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College Football Starting QB Rankings for 2022 (Top 131)

Athlon Sports logo Athlon Sports 8/15/2022 Steven Lassan

A complete ranking and breakdown of all 131 college football starting quarterbacks for the 2022 season.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports © Provided by Athlon Sports Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

With fall practice underway, crucial scrimmages to settle starting jobs and depth charts on tap, and Week 0/1 preparation beginning for all 131 college football teams, it's time for Athlon Sports' annual list to evaluate and rank how every program looks at quarterback for the 2022 season. Alabama's Bryce Young and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud top the list of best quarterbacks returning this fall, with USC's Caleb Williams and Coastal Carolina's Grayson McCall headlining the next tier. The ACC and SEC are deep at quarterback in 2022, as names like Tennessee's Hendon Hooker, Miami's Tyler Van Dyke and NC State's Devin Leary should all push to be a top-10 signal-caller this year.

Ranking the quarterbacks by conference or nationally is no easy task. To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2022. This was not a ranking of quarterbacks only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, having a clear hold on the No. 1 position, previous production/career stats, 2021 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank all 131 quarterbacks in the nation for 2022. This list could look a lot different by kickoff, especially once some of the battles are settled across the FBS level.

By Conference:

Power 5: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC | QB Battles

Group of 5: AAC | C-USA | MAC | MW | Sun Belt | Transfers to Watch

College Football Starting QB Rankings for 2022 (Top 131)

131. Diego Pavia, New Mexico StateThe Aggies have an open battle for the quarterback job this fall. Pavia, along with true freshman Gavin Frakes and sophomore Weston Eget, are all in the mix to start under new coach Jerry Kill. Pavia arrived in Las Cruces after playing at New Mexico Military Institute for two years. In 2021, he threw for 1,728 yards and 21 touchdowns and added 658 yards and seven scores for a team that won the NJCAA championship. Eget completed one of his 10 passes in two games of action for New Mexico State last fall. Frakes threw for 2,207 yards and 24 scores as a high school senior in Norman, Oklahoma, in '21.

130. John Paddock, Ball StateHow fast (and well) Ball State replaces Drew Plitt will determine just how high coach Mike Neu's team can finish in the MAC West. Paddock worked as Plitt's backup for the last three years and completed 24 of 34 throws for 180 yards and one pick. However, Paddock's average yards per attempt was only 5.3 and his quarterback rating was 109.2 in that limited time. Paddock will have to hold off a challenge from incoming freshman Kaden Cobb this fall.

129. Brady Olson, UMassOlson is listed here as the starter for UMass, but Zamar Wise, Garrett Dzuro or junior college recruit Gino Campiotti could start the opener at Tulane. Olson has the most experience in a UMass uniform after throwing for 1,145 yards and eight touchdowns last fall. However, his completion rate was only 48.1 percent and his yards per pass attempt checked in at 5.3. Dzuro (139) and Wise (136) add more of a running threat to the offense under new head Don Brown.

128. TJ McMahon, RiceGetting to a bowl game would be a good step forward for Rice in coach Mike Bloomgren's fifth year. But in order to reach that goal, the Owls need major improvement on offense. Since Bloomgren's arrival, Rice has not ranked higher than eighth in Conference USA in scoring and no quarterback has produced more than 10 touchdown passes. Three signal-callers - Luke McCaffrey, Wiley Green and Jake Constantine - started under center last fall, while McMahon played in 11 games as a backup. McCaffrey was moved to receiver, and Constantine finished his eligibility, leaving Green and McMahon to battle for the job this fall. McMahon - a JUCO transfer from Cerritos College - completed 12 of 21 throws for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his limited action in '21.

127. Jack Salopek, Western MichiganKaleb Eleby leaves big shoes to fill in Kalamazoo after throwing for 6,084 yards and 45 touchdowns in 2018 and '20-21. Salopek worked as the No. 2 quarterback for coach Tim Lester and connected on three of five attempts for 20 yards last year. Mareyohn Hrabowski also played as more of a change-of-pace quarterback (121 rushing yards) last fall and is expected to factor into the mix. Alabama transfer Stone Hollenbach will push Salopek and Hrabowski for the starting nod this fall.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2022

126. Miles Kendrick, New MexicoCoordinator Derek Warehime and coach Danny Gonzales hope the addition of Kendrick helps to jump-start an offense that scored only 12.2 points a game in '21. Kendrick - a former JUCO prospect - arrives in Albuquerque after playing 17 contests with the Jayhawks and throwing for 853 yards and nine touchdowns over 96 completions. Kendrick's ability to make plays outside of the pocket (105 yards and a touchdown) was also on display in Lawrence and could be a valuable asset for Warehime as he hopes to guide a much-improved attack this fall.

125. Chandler Fields, LouisianaReplacing three-year starter Levi Lewis tops the list of priorities for new coach Michael Desormeaux this fall. In addition to guiding the Ragin' Cajuns to four straight Sun Belt West Division titles (and a conference title in '21), Lewis finished his career with more than 10,000 total yards of offense. Fields has played in 13 games over the last three seasons and connected on nine of 13 throws for 106 yards and a score in limited snaps last fall. He will battle Ben Wooldridge and Lance LeGendre for the starting nod.

124. Ta'Quan Roberson, UConnRoberson came to Penn State as a four-star prospect in the 2018 signing class and played in six games from 2019-21. The New Jersey native saw extensive action against Iowa (7-for-21 for 34 yards) when starter Sean Clifford was lost due to injury. Roberson doesn't have a ton of experience, but his recruiting profile suggests there's upside for the UConn staff to work with. If Roberson struggles, Northern Arizona transfer Cale Millen or Tyler Phommachanh would get the nod under center.

123. Matthew Downing, Louisiana TechThree players - Austin Kendall, Aaron Allen and JD Head - threw passes for Louisiana Tech in 2021. However, all three departed after last season. New coach Sonny Cumbie looked into his past (and the portal) for help. Downing played under Cumbie at TCU in '20 and completed 17 of 30 throws for 168 yards and a touchdown that year. Parker McNeil, who played at Texas Tech under Cumbie in '21, was also added to the roster this offseason. True freshman Landry Lyddy's development is worth monitoring this fall.

Related: Grading the New Head Coach Hires for 2022

122. Brayden Schager/Cammon Cooper, HawaiiNew coach Timmy Chang will spend the fall sifting through a wide-open quarterback battle before the opener against Vanderbilt. The Rainbow Warriors have six names vying for the job, but Cooper, Brayden Schager and Joey Yellen are likely at the front of the competition. Cooper played in six games at Washington State (2018-21) and completed 15 of 23 passes for 143 yards during that stint. Schager recorded six appearances (and three starts) for the Rainbow Warriors last fall and connected on 59 percent of his passes for 563 yards and two touchdowns to five picks. Yellen made one start in Tempe with the Sun Devils in '19 before transferring to Pitt and recording two starts for the Panthers in '20. The California native has completed 63 of 122 for 694 yards and five touchdowns to five picks at the FBS level.

121. Andrew Peasley, WyomingWith Logan Bonner entrenched as Utah State's starter, Peasley transferred in search of playing time and didn't have to look far for his next stop. The Oregon native headed to Wyoming and is the front-runner to start over junior college recruit Evan Svoboda and freshman Hank Gibbs. Peasley recorded snaps in 19 games with the Aggies and made two starts in '20. His dual-threat ability was evident with 515 yards (9.0 per carry) over just 57 carries, but there's work to do to develop as a passer (830 yards over 70 completions and just 5.7 per attempt).

120. Matt Myers, BuffaloKyle Vantrease's transfer to Georgia Southern opens the quarterback battle in Buffalo between Myers and Rutgers transfer Cole Snyder. Myers holds an edge after completing 107 of 210 attempts for 1,316 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions over 18 games (and seven starts) over the last three years. The New York native is also a good runner, as evidenced by his 276 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 93 carries. Snyder played in nine games at Rutgers and threw for 165 yards and one touchdown in limited snaps. Whichever quarterback wins the job is dealing with a revamped offensive line (just one returning starter), but receiver Quian Williams and running backs Ron Cook Jr. and Mike Washington are back.

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119. Riley Leonard, DukeNew coach Mike Elko has a major rebuilding effort in Durham but solving the quarterback battle between Leonard and Jordan Moore could speed up how competitive this team is in ’22. Both players saw reps as true freshmen behind starter Gunnar Holmberg (later transferred to FIU) last season but are still largely inexperienced. Leonard completed 37 of 62 throws for 381 yards and a touchdown, while Moore connected on nine of his 19 attempts for 95 yards and a score. Both quarterbacks showed an ability to churn out yardage on the ground (Moore with 221 yards and Leonard with 173), but neither ended limited playing time with their average passing yards per attempt above 6.2. The Blue Devils return four starters along the offensive line, and receiver Jalon Calhoun (56 catches) is back on the outside. Those two factors will help to ease the new Duke starter into the lineup.

118. Gunnar Holmberg, FIUNew coach Mike MacIntyre has a major rebuilding effort on his hands at FIU, but that process was aided some by a couple of additions through the portal this offseason. One of those pickups was Holmberg, who arrives in Miami after playing in 18 games (and 11 starts) at Duke. The North Carolina native received the bulk of his playing time last year, connecting on 67 percent of his passes for 2,358 yards and seven touchdowns and rushing for 167 yards over 88 attempts. Holmberg has displayed good accuracy (67.3 percent), but he connected on just five plays of 40-plus yards and didn't stretch the field with his arm (7.3 ypa). 

117. D'Wan Mathis, TempleMathis transferred from Georgia to Temple prior to the 2021 college football season, and as expected, the former four-star prospect earned the starting job out of fall practice. However, the Michigan native was hit by bad luck last year. Mathis was injured in the opener against Rutgers and was forced to miss the next two contests before returning in late September. He pieced together strong performances by throwing a combined five touchdowns against Wagner and Memphis but tossed only one over his next four before missing the last three games due to injury. Mathis ended '21 with 1,223 yards and six touchdowns to four picks through the air and averaged only 6.2 yards per attempt. Talent certainly isn't an issue for Mathis, so it's up to new coach Stan Drayton to help the sophomore take a step forward in '22.

116. Ryan Hilinski, NorthwesternNorthwestern’s offense did not score more than 14 points in seven out of its last eight games and ended the year by averaging only 4.4 yards per play in Big Ten contests. Yikes. The passing game was a primary culprit in the offensive struggles (just 16.6 points a game for the season), as quarterbacks for the Wildcats managed to average only 57.9 in completion percentage and tossed 10 picks to 10 interceptions in Big Ten play. Also, Northwestern averaged only 5.8 yards per attempt for the season and had less than 200 passing yards in five out of the team’s final six games. Hilinski – a transfer from South Carolina – paced the offense with 978 yards in his first season and added three touchdowns to four picks in his first year with the Wildcats. The former four-star prospect will face competition from Brendan Sullivan and Carl Richardson this fall.

Related: Big Ten Football Predictions for 2022

115. Brendon Lewis, ColoradoNew play-caller Mike Sanford arrives from Minnesota tasked with jump-starting an offense that averaged only 4.4 yards per play and 18.8 points a game last year. Improved play under center would significantly boost the overall production of this offense, and Lewis opens the fall as the favorite to start after throwing for 1,540 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushing for 190 yards and two scores last season. The Texas native passed for 224 yards and three touchdowns at Oregon and threw for 248 yards and two scores in a win against Arizona. However, Lewis did not eclipse more than 170 yards in any other matchup and averaged just 6.0 yards per attempt. Additionally, there’s room to improve in terms of accuracy (58 percent) and quarterback rating (11th among Pac-12 signal-callers). If Lewis doesn’t take a step forward, Tennessee transfer JT Shrout could push for the job.

114. Chandler Rogers, ULMRogers started his collegiate career at Southern Miss, followed by a stop at Blinn (Texas) College before his arrival in Monroe. The Texas native started six games (and recorded 12 overall appearances), throwing for 1,311 yards and nine touchdowns to just three picks. Rogers also boasted a solid completion percentage (62.6) and showcased his dangerous running ability with 363 yards and a touchdown. With a full offseason to work as the starter, along with intriguing upside, Rogers has the potential to climb this list by December.

113. Kyle Vantrease, Georgia SouthernVantrease is an experienced arm to help Georgia Southern in its offensive transition under new coach Clay Helton. The Ohio native arrives in Statesboro after throwing for 4,755 yards and 25 touchdowns to 13 picks in 35 games at Buffalo from 2017-21. Vantrease never tossed more than 10 scores in a season but was relatively efficient (59.2 percent) and averaged 7.3 yards per attempt. Vantrease may not post huge passing totals this year, but his experience is key for an offense looking to find its footing under the new staff.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2021

112. Taylor Powell, Eastern MichiganEastern Michigan is Powell's third FBS stop in his career. The Arkansas native played in 12 games at Missouri from 2018-19 and connected on 35 of 76 passes for 431 yards and one score. He transferred to Troy prior to the '21 campaign and showcased good accuracy (66.1 percent) while throwing for 1,237 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions in seven appearances. Powell lost the starting job to Gunnar Watson for the second half of the season, which prompted a transfer to Eastern Michigan to replace Ben Bryant. The Eagles have ranked among the top five teams in the MAC in pass attempts in five out of the last six years, and the supporting cast at receiver is strong with Hassan Beydoun, Tanner Knue and Dylan Drummond back out wide. Those two factors give Powell a chance to post big numbers in Ypsilanti this fall.

111. Ty Keyes, Southern MissKeyes isn't as proven as some of the names behind him on this list, but we think the redshirt freshman is poised to break out in 2022. A rash of injuries forced coach Will Hall to play six different quarterbacks with running back Frank Gore starting the final three games of '21 under center as a Wildcat option. Keyes - a three-star prospect in the '21 signing class - accounted for 355 passing yards and three scores and added 55 yards on the ground. Hall's offense should be in better shape going into his second year in Hattiesburg, with Keyes expected to provide a spark for this unit as he continues to develop.

110. Nate Cox/Shane Illingworth, NevadaNot only does Nevada have to fill the void left behind by Carson Strong at quarterback, but there's a new head coach (Ken Wilson) and offensive scheme, just one returner along the line and six key receiving targets must be replaced. Cox worked as the backup to Strong for each of the last two seasons and completed 27 of 45 throws for 289 yards and two scores. He also ran for 34 yards and a touchdown. However, the 6-foot-9 signal-caller was arrested on a DUI charge in early June. His status for the start of the '22 season is uncertain. Also, there's no guarantee he wins the job out of fall practice. Illingworth - a transfer from Oklahoma State - went 3-0 as a starter in Stillwater and completed 69 of 120 throws for 939 yards and seven scores.

109. Gavin Wimsatt, RutgersA Rutgers quarterback hasn’t passed for more than 10 touchdowns in a season since Chris Laviano eclipsed that mark (16) in 2015. Although inconsistency and up-and-down play have marred this quarterback room, the Scarlet Knights have at least one reason for optimism for ’22. Noah Vedral returns after starting 20 games for Rutgers the last two years, and Wimsatt’s continued development could help this offense take a big step forward after averaging only 19.7 points a game and 4.5 yards per play in ’21. Wimsatt was originally a ’23 prospect but reclassified to ’22 and arrived on campus last September. The Kentucky native ranked as a four-star recruit and was regarded as one of the top dual-threat signal-callers in the nation. A late arrival to campus, along with the leap in competition, ensured ’21 was essentially a learning or redshirt year for Wimsatt. However, he did record snaps in four games, throwing for 45 yards (completing 9 of 21 passes) and rushing for 68 yards on nine attempts. With a full offseason to work under play-caller Sean Gleeson, Wimsatt should be much more comfortable and ready to push for the starting nod. And if he's not ready to win the job yet, Vedral is a more-than-capable option to start in '22.

108. Mike Wright, VanderbiltThe Commodores were expected to have a quarterback battle between Wright and Ken Seals this fall, but coach Clark Lea ended the competition by naming Wright his starter at SEC Media Days. Seals started all of Vanderbilt’s nine games in 2020, while Wright attempted just 10 passes in a backup role. However, both signal-callers saw extensive snaps last fall, with Seals throwing for 1,181 yards and five touchdowns and Wright adding 1,042 yards and eight scores. Although Wright isn’t as polished of a passer as Seals, his mobility (376 yards in ’21) is a valuable asset for an offense that needs more playmakers and has concerns in the trenches. The Commodores scored 20 or more points just three times in SEC play last season, but all three came with Wright as the starter, and there’s optimism the offense can build off his ability with a full fall practice to work with the No. 1 group.

107. Brady Cook, MissouriIn an effort to boost an offense that averaged 22.6 points a game in SEC contests last year and add competition to a quarterback room that lost Connor Bazelak to Indiana, coach Eli Drinkwitz pursued some of the top transfer options this offseason. The Tigers weren’t able to land one of the top standouts but received a commitment from Jack Abraham from Mississippi State to join a competition featuring Cook, Tyler Macon and true freshman Sam Horn. Cook was the likely the front-runner after starting in the Armed Forces Bowl against Army and throwing for 238 yards and a score after completing 27 of his 34 attempts. The postseason matchup was Cook’s first extensive opportunity to play for the Tigers, but he did see time against Georgia (14 of 19 for 78 yards) and SEMO. Cook was named the starter in early August, giving him plenty of time to prepare as the team's No. 1 option. As a team, Missouri ranked near the bottom of the SEC in yards per attempt (6.7) and quarterback rating (131.1) last year. Better overall play and more ability to push the ball downfield are two priorities the Tigers need from their quarterbacks in ’22. Horn – the No. 139 overall recruit in the ’22 class – is the wild-card option to watch as the season progresses.

Related: SEC Football Predictions for 2022

106. Tyhier Tyler, ArmyChristian Anderson finished his eligibility for the Black Knights, but the offense is in good hands with Tyler. The Virginia native has started four games in each of the last two years and played in 18 overall contests. In that span, Tyler has rushed for 1,064 yards and 12 touchdowns. He ran for 104 yards against Wake Forest and 90 versus a standout Wisconsin group last season. Tyler has only attempted 11 passes in his 18 games of action.

105. DJ Irons, AkronExpect Akron to be among the most-improved offenses in college football this fall. New coach Joe Moorhead is one of the top offensive minds in the nation, and the Zips have plenty of room to improve after averaging only 19.8 points a game last year. Irons is listed here, but freshman Dijon Jennings and Albany transfer Jeff Undercuffler are in the mix if he doesn't claim a clear hold on the job. Irons showed flashes of potential as a junior college transfer last fall. The Georgia native threw for 892 yards and eight touchdowns with just four picks over 121 attempts. He also showed his dual-threat ability with 296 yards and two scores on the ground. Although the sample size on Irons is small, Moorhead has a strong track record of developing explosive offenses - especially ones with dual-threat quarterbacks.

Related: College Football's Most Improved Teams for 2022

104. Hayden Wolff, Old Dominion Wolff's emergence as the starter also coincided with Old Dominion's run to a bowl game last year. In Wolff's seven starts, the Monarchs went 5-2, including a key five-game winning streak to reach bowl eligibility. However, that late-season surge won't guarantee Wolff the job. Notre Dame transfer Brendon Clark and D.J. Mack are expected to push Wolff for the No. 1 spot on the depth chart this fall. Wolff started three games for ODU in '19 and recorded 10 appearances overall last year. During that stint, the Florida native completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,933 yards and 10 touchdowns to seven picks. If Wolff holds onto the job and develops under coach Ricky Rahne, having weapons like tight end Zack Kuntz and receiver Ali Jennings III will give him a shot to easily outperform this spot.

103. Austin Aune/Grant Gunnell, North Texas Gunnell is listed here for North Texas, but the former Arizona and Memphis signal-caller has to beat Austin Aune for the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. Fall practice is Gunnell's first opportunity for snaps in the Mean Green uniform after spending the 2021 season and '22 spring at Memphis. Gunnell did not record a snap of playing time with the Tigers due to injury, but he previously played in 12 games at Arizona (2019-20) and threw for 1,864 yards and 15 touchdowns to only three picks over 248 attempts. The sample size is still relatively small, but Gunnell's accuracy has been on point (66.5 percent for his career). North Texas averaged under 200 passing yards a game last fall, but coach Seth Littrell hopes for Gunnell to be the missing piece and spark the downfield attack.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2022

102. Carter Bradley, South AlabamaThe Jaguars enter fall practice with a wide-open battle between Bradley and Desmond Trotter to replace Jake Bentley under center. Bradley transferred to Mobile after spending the last four seasons a Toledo, recording snaps in 22 games and throwing for 2,377 yards and 14 touchdowns to eight picks in that span. Trotter has started 16 games over the last three years for the Jaguars and passed for 3,333 yards and 24 touchdowns to just nine picks. He's also added 254 yards and three scores on the ground. Spring practice didn't provide much separation between the two, but South Alabama's offense should be in good hands regardless of which one wins the job.

101. Kurtis Rourke, OhioA Rourke - Nathan or Kurtis - has directed the Ohio offense since '17. Kurtis was tapped to fill his brother's shoes prior to the '20 season and has started 12 games over the last two years. Over that span, Rourke hasn't quite matched Nathan's level of play during his successful stint in Athens. However, Kurtis has passed for 2,187 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 344 yards and three scores in that span. With Armani Rogers out of the picture, the job is all Rourke's this fall, leading to hopes he can take a big step forward and emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the MAC.

100. Matt McDonald, Bowling GreenMcDonald began his career at Boston College but followed coach Scot Loeffler to Bowling Green prior to the '19 season. The California native had to sit out '20 due to NCAA transfer rules but has started all 17 of the Falcons' games over the last two years. After a rough debut (712 yards and one touchdown to six picks in '20), McDonald rebounded a bit last fall. He threw for 2,555 yards, 12 touchdowns, and seven picks while adding four rushing scores over 12 matchups. McDonald's completion rate was a solid 60.1 percent but six of his touchdown passes came in two contests (Buffalo and Akron). Entering his third year as the starter, McDonald needs more overall consistency and production for the Falcons to rise in the MAC East.

99. Henry Colombi, MarshallGrant Wells' decision to transfer to Virginia Tech left a void under center for second-year coach Charles Huff. The Thundering Herd landed Colombi through the transfer portal, which ensures the offense has a veteran to bridge the gap with a promising group of young signal-callers. Colombi is on his third FBS team after beginning his career at Utah State and a two-year stop at Texas Tech. He threw for 460 yards and two touchdowns during 11 appearances with the Aggies and added 2,356 yards and 13 scores through the air during his stint with the Red Raiders. Colombi has averaged 7.3 yards per attempt throughout his career and also has rushed for 308 yards over the last two years. Complicating Colombi's transition into the starting role will be four new starters along the offensive line.

Related: Sun Belt Football Predictions for 2022

98. Gunnar Watson, TroyWatson is listed here, but the junior will be pushed this fall by Quayde Hawkins and Utah transfer Peter Costelli. After recording snaps in eight games as a backup from 2018-19, Watson earned the starting role in '20 and threw for 2,141 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also leading the Sun Belt in passing yards per game (237.9). Watson ranked third in the conference in quarterback rating and also connected on 27 throws of 20-plus yards that year. However, the Georgia native fell behind Taylor Powell (now at Eastern Michigan) on the depth chart, before regaining the starting nod in Troy's sixth game. Watson went on to throw for 1,613 yards and eight scores last year but his completion percentage was under 57 percent in four of the team's final seven contests. Troy returns a solid supporting cast around the quarterback, so if Watson (or Costelli or Hawkins) emerges as a clear answer under center, the offense should show marked improvement after recording 22.8 points a game in '21.

97. Austin Reed, WKUReplicating last year's high-powered offense (44.2 points a game and 433.7 passing yards a contest) won't be easy for WKU with quarterback Bailey Zappe off to the NFL, and coordinator Zach Kittley calling the plays at Texas Tech. Coach Tyson Helton promoted a couple of assistants - including Ben Arbuckle to call plays - to ensure continuity in scheme. Jarret Doege arrived on campus with five years of experience and was believed to be the frontrunner prior to fall practice. However, he opted to transfer in mid-August, leaving Reed - a transfer from West Florida - as the favorite to start in '22. The Florida native is stepping up in competition from Division II to FBS, but his numbers in '21 were impressive (3,418 yards and 38 TDs) for the Argos.

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23

96. Tommy DeVito, IllinoisThe unquestioned strength of Illinois’ 2022 offense is its ground game, but coach Bret Bielema will need a little more out of his passing attack to get to a bowl game. After averaging only 20.2 points a game and 4.9 yards per play in Big Ten games, Bielema took steps to jumpstart this group, hiring Barry Lunney Jr. from UTSA to call plays and securing DeVito’s commitment from the transfer portal. The New Jersey native threw for 19 touchdowns and 2,360 yards in ’19 for Syracuse but missed most of ’20 due to injury. After returning last season, DeVito threw for 388 yards and a touchdown before he lost the starting job in favor of Garrett Shrader. Talent (a former four-star prospect) and arm strength are two strengths for DeVito. Can he put everything together at Illinois this fall?

95. Spencer Petras, IowaIt’s no secret Iowa’s offense struggled last season and heads into 2022 as a concern once again. Although the Hawkeyes won the Big Ten’s West Division, this unit averaged only 23 points and 4.5 yards per play in conference action. Both Petras and Alex Padilla saw significant snaps under center last fall, but neither played well enough to stake a clear claim for the job. Petras held an edge in completion percentage (57.3 to 49.1) and led the team with 1,880 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. However, both quarterbacks averaged under 6.6 yards per attempt, and as a team, Iowa ranked 12th in Big Ten matchups in quarterback rating. Petras did miss two games due to injury but never eclipsed more than 259 passing yards in a game and threw just one touchdown in his last six appearances.

Related: Big Ten 2022 All-Conference Team

94. Jack Plummer, CaliforniaNot only must coordinator Bill Musgrove replace Chase Garbers, but the Golden Bears lost their leading rusher (Christopher Brooks), the top four receivers from 2021, and return only two starters along the offensive line. Needless to say, there’s a lot of transition for Musgrove and coach Justin Wilcox to navigate going into the ’22 season. Plummer exited spring as the front-runner to replace Garbers, but Kai Millner could push for the job in the fall. Plummer played in 21 games over the last four years at Purdue and threw for 3,405 yards and 26 touchdowns to 10 picks. The Arizona native has flashed potential at times as an off-and-on starter with the Boilermakers, and the ’22 season should provide an opportunity to make a splash as the full-time starter.

93. Harrison Bailey, UNLVBailey is listed here, but Cameron Friel and Doug Brumfield left spring atop the depth chart for third-year coach Marcus Arroyo. This trio of signal-callers should battle deep into the fall for the top spot, but the guess here is Bailey eventually emerges as the No. 1 quarterback. The Georgia native ranked as the No. 99 overall prospect in the '20 signing class and played in six contests (with three starts) in his first season at Tennessee. During his stint on Rocky Top, Bailey threw for 578 yards and four touchdowns and connected on 70.6 percent of his passes. Both Friel and Brumfield have flashed potential, but Bailey brings the most upside to the lineup.

Related: Mountain West Football Predictions for 2022

92. Chase Cunningham, Middle TennesseeA combination of factors forced Middle Tennessee to use four quarterbacks last season, but the offense still finished fourth in Conference USA in scoring (29.8 ppg). NC State transfer Bailey Hockman opened 2021 as the starter but opted to retire from football after the fourth game. Cunningham replaced Hockman in the starting lineup on Sept. 24 against Charlotte and proceeded to torch the 49ers for 379 yards and five scores through the air. Cunningham later threw for four touchdowns against UConn to up his season totals to 1,318 yards and 16 scores through October. However, Cunningham was lost for the year after tearing his ACL against Southern Miss on Oct. 30, forcing Nicholas Vattiato into the lineup. Vattiato threw for 1,047 yards and seven touchdowns in the final six games, showing the Blue Raiders had another capable option if Cunningham isn't ready by the opener.

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23

91. Tai Lavatai, NavyLavatai seemed to get better with each snap last season and could be poised for a breakout year in 2022. After edging out '20 starter Xavier Arline in the fall, Lavatai started the 10 contests he played in and ran for 371 yards and seven scores. He also added 449 yards and five touchdowns through the air. Another offseason to work under coach Ken Niumatalolo should help Lavatai's progression, while also helping to jump-start Navy's offense (20.1 points a game in '21).

90. Todd Centeio, James MadisonConsidering James Madison's track record in the FCS division, it won't take long for this program to win at a high level at the FBS level. Also, navigating a 2022 transition year was made a little easier with Centeio's arrival as a transfer from Colorado State to replace Cole Johnson under center. Centeio played 26 games at Temple and Colorado State from 2017-20, but the Florida native is coming off his best year in '21 when he threw for 2,958 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Rams. Centeio also added 439 yards and two scores on the ground last fall. Expect coach Curt Cignetti to get the most out of his talents in '22.

89. James Blackman, Arkansas StateBlackman started five of Arkansas State's first six games last year and threw for 1,344 yards and eight touchdowns to only four picks in that span. However, he suffered an injury against Coastal Carolina and did not record another snap the rest of the season. Prior to Arkansas State, Blackman spent four years at Florida State and recorded 5,445 yards and 43 scores through the air over 32 appearances. The Florida native has showcased plenty of potential through his five seasons on campus. With a little better luck in the health department and some stability around him from the supporting cast, Blackman should be a solid quarterback in the Sun Belt.

Related: American Athletic Conference Predictions for 2022

88. Hunter Dekkers, Iowa StateDekkers has patiently waited his turn behind Brock Purdy for the last two years and is ready to take over the top spot atop the Iowa State depth chart. The Iowa native ranked as one of the top prospects in the state from the ‘20 class and was evaluated as a four-star recruit by 247Sports. Over the last two years, Dekkers has played in seven games, completing 25 of 43 throws for 311 yards and three touchdowns to one pick. He showcased his mobility in those limited snaps, rushing for 73 yards and two scores over just seven attempts. Dekkers ranks low here largely due to his lack of experience. However, coach Matt Campbell and coordinator Tom Manning should put him in a position to succeed and deliver a breakout year in Ames.

87. Jalon Daniels, KansasIf Daniels picks up where he left off in November, it’s safe to assume he will finish much higher on this list by the end of the 2022 college football season. The California native was instrumental in Kansas’ upset of Texas (21 of 30 for 202 yards and 3 TDs) and connected on 78 of 111 passes for 811 yards and seven touchdowns to just three picks in the final four games. After averaging 15.1 points a game through the first nine matchups, the Jayhawks posted 37.7 with Daniels at the full-time controls for the last four contests. Additionally, on 14 attempts of 20-plus yards, Daniels connected on seven of those throws for 244 yards and a touchdown. Assuming Daniels continues to progress, a significant jump in production is likely to come for KU's offense in '22.

Related: College Football's Most Improved Teams for 2022

86. John Rhys Plumlee, UCFPlumlee isn't guaranteed the job yet, as he has to hold off Mikey Keene in fall practice. But if Plumlee manages to win the No. 1 spot on the depth chart, the Ole Miss transfer would be an excellent fit for coach Gus Malzahn's offense. The Mississippi native started eight games as a freshman in '19, ran for 1,023 yards and 12 touchdowns (a school record for a freshman), and threw for 910 yards and four scores over 150 attempts. Plumlee lost the starting job to Matt Corral in '20 but played in 20 games over the last two years and spent some time at receiver (19 catches in '21). The only full season of quarterback snaps shows Plumlee's arm (52.7 percent and 6.1 yards per attempt) has room to improve. However, his mobility would be a huge asset in this offense.

85. Charlie Brewer, Liberty

Liberty is the third stop in Brewer's career, as he arrives in Lynchburg after one year at Utah. From 2017-20, Brewer played at Baylor and emerged as one of the Big 12's top quarterbacks. During that stint with the Bears, he threw 65 touchdown passes, while also posting back-to-back seasons of 3,000-plus passing yards (2018-19). However, Brewer was benched last year at Utah after a slow start (48 of 79 for 484 yards) and isn't guaranteed the job at Liberty. Tennessee transfer Kaidon Salter and Johnathan Bennett (43 pass attempts with the Flames over the last three years) are pushing Brewer for the starting nod.

84. Clay Millen, Colorado StateMillen's decision to follow new Colorado State coach Jay Norvell from Reno to Fort Collins this offseason solidified a quarterback room that has seen up-and-down play in recent years. Millen ranked as a three-star prospect in the '21 signing class and worked as the team's No. 3 quarterback to Carson Strong for two games, completing one of two throws for two yards. Although Millen is inexperienced, he's already familiar with the offensive scheme, is throwing to one of the Mountain West's top groups of receivers, and had a strong showing in the team's spring game. Don't be surprised if Millen is a breakout quarterback this fall.

Related: College Football's Top Impact Transfer QBs for 2022

83. Gavin Hardison, UTEPHardison made noticeable improvement in his second season as UTEP's No. 1 quarterback. In the abbreviated 2020 campaign, the former JUCO signal-caller threw for 1,419 yards and five touchdowns. A year later, Hardison started all 13 games for the Miners and threw for 3,223 yards and 18 scores. The New Mexico native did toss 13 picks but raised his completion rate to 55.2 percent from 54.3 the previous season. Hardison ranked second among C-USA signal-callers with 19 completions of 40-plus yards and finished third nationally with an average of 16.3 yards per completion. The Miners won't have big-play receiver Jacob Cowing on the outside anymore, but another step forward is expected from Hardison in '22.

82. Grant Wells, Virginia TechInconsistent quarterback play plagued the Hokies at the end of the Justin Fuente era, and new coach Brent Pry revamped the room with the additions of Wells (Marshall) and Jason Brown (South Carolina) from the portal. A pair of freshmen – Tahj Bullock (redshirt) and Devin Farrell (true) – are also in the mix, but all signs point to Wells holding the inside track for the No. 1 spot. The West Virginia native played in 23 games over the last two years with the Thundering Herd and connected on 64.4 percent of his throws for 5,626 yards and 34 touchdowns to 22 picks. Wells also averaged a solid 7.9 yards per attempt and connected on 28 throws of 40-plus yards from 2020-21. Transitioning to a tougher conference and adapting to a new scheme top the list of challenges for Wells in ’22 under play-caller Tyler Bowen, but he also has to do a better job at limiting mistakes.

Related: Grading College Football's New Coach Hires for 2022

81. Garrett Shrader, SyracuseShrader spent two years at Mississippi State before transferring to suit up for Dino Babers at Syracuse. The North Carolina native unseated starter Tommy DeVito for the final nine contests and provided a short-term spark, guiding the Orange to a couple of close losses to Florida State, Wake Forest and Clemson before posting wins against Virginia Tech and Boston College. Shrader threw for 1,445 yards and nine touchdowns to four picks, but his real value came on the ground (781 yards and 14 scores). Additionally, he had three efforts of at least 100 rushing yards and posted four games of at least two rushing touchdowns. However, after a fast start, Shrader cooled a bit in November. In Syracuse’s last three games, he completed just 35 of 62 passes for 326 yards. His accuracy (52.6) and quarterback rating (113.7) ranked near the bottom of the ACC. A full offseason to work under Babers and new play-caller Robert Anae is a plus, but Shrader has to be better as a passer for Syracuse to improve offensively in ’22.

80. Jeff Sims, Georgia TechIt’s no secret coach Geoff Collins needs a big season after a 9-25 start to his tenure in Atlanta. For the program to push for a winning mark in ’22, Collins needs Sims to realize his potential and take a big step forward after showing flashes of promise in each of the last two years. Helping Sims’ cause is new play-caller Chip Long (previously at Tulane and Notre Dame), but the Yellow Jackets return only one starter along the offensive line and the team’s top two running backs departed. Sims was limited to eight games due to injuries last year and threw for 1,468 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 371 yards and four scores on the ground. Although his pass attempts were down (257 to 188), progression in completion percentage (54.9 to 60.1) was a positive sign for Sims’ development. The sophomore has talent and the upside to finish much higher on this list. However, Sims has to be more consistent as a passer and cut down on the interceptions after throwing 20 over the last two seasons.

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23

79. Drake Maye, North CarolinaSam Howell will be missed, but the cupboard isn’t bare at quarterback in Chapel Hill. Jacolby Criswell – a four-star prospect in the 2020 signing class – and Maye – the No. 56 prospect in the ’21 haul – are battling to replace Howell under center this fall. No starter was declared exiting spring ball, but the guess here is Maye holds an inside track to the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. The North Carolina native played in four contests as the No. 3 quarterback last fall to preserve his redshirt season. In those limited snaps, Maye completed seven of 10 passes for 89 yards and a score and ran for 62 yards on six attempts. Criswell played in 10 games over the last two years and also posted a strong performance in the limited sample size. The Arkansas native completed 16 of 25 throws for 195 yards and a score and added 94 rushing yards in that span. Whichever quarterback wins the job inherits a receiving corps set to return No. 1 target Josh Downs (101 catches in ’21) but is also working behind an offensive line with major question marks.

78. Connor Bazelak, IndianaSignificant changes were made on offense after the Hoosiers managed only 10.4 points a game and 3.9 yards per play in Big Ten games last fall. Coach Tom Allen hired a new play-caller (Walt Bell), and brought in help to the skill positions through the transfer ranks, while also dipping into the portal for a new signal-caller. As a team, Indiana threw just nine touchdown passes to 15 interceptions and averaged only 5.4 yards per attempt last fall. Bazelak’s arrival should help stabilize the play under center and provide a needed spark for this offense. The Ohio native played in 24 games at Missouri from 2019-21 and threw for 5,084 yards and 23 touchdowns to 17 picks in that span. Bazelak wasn’t much of a runner with the Tigers (-23 yards in ’21), but he connected on 66 percent of his passes and delivered 12 completions of 40-plus yards last fall. The only downside to Bazelak’s performance at Missouri was that he didn't exactly stretch defenses with his arm. Just 51 of his 246 completions came beyond nine-plus yards downfield according to PFF.

77. Graham Mertz, WisconsinAfter a promising debut against Illinois in 2020, Mertz’s play has been up-and-down and a better ’22 season is needed if Wisconsin is going to return to the Big Ten title game. The Kansas native ranked ninth in the conference in quarterback rating (121.3), yards per attempt (6.9), and completion percentage (59.5) while throwing for 1,958 yards and 10 touchdowns to 11 picks over 13 games last fall. Over the last two seasons, Mertz has passed for 19 scores. However, 10 of those came in three games – Illinois (2020), Northwestern (’21) and Rutgers (’21). The junior also had only one completion of 40-plus yards in Big Ten play last season, and in 12 matchups against teams with a winning mark over the last two years, Mertz is averaging 154.8 passing yards a contest and tossed five touchdowns to 13 picks. The former four-star prospect is talented, and perhaps the addition of new coordinator Bobby Engram can help the junior show improvement in his third year as the starter.

76. N'Kosi Perry, Florida AtlanticAfter a solid debut in Boca Raton last year, hopes are high Perry can take another step forward with more overall consistency under new play-caller Brent Dearmon in 2022. Perry - a former four-star prospect - started his career at Miami and redshirted in '17 before playing 25 games over the next three years. During that stint, Perry threw for 2,484 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 10 picks while running for 217 yards and three scores on the ground. However, his accuracy (52.4 percent) showed a quarterback still in need of development. With D'Eriq King entrenched as the starter at Miami going into '21, Perry transferred to FAU and started all 13 games. The Florida native accounted for 2,762 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air and ran for 149 yards and four scores on the ground. Perry showed his progression with a 64.1 percent completion rate and a solid 8.7 yards per pass attempt in league play. More improvement (and better play against the top teams in the conference) is needed. However, Perry seems to be on the right track going into his second season as the starter.

75. Dylan Hopkins, UABThe Blazers have a deep quarterback room with Baylor transfer Jacob Zeno and Bryson Lucero in the mix, but Hopkins is expected to start for the second year in a row after going 7-3 in the role in '21. The Tennessee native threw for 2,275 yards in UAB's run-first offense and added 18 touchdowns to just seven picks on 235 attempts. Hopkins connected on 66 percent of his throws and averaged 9.7 yards per pass attempt (the best mark among Conference USA quarterbacks last year). Also, Hopkins ranked second in quarterback rating (166.6). The senior wasn't asked to throw a ton (18.1 attempts a game), but he ran the offense effectively and made the most of the opportunities.

74. Daniel Richardson, Central MichiganJacob Sirmon opened 2021 as Central Michigan's No. 1 quarterback, but Richardson - a four-game starter for the team in '20 - regained the starting job in the fifth contest. The Miami native gave the Chippewas a needed spark, guiding the team to a 7-2 mark over the final nine contests and ending the season with 2,583 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Richardson finished third in the MAC in quarterback rating (150.4), averaged a healthy 8.2 yards per pass attempt, and ranked fourth in most completions of 10-plus yards (102). He also posted solid performances in key MAC games Kent State (268 yards and four touchdowns) and Northern Illinois (289 yards and three scores) for CMU last fall.

73. Collin Schlee, Kent StateExpectations are high for Schlee as he looks to keep Kent State's Flash Fast offense performing at a high level. Filling the void left behind by Dustin Crum (a two-time, first-team All-MAC selection) won't be easy, but Schlee performed well in limited snaps over the last two years, connecting on 24 of 37 passes for 351 yards and three scores. He's also added 212 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. The sample size is small, but there's a lot for coach Sean Lewis to like, including his yards per attempt (11.1) and quarterback rating (171.3) so far.

72. Rocky Lombardi, Northern IllinoisLombardi's play was instrumental to Northern Illinois' jump from 0-6 in 2020 to MAC champion last year. The Michigan State transfer provided steady play (236.1 total yards per game) and averaged 7.02 yards per snap. Lombardi threw for 2,597 yards and 15 scores and added another 472 and nine on the ground. He also set a new program record in passing yardage for a single game with 532 against Kent State and also threw for 348 yards and three scores in a win against Central Michigan. If Lombardi can continue to improve the week-to-week consistency and overall accuracy, NIU will have a great shot to repeat as MAC champs.

71. Braxton Burmeister, San Diego StateSan Diego State is the third FBS stop in Burmeister's career after he started at Oregon (2017-18) before transferring to Virginia Tech (2020-21). The former four-star prospect has played in 29 games overall since '17 and passed for 3,020 yards and 18 touchdowns. In addition to experience and being a proven quarterback at the FBS level, Burmeister's mobility (845 rushing yards) is another asset for San Diego State's offense to utilize in '22. And if Burmeister struggles, redshirt freshman Will Haskell is ready to play and brings intriguing upside to the offense.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2021

70. Gerry Bohanon, USFTimmy McClain showed promise in 11 games for USF last season, but coach Jeff Scott needed to add depth, talent and competition to the roster, and a proven quarterback like Bohanon is hard to pass up in the portal. The Arkansas native played in 15 games for Baylor as a backup from 2018-20 before claiming the starting job in '21. Bohanon provided steady play under center for the Bears, throwing for 2,194 yards and 18 scores through the air and adding 323 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He also added 11 completions of 40-plus yards. Bohanon's dual-threat ability should be a good fit for Scott and coordinator Travis Trickett's offense, but he has some catching up to do after arriving in Tampa after spring practice. McClain opted to transfer in mid-August.

69. Layne Hatcher, Texas StateHatcher has to hold off Ty Evans and CJ Rogers to start in San Marcos this year, but the Arkansas State transfer has displayed plenty of potential (and production) over the last three years. In 32 games with the Red Wolves, Hatcher passed for 7,427 yards and 65 touchdowns to 25 picks. Also, his completion percentage was a solid 61.7. Hatcher has averaged 8.8 yards per pass attempt over his career and his ability to stretch the field has been on display with 33 completions of 40-plus yards over the last three years. If Hatcher can adapt to a new offense and quickly settle in, Texas State's offense should show marked improvement after averaging only 23.1 points a game last fall.

68. Chevan Cordeiro, San Jose StateCordeiro is the third Mountain West quarterback on our list to transfer within the conference (and likely start) for the 2022 season. The Honolulu native spent the last four years at Hawaii, compiling 6,167 passing yards and 45 touchdowns over 489 completions. Also, Cordeiro connected on 59 percent of his career passes with the Rainbow Warriors and added 1,083 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns during his career in Honolulu. A strong receiving corps and likely a better fit in terms of offensive style should push Cordeiro into all-conference consideration this year.

67. T.J. Finley/Zach Calzada, AuburnWith Calzada, a Texas A&M transfer, sidelined due to injury, the spring didn’t provide much insight into Auburn’s wide-open quarterback battle. Of course, that will change in fall, as coach Bryan Harsin has to narrow and sift through his options before the opener against Mercer. Three transfers – Calzada, Robby Ashford (Oregon) and T.J. Finley (LSU) – are at the top of the list, with true freshman Holden Geriner also in the mix. Finley replaced Bo Nix as the starter for the final three games after his season-ending injury in November. During that stretch, Finley completed 53 of 95 passes for 552 yards and four touchdowns. However, Finley connected on just 54.7 percent of his throws and averaged 6.5 yards per attempt in that span. Calzada was also unexpectedly pressed into action after starter Haynes King was lost for the year for Texas A&M in Week 2 but fared better than Finley. Capped by a 285-yard and three-touchdown performance in an upset over Alabama, Calzada threw for 2,185 yards and 17 scores over the full year and connected on 56.1 percent of his passes. Ashford impressed in the spring game, but Calzada is likely the best option for Harsin.

66. Tyler Buchner, Notre Dame

Buchner's development could make or break Notre Dame's CFB Playoff hopes this year. The California native saw snaps in 10 games as the backup to Jack Coan in his freshman campaign last fall. The former four-star prospect showcased his rushing ability (336 yards and three scores) but also the main area of needed improvement going into '22. Buchner completed 21 of 35 throws for 298 yards and three scores but also tossed three picks. Two of those interceptions came on the road against Virginia Tech, but that game also represented Buchner's highest amount of pass attempts in a single contest (14). With Tommy Rees staying in South Bend as offensive coordinator, Buchner won't face a major transition in scheme under new coach Marcus Freeman. The talent, tools and upside are there for a breakout year. Can Buchner put it all together and become a more reliable passer?

65. Darren Grainger, Georgia StateGrainger's insertion into the starting lineup sparked Georgia State down the stretch, as the Panthers won seven out of their last eight games. The South Carolina native averaged only 17.5 pass attempts a contest, but he made the most of those opportunities, throwing for 1,715 yards and 19 touchdowns to only four picks. Grainger was just as productive on the ground, running for 646 yards and three scores on 134 rushing attempts. The Furman transfer ran for 122 yards in the bowl win over Ball State and posted 91 in a victory against Texas State. Grainger won't make many mistakes (just four picks last year) and should be poised to take another step forward in his development after a full offseason to work as the No. 1 quarterback.

64. Tyler Shough, Texas TechNew coach Joey McGuire and coordinator Zach Kittley aren’t tipping their hand at quarterback going into fall practice. At Big 12 Media Days, McGuire indicated “we have a three-horse race,” with Shough, Behren Morton and Donovan Smith in the mix to start. Although Smith played well at the end of ’21 and guided the team to a bowl victory over Mississippi State, the guess here is Shough starts this fall. The Oregon transfer started the first four games of Texas Tech’s ’21 season before suffering a collarbone injury against Texas. Prior to that season-ending ailment, Shough threw for 872 yards and six scores to three picks and connected on 69.6 percent of his passes. Also, he posted a solid 9.0 mark in average depth of target. Although the offense won’t look exactly the same – especially with concerns up front and some turnover among the receiving corps – Kittley’s offense at WKU averaged nearly 50 pass attempts (49.8) a game in ’21. If Shough wins the job, his right arm should get a workout in Kittley’s pass-first scheme.

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63. Blake Shapen, BaylorShapen had an impressive two-game stint as Baylor’s starter last season by picking up victories against Texas Tech (254 yards and two TDs) and Oklahoma State (23 of 28 for 180 yards and three TDs) in the Big 12 Championship Game. That showing, combined with a strong spring, allowed Shapen to unseat Gerry Bohanon for the starting nod in Waco. Bohanon transferred to USF in early May. Over six total appearances in ’21, Shapen connected on 72.1 percent of his passes for 596 yards and five scores and ran for 59 yards over 21 carries. According to PFF, he completed 83.1 percent of his throws when kept clean, while 45 of his 62 completions came between the numbers. Shapen is a good athlete, and while he may not match Bohanon’s numbers on the ground (323 yards), he should allow Baylor’s offense to have a higher upside in the passing game.

62. Davis Brin, TulsaExpectations were high for Brin in 2021 after an impressive showing against Tulane (18 of 28 for 266 yards and two touchdowns) in '20. The Texas native had to navigate a few ups and downs in his starting debut, but Brin still finished the year with 3,254 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. Included in those totals were 428 yards at Ohio State, along with 285 yards in the 30-17 bowl win over Old Dominion. Also, Brin's 12 completions of 40-plus yards ranked near the top of the AAC. A retooled offensive line will present a challenge for Brin's hopes of exceeding last year's production in '22, but he also has to cut down on the mistakes (16 picks over 411 attempts).

61. Ben Bryant/Evan Prater, CincinnatiIf Bryant or Prater wins the job and starts every game, it's safe to assume this placement might be too low. Although a starter wasn't named after spring ball, that's not a sign of concern by any means for coach Luke Fickell. Both Bryant and Prater are capable quarterbacks to direct Cincinnati's offense and fill the void left behind by Desmond Ridder. Bryant started his career at Cincinnati and played in 16 games (with one start) from 2018-20. He departed Cincinnati to be Eastern Michigan's quarterback in '21 and threw for 3,121 yards and 14 touchdowns over 279 completions in 13 appearances. Prater - the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the 2020 signing class - worked as the backup to Ridder last fall and completed five passes for 38 yards and two touchdowns and added 105 yards on the ground in limited snaps. Prater brings more mobility to the offense, while Bryant is certainly more experienced and polished as a passer at this point of his career. Regardless of which quarterback starts, the Bearcats should be fine on offense this fall.

60. DJ Uiagalelei/Cade Klubnik, ClemsonUiagalelei is arguably the biggest wild card at quarterback in college football this season. As a true freshman in 2020, he showcased why recruiting services ranked him as a five-star prospect coming out of high school. The California native started two games with Trevor Lawrence out, throwing for 342 yards and two touchdowns against Boston College and 439 yards and two scores on the road in South Bend against Notre Dame. However, his strong stint in ’20 didn’t carry over once he assumed the full-time role last fall. Uiagalelei started all 13 games for the Tigers and only threw for 2,246 yards and nine touchdowns to 10 picks. Also, his yards per attempt (6.0), quarterback rating (108.65), and completion percentage (55.6) all ranked near the bottom of the ACC. Uiagalelei did not eclipse more than 241 passing yards in a single contest and also had five games in which he completed less than half of his passes. However, while Uiagalelei struggled, not all of the problems from Clemson’s offense fall on his right arm. The Tigers need better play up front and have to get more production and big plays from the receiving corps. Uiagalelei is talented, so a bounce-back season is certainly within reach. And if his level of play is closer to the '20 version, Clemson should return to the CFB Playoff.

59. Emory Jones, Arizona State

Jayden Daniels’ transfer to LSU created a major need under center for Arizona State. Coach Herm Edwards and new play-caller Glenn Thomas landed Alabama transfer Paul Tyson prior to spring practice, and Jones committed to the team in early May. The Georgia native flashed potential as the backup from 2018-20 and replaced Kyle Trask after his departure to the NFL prior to ’21. However, Jones had an up-and-down season in Gainesville. Although he completed 64.7 percent of his passes and threw for 2,734 yards, the Georgia native tossed 13 picks and ranked ninth in the SEC in quarterback rating (141.7). On the ground, Jones showcased his mobility by leading all SEC signal-callers with 758 yards and four scores. A good chunk of his production came against Samford (464 passing yards and 6 TDs) and Vanderbilt (273 passing yards and 4 TDs), but if Jones can play with more consistency and cut down on some of the mistakes, he should finish much higher on this list by December.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2022

58. Michael Penix Jr., WashingtonInjuries have wreaked havoc throughout Penix's career, but if he can stay healthy, there’s optimism for the Tampa native to post his best season in ’22. Penix is reunited with former Indiana offensive coordinator (and new Washington coach) Kalen DeBoer after the two worked together in Bloomington in ’19. In that season, Penix threw for 1,394 yards and 10 touchdowns (to only four picks) and ran for 119 yards and two scores. Through 20 games in four years with the Hoosiers, Penix threw for 4,197 yards and 29 touchdowns and connected on 59 percent of passes. Additionally, his yards per attempt in Bloomington was 7.3, the average depth of target was more than 10 yards from 2018-20, while he tacked on 165 rushing yards and six scores over 64 carries in his career. If Penix can stay healthy, reuniting with DeBoer should result in the best season of his career. And if he’s forced to miss time for any reason, the Huskies have two capable quarterbacks ready to go in Dylan Morris and Sam Huard.

57. Chance Nolan, Oregon StateJT Daniels considered Oregon State as a transfer destination this offseason but eventually opted for West Virginia. Despite missing on a transfer, the Beavers are still in good shape at quarterback. After starting the final three games of 2020, Nolan played in all 13 contests last year (12 starts) and threw for 2,677 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also added another 286 yards and three scores on the ground. Nolan’s yards per attempt (8.4) ranked second among Pac-12 signal-callers, while his completion percentage (64.2) was fourth. There’s room to improve in reducing turnovers (10 picks last year) and finding ways to generate more big plays (just four completions of 40-plus yards in Pac-12 games in ’21). Nolan’s steady play, accuracy and mobility are all huge assets for Oregon State’s offense going into the ’22 season.

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56. Bo Nix, OregonAlthough new coach Dan Lanning has to break in a new starter, the Ducks are potentially in better shape at the quarterback spot than they were last season. After three years at Auburn, Nix sought a fresh start in the Pacific Northwest, and if he is unable to secure the job, redshirt freshman (and former four-star recruit) Ty Thompson is next on the depth chart. Coordinator Kenny Dillingham worked at Auburn with Nix in 2019, so there’s a scheme familiarity to help ease the transition to Eugene and the Pac-12. Nix was poised for arguably his best season with the Tigers before suffering a season-ending injury in early November. Prior to the injury, Nix threw for 2,294 yards and 11 touchdowns to three picks and added 168 yards and four scores on the ground. The former five-star prospect might not post huge numbers and has room to improve on accuracy and generating more big plays downfield. However, considering what Oregon returns on defense and around the quarterback, solid play from Nix is likely enough to earn a trip to the Pac-12 title game.

55. Holton Ahlers, East CarolinaAn improved ground game, along with the steady and solid play of Ahlers, helped lift East Carolina to its first winning season since 2014 last fall. The North Carolina native is back for his fourth season as the starter (and fifth on campus) and enters '22 with 10,219 career yards and 69 touchdowns through the air and 1,264 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground.

54. Jaxson Dart, Ole MissThe arrival of Lincoln Riley as USC's new head coach, and eventually quarterback Caleb Williams, prompted Dart to enter the portal in search of a new home. The Utah native still has to beat out Luke Altmyer for the starting nod but landed in a good spot to work under Lane Kiffin and an explosive Ole Miss offense that averaged 33.7 points a game last year. Dart ranked as the No. 69 overall prospect and No. 10 quarterback recruit in the ’21 signing class and was not expected to see a major role with the Trojans last fall. However, an injury to starter Kedon Slovis pressed Dart into action against Washington State, as he threw for 391 yards and four scores in a 45-14 victory. Dart was also injured in Pullman, as a knee ailment sidelined him for the next four contests before his return against Arizona on Oct. 30. He played extensively over the last five games (including three starts) and finished the year with 1,353 yards and nine scores through the air. Dart added two touchdowns on the ground and completed over 60 percent (61.9) of his passes on 189 attempts. Dart has the upside and talent to rank much higher on this list by the end of 2022. However, he still has to hold off Altmyer and adapt to a new supporting cast and scheme.

Related: College Football's Top Impact Transfer QBs for 2022

53. Chase Brice, Appalachian StateAfter a season of inconsistent play at Duke in 2020, Brice rebounded in a big way to emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the Sun Belt last fall. The Georgia native tied for the Sun Belt lead in touchdown passes (27) and connected on 62.1 percent of his throws for 3,337 yards. He also ranked second in the Sun Belt in yards per attempt (8.6) and quarterback rating (151.1) among qualified signal-callers. Brice needs to cut down on the interceptions (11 over 390 attempts) and has to adapt to a new group of receivers after the departure of three key targets. However, with a strong running game and offensive line in place, Brice won't have to shoulder all of the offensive workload this fall.

52. Casey Thompson, NebraskaDespite Nebraska’s offense averaging 6.4 yards per play and ranking second in the conference in total yardage (447.6), change was needed after a 3-9 mark in Lincoln. Coach Scott Frost revamped nearly all of his offensive staff and hired veteran Mark Whipple to call plays in ’22. In addition to the scheme tweaks and coordinator switch, the ‘Huskers have a change under center after Adrian Martinez transferred to Kansas State. Thompson – a transfer from Texas and the son of former Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson – left spring as the front-runner to start and should be a good fit for Whipple’s attack. Over 12 appearances (10 starts), Thompson led the Big 12 with 24 touchdown passes and threw for 2,113 yards while completing 63.2 percent of his throws. The Oklahoma native suffered a thumb injury in the Red River Rivalry matchup against the Sooners, which hindered his play in the second half of the year but is not expected to be an issue at Nebraska. With all of the changes and new faces expected to step up for the ‘Huskers this fall, how quickly all of those pieces can mesh will determine just how high Thompson can climb on this list by December.

Related: College Football 2022 All-America Team

51. Tanner Morgan, MinnesotaThe return of Kirk Ciarrocca as play-caller is good news for a Minnesota offense looking to get back on track after a sluggish performance (25.5 points a game) in 2021. With Ciarrocca as the offensive coordinator in ’19, the Golden Gophers ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring (34.1 points a game) and second in yards per play (6.4). Also, Morgan had the best season of his career, throwing for 3,253 yards and 30 touchdowns to just seven picks. In that prolific ’19 campaign, Morgan led the Big Ten in yards per attempt (10.2), completions of 40-plus yards (14) and ranked second in quarterback rating (178.7). However, since that season, Morgan has completed 58.9 percent of his throws for 3,418 yards and 17 touchdowns to 14 picks. Can he get back on track in his final year with the Golden Gophers?

50. Sean Clifford, Penn StateThe Nittany Lions need Clifford to play better after a disappointing 7-6 finish last season, but not all of what hindered the offense was on the quarterback. Penn State struggled up front (34 sacks allowed), while the ground game managed only 3.2 yards per carry and 96.6 rushing yards in Big Ten contests last fall. Improving the supporting cast would boost Clifford’s performance, but the senior could also be pushed by talented freshmen Drew Allar (true) and Christian Veilleux (redshirt) if he struggles early on. After throwing for 2,654 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first season as the starter in ’19, Clifford recorded 1,883 yards and 16 scores in the abbreviated ’20 campaign. Last year, Clifford posted career-best marks in passing yardage (3,107) and completion percentage (61), while also tossing 21 touchdown passes over 13 games. However, Clifford’s yards per attempt dipped to 6.5 and his completion percentage (57.9) in Big Ten games ranked ninth among Big Ten signal-callers. Another offseason to work under play-caller Mike Yurcich, along with a talented receiving corps led by Parker Washington, should help Clifford’s odds of closing out his career on a high note in Happy Valley.

49. Seth Henigan, MemphisAfter a prolific career, Brady White left big shoes to fill at Memphis last year. However, it didn't take long for coach Ryan Silverfield and staff to find the next star under center. Henigan - a true freshman from Texas - emerged as the team's starter in the fall and started 11 games for the Tigers. Henigan showed poise (59.8 percent) and posted five efforts of 300-plus passing yards to finish with 3,322 yards and 25 touchdown passes for the season. The Texas native tossed only eight picks over 393 attempts and finished second among AAC signal-callers with 14 completions of 40-plus yards and yards per attempt (8.5). Henigan will have a new play-caller (Tim Cramsey) and won't have Calvin Austin III to throw to this year, but another step forward should be expected.

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23

48. Dequan Finn, Toledo

Finn emerged as a breakout quarterback last season and is poised for another step forward in '22 to rank among the top signal-callers in the MAC. After seeing playing time in seven games as a backup from 2019-20, Finn played in all 13 games last fall and started in the final seven contests. The Detroit native averaged 7.1 yards per play (No. 5 among MAC signal-callers and finished the year with 2,044 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air and 505 yards and nine scores on the ground. Despite sharing time for a good chunk of the season, Finn finished tied for second among MAC quarterbacks in connections of 40-plus yards (10) and fourth in yards per attempt (8.2). Accuracy (57.6 percent last year) is one area the Rockets would like to see Finn improve upon in '22.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2022

47. Haynes King/Max Johnson, Texas A&MHaynes King had big shoes to fill in replacing Kellen Mond, but his 2021 season ended after just two games due to injury. The former four-star prospect played in two games as a reserve in 2020 and appeared poised for a breakout year last fall. In the opener against Kent State, King connected on 21 of 33 passes for 292 yards and two scores and added 22 yards on the ground. The Texas native did throw three picks against the Golden Flashes but still averaged a healthy 8.8 yards per pass attempt. Although King has the most experience in coach Jimbo Fisher’s scheme (three years), he’s not guaranteed to start over LSU transfer Max Johnson or incoming freshman Conner Weigman. Johnson played in 18 games over two years in Baton Rouge and threw for 3,884 yards and 35 touchdowns to just six picks. He also connected on 59.8 percent of his passes in that span. This battle is a toss up going into fall practice. The guess here is Johnson starts the '22 season, but King could easily win the job once again.

46. Max Duggan, TCUNew coach Sonny Dykes inherits a TCU team with promising pieces on offense – receiver Quentin Johnston, running back Kendre Miller and a couple of starters back along the line – but also some uncertainty under center. The Horned Frogs have two capable options in Duggan and Chandler Morris, but will one clearly claim the starting nod in time for the opener against Colorado? Duggan battled a foot injury for a good chunk of the ’21 season and threw for 2,048 yards and 16 touchdowns to six picks. The Iowa native ranked second among Big 12 signal-callers in conference-only games in yards per attempt (8.9) and ran for 352 yards and three scores in 10 games of snaps. Morris shined (531 total yards) in an upset over Baylor but threw for only 125 yards in a loss the following week at Oklahoma State. According to PFF, Duggan averaged 11.9 yards on depth of target but also ranked at the top of the conference in turnover-worthy plays.

Related: Grading the New Coach Hires for 2022

45. Haaziq Daniels, Air ForceIt's no secret Daniels is going to do most of his damage on the ground as the catalyst for Air Force's flexbone triple-option offense. However, Daniels has proven himself as a capable passer, throwing for 1,171 yards and seven touchdowns on just 103 attempts last fall. The New Jersey native torched Louisville (eight of nine for 239 yards and two touchdowns) in the First Responder Bowl and also threw for 226 yards against Army in early November. On the ground, Daniels led all Mountain West quarterbacks with 736 rushing yards and finished second on the team with 11 rushing scores. Entering his third year as the starter, Daniels should be poised for his best season at the Academy and is a big reason why Air Force can win the Mountain West this year.

44. Brett Gabbert, Miami (Ohio)Since he stepped onto campus in 2019, Gabbert has held the starting quarterback spot and capably manned the RedHawks' offense for coach Chuck Martin. In a standout debut, Gabbert threw for 2,411 yards and won MAC Freshman of the Year honors in '19. The '20 season was abbreviated, but Gabbert still shined in the finale by torching Akron for 308 yards and four touchdowns. The Missouri native missed three contests last year, yet still threw for 2,648 yards and paced the MAC with 26 touchdown tosses. Gabbert's 8.9 yards per attempt ranked second among starters in the conference, while he led the MAC in passing yards a game (264.8). 

43. Kedon Slovis, PittPitt’s offense is going to look quite a bit different this fall than the ’21 unit that averaged 41.4 points a game. Play-caller Mark Whipple now coordinates the offense at Nebraska, with Frank Cignetti Jr. hired for his old job in the Steel City. Also, the Panthers lost record-setting (and Heisman Trophy finalist) quarterback Kenny Pickett, and receiver Jordan Addison opted to transfer to USC. Nick Patti returns after completing 14 of 19 throws for 161 yards as Pickett’s backup in ’21, but coach Pat Narduzzi added Slovis from the porta. Neither signal-caller was named the starter exiting spring ball, but the guess here is Slovis – transfer from USC – will get the call for Pitt. Slovis had a promising debut with the Trojans in 2019, carving up defenses with lethal accuracy (71.9 percent) for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. However, the last two seasons haven’t been as productive (4,074 passing yards and 28 touchdowns), and his completion percentage, quarterback rating and yards per attempt have dropped since ’19. Slovis has battled arm and elbow injuries over the last two years, but if he can return to 100 percent and stay healthy, a rebound performance should be in order. Also helping his cause for a bounce-back in the Steel City: Pitt returns all five starters along the line for ’22.

42. Chris Reynolds, CharlotteReynolds returns for his sixth year at Charlotte with a chance to add to an already prolific career. The former walk-on is already the program's all-time passing leader (7,751 yards in 36 games) and has tossed 62 touchdowns in that span, including 22 in '19 and 26 last fall. Reynolds' career completion percentage is also over 60 percent (62), while he ranked fourth in Conference USA in quarterback rating (150.8) last fall. The North Carolina native has a chance to close out his career with more than 1,000 rushing yards (927) and has scored 11 times on the ground. Reynolds has one of Conference USA's top receiving corps to throw to this fall, so another standout year should be expected in '22.

Related: Conference USA 2022 Predictions

41. Jayden de Laura, ArizonaArizona coach Jedd Fisch was forced to start three quarterbacks due to injuries last fall. Combine the carousel under center with a first-year coaching transition and roster short on talent, it’s easy to see why the Wildcats finished 1-11 in ’21. However, there’s optimism in Tucson going into the fall. De Laura’s arrival from Washington State gives Arizona a potential all-conference candidate at quarterback. The Hawaii native guided the Cougars to an average of 27.8 points a game after throwing for 2,789 yards and 23 touchdowns. De Laura tossed only nine interceptions over 359 attempts, connected on 63.2 percent of his passes and ran for an additional 67 yards and three scores. In Pac-12 only games last fall, de Laura led all signal-callers in connections of 40-plus (eight), yards per attempt (8.0), and quarterback rating (149.89). De Laura will have to adapt to Arizona’s scheme from the run-and-shoot, but his arrival represents a huge upgrade for the quarterback room in Tucson.

40. Jayden Daniels, LSUAll signs point to Daniels taking the lead in the quarterback battle in Baton Rouge after Myles Brennan opted to step away from the team in mid-August. Redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier is also in the mix and could push Daniels for the starting job and playing time throughout 2022. In three years at Arizona State, Daniels threw for 6,025 yards and 32 touchdowns to 13 picks. Also, his mobility could be a huge asset for a LSU offense rebuilding in the trenches. During 29 games with the Sun Devils, Daniels rushed for 1,288 yards and 13 scores. As a freshman in '19, Daniels averaged 9.4 yards per attempt and connected on over 60 percent of his passes in both of his full seasons as the starter.  

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23

39. Tanner McKee, StanfordMcKee seems primed for a breakout year in 2022. The former four-star prospect in the ’18 signing class spent two years on an LDS mission and played in one contest in his return to Stanford in ’20. McKee shook off the rust as the year progressed, throwing for 2,327 yards and 15 touchdowns over 206 completions. The California native passed for 230 yards and three scores in a 31-24 upset over Oregon and later threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns against Washington State. McKee paced the Pac-12 (conference-only matchups) in passing yards per game (259.9) and connected on 65.4 percent of his throws. With one of the Pac-12’s top receiving corps at his disposal, along with all five starters returning along the line, McKee should make a significant leap in production and overall play in ’22.

Related: Pac-12 Football Predictions for 2022

38. Adrian Martinez, Kansas StateAfter four seasons at Nebraska, Martinez looked to an old Cornhusker foe for a fresh start and the chance to close out his collegiate career on a high note. The California native should be an excellent fit for K-State’s offense under new coordinator Collin Klein, especially with a group of experienced receivers to throw to, along with the return of dynamic all-around running back Deuce Vaughn. Martinez played in 39 games and threw for 8,491 yards and 45 touchdowns during his career with the Cornhuskers. He also showcased his ability on the ground and the potential to be one of college football’s most dynamic quarterbacks with 2,301 rushing yards and 35 scores. Martinez has to do a better job of limiting mistakes (30 interceptions and over 30 fumbles at Nebraska). However, with a change of scheme and scenery, Martinez seems to be on track to finish his career with a big senior season.

37. Payton Thorne, Michigan StateThorne’s first year at the controls of Michigan State’s offense resulted in a record-setting season. The Illinois native set a new school record for most touchdown passes in a single season (27) and posted the third-most passing yards (3,233). Back-to-back efforts of four-touchdown tosses against Youngstown State and Miami in September were a good sign of what was to come from Thorne, as he later tossed four scores against Maryland and finished the season by posting 354 yards and three touchdowns against Pitt in the Peach Bowl. Over 13 games, Thorne threw for 3,233 yards and 27 touchdowns to 10 picks and ran for 181 yards and four scores. Also, his eight completions of 50-plus yards tied for second among Big Ten quarterbacks. With Kenneth Walker III off to the NFL, the focal point of Michigan State’s offense is likely to shift more to Thorne’s right arm. And based on the ’21 season, he’s more than ready to handle more of the offensive focus this fall.

Related: College Football 2022 All-America Team

36. Michael Pratt, TulaneDespite a nagging shoulder injury and a leaky offensive line, Pratt still managed to turn in a solid all-around year for the Green Wave. In 11 appearances, the Florida native threw for 2,381 yards and 21 touchdowns to only eight picks. Those numbers were a slight uptick on his freshman totals (1,806 yards and 20 TDs), but the completion percentage and big plays saw an uptick in '21. Pratt led all AAC quarterbacks with 15 completions of 40-plus yards and added another 152 yards and five scores on the ground. The sophomore has a new coordinator (Jim Svoboda) and is one of eight returning starters on what should be an improved Tulane offense in '22.

35. Hank Bachmeier, Boise StateAlthough Boise State's offensive line needs to improve, and the loss of receiver Khalil Shakir isn't going to be easy to overcome, the guess here is Bachmeier still finishes among the best quarterbacks in the Mountain West. The California native flashed potential as a freshman in 2019 (eight games) by throwing for 1,879 yards and nine touchdowns - including a strong performance at Florida State (407 yards). The abbreviated '20 season didn't allow for a full showcase of Bachmeier's growth (1,150 yards and six touchdowns), and he responded with his best statistical year in '21 (3,080 yards and 20 touchdowns). Bachmeier came up big in wins against Nevada (388 yards), Fresno State (283) and Utah State (287) and finished third among Mountain West quarterbacks in completion rate (62.8 percent). The talented senior has room to play better and is dealing with a supporting cast in transition. But if Bachmeier builds off last year, this spot might be too low.

Related: College Football's Most Improved Teams for 2022

34. Logan Bonner, Utah StateBonner's decision to follow coach Blake Anderson from Arkansas State to Utah State paid big-time dividends for the Aggies last year. The Texas native threw for 3,628 yards and tied for the Mountain West lead in touchdown passes (36). Bonner connected on 61.3 percent of his throws, led all quarterbacks in the conference with 18 completions of 40-plus yards, and finished third in quarterback rating (154.5). The senior posted six games of at least four touchdown passes, including four (and 318 yards) in a 46-13 victory over San Diego State in the Mountain West title game. Just how important was Bonner's arrival to Utah State's offense? Consider this: The Aggies ranked last in the Mountain West in scoring (15.5) in '20. However, this unit jumped to 32.6 last fall.

33. Cameron Ward, Washington StateFew quarterbacks in college football are more intriguing than Ward going into the ’22 season. The FCS Incarnate Word transfer was a huge catch for new Washington State coach Jake Dickert and has the talent to rank among the top signal-callers in the conference if he can make a quick transition to the FBS level. Helping to ease that transition is offensive coordinator Eric Morris, who previously worked as Ward’s head coach at UIW. The Texas native won the Jerry Rice Award – awarded to the top freshman at the FCS level – after throwing for 2,260 yards and 24 touchdowns in the abbreviated ’20 spring FCS season. A year later, he torched opposing FCS defenses for 4,648 yards and 47 scores to guide Incarnate Word to a 10-3 record and a trip to the playoffs. Ward also completed better than 60 percent of his passes in both of his seasons at Incarnate Word. Moving to a higher level of competition and a new program creates plenty of unknowns here. However, if Ward quickly settles in, he has the talent and a quarterback-friendly scheme to rank among the top-five quarterbacks in the Pac-12.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2022

32. Frank Harris, UTSAThere's no debate at the top of the Conference USA: Harris is clearly the league's top signal-caller and is among the top Group of 5 quarterbacks going into '22. With running back Sincere McCormick no longer on the roster, the Roadrunners will ask for more out of Harris to win another C-USA crown. And the Texas native is more than up to that task after ranking third in the conference in total yardage (265.9 a game) in his best year on campus. Harris threw for 3,177 yards (a single-season UTSA record) and 27 touchdowns (66 percent completion rate) and ran for 566 yards and nine scores on the ground. The senior ranked third in the conference in completions of 10-plus yards (117), quarterback rating (151.8), and yards per play (7.3) last year.

31. Phil Jurkovec, Boston CollegeAfter throwing for 2,558 yards and 17 touchdowns and adding 150 yards and three scores on the ground in his first year at Boston College, Jurkovec appeared poised to rank among the ACC’s top quarterbacks in 2021. However, the Notre Dame transfer had his season derailed due to a hand injury suffered in Week 2 against UMass. Although Jurkovec was believed to be out for the year, he returned for the final four matchups and guided the team to wins over Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Just how valuable was Jurkovec to Boston College’s offense? Consider this: In the four ACC matchups he missed, the Eagles scored only 40 total points. A return to full strength should give the offense and new play-caller John McNulty a chance to return to its ’20 production (27.8 points a game). And if Jurkovec's play resembles the level witnessed in '20, the arrow on his draft stock will only climb throughout the season.

30. Jordan Travis, Florida StateCould Travis be one of the nation’s most underrated quarterbacks going into the 2022 college football season? In the four games Travis didn’t start last year, Florida State averaged 5.1 yards per play and 17 points a contest. However, in the eight matchups Travis started, the Seminoles averaged 32.8 points per game and 6.1 yards a snap. Also, Travis went 5-3 as the starter after the team went 0-4 in the four games McKenzie Milton started. The Florida native has made considerable progress as a starter since ’20 and connected on 62.9 percent of his throws (a career high) for 1,539 yards and 15 scores last fall. Also, Travis ranked fourth among ACC signal-callers in rushing yards (535) and scored seven times on the ground over 134 carries. The ACC is deep at quarterback, so Travis probably won’t get the preseason credit he deserves. However, his growth as a passer, along with his dynamic ability on the ground, makes the junior one of the ACC’s rising stars going into coach Mike Norvell’s third year in Tallahassee.

Related: ACC Football Predictions for 2022

29. Quinn Ewers, TexasEwers made plenty of noise last season despite playing in just two snaps at Ohio State. The Texas native graduated from high school early to reclassify into the ’21 class and committed to Ohio State. With C.J. Stroud entrenched as the starter, along with an uphill battle in getting acclimated in August for the season, extended playing time wasn’t in the works. However, there’s little doubt Ewers possesses all of the tools to rank among the Big 12’s top quarterbacks this fall – provided he wins the job over Hudson Card as expected. Ewers’ high-school tape shows a big-time arm with the accuracy to hit all levels, which led 247Sports to rank him as a five-star prospect. Second-year coach Steve Sarkisian runs a quarterback-friendly offense and the Longhorns have one of the top receiving corps in the nation. If Ewers starts all 12 regular season games, this might be too low considering his upside.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2022

28. JT Daniels, West VirginiaWest Virginia coach Neal Brown has a background in offense, but defense has led the way for his team in each of the last three years. Is that narrative about to change in 2022? If Daniels is as good as showcased during parts of his career, then the Mountaineers should easily have the best offense of Brown’s tenure. Helping that cause is the addition of new play-caller Graham Harrell, who worked with Daniels at USC in ’19. After throwing for 2,672 yards and 14 touchdowns as a true freshman with the Trojans in ’18, Daniels suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener the following year. The California native departed USC for Georgia prior to the ’20 campaign but was still dealing with the effects of that injury and only saw snaps in the final four contests. However, while the sample size was small, there was a lot to like from Daniels. He averaged 10.3 yards per attempt for the year, threw for 392 yards against a tough Cincinnati secondary in the Peach Bowl, and connected on 67.2 percent of his passes for the Bulldogs. Unfortunately for Daniels, injuries cropped up again in ’21, which limited him to six appearances and eventually a backup role to Stetson Bennett. If Daniels can stay healthy, the offensive scheme and supporting cast are there for a huge ’22 campaign.

Related: College Football's Top Impact Transfer QBs for 2022

27. Cade McNamara/J.J. McCarthy, MichiganWe are going to cheat a bit and list both Michigan quarterbacks here. Although there’s a battle between McNamara and McCarthy in fall practice to start, both are likely going to play a lot in 2022. Essentially, we are ranking the quarterback room here, but if one starts and plays the bulk of the season snaps, the guess here is that signal-caller ends up earning second-team All-Big Ten honors (and ranks higher on this list). The combination of McNamara and McCarthy worked well for Michigan’s offense last fall, as the two signal-callers combined to guide coach Jim Harbaugh’s team to the Big Ten title and a trip to the CFB Playoff. McNamara threw for 2,576 yards and 15 touchdowns to six picks, while McCarthy added 516 yards and five scores through the air and 124 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Both quarterbacks are capable of guiding this attack, with McNamara more of a steady option and McCarthy bringing more big-play ability into the offense.

26. Tanner Mordecai, SMU

Mordecai held off a charge from redshirt freshman Preston Stone this fall, and the Oklahoma transfer should once again rank among the top Group of 5 signal-callers with his place atop the depth chart secured for '22. In 12 appearances last year, Mordecai threw for 3,628 yards and 39 touchdowns and added 202 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. The Texas native started his SMU career with a seven-touchdown performance against FCS Abilene Christian and later threw for four scores in a victory at TCU. Also, Mordecai tossed three touchdowns and 377 yards in a 55-28 win over UCF. Mordecai's completion percentage (67.8) ranked second among qualified AAC signal-callers. Although Sonny Dykes left to be the head coach at TCU, there should be a seamless transition for Mordecai and the SMU offense with Rhett Lashlee (offensive coordinator at SMU from (2018-19) taking over.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2021

25. Anthony Richardson, FloridaUpside and potential are the two words most often mentioned about Richardson going into the 2022 season. New coach Billy Napier is tasked with harnessing and developing the enormous talent Richardson has, and the ’21 campaign provided plenty of insight into the type of player he can become. As a redshirt freshman last fall, Richardson ran for 401 yards and three touchdowns on just 51 carries and connected on 38 of 64 passes for 529 yards and six touchdowns. Although the Gainesville native made only one start (Georgia) and never attempted more than 20 passes in a game, he made the most of those opportunities with an average of 8.1 yards per touch. Can Richardson turn the upside and potential into more consistent (especially through the air) production this fall? If he can, this spot will be too low on our list by December.

Related: SEC Football Predictions for 2022

24. Taulia Tagovailoa, MarylandTagovailoa took a big step forward in his second year as Maryland’s starting quarterback. The Alabama transfer completed nearly 70 percent (69.2) of his throws for 3,860 yards and 26 touchdowns and 11 picks. Additionally, he seemed to get stronger as the year progressed, throwing for at least 300 yards in four out of the Terrapins’ last six contests – including a 419-yard performance against Indiana in a 38-35 win. Tagovailoa ranked second in the Big Ten with 61 completions of 20-plus yards and had four connections of 60-plus yards in ’21. With another year to work under coach Mike Locksley, along with one of the nation’s better receiving corps at his disposal, look for Tagovailoa to challenge for All-Big Ten honors.

23. Stetson Bennett, GeorgiaDespite leading Georgia to a national title and ranking first among SEC quarterbacks in yards per attempt (10.0) last year, Bennett probably won’t get the preseason credit he deserves in a deep crop of signal-callers in the conference. An injury to JT Daniels opened the door for Bennett to have more playing time, and the Georgia native took the opportunity to wrestle away the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. Bennett had a few uneven performances last year (161 yards and two picks against Florida and two interceptions against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game), but still finished with 2,862 yards and 29 touchdowns to just seven picks. He added 259 yards and a score on the ground, finished second in the conference in quarterback rating, and ranked third with 24 completions of 30-plus yards. Bennett also delivered a strong performance in the playoff win over Michigan and came up in clutch moments to lift the Bulldogs over Alabama for the national title. Georgia’s defense might not be as dominant as it was (but still very good) in ’21. If that's the case, Bennett and the offense will have to play a bigger role in key matchups to help carry the team back to the playoff.

22. Aidan O’Connell, PurdueFrom walk-on to All-Big Ten quarterback: That’s O’Connell’s story at Purdue in just a few seasons. The Illinois native did not play in his first two years on campus and made six starts from 2019-20 before a breakout season in ’21. O’Connell threw for 3,708 yards and 28 touchdowns vs. 11 picks for the Boilermakers last fall en route to guiding the team to a 9-4 finish – the best mark under coach Jeff Brohm. O’Connell was lethal with his accuracy (71.8 percent, a single-season Purdue record) and posted two 500-yard efforts against Michigan State and Tennessee. He also roasted a talented Iowa defense for 375 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-7 upset and tied with Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud for the most completions of 40-plus yards (15). O’Connell won’t have David Bell or Milton Wright to throw to this fall, but don’t expect a drop in his production at the controls of Purdue’s high-powered passing game.

Related: Big Ten Football Predictions for 2022

21. Jaren Hall, BYU

Hall was handed the tough assignment of replacing first-round pick Zach Wilson last year. The Utah native didn't need a transition period or learning curve, especially since he already gained valuable reps in '19 with seven appearances (and two starts). Hall thrived in his first year as BYU's full-time starter, throwing for 2,583 yards and 20 touchdowns and running for 307 yards and three scores over 10 appearances. Hall averaged 289 overall yards a game, which ranked 19th nationally among total offense leaders.

20. Clayton Tune, HoustonTune made a considerable jump in production from 2020 to '21 and is poised for another step forward at the controls of Houston's high-powered offense this year. The Texas native threw for 3,546 yards and 30 touchdowns to only 10 picks on 420 attempts in '21. Those totals were a significant uptick from the 2,048 passing yards and 15 scores he delivered in Houston's eight-game '20 season. Tune also chipped in 154 yards and two touchdowns on the ground last year. Additionally, the senior ranked second in the AAC in quarterback rating (158.1), third in yards per attempt (8.4), and first in completion percentage (68.3).

19. Dillon Gabriel, OklahomaLosing two talented quarterbacks (Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler) to the portal as a first-year coach was a tough way to start coach Brent Venables’ tenure in Norman. However, the staff wasted no time in finding another capable signal-caller, as Gabriel is poised to emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the Big 12 after spending the last three years at UCF. The Hawaii native became the starter for the Knights as a freshman in ’19, throwing for 3,653 yards and 29 touchdowns to just seven picks under coach Josh Heupel and coordinator Jeff Lebby. Gabriel was even more productive (3,570 yards and 32 TDs) as a sophomore but suffered a season-ending clavicle injury last season that limited him to just three games. Gabriel has good touch (60 percent in ‘20) as well as the arm to stretch teams (14 TDs of 20-plus yards in ’20). And with Lebby calling the plays now at Oklahoma, the transition should be relatively minimal, allowing Gabriel an opportunity for a fast start in ’22.

Related: Big 12 Predictions for 2022

18. Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma StateIt’s tough to sort out the top spot in the Big 12 quarterback rankings for 2022, but the preseason nod has to go to Sanders – the reigning first-team All-Big 12 quarterback. The Texas native posted his best season in Stillwater in ’21 by throwing for 2,831 yards and 20 touchdowns and adding 664 yards and six scores on the ground. Sanders capped the season on a high note with arguably his best performance of the year, throwing for four touchdowns and 371 yards in Oklahoma State’s 37-35 Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame. However, entering his senior year, Sanders still has plenty to work on. The interceptions (12) in 2021 were too high and more game-to-game consistency is needed. He also ranked near the bottom of the Big 12 in conference-only matchups in quarterback rating and yards per attempt. With a standout defense losing a handful of key pieces, the Cowboys need Sanders to elevate his game to another level. If he can replicate the bowl performance, cut down on the mistakes, and find more consistency, another first-team postseason selection should be within reach.

17. Will Levis, KentuckyThe arrival of Levis and coordinator Liam Coen had a massive impact on Kentucky’s offense in 2021. After averaging 5.2 yards per play and 21.8 points a game in ’20, the Wildcats jumped to 6.4 a snap and 32.3 points a contest last fall. Levis dramatically bolstered the passing game in Lexington, as the team averaged 224.5 yards through the air per contest – up from 121.5. Levis started his career with 367 yards and four touchdowns against ULM, later tossed three scores against LSU and Tennessee, and threw four in a blowout win over New Mexico State. For the season, Levis connected on 66 percent of throws for 2,812 yards and 24 touchdowns and added 376 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground. The Penn State transfer does have room to play better in SEC games (10.3 yards per pass attempt in non-conference vs. 6.5 in SEC contests) and has to cut down on the mistakes (13) picks. New play-caller Rich Scangarello is tasked with elevating Levis to the next level, and the senior has all of the upside and skills to get there.

Related: College Football 2022 All-America Team

16. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLADTR’s decision to opt for another year in Westwood was great news for the Bruins after the Las Vegas native posted his best all-around season at UCLA. In 11 starts, Thompson-Robinson threw for 2,409 yards and 21 touchdowns and added 609 yards and nine scores on the ground. Additionally, he led the Pac-12 in total yards a game (274.4), yards per attempt (8.5), and quarterback rating (153.9). Thompson-Robinson has to navigate some new pieces around him along the offensive line and in the receiving corps, but coming off his best season at UCLA, there’s no reason to believe he will regress in ’22.

15. Cameron Rising, UtahRising’s insertion into the starting lineup helped Utah recover from a 1-2 start to eventually emerge as the Pac-12 champion last fall. The Texas transfer suffered a shoulder injury in the ’20 opener and opened the following season No. 2 on the depth chart behind Charlie Brewer. After nearly rallying the Utes to a comeback win over San Diego State on Sept. 18, Rising started the rest of the way for coach Kyle Whittingham’s team. The California native tossed 20 touchdowns to only five picks and connected on 63.8 percent of his passes for 2,493 yards. Although Rising had only five completions of 40-plus yards, his five interceptions were the fewest among full-time starters in the Pac-12, while his quarterback rating (146.7) was third in the conference. Rising also added 499 yards and six scores on the ground, including 92 in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State. The junior doesn’t make many mistakes, can extend plays as needed, and is a perfect fit for Utah’s offense. With a full offseason to work as the No. 1 quarterback, look for Rising to take a step forward in his second year as the starter.

Related: College Football 2022 All-America Team

14. Spencer Rattler, South CarolinaAll signs seemed to point to Rattler emerging as college football’s next star quarterback after a breakout redshirt freshman season at Oklahoma in 2020. The Arizona native threw for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns to just seven picks and connected on 67.5 percent of throws. However, Rattler got off to a slow start in ’21 and the combination of a couple of other factors – largely inconsistent offensive line play and a sluggish ground game early in the year – prompted coach Lincoln Riley to insert Caleb Williams into the lineup. Despite losing the starting job, Rattler still connected on 74.9 percent of his attempts (187) for 1,483 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall. Two numbers (plays of 40-plus yards and yards per pass attempt) provide some insight into the drop in production. After averaging 9.6 yards per attempt in ’20, that number fell to 7.9 last fall. Also, Rattler’s big plays (13 of 40-plus) were projected to decline after a slow start. A fresh start under former Oklahoma assistant Shane Beamer at South Carolina should help Rattler get back on track in ’22.

13. Will Rogers, Mississippi StateThe combination of Mike Leach and Rogers working together for the third year in a row should equal more points and production for the high-powered Mississippi State offense in a very deep SEC West. Rogers directed the Bulldogs’ Air Raid attack to an average of 378.3 passing yards per contest last fall, with the Mississippi native throwing for 4,739 yards (third in SEC history) and 36 touchdowns over 13 games. He tossed only nine picks while attempting the most passes (683) of any signal-caller in the SEC. Also, Rogers led the conference in completion percentage (73.9) and finished second in completions of 20-plus yards (51). With 22 games of experience under his belt, Rogers should know all of the ins and outs of the Air Raid scheme and appears poised for his best season in Starkville.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2021

12. Malik Cunningham, LouisvilleCunningham ranking No. 5 on our list of ACC quarterbacks shows just how deep this conference is under center for ’22. The Alabama native turned in a dynamic ’21 campaign last fall, throwing for 2,941 yards and 19 touchdowns and running for 1,034 yards and 20 scores. Cunningham’s rushing yardage (1,034) was the most among quarterbacks in college football, and he led all ACC quarterbacks (conference-only games) in yards per pass attempt (9.4). He also tossed only three picks in league play and ranked first in quarterback rating (163.3). A good chunk of Cunningham’s touchdown passes (nine) came in two games (Syracuse and Duke), but there’s a lot to like about his development and overall progression entering ’22. All signs point to this fall being Cunningham's best all-around season at Louisville. 

11. Tyler Van Dyke, MiamiWake Forest’s Sam Hartman, NC State’s Devin Leary, Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong and Van Dyke all have a claim to the No. 1 spot among ACC quarterbacks going into 2022. So while Van Dyke ranks No. 4 here, there’s very little separation between him and the top trio. Van Dyke wasn’t expected to play a ton of snaps last season but was pressed into the starting role after D’Eriq King was lost for the year due to injury. The Connecticut native made his first start against Central Connecticut State (270 yards and three touchdowns) but was held in check (203 yards and a score) in a 30-28 loss at Virginia the following week. However, Van Dyke got better with every snap, as he posted back-to-back strong performances against NC State (325 yards and four scores) and Pitt (426 yards and three touchdowns). He finished the year with at least 300 passing yards and three scores through the air in each of the last four contests, giving him 2,931 yards and 25 touchdowns in 10 appearances. Van Dyke led the ACC in completions of 50-plus yards (10) and yards per attempt (9.0), while connecting on 62.3 percent of his passes. Transitioning to new play-caller Josh Gattis and a revamped receiving corps are the only concerns for Van Dyke after a strong debut for the ‘Canes in ’21.

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2021

10. KJ Jefferson, ArkansasA strong performance against Missouri in 2020 (376 total yards and four overall scores) gave Arkansas a glimpse of what Jefferson was capable of and the potential for the offense once he took over the full-time role. The Mississippi native delivered on that potential (and then some) last year in his first year as the No. 1 quarterback. Jefferson started all 13 games and finished with 3,340 total yards (256.9 yards a game) en route to guiding the program to a 9-4 finish. His growth as a passer was on display with 2,676 yards through the air, along with a strong completion percentage (67.3) and yards per attempt (9.1). Jefferson also tossed only four picks over 294 attempts. Additionally, he paced the team in rushing attempts (146), yardage (664) and was second in scores (six). The departure of receiver Treylon Burks leaves a huge void, but Jefferson’s continued development will give the Razorbacks a chance to push Texas A&M for second in the SEC West.

9. Hendon Hooker, TennesseeTennessee’s offense showed drastic improvement once Hooker took control of the reins of first-year coach Josh Heupel’s high-powered attack. Hooker – a transfer from Virginia Tech – surpassed Joe Milton on the depth chart, getting the final 11 starts and ended 2021 with 2,945 yards and 31 touchdowns. The North Carolina native tossed only three picks over 303 attempts and led all SEC signal-callers (conference-only games) in yards per attempt (9.8) and quarterback rating (179.6). Additionally, Hooker chipped in 613 yards and five scores on the ground. Tennessee lost two key weapons at receiver (JaVonta Payton and Velus Jones Jr.), but Cedric Tillman is back, and four starters return to protect Hooker along the line of scrimmage. Also, Hooker will benefit from a full offseason to work under Heupel and should be more comfortable at the controls in his second year as Tennessee’s No. 1 quarterback.

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23

8. Brennan Armstrong, VirginiaProlific is the easiest way to sum up Armstrong’s 2021 season. The Ohio native paced all Power 5 quarterbacks in total offense (427.3 ypg) and accounted for 40 of the 52 touchdowns scored by Virginia last fall. Armstrong’s right arm was active with 500 attempts in 11 games, as he threw for 4,449 yards and 31 touchdowns to 10 picks. Also, he connected on 65.2 percent of his passes, averaged a healthy 8.9 yards per attempt and collected six games of 400-plus passing yards. Armstrong wasn’t as dynamic on the ground (251 yards) as he was in ’20 (552) but certainly made up for the drop in production with more through the air. New coach Tony Elliott is likely to tweak Virginia’s offense and an attempt for more balance is expected. Armstrong’s numbers could drop under Elliott, but he’s still the best player on the roster and will need to carry the offense to another prolific year to push Virginia to a bowl.

7. Devin Leary, NC StateLeary showed no ill effects last year from a season-ending leg injury suffered in the fifth game of 2020. The New Jersey native quickly shook off the rust to emerge as one of the ACC’s top signal-callers and is a big reason why NC State can win the conference crown in '22. Leary threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns in an early upset of Clemson on Sept. 25, tossed four scores in three consecutive matchups (Louisville, Florida State and Wake Forest) and guided the Wolfpack to a last-minute victory against rival North Carolina (247 yards and four scores). Leary’s 3,433 passing yards ranked sixth in a single season in school history, while his touchdown tosses (35) set a new standard. His accuracy (65.7) and quarterback rating (157.1) also ranked near the top of the ACC. Also, Leary’s interceptions (five) were the fewest of any quarterback in college football with more than 400 pass attempts in ’21.

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23

6. Sam Hartman, Wake ForestHartman’s breakout season and overall play in 2021 was a big reason why Wake Forest won its first ACC Atlantic Division title since ’06. The Charlotte native threw at least three touchdowns in nine of the team’s 14 contests and ended the year with 4,228 yards (a school record) and 39 scores. Hartman’s 39 touchdown tosses pushed his career total to 72, which already ranks as the best mark in school history. He tied for the most completions of 40-plus yards (15) in the ACC and tacked on 363 yards and 11 scores on the ground last fall. Although Hartman tossed 14 picks, the bulk of the interceptions took place in three games (nine against North Carolina, NC State and Pitt) and he threw only 15 from 2018-20. With one of the ACC’s top lines and receiving corps at his disposal once again, Hartman should keep Wake Forest’s offense near the top of the league. However, Hartman was ruled out indefinitely in early August due to a medical concern. Coach Dave Clawson believes Hartman will return at some point in '22, but no official timetable was released. Mitch Griffis is expected to start in Hartman's absence.

5. Jake Haener, Fresno StateWith Haener and a loaded receiving corps in place, Fresno State's offense should be among the best in college football this year. Also, while coach Kalen DeBoer set the foundation for the high-powered offense and will be missed, the return of Jeff Tedford on the sidelines ensures this group won't skip a beat. After a promising stint in the abbreviated 2020 season, Haener took a big step forward in a breakout year in '21. The California native played well early in a loss at Oregon (298 yards) and later torched UCLA for 455 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-37 upset at UCLA. Haener ended the season with 4,096 yards and 33 touchdowns, connected on nine completions of 50-plus yards, and finished second in the conference in quarterback rating (155.9). Contending for All-America honors - and pushing Fresno State to be a top-25 team - is within Haener's reach in '22.

4. Grayson McCall, Coastal CarolinaCoastal Carolina brings back the fewest starters (six) of any team in the Sun Belt this year. However, any concerns about the Chanticleers' ability to reload and push for the conference title are eased by McCall's return. The North Carolina native directed Coastal Carolina's offense to an average of more than 40 points a game in 2021 and he has passed for 5,386 yards and 54 touchdowns since '19. McCall's rushing yardage dipped from 569 in '20 to 290 last year, but his dual-threat ability makes him one of the nation's top all-around signal-callers. Also, his quarterback rating (207.7) and yards per attempt (11.9) led the nation in '21.

3. Caleb Williams, USCLincoln Riley’s rebuilding effort in Los Angeles got a lot easier thanks to Williams’ decision to follow his former coach at Oklahoma to the West Coast. The Washington, D.C. native wasn’t slated to start in ’21, but a few sluggish performances by the Sooners’ offense (and quarterback Spencer Rattler) pushed the five-star prospect into action midway through the year. Williams rallied Oklahoma by throwing for 212 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 88 yards and a score in a 55-48 win over Texas in the Red River Rivalry. He followed that performance with another standout effort, this time throwing for 295 yards and four scores against TCU, later followed by a six-touchdown effort against Texas Tech on Oct. 30. Williams closed the book on his freshman season with a strong performance against Oregon and ended the year with 1,912 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air, along with 435 yards and six scores on the ground. The underlying metrics on Williams were outstanding as well. He tied for the best yards per attempt mark among Big 12 quarterbacks (9.1), led the conference in quarterback rating (169.6), and connected on seven passes of 50-plus yards. Although his surroundings are new, Williams already knows Riley's scheme and has one of the best receiving corps in college football at his disposal.

2. C.J. Stroud, Ohio StateMajor expectations surrounded Stroud as he inherited the controls of Ohio State’s high-powered offense last season. After a slow first half against Minnesota and dealing with the effects of a shoulder injury early on, Stroud quickly emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in college football. The California native guided the Buckeyes to an average of 45.7 points a game and led the Big Ten with 4,435 passing yards and 44 scores. He also paced the conference in completion percentage (71.9), yards per attempt (10.1), quarterback rating (186.6), and completions of 50-plus yards (10). Stroud won’t have Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave to throw to in ’22, but don’t expect that to slow down Ohio State’s offense with Jaxon Smith-Njigba in place, along with a host of talented playmakers ready to emerge. Stroud doesn’t have any glaring flaws in his game and could be even better in his second year as the starter. Don't be surprised if he wins the Heisman Trophy this year.

1. Bryce Young, AlabamaIn his first year as the starter in Tuscaloosa, all Young did was lead Alabama to the SEC title, an appearance in the national championship game, set a new school record for passing yards and claim the Heisman Trophy. The California native didn’t need many snaps to emerge as the nation’s top quarterback, as he delivered a strong performance in the opener against Miami (344 yards and four scores), threw three touchdowns on the road at Florida, and threw for 369 yards and four scores on the road at Texas A&M. Young later torched Arkansas (559 yards and five touchdowns) and Georgia in the SEC title game (421 yards and three scores) to propel his season totals to 4,872 yards and 47 passing touchdowns. He averaged 8.9 yards per attempt (over 547 passes), connected on nearly 67 percent of his passes (66.9) and led all Power 5 quarterbacks with 18 completions of 40-plus yards. What’s next for an encore? Even though Alabama must replace John Metchie III and Jameson Williams at receiver, don’t expect much to change from Young’s production in Tuscaloosa. Winning the Heisman twice isn’t easy, but Young will have the numbers and team record to push for the trophy once again.

Podcast: Pac-12 vs. Big 12 continues. Is a 16-team playoff coming? What would the CFB Playoff look like if it had a 12-team format in 2022?


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