Ranking the best college quarterbacks heading into the 2015 season

Even though Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston left school early for the NFL, the quarterback position is as deep as its ever been in college.

There are returning stars in every conference, including three of the top eight vote getters for the 2014 Heisman Trophy. There are small school legends who are ready to put their name out on the national stage and signal callers from big-time programs ready to make a run at the national championship. There are great runners, great throwers and even some who are elite at both. There are also two local talents returning from season-ending injuries who should help provide for some amazing moments in the Beehive state.

Here is my list of the best college quarterbacks heading into the 2015 season. 

H.M. Maty Mauk, junior, Missouri

Mauk had a great year in leading the Tigers to first place in the SEC’s East division. He had eight games with at least two touchdowns and two games with at least 300 yards passing. One of his best games came in a 49-24 win over Toledo when he threw for 325 yards and recorded six touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 53.4 percent of his passes for 2,648 yards and 25 touchdowns.

H.M. Blake Frohnapfel, senior, Massachusetts

Frohnapfel had a great season in his first year with the Minutemen. He had five games with at least three touchdown passes and five games of more than 300 passing yards. One of his best showings came in a 47-42 loss to Bowling Green when he passed for 589 yards and five touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 55.1 percent of his passes for 3,345 yards and 23 scores.

H.M. Fredi Knighten, senior, Arkansas State

Knighten dominated the Sun Belt with his arm and his legs in 2014. He had seven games with at least three touchdowns and three games with at least 300 yards passing. His best outing came in a 63-44 loss to Toledo when he threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 3,277 yards and 24 touchdowns as well as 779 yards and 11 scores on the ground.

H.M. Kevin Hogan, senior, Stanford

Hogan had another solid season for the Cardinal in 2014. He had seven games with at least two touchdown passes and nine games with more than 200 yards passing. One of his best games came in a 35-0 over Army and threw for 216 yards and four touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 2,792 yards and 19 touchdowns. He added 295 yards and five scores in the running game.

H.M. Jacoby Brissett, senior, North Carolina State

Brissett had a very solid showing during his first year as a starter. He had eight games with at least two touchdowns and five games with at least 250 yards passing. One of his best games came in the 56-41 loss to Florida State when he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added 529 yards and three scores on the ground.

25. Keenan Reynolds, senior, Navy

Reynolds has been the face of the Navy football team for the last two years. He had six games with more than 100 yards rushing and 10 games with at least two touchdowns. His best outing came in a 52-19 win over Georgia Southern when he ran for 277 yards and six touchdowns while throwing for 71 yards and another score.

For the season, he threw for 843 yards and six touchdowns to go along with 1,191 yards and 23 scores on the ground.

24. Paxton Lynch, junior,  Memphis

Lynch had a big sophomore season for the Tigers. He had six games with at least three touchdowns and four games with more than 300 yards passing. One of his best games came in a 41-14 win over Cincinnati when he threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns while running for two others.

For the season, he completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 3,031 yards and 22 touchdowns. He added 321 yards and 13 touchdowns in the run game.

23. Christian Hackenberg, junior, Penn State

Hackenberg had another solid season for the Lions in 2014. He had four games with at least 300 yards passing and two games with at least three touchdown passes. His best game came in a 31-30 win over Boston College when he threw for 371 yards and four scores.

For the season, he completed 55.8 percent of his passes for 2,977 yards and 12 touchdowns.

22. Joshua Dobbs, junior, Tennessee

Dobbs is an impressive dual-threat quarterback who closed 2014 with some strong performances.  He had three games with at least two touchdowns passes and three games with at least two rushing scores. His best game came in a 45-42 win over South Carolina when he threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 166 yards and three scores on the ground.

For the season, he completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 1,206 yards and nine touchdowns as well as 469 yards and eight scores rushing.

21. Kyle Allen, sophomore, Texas A&M

After starting the season as a backup to Kenny Hill, Allen took over first-string duties midway through the year and had some big games. He had three games with at least three touchdown passes and two games with more than 275 yards passing. One of his best games came in the 45-37 bowl game win over West Virginia when he passed for 294 yards and four touchdowns with another score on the ground.

For the season, he completed 61.5 percent of his throws for 1,322 yards and 16 touchdowns.

20. Marquise Williams, senior, North Carolina

Williams made huge strides for North Carolina in 2014. He had seven games with at least three touchdowns and seven contests with more than 300 yards of total offense. One of his best outings came in a 48-43 win over Georgia Tech when he threw for 390 yards and four touchdowns with 73 yards and another score on the ground.

For the season, he completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns. He added 788 yards and 13 scores in the running game.

19. Zach Terrell, Western Michigan

Terrell had an impressive season under center for the Broncos in 2014. He had five games with at least three touchdown passes and three outings with more than 300 passing yards. One of his best showings came in a 51-7 win over Eastern Michigan when he completed 17 of 19 throws for 357 yards and four touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,443 yards and 26 touchdowns. He added 264 yards and three scores on the ground.

18. Justin Thomas, junior, Georgia Tech

Thomas is one of many great returning quarterbacks in the ACC. He had five games with at least three touchdowns and five games with more than 100 yards rushing. One of his best outings came in a 42-38 win over Georgia Southern when he threw for 188 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 137 yards and a score on the ground.

For the season, he completed 51.3 percent of his throws for 1,719 yards and 18 touchdowns with 1,086 and eight scores in the running game.

17. Tommy Armstrong Jr., junior, Nebraska

Armstrong had a very solid season as a dual-threat quarterback for the Huskers. He had six games with at least three touchdowns and four games with at least 250 yards passing. One of his most impressive games came in a 45-42 loss to USC when he threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns with another scoring in the running game.

For the season, he completed 53.3 percent of his passes for 2,695 yards and 22 touchdowns. He added 705 yards and six scores on the ground.

16. Chuckie Keeton, senior, Utah State

Keeton is back on the field for his senior season looking to bounce back from two injury shortened years. He played just three games in 2014 before his season came to an end. If he can return to the form he had during his sophomore year, he could lead the Aggies to new heights.

For his Utah State career, he had completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 6,387 yards and 58 touchdowns to go along with 1,234 yards and 15 scores in the running game.

15. Brad Kaaya, sophomore, Miami (Florida)

Kaaya had a fantastic freshman year for the Hurricanes. He had four games with at least three passing touchdowns and three games with at least 300 yards. One of his best showings came in a 41-20 win over Arkansas State when he threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 3,198 yards and 26 touchdowns.

14. Everett Golson, senior, Florida State

After two solid seasons with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Golson moved on to Florida State where he will try to fill the big shoes left by the departure of Jameis Winston. In 2014, he had eight games with at least three touchdowns and five games with more than 300 yards passing. One of his best outings came in the 49-39 win over Navy when he passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns while adding three scores on the ground.

For the season, he completed 60 percent of his throws for 3,445 yards and 29 touchdowns. He added 283 yards and eight scores in the running game.

13. Mike Bercovici, senior, Arizona State

Bercovici had some really big games as a replacement for Taylor Kelly. He had two games with more than 480 yards passing and three touchdowns. His best game came in the 38-24 win over USC when he threw for 510 yards and five touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,445 yards and 12 touchdowns.

12. Anu Solomon, sophomore, Arizona

Solomon had an amazing freshman season for the surprising Wildcats. He had five games with at least three touchdown passes and four games with more than 300 yards passing. One of his best games came in the 49-45 win over California when he threw for 520 yards and five touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 58 percent of his passes for 3,793 yards and 28 touchdowns.

11. Gunner Kiel, junior, Cincinnati

Kiel had a big sophomore campaign for the Bearcats. He had six games with at least three touchdown passes and four games with more than 350 yards passing. One of his best games came in the 58-34 win over Toledo when he threw for 418 yards and six touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 59.7 percent of his throws for 3,254 yards and 31 touchdowns.

10. Jared Goff, junior, Cal

Goff was one of the elite signal callers in the Pac-12 in 2014. He had seven games with at least 300 yards and passing and seven games with at least three touchdown passes. One of his best games came in a 60-59 win over Washington State when he threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 3,973 and 35 touchdowns.

9. Brandon Doughty, senior, Western Kentucky

Doughty had a breakout season in 2014. He led the country in passing touchdowns and passing yards to win the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the most outstanding passer in college football. He had nine games with at least three touchdowns and 10 games with at least 300 yards passing. One of his best games came in a 59-31 win over Bowling Green when he threw for 569 yards and six touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 4,830 yards and 49 touchdowns to go along with two rushing scores.

8. Connor Cook, senior,  Michigan State

Cook had another big year as the Spartans starter in 2014. He had three games with three touchdown passes and four more games with at least 300 yards passing. One of his best games came in 56-17 win over Indiana when he completed 75 percent of his passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 58.1 percent of his throws for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns.

7. Seth Russell, junior, Baylor

Russell had some very impressive showings in limited action playing behind Bryce Petty and has the wide receivers to put up some massive numbers. His best game in 2014 came in a 70-6 win over Northwestern State when he threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 804 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 185 yards and three scores on the ground.

6. Deshaun Watson, sophomore, Clemson

Watson showed some remarkable talent in limited action in 2014. He had four games with at least three touchdowns and four games with more than 250 passing yards. One of his best games came in a 50-35 win over North Carolina when he threw for 435 yards and six touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 67.9 percent of his throws for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 200 yards and five scores in the running game.

5. Taysom Hill, senior, BYU

Hill was in the middle of a fantastic junior year when he was knocked out for the season in a loss to the Utah State Aggies. He had five games with at least two touchdowns and two games with at least 350 yards. His best showing came in a 35-10 win over Connecticut when he threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 97 yards and two scores on the ground.

For the season, he completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 975 yards and seven touchdowns as well as 460 yards and eight scores in the running game.

4. Dak Prescott, senior, Mississippi State

Prescott carried the Bulldogs to a terrific season and plenty of national attention in 2014. He had nine games with at least three touchdowns, seven games with at least 250 passing yards and four games with more than 100 yards rushing. One of his best games came in a 34-29 win over LSU when he threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 105 yards and a score on the ground.

For the season, he completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 3,449 yards and 27 touchdowns. He added 986 yards and 14 scores in the running game.

3.B. Cardale Jones, junior, Ohio State

Jones made a huge impact during his three games as the Buckeyes’ starter on the way to a national championship. His best showing came in a 59-0 win over Wisconsin for the Big 10 championship when he threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 60.9 percent of his throws for 860 yards and seven touchdowns to go long with 296 yards and another score.

3.A. J.T. Barrett, sophomore, Ohio State

Barrett had a tremendous freshman campaign before an injury ended his year. He had seven games with at least four touchdowns and four games with more than 300 yards passing. ONe of his best games came in a 66-0 win over Kent State when he threw for 312 yards and six touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 64.7 percent of his throws for 2,834 yards and 34 touchdowns to go along with 938 yards and 11 scores on the ground.

2. Cody Kessler, senior, USC

Kessler became one of the elite signal callers in the country in 2014. He had six games with at least four touchdowns and seven games with more than 300 yards passing. One of his best games came in a 49-14 win over Notre Dame when he threw for 372 yards and six touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 69.7 percent of his throws for 3,826 yards and 39 touchdowns.

1. Trevone Boykin, senior, TCU

Boykin was one of the most productive signal callers in the nation in 2014. He had three games with at least 400 yards passing and three more games with more than 300 yards. One of his best performances came in an 82-27 win over Texas Tech when he threw for 433 yards and seven touchdowns.

For the season, he completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 3,901 yards and 33 touchdowns to go along with 707 yards and eight scores on the ground.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s