Top Replacement Quarterbacks 2016

One of the more intriguing things about college football is the turnover and watching new talent come in and take the place of old talent.

Every season, players use up their eligibility or declare for the NFL Draft and a program will need to plug somebody else in their spot and try and maintain stability.

At the Quarterback position, I have never really understood why coaches don’t try harder to get back ups some meaningful snaps and try and break them in instead of completely starting over the following season.

But, apparently, that’s just my thinking.

So, who are some of the schools out there that will have a new Quarterback that I think will do well next season?


John O’Korn – Michigan: Projected by most to be the next Michigan Quarterback. Last year, graduate transfer Jake Rudock took over the Quarterback job and steadily improved as the year progressed. This year, another transfer is expected to be the man taking the snap. O’Korn transferred from the University of Houston and sat out last year under the normal transfer rules. As a freshman in 2013, O’Korn threw for over 3,000 yards  and 28 Touchdowns. Starting the 2014 season, O’Korn

threw for just under a 1,000 yards before he was replaced by Greg Ward Jr. O’Korn decided he might be better off elsewhere and transferred to the Michigan Wolverines’ program.

Both Rudock and O’Korn played high school football at Florida powerhouse Ft Lauderdale St Thomas Aquinas High School.

O’Korn has 2 years to lead the Wolverines if he wins the starting job.

Max Browne – USC: Browne signed with USC in the 2013 recruiting class and was ranked as the 2nd best Quarterback in the nation only behind Christian Hackenberg. Browne redshirted and backed up Cody Kessler the past 2 years. He’s only thrown 19 passes going into his 4th year at USC.

But, he should know the offense like no other and he’s 6-5, 220 with a really strong arm. Kessler was a good and reliable Quarterback but Browne has the potential to take the offense to another level.

With nearly everybody returning on offense, expect Max Browne to have an easier transition into the starting role than in some seasons.

Nick Fitzgerald – Mississippi State:  After signing with the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 2014 and redshirting a season, Fitzgerald seems ready to take over for Dak Prescott in 2016. That is, if he can beat out Damian Williams, Elijah Staley and Nick Tiano. Williams backed up Prescott in 2014, but redshirted last season. Williams has more experience than any of the others with considerable playing time in 2013 after coming to Mississippi State from Metairie, Louisiana.

Elijah Staley is a 6-6, 250 highly recruited 4 star recruit from Marietta, Georgia. Nick Tiano was only a 3 star recruit from Chattanooga, Tennessee but he has some potential as well.

Nick Fitzgerald was Prescott’s back up last season and he looked very impressive in limited playing opportunities a year ago. Fitzgerald was the favorite going into the Spring to land the job, but he will have to play really well to beat out the others.

Richard Lagow – Indiana:  I wrote about Lagow on my blog previously here: Indiana

Lagow originally signed with Connecticut out of high school and then walked on at Oklahoma State before winding up at Cisco Junior College. He is a very athletic and mobile Quarterback for a 6-6, 235 guy and he has an outstanding arm.

Like at all schools, there is going to be some competition. Lagow will need to beat out a guy with a

lot of heart in Zander Diamont. I also blogged about Zander Diamont here:

Another possibility at Quarterback for the Hoosiers is redshirt freshman Austin King.

But, by my thinking the Hoosiers redshirt Zander Diamont and start Richard Lagow.

Mitch Trubisky – North Carolina: The Tar Heels lost long time starter Marquis Williams which is a big loss. But, Trubisky has looked really good when he has gotten some playing time. Last year, Trubisky threw 47 passes and completed 40 of them for an amazing 85 percent completion rate. He also threw 6 Touchdown passes against zero Interceptions. He’s also pretty mobile running for 101 yards on 16 carries and 3 Touchdowns.

North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora has said that Trubisky is going to have to earn the job in the Spring, but all coaches say that.

The only real competition that Trubisky may have for the job is sophomore Caleb Henderson who has thrown all of 1 pass at North Carolina which was an incompletion.

The smart money is on Trubisky easily winning the job and being one of the ACC’s best Quarterbacks in 2016.


Davis Webb – Colorado: Webb started at Texas Tech as a freshman and he started some as a sophomore. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury started Webb over Baker Mayfield and then he started Patrick Mahomes over Webb. Kingsbury finally made the right choice as Mahomes is great. Webb graduated from Texas Tech and is eligible right away. Colorado has an opening at Quarterback

because returning starter Sefo Liufau is supposedly out for the season with a foot injury.

Colorado does return Cade Apsay from last season and Davis Webb will need to beat him out. But, Webb has thrown for well over 5,000 yards and started quite a few more games than Apsay.


Patrick Towles – Boston College: Towles graduated from Kentucky and had lost his starting job. I don’t think what’s happening with the Wildcats is Towles problem as his replacement had the exact same issues. The Eagles have several Quarterbacks returning and Towles is not guaranteed a starting position.

Darrius Wade was the starter for Boston College when last season started,  but he was injured. Sophomores Jeff Smith and Troy Flutie replaced Wade, but neither was playing up to standards and they were replaced by another sophomore in John Fadule. Unless one of these guys really steps up, Towles should win the starting job.


Jerod Evans – Virginia Tech: Evan is a Junior College transfer from Trinity Valley Community

College. Senior Brenden Motley and super sophomore Dwayne Lawson should be returning, but new head coach Justin Fuente is likely to want to bring in his own Quarterback.

Evans is a talented Dual Threat Quarterback and at 6-4, 220 he was rated as the third best JUCO Quarterback in the country. Fuente proved at Memphis he knew how to develop a Quarterback with Paxton Lynch. Will he be able to do the same at Virginia Tech with Evans or even Dwayne Lawson.


Foster Sawyer – TCU: The Horn Frogs lost senior Quarterback Trevone Boykin and his main back up who was the hero of the Alamo Bowl, Bram Kohlhausen.

Foster Sawyer was forced into action in the Oklahoma game and he had his struggles. The 6-5, 230 sophomore should be in line to take over the starting job next season.


Trace McSorley – Penn State:  Christian Hackenberg declared for the NFL Draft leaving the Nittany Lions looking for a new Quarterback.

Lot’s of people think very highly of Tommy Stevens from Indianapolis. The Penn State coaches

signed Jake Zembiec from Rochester, New York.

McSorley could be the favorite because he is the only experienced Quarterback of the three. But, the Spring should tell us more.


Luke Del Rio – Florida: The Gators moved last year’s Quarterback Treon Harris to another position. Luke Del Rio has been in the system at Florida longer than anyone else and he could earn the starter’s job. But, he will have competition with Purdue transfer Austin Appleby. After starting for the Boilermakers, Appleby was replaced by David Blough. He graduated from Purdue and sought out better playing opportunities. At 6-5, 240 Appleby is a lot bigger than Del Rio.

Another possibility for the Gators is true freshman Feleipe’ Franks who was one of the top Quarterback recruits in the country.

Khalil Tate – Arizona: Yes, Anu Solomon is the returning starter. But, he was injured some in 2015 and I have a feeling that the Wildcats are looking for more consistency and bigger play making potential out of the position.

Khalil Tate is a true freshman from Gardena, California and one of the more talented Dual Threat prospects in the country and he might be able to unseat Solomon. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez speaks very highly of the strong armed Tate.

The Spring practices could reveal some answers to some of the starting Quarterback questions.

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