation.
Auburn: Three-way race
The Auburn Tigers were a major disappointment in 2018 but look to rebound in 2019 with the second-best quarterback recruit in the nation. Bo Nix is a five-star dual-threat prospect who hopes to lock up the starting job right away.
He is easily the best athlete the Tigers have, but he has competition with veterans Malik Willis and Joey Gatewood, but the two aren’t exactly well experienced. Willis has spent the most time in the system, sitting behind Jarrett Stidham the past two seasons, but has played very few snaps.
Joey Gatewood, meanwhile, is viewed as a fantastic athlete among the coaching staff, but only has a single career passing attempt.
Penn State: Tommy Stevens and Sean Clifford
The Trace McSorley era is over in Happy Valley and the Nittany Lions will have a new starting quarterback since the 2015 Tax Slayer Bowl. There is a competition over the void Trace McSorley has left behind, but make no mistake, the job is Tommy Stevens to lose. Stevens backed up McSorley throughout his tenure at Penn State and saw significant action as a wide receiver in the team’s Lion Formation.
Even after many transfer rumors made the rounds, Stevens decided to stay in Happy Valley in hopes of finally being the starting quarterback. Unfortunately for Stevens, he is heading into spring practice with a leg injury and it is unclear whether or not he will receive reps any time soon.
Meanwhile, third-string quarterback Sean Clifford continues to shine in Stevens’ absence. Clifford saw minimal action in 2018, but completed all five of his pass attempts, tossing two touchdowns in the process.
Miami: Tate Martell vs. N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams
My personal favorite QB room to keep an eye on over the next several months is down in Florida. Miami already had an interesting QB battle to watch unfold, but it became even more interesting once Ohio State transfer Tate Martell was thrown into the mix. N’Kosi Perry served as the back up last season but was wildly inconsistent.
He tossed 13 touchdowns to only six interceptions for 1,091 yards in the air but suffered from a 50.8 completion percentage. Jarren Williams was a redshirt during 2018 but has flashed strong passing ability along with peak athleticism. Martell meanwhile is a former five-star recruit who was supposed to be the successor to Dwayne Haskins of the Ohio State Buckeyes. After Ohio State acquired Justin Fields, however, Martell opted to transfer and battle for a starting job elsewhere.