There’s no denying that the quarterback position is one of the most crucial pieces when building a national-caliber program. Here are 10 QBs that fit that mold that you should keep an eye on this upcoming season.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
The Buzz: Boyd was named the ACC Player of the Year after passing for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns while leading the Tigers to an 11-2 record and victory over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. His return make Clemson a favorite in the ACC and a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Key game to watch: August 31 vs. Georgia
The Buzz: Bridgewater capped off a memorable sophomore campaign by leading his Cardinals to a 33-23 upset win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The Miami native passed for 3,718 yards and 28 touchdowns on his way to leading Louisville to its first 11-win season since 2006.
Key game to watch: Sept. 14 at Kentucky
Everett Golson, Notre Dame
The Buzz: The bar is set pretty high for Golson, who in his freshman season, led the Fighting Irish to perfect 12-0 regular season mark and their first BCS national championship game. It was also the program’s first national championship game in more than two decades.
Key game to watch: Sept. 7 at Michigan
Brett Hundley, UCLA
The Buzz: Another freshman quarterback who excelled on the football field in 2012, Hundley combined for more than 4,000 yards of total offense and 38 total touchdowns to lead the Bruins to several major accomplishments including a nine-win season and their first victory over rival USC since 2006.
Key game to watch: Nov. 30 at USC
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
The Buzz: Not only did Manziel become the first freshman to capture the Heisman Trophy, he put the SEC and college football on notice with his play. Manziel style of play – more than 5,000 yards of total offense and 47 total touchdowns – makes him the favorite to become only the second player since Archie Griffin to win the Heisman twice in their careers.
Key game to watch: Sept. 14 vs. Alabama
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
The Buzz: Another freshman who exploded onto the college football scene in 2012, Mariota combined for close to 3,500 total yards and 37 total touchdowns to lead the Ducks to their third straight 12-win season and their fourth straight BCS game.
Key game to watch: Nov. 7 at Stanford
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska