Part way through writing my post about the Quarterback situations at each major college, I decided to split it up by conference because the post would have been just too long.
The Pac 12 has long been known for producing top Quarterbacks like Troy Aikman, Carson Palmer, John Elway and so many others.
Arizona: The Wildcats’ Anu Solomon had an impressive redshirt freshman season throwing for just under 3,500 yards and for 27 Touchdowns. Quarterbacks have been in and out of Tuscon in recent years and it’s going to be tough trying to get any to stick around after Solomon’s super performance. His backup next season should be Jerrard Randall who will be a senior.
Connor Brewer is a junior transfer from Texas who would have been the starter at Texas this season without a doubt.
Brandon Dawkins a redshirt freshman from Oxnard, California will provide further depth. The Wildcats had 8 Quarterbacks last Spring, but those guys tend to transfer if they aren’t the starter right away and now Sololmon is solid at the position for the Arizona Wildcats.
Arizona State: Taylor Kelly was a 3 year starter for the Sun Devils. He will be missed, but Mike Bercovici was outstanding when needed after Kelly was lost to injury for a few games. They said last Spring that Bercovici was the better passer than Kelly and they were correct. Bercovici does not have Kelly’s grit or running ability, but he is really good and won the USC game with a last second pass to Jaelen Strong and finished the season with 1,445 yards passing with 1,000 of those yards coming against USC and UCLA.
Redshirt freshman Manny Wilkins was a 4 star recruit out of Novato, California. Plus, Coltin Gerhard the younger brother of former Stanford superstar Toby Gerhard was a 3 star out of Murrieta, California. Bercovici will be a Senior in 2015 and these guys will battle it out to replace him.
The Sun Devils have commitments from Brady White a 4 star drop back pro style Quarterback from Newhall, California and 4 star dual threat Quarterback Bryce Perkins from Chandler, Arizona.
California: Jared Goff has thrown for 7,461 yards after 2 seasons at Cal Berkeley and will be back for his junior season.Goff is a good college Quarterback and I don’t believe a threat to leave early so he may put up mind boggling numbers before he is gone from Berkeley.
Luke Rubenzer came in as a true freshman this season and played some in relief of Goff and is a completely different type of Quarterback. Rubenzer is much more mobile than Goff and runs well in goal line situations. Backing them up next season, the Golden Bears have
commitments from Bothell, Washington’s 4 star Quarterback Ross Bowers and from Mobile, Alabama’s DePriest Turner.
Sefo Liufau will return for his junior season after throwing for 3200 yards and 28 Touchdowns. His backup this past season was junior college transfer Jordan Gehrke. Gehrke did not play a lot this past season but did have 170 yards passing. Other potential back up Quarterbacks for the Buffaloes are young guys Ty Gangi and Cade Apsay both Californians.
Colorado has 3 star quarterback Steven Montez from Austin, Texas committed as well. The Colorado Buffaloes have been strong in the past, winning a national championship in 1990 and they could be again if they can recruit the right players. As before, they need to hit California and Texas really hard. Colorado is one of the most beautiful states and Boulder is one of the most beautiful cities, it shouldn’t be that hard to bring in some talent.
Oregon: The Ducks will have a huge drop off next season with the loss of first ever Oregon Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota. Jeff Lockie is an alright athlete, but he’s no Mariota by any means. Lockie threw for just over 200 yards in limited action this season. Lockie beat out Jake Rodrigues this past Spring and Rodrigues transferred to San Diego State.
The Ducks redshirted Morgan Mahalak this past season and this recruiting class has 4 star Travis Waller committed. There are all sorts of rumors flying around about the Oregon Quarterback position. 5 star Quarterback prospect Kyler Murray out of Allen, Texas is committed to another school but supposedly may be interested in Oregon.
Also, Braxton Miller from Ohio State is considering a transfer and he has graduated so he will be eligible immediately. Miller may be more interested in the East Coast area and Duke.
Whatever happens will be a drop off from Marcus Mariota.
Oregon State: The Oregon State Beavers lost their long time coach, Mike Riley to Nebraska. Their new coach is former Wisconsin and Utah State coach Gary Andersen. They also lose 4 year starter at Quarterback for them, Sean Mannion, who had over 13, 000 career passing yards for the Beavers.
Probably Alabama transfer Luke Del Rio wins the job in the Spring. Del Rio looked good last Spring and in limited playing chances in 2014. Of course, he is the son of long time NFL Linebacker and coach Jack Del Rio, a former USC Trojan.
The Beavers also have redshirt freshmen Tanner Sanders, Nick Mitchell and Marcus McMaryion competing for the job. Also, coming into the mix will be 2015 commit James Pensyl a 6-7 Quarterback from Land O’Lakes, Florida.
USC: Cody Kessler returns for the Trojans after throwing for 3,826 yards and 39 Touchdowns and he might be considered the top Quarterback in the country next season, especially after throwing for only 5 Interceptions.
The Trojans have redshirt freshman Jalen Greene and then they have commits from Sam Darnold and Ricky Town. When Town was committed to Alabama he was the top Quarterback in the nation but he withdrew and now he’s ranked #7. Go figure. All of the recruiting nerds are in the East and are basically SEC homers. Other than some highlight videos and maybe a few camps these guys don’t see anyone, anyway away from the Southeast.
Stanford: The Cardinal could have Kevin Hogan returning, if he decides to do so. Hogan and his Stanford teammates did not have the best of seasons, but he still managed to throw for 2,600 yards and 17 Touchdowns. If Hogan does return, look for the Stanford Cardinal to be competitive.
His backup should be junior Ryan Burns. Like Hogan, Burns is from Virginia and is a big, strong Quarterback.
Four star Quarterback recruit from last year Keller Chryst redshirted last year. If Hogan does not come back, Burns and Chryst should have a spirited battle for the starting spot instead of just a battle to be the top backup.
UCLA: Gone from the UCLA lineup is Quarterback Brett Hundley. Jerry Neuheisel should take his spot, but he’s going to fall short a bit on the mobility that the Bruins are used to having with Hundley. Neuheisel led the team to a come from behind win versus Texas and played sparingly the rest of the season.
The Bruins also have junior to be Mike Fafaul and sophomore Asianti Woolard expected to battle it out with Neuheisel. Then, there is redshirt freshman Aaron Sharp.
Coming into the fold will be 2015 commit Josh Rosen from Bellflower, California. Rosen is one of my favorite recruits from this latest class and he should be a really good player for the Bruins. Question is, how soon.
Utah: The Utes kept trying to get rid of starting Quarterback Travis Wilson but he kept coming back. Wilson is one of those tall 6-7 Quarterbacks and he too is mobile for his size. Wilson threw for over 2000 yards and 18 Touchdowns and ran for over 300 and another 5 touchdowns. Wilson will be a senior in 2015.
Also in the mix at Utah is one time Oklahoma Quarterback, Kendall Thompson who threw 52 passes and completed 32 of them for 324 yards and 2 Touchdowns. Thompson is capable but injured his knee against Oregon.
Utah coach Willingham is unique among coaches in that they played 6 Quarterbacks in 2014.
Seniors to be Adam Schulz and Jason Thompson played sparingly last year and so did sophomores to be Conner Manning and Brandon Cox. In spite of that many Quarterbacks getting that much action, expect Travis Wilson to hang on to the starting Quarterback job.
Not only that, but redshirt sophomore Troy Williams can be outstanding. Then, there’s junior Jeff Lundquist who has some ability and looked really good in last year’s Spring Game.
They will also have redshirt freshman Kyle Carta-Samuels who was a well thought of recruit last season. Committed for next year is Jake Browning from Folsom, California and a guy named Jake Browning just has to be a good Quarterback.
There’s no way that the Huskies will hold on to all of these guys. Just one guy can play Quarterback at a time and they tend to be sensitive fellas and transfer out.
Washington State: With Connor Halliday being injured, freshman Luke Falk got to play a lot last season or he would have no experience at all going into 2015. Head coach Mike Leach could put the water boy in at Quarterback and he would throw for 3,000 yards.
Peyton Bender redshirted this year and they have a commitment from Tyler Hilinski for the next recruiting class and either could compete for the starting role. But, it’s probably going to be Luke Falk.