Charlie’s College Football Positional Rankings: Quarterbacks

Charlie’s College Football Positional Rankings: Quarterbacks

by May 25, 2021 0 comments

With the college football season set to kick off in August, it’s time to get into some previews of what we can expect this year. Quarterbacks are at a premium in the college ranks this season and several big-time names look to propel themselves into stardom this year. Let’s get into the top-10 quarterbacks going into this season.

1. Sam Howell– North Carolina

This one should not be to anyone’s surprise. Howell has been a starter at North Carolina since he was a true freshman. Now, he looks to become the superstar everyone hopes he can be. He has all the tools to excel in this North Carolina offense, and he already has quite a bit. In two seasons, Howell has thrown for over 7,200 yards and 68 touchdowns. These stats are super impressive and Howell can continue going up from here. It will be interesting to see how he performs without Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. If he can succeed, there’s no doubt he will be the best quarterback in the nation when it’s all said and done.

2. Spencer Rattler– Oklahoma

Rattler is the current leader in Heisman odds and for good reason. Playing in Lincoln Riley’s system, he’ll probably get a lot more of the national spotlight this year than Howell will. Rattler got off to a slow start to his career last year but finished the season very nicely. He totaled 3,000 yards, 28 touchdowns, and seven interceptions that ended on an eight-game win streak. This guy has all the intangibles to end up in the No. 1 spot by the end of the year and could be the next great quarterback to come out of Oklahoma. 

3. D.J. Uiagalelei– Clemson

Even though Clemson is losing Trevor Lawrence, they are by no means in a bad spot. We caught a glimpse of Uiagalelei this season when Lawrence was side-lined for Covid-19 and he did not disappoint. The former No. 1 overall recruit is a huge 6’4” dual-threat quarterback with a rocket of an arm. This team may not even miss a beat with Lawrence gone. In his two starts this year, Uiagalelei racked up 780 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. The rising true-sophomore will look to lead the Tigers back into the College Football Playoff in a new era for Clemson football. 

4. Desmond Ridder– Cincinnati

Cincinnati is the best mid-major team in the country thanks to head coach Luke Fickell and Ridder. Many thought Ridder would declare for the NFL Draft last season but he held back for one more year. After losing to Georgia in the Peach Bowl last year, Ridder now leads the Bearcats back into another New Year’s Six Bowl season. In 2020, Ridder threw for 2,300 yards, 19 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Perhaps the most impressive stat, however, was his running game. He rushed for 12 touchdowns on the season and really showed his true dual-threat ability. If Ridder can put out even more production this season, he could very well be in the Heisman conversation at the end of the year.

5. Malik Willis– Liberty

Willis is absolutely thrilling to watch. The Liberty Flames have come on the national stage of college football in the last two years and a lot of that credit is due to Willis. He’s a true dual-threat quarterback who has the best arm strength in the nation. Last season, Willis threw for over 2,200 yards with 34 total touchdowns. Now, he looks to amp up his production even more and get recognized by everyone. He’s at a bit of a disadvantage playing for Liberty but Willis will still find his way on several highlight reels and should break out in a big way this season.

6. Matt Corral– Ole Miss

Corral could be the biggest boom or bust player in 2021. He was wildly inconsistent last year but his flashes were incredible. Corral plays in Lane Kiffin’s prolific offensive system that has allowed him to excel. He totaled over 3,300 passing yards, 29 touchdowns but 14 interceptions. The interception number seems high, however, 11 of them came in two games. Another concern about Corral is work ethic. There have been rumblings around Oxford that he has not put in the work this offseason. If this is true, we could be looking at a huge fall of this player. If these rumors aren’t true, we are looking at an exceptional quarterback in 2021.

7. JT Daniels– Georgia

There is still a lot of unknown with Daniels after only getting four stars in the 2020 season. However, he was outstanding in these starts. It’s clear that Daniels was the quarterback that this Georgia team needed in 2020, and now, looks to continue his hot start into his play next year. He averaged 307 yards through the air in these four starts on 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Georgia is absolutely loaded next season and hopes are high on Daniels. If he continues to learn Kirby Smart’s offense and show out once again in 2021, he’ll certainly be in the Heisman conversation at the end of the year.

8. D’Eriq King– Miami

After transferring from Houston to Miami for the 2020 season, King has played extremely well. He’s probably the closest thing to Lamar Jackson that college football has this year. King is on the smaller side and excels in the run game, as well as the air attack. He had just about 2,300 yards passing, with 24 total touchdowns and only four interceptions last year. In a condensed season with no real offseason for a transfer, King should get to learn the offense a lot more by opening weekend this year and draw lots of eyes to his play in 2021.

9. Bryce Young– Alabama

Young is the only quarterback on this list that hasn’t started a game for his team yet. He did get into a couple of games for the Crimson Tide last year but all of them were blowouts. After Mac Jones’ departure this offseason, Nick Saban looks to bring up his next prodigy in Young. He is currently fifth in the Heisman odds, despite not even being named the starter yet.

If Alabama can get him off to some easy starts, the young quarterback should be great in 2021, especially with the weapons around him. Players like John Metchie, Slade Bolden, Jahleel Billingsley, and several others will give him really nice open targets. On top of that, he’ll play behind one of the best offensive lines in the country. Overall, Young is one of the bigger wildcards this season but has all the tools to be great.

10. Brock Purdy– Iowa State

Purdy isn’t the flashiest quarterback in the world but he certainly gets the job done. He’s already a three-year starter and has helped head coach Matt Campbell get Iowa State out of dirt and into national contention. Purdy is a guy who isn’t necessarily getting the NFL hype yet but he has proved to be a very good college quarterback. His 2020 season was just okay in terms of what he did in 2019.

Last year, he racked up 2,750 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions to go along with it. Now, this was a condensed year with little offseason time. In a full 2019 season, he had about 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns and, again, nine interceptions. This year, the Cyclones bring back a loaded roster and Purdy should be able to perform exceptionally well. If they reach their goals, there is no doubt he’ll be seen on the national stage soon enough.

Honorable Mentions: Jayden Daniels (Arizona State), Kedon Slovis (USC), Michael Penix Jr. (Indiana), Carson Strong (Nevada), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina)

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