Boston College: Patrick Towles is a transfer from Kentucky and he should win the Quarterback job for 2016. He was replaced at Kentucky by Drew Barker who promptly had all the same issues that Towles had. Towles is a player with a lot of potential and he could do great things at Boston College, but he only has one year of eligibility remaining. Darius Wade was the starter at the beginning of 2015, but he went down with an injury. Can Towles beat him out? Spring Drills should tell us something. Other contenders could be the guy that started at the end of last season, John Fadule, but he struggled with interceptions. Sophomore Jeff Smith first replaced Wade, but his passing was somewhat short of competitive. Troy Flutie, the nephew of Heisman winner Doug, is another option.
That’s too many Quarterbacks and too many egos and somebody is going to transfer if they don’t win the starting job.
Clemson: Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson returns for his 3rd year and he will have an awesome Offensive Line protecting him, with great targets at Wide Receiver, and a great running game with Running Back Wayne Gallman returning. His main back up should again be Nick Schuessler unless he does the Quarterback thing and transfers for greener pastures and playing time. Sophomore to be, Kelly Bryant, may have passed Schuessler already on the depth chart and he looks like he could be a good one when given the chance. Last year’s class also brought in Tucker Israel, but everybody had better beware of the latest Clemson commit, Zerrick Cooper, an outstanding recruit from the state of Georgia. Watson will leave after next season for the NFL and there could be a huge battle in 2017 to replace him. Clemson recruiting is off the charts and Tiger haters are not going to be happy over the next few years. Expect Clemson to compete for the title again next year.
Duke: Thomas Sirk should be back for his senior season and he was pretty good in 2015 as a first year starter. He threw for 2,625 yards and 16 Touchdowns while running for 803 yards and 8 more Touchdowns. Duke can win with Sirk at Quarterback but the ACC is on the rise. Sirk will be backed up by Parker Boehme for another year. Boehme had to start for Sirk against Pittsburgh and was decent. The other Quarterback who could compete is sophomore to be Nicodem Pierre.
Florida State: Sean Maguire finished the year as the starter after losing the job to Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson. He will be back for his senior season with something to prove and I expect him to have a huge season in 2015. Like Clemson, Maguire and the Seminoles will return lots of talent next season. They should return every starter next season on offense. Big J.J. Cosentino should be Maguire’s back up next season and he might have a shot at beating him out. A long shot for the job is redshirt freshman Deondre Francois. He was a highly regarded 4 star recruit last year. Then, there’s commit Malik Henry from Long Beach Poly High School in California. Like Francois, Henry was a highly recruited 4 star. But, he would have to be spectacular to win the job.
Georgia Tech: Justin Thomas surely will be back for his senior season since he is an option Quarterback and not likely to be very popular with NFL scouts. Plus, he is 5-11, 190. Thomas was sensational as a sophomore, but the Yellow Jackets had problems last year while posting a 3-9 record. Thomas should be backed by sophomore Matthew Jordan again.
Louisville: True freshman Lamar Jackson will be back with a year of experience under his belt. He has his good moments and his bad moments, but he was a freshman. Junior to be, Kyle Bolin, should be his main backup although I would not be surprised to hear of his plans to transfer. Reggie Bonnafon is also available. He moved to Running Back this past season, but could still play Quarterback easily if needed. Will Gardner has decided to transfer for his remaining season. But, Louisville is not too worried because they have commits for the 2016 class from 4 star Jawon Pass from Georgia and 3 star Tylin Oden from Tennessee. Both of these guys are 6’5″ and potentially outstanding. If these guys stick to their commitments, Louisville will be in good shape at Quarterback for years to come.
Miami: The Hurricanes have hired former Cane Quarterback Mark Richt and he should love junior Brad Kaaya. In 2 years as a starter, Kaaya has thrown for well over 6,000 yards. This past season, , a sophomore to be out of Mobile, Alabama was his back up. Redshirting last season was 6-5 Evan Sherriffs out of Georgia. 4 star Palmetto, Florida Quarterback Jack Allison is committed for next season and Richt was an excellent recruiter at Georgia.
backed up Kaaya last season as a freshman.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels return 15 starters for next year, but they lost Quarterback Marquise Williams. However, junior to be Mitch Trubisky was phenomenal in a back up role last year. The 6-3, 220 Ohio native hit 85.5% of his passes with 40 completions out of 47 attempts for 555 yards and 6 Touchdowns with no Interceptions.
Trubisky will have to beat out inexperienced sophomore Caleb Henderson.
Last year, the Heels signed 2 Quarterbacks. Anthony Ratliff-Williams and Nathan Elliott were 3 star guys and not well known. For next year’s class, they have a commitment from 4 star Logan Byrd from Georgia. I would almost bet that Trubisky will be the starter next season.
North Carolina State: Like rival North Carolina, the Wolfpack lost it’s star Quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. His back up last season was Jalan McClendon who looks like he has some potential in limited playing time. He is 6-5, 215 and he got most of his playing time early in the season. Jakobi Meyers is a freshman that redshirted this season and he is a former 3 star recruit and he could challenge for playing time. Dylan Parham is a 3 star that is committed for next year, but he would have to be extremely talented to play next year.
Pittsburgh: Nate Peterman returns after transferring from Tennessee and beating out returning starter Chad Voytik. Pittsburgh loves to run the ball, but Peterman still threw for over 2,200 yards and 20 Touchdowns. Voytik is more than a capable Quarterback if needed, but will he transfer?
Ben Dinucci redshirted this past season and they have Thomas MacVittie from Cincinnati Moeller High School. If Voytik sticks around, the Panthers should have plenty of depth at Quarterback for
After I wrote this, Voytik announced he was indeed transferring for his final year. That’s the nature of the beast at Quarterback.
Syracuse: Eric Dungey is the returning starter but he was injured a lot. Dungey only played in 8 games, but for a true freshman he looked really good. Zach Mahoney is a former walk-on that was forced into playing against LSU, Clemson, North Carolina State and Boston College. But, he looked pretty good at times against good competition. Austin Wilson would have played, but he was also injured for most of 2015. They lost A.J. Long to concussions, but they should be bringing in 2 Quarterbacks with their next recruiting class if everyone sticks to their commitments. Rex Culpepper from Plant High School in Tampa, Florida is committed as is Lindsey Scott Jr from Zachery, Louisiana.
The most promising prospect for 2016 is new head coach Dino Babers. He should bring a new and exciting brand of football to Syracuse. This should be fun to watch.
Virginia: Matt Johns returns for new coach Bronco Mendenhall. Johns beat out former Virginia Quarterback Greyson Lambert who left for Georgia and became the starter there. The problem with Johns is that he did manage to throw for 20 Touchdowns, but he also threw 17 Interceptions. That’s way too many turnovers.
Johns was backed up by the traveling man, Connor Brewer. If Brewer had stayed at Texas, he would have started the past two seasons, but he transferred to Arizona, then said he was going to Northern Arizona and should have kept his word with that because he would have started there. Instead, he went East to Virginia where he is still on the sidelines.
Nick Johns was a freshman last season that was busted for DWI and was redshirting last season. For next season, the Cavaliers have Sparta, New Jersey native Sonny Abramson committed. He is a 6-2, 215 and a 3 star. This is another school with a new coach that will be interesting team to watch.
Virginia Tech: Yet another ACC school with a new coach. Long time Hokie coach Frank Beamer
hung them up after this season and they hired Justin Fuente from Memphis.This is a good hire, in my opinion. The Hokies lost 2 year starter Michael Brewer and they must break in a new starter. It’s really too bad that Fuente couldn’t have brought along his Quarterback at Memphis.
Brewer broke his collarbone against Ohio State in the opener and he was replaced by junior Brenden Motley. He started 6 games and the Hokies went 3-3 during that time, but at least he has that experience. The future probably lies with 6-6, 230 Dwayne Lawson from Tampa. He played very little as a freshman, but he is a former 4 star recruit and one of the better looking dual threat prospects out there.
Chris Durkin is another Quarterback in the 2014 class and he redshirted one season. He is a 3 star guy from Youngstown, Ohio. He has been passed by Lawson on the depth chart and has been working at Tight End some. For next season, the Hokies have a commitment from 4 star Dual Threat Quarterback Joshua Jackson from Michigan.
Maybe the most promising commitment the Hokies have for the short term is JUCO Quarterback Jerod Evans from Texas.
Wake Forest: John Wolford returns at Quarterback at Wake, but he threw more Interceptions than Touchdowns last year. Kendall Hinton was a freshman this past year and showed a lot of potential. Last year, they brought in Kyle Kearns a pocket passer from California. They have a commitment for the 2016 class from 3 star Jamie Newman from Graham, North Carolina. Newman is a big kid at 6-4, 235 with plenty of potential.
Wake Forest did not have a good season and will need improvement across the board, but the Quarterback position could definitely use better play.