Right about now college football players are working their tails off, doing two-a-days on the gridiron in preparation for the upcoming season. The hosts at College Sports Nation are putting in work, too, we already weighed in on their Best Mascots list and now we’re talking about their top 16 quarterbacks in college football:
1. DeShaun Watson, Junior, Clemson
The preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, Watson is a dual threat monster, accounting for a Clemson single-season record 5,209 yards of total offense (4,104 passing, 1,105 rushing). He was the first player in FBS history to throw for over 4,000 yards while rushing for over 1,000 yards, and he did so coming off a torn ACL suffered the season before. He lit up the stat-sheet for 478 yards of total offense in Clemson’s loss to Alabama in the National Championship game. ‘Nuff said.
2. Baker Mayfield, Senior, Oklahoma
Thanks to a rule-change, Mayfield is allowed to continue wreaking havoc on Big 12 defenses. The Oklahoma gunslinger threw for 3,700 yards and 36 touchdowns last year, finishing fourth in last season’s Heisman Trophy voting.
3. Chad Kelly, Senior, Ole Miss
Kelly has a combination of power and accuracy, completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,042 yards and 31 touchdowns while leading Ole Miss to a 10-win season.
4. J.T. Barrett, R-Junior, Ohio State
No longer splitting reps with Cardale Jones, Barrett emerges as the unquestioned leader of the Ohio State offense. When he was given the reigns in the last two games of the 2015 season, he totaled a combined 559 yards and five touchdowns in wins over Michigan and Notre Dame.
5. Brad Kaaya, Junior, Miami (FL.)
After starting as a true freshman, Kaaya enters his third year under center for the Hurricanes. He threw for 3,238 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
6. Greg Ward, Senior, Houston
At just 5’11” and 185 pounds, Ward still finds ways to dominate in the air and on the ground. He threw for 2,828 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 1,108 yards and 21 touchdowns, joining Watson as the only quarterbacks to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000.
7. Josh Rosen, Sophomore UCLA
As a true freshman, Rosen threw for 3,670 yards and 23 touchdowns. UCLA will continue to improve under his leadership.
8. Patrick Mahomes, Junior, Texas Tech
Mahomes has arguably the strongest arm in college football. He ranked fourth nationally with 4,653 yards last season to go with 36 touchdowns.
9. Seth Russell, R-Senior, Baylor
Russell looked to be on his way to a Heisman Trophy campaign before suffering a season-ending neck injury. In just seven games he threw for 2,104 yards and 29 touchdowns to just six interceptions, leading Baylor to a No. 2 national ranking.
10. Luke Falk, Junior, Washington State
Falk had the highest completion percentage of any returning quarterback with 69.4 last year. He ranked fifth nationally with 4,561 yards and fourth with 38 touchdowns.
11. Joshua Dobbs, Senior, Tennessee
Dobbs has improved his stats across the board every year he’s been at Tennessee. Last season he threw for 2,291 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 671 yards and 11 touchdowns.
12. Lamar Jackson, Sophomore, Louisville
A walking highlight-reel, Jackson dazzled in his first season at Louisville. In one year he set the program’s career record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 960 and added 1,840 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air.
13. DeShone Kizer, Junior, Notre Dame
Taking the helm of the Notre Dame offense as a sophomore, Kizer threw for 2,884 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for another 10 touchdowns. He’ll look to lead the Fighting Irish to another 10-win season.
14. Jake Browning, Sophomore, Washington
With one year of experience under his belt, Browning will look to improve on numbers of 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while leading the Huskies. He threw for 2,955 yards as a true freshman.
15. Mason Rudolph, Junior, Oklahoma State
In his first full season as the starter, Rudolph threw for 3,770 yards and 21 touchdowns while leading the Cowboys to a 10-game winning streak to start the season.
16. C.J. Beathard, R-Senior, Iowa
Beathard made his mark in his first year as the full-time starter, throwing for 2,809 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also had a streak of 155 consecutive passes without an interception at one point.
For more college football coverage, tune in to College Sports Nation (Ch. 84).
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