The college football season is set to commence practice, and we are counting down our top 25 quarterbacks for 2014. There are plenty of high profile quarterbacks that spurned the NFL for another shot at college football glory. Other star quarterbacks had no choice but to come back for the 2014 season.
For the second year in a row, the Heisman Trophy winner was a awarded to a red shirt freshman quarterback. This time Jameis Winston took it a step further by doubling up with the national title. If that’s not pressure to duplicate a terrific season, there will never be pressure.
It was almost a foregone conclusion that Oregon and UCLA would be missing their stud quarterbacks. However, the PAC 12 defenses had to shed a tear when Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley came back for another season. They are just two in a host of quarterback talent out west.
Famous Jameis took the world by storm in his first game against Pittsburgh, and never looked back. There will be another prospect that exceeds expectations in 2014. It’s just a matter of timing and opportunity.
If you feel a quarterback is overlooked, feel free to leave your comment.
The final five have won conference championships, BCS championships, and BCS Bowl games. We could very well find the national champion QB out of this group. If so, they will be the first quarterback to lead their team in the new age of the college football playoff system.
We are counting down the top 25 quarterbacks in college football.
25. John O’Korn- Houston Cougars: Here’s what we know about John O’Korn. He’s a highly competitive quarterback that had a wonderful freshman season with the Houston Cougars. In 13 games, O’Korn completed 58.1 percent of his passes. He also connected on 28 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. O’Korn should flourish in his second season.
24. Devin Gardner- Michigan Wolverines- Devin Gardner had an up and down season with the Wolverines in 2013. It started off so well, before Michigan’s offense became a turnover fest. Could it have been the number change that help contribute to the woes. Gardner has to be much better in 2014 and he will. Last season Gardner connected on 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
23. Nate Sudfeld - Indiana Hoosiers: Nate Sudfeld is the truth, and it’s time for him to prove it at Indiana. While completing 60.2 percent of his passes, Sudfeld found himself sharing time in key moments. He passed for 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. For Indiana to flourish, Sudfeld will need over 30 touchdowns.
22. Hutson Mason- Georgia Bulldogs: Hutson Mason finally got extended playing time after Aaron Murray’s injury. He fared okay with five touchdowns and three interceptions, but, he gained valuable game experience at the end of the year. Mason could be the leader on a national championship contender?
21. Shane Carden- East Carolina: The junior quarterback put upp 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. At the rate he’s going, Carden could surpass 40 touchdown passes in 2014. Throughout his career, Shane Carden has completed 68.5 percent of his passes.
20. Cole Stoudt- Clemson Tigers: Cole Stoudt is largely unknown in college football after sitting behind Tajh Boyd for three seasons, but he is ready to blossom in his first and only year as a starter. During Stoudt’s limited playing time, he has completed 72.3 percent of his passes on 119 attempts. That includes a whopping 79.7 percent last season. His touchdown to interception ratio is off the charts. Currently, Stoudt has eight touchdown passes and one interception. He will be must see television in 2014.
19. Keenan Reynolds- Navy Midshipmen: It’s safe to say Keenan Reynolds will be the shortest QB on this list. Reynolds is a major factor in Navy’s option game. Last season Reynolds rushed for 1346 yards and 31 touchdowns. Keenan Reynolds is strong in the passing game. He also completed 57 percent of his passes. In two seasons Reynolds has 17 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He’s the real deal.
18. Jacob Coker- Alabama Crimson Tide: Jacob Coker was in a tight battle with Jameis Winston all spring in 2013. He barely got beat out for the starting quarterback job. Now Coker finds himself with the Alabama Crimson Tide. While Nick Saban is not giving Coker the starting job at Alabama right away, it’s a foregone conclusion that Jacob Coker will be the guy. Jacob Coker looks the part. Can he take the tide back to championship heights?
17. Maty Mauk- Missouri Tigers: Is Maty Mauk the next Johnny Manziel? Maty Mauk filled in admirably for James Franklin during a portion of the SEC season. His completion percentage was only 51% but he had a 11/2 touchdown to interception ratio. Mauk also showed his quickness in the running game. It’s his show now in Missouri.
16. Garrett Grayson- Colorado State Rams: In Garrett Grayson’s first year as a fulltime starter, the Colorado State quarterback flourished. Grayson completed 62.1% of his passes, while connecting for 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. If he mirrors another jump in 2014, Grayson could be a dark horse as a Heisman candidate.
15. Davis Webb- Texas Tech Red Raiders: Davis Webb had to compete hard to become Texas Tech’s main quarterback in 2013. By the end of the season, he was signal caller left standing. In 10 games, Webb was second in the Big 12 with 226 pass completions. He also connected on 62.6% of his passes, while throwing for 20 touchdowns. Under Kliff Kingsbury’s tutelage, Webb may throw for 40 touchdowns in 2014.
14. Connor Halliday- Washington State Cougars: Connor Halliday will throw, and then throw some more. Last season he released the ball 714 times and completed 62.9% of his passes. Halliday led the nation in pass attempts, so don’t expect anything to change. He had 34 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. We think the touchdowns will go up, while the interceptions will dwindle in 2014.
13. Anthony Boone- Duke Blue Devils: Anthony Boone is another quarterback that had a tremendous leap in 2013. Boone completed 64% of his passes, but only managed a 1-1 touchdown to interception ratio. The best part is he’s led Duke to an ACC title game and a 10 win season.
12. Christian Hackenburg- Penn State Nittany Lions: Christian Hackenberg had an adequate season for Penn State as a freshman. He showcased his big arm, but he didn’t have all the talent around him. Hackenberg connected for 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. With James Franklin as head coach, we may see Christian Hackenberg dominate in 2014.
11. Kevin Hogan- Stanford Cardinal: Kevin Hogan dropped his completion rate from 71% to 61% in 2013, but he continued to make winning plays for the Cardinal. Stanford continues to open the offense up, but Hogan is adept at being patient, while sticking with the running game. In two seasons, Hogan has 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. That goes along with two PAC-12 conference titles.
10. Rakeem Cato- Marshall Thundering Herd: In three seasons as Marshall’s starting quarterback, Rakeem Cato has never thrown more than 11 interceptions. He topped out in 2013 with 39 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Cato completed 59.7% of his passes last season, while actually becoming a running threat during certain situations. Rakeem Cato is a big time quarterback worthy of all the accolades he’ll receive in 2014.
9. Trevor Knight- Oklahoma Sooners: Is Trevor Knight a one game wonder, or did he finally turn the corner in that Sugar Bowl win over Alabama? We think Knight is ready to be a force in the Big 12. His first season as Oklahoma’s first time starter came with mixed reviews. Knight had nine touchdown passes and five interceptions in eight games. However, the pressure is on for him to be a star.
8. Sean Mannion- Oregon State Beavers: Sean Mannion will no longer be able to lean on Brandin Cooks. Good thing he can rely on himself to be a superstar quarterback in the PAC-12. Mannion has a 65.3 career completion percentage, but there was a radical difference in his performance last season. Sean Mannion threw for 37 touchdowns, while giving up 15 interceptions. Mannion racked up 4662 passing yards for the Beavers. This season he’ll be looking to lead Oregon State to the PAC-12 title game.
7. Taylor Kelly- Arizona State Sun Devils: Taylor Kelly led the resurgence of the Sun Devils. They won the PAC-12 South behind his 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Kelly completed 62% of his passes for a total of 3635 yards. He also rushed for 608 yards and nine touchdowns.
6. Nick Marshall- Auburn Tigers: Nick Marshall took over the starting job less than a year ago for Auburn. Auburn had a slow start offensively, but as Marshall became more in sync as a quarterback the Tigers began to flourish. Nick Marshall kept on making winning plays. Marshall finished with 14 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns. Still, he has unfinished business with War Eagle.
5. Braxton Miller- Ohio State Buckeyes: In three years, Braxton Miller has thrown for 52 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. Even though passing isn’t supposed to be his strong suit, Braxton Miller completed 63.5% of his pass attempts last season. He also had back to back 1000 yard rushing seasons, and we’ll expect more of the same in 2014. Is this the year Miller finally wins the coveted Heisman trophy?
4. Brett Hundley- UCLA Bruins: Many people thought Brett Hundley would leave for the NFL, but he decided to stay at UCLA for his third season. Hundley has a career completion percentage of 66.7% and has a total of 6811 passing yards. Not to mention he has 53 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions. Brett Hundley has also been a consistent runner with 20 touchdowns on the ground. He’s ready to lead UCLA to a conference title and more in 2014.
3. Marcus Mariota- Oregon Ducks: Marcus Mariota is a great runner but he doesn’t run that often. He’s also been dominant in the passing game. There’s only one true problem during his two years as starter. It’s the losses to Stanford. Mariota has 63 touchdown passes to only 10 interceptions. He also averages 7.3 yards per carry.
2. Bryce Petty- Baylor Bears: Bryce Petty is a big, strong armed quarterback that had the Bears on the cusp of a national title. In his first season as starter, Petty threw for 33 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also added 14 rushing touchdowns. Can’t wait to see what he has in store for 2014. It should be spectacular.
1. Jameis Winston- Florida State Seminoles: There’s no doubt Jameis Winston is the No.1 quarterback entering the 2014 season. He won a national championship and a Heisman Trophy as a freshman. Winston will have more pressure to repeat in 2014. Winston isn’t much of a runner but he had a run that kept them in the hunt for a national title against Auburn. He finished with 40 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, while throwing for 4057 yards. Let’s see if Winston can improve on his 66.9 completion percentage.
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