It’s football week everybody, and we’re rolling out some of our perceived right-before-the-season rankings for you guys to get you ready for Pac-12 football… aw forget it, we all know the Cougs are what we care about first, so we’re rolling them out to get you pumped for COUGAR FOOTBALL and then the Pac! Let’s talk quarterbacks for a moment, now that we know what the Fall has brought to the competitions and in-particular, the newly named starters. Counting down from 12-7 in Part 1.
12: Taylor Kelly, ASU – Kelly is a RS Sophomore from Eagle, Idaho and was the only player from Idaho to sign an FBS letter of intent in 2010 from the state. He’s big at 6’2, 202 but has only thrown 4 passes in his career, last year sitting behind Brock Osweiler, now in Denver. No one was more happy to see Osweiler leave, but the learning curve will have to be quick for Kelly because he is changing systems and will be called upon to make more plays with his feet than he would have under Erickson.
11: Josh Nunes, Stanford – The newly named starter for the Cardinal is not particularly adept at passing like a certain guy before him, but coach Shaw labeled him as ” the guy who can do it all – managing the running game, managing our protections and getting us into the right play”. He has only seen action in 4 games, back in 201o. The reason he tops Kelly on our list is his Senior status and the fact that he’s been mentored by one of the best the college game had to offer over the past 3 seasons.
10: Brett Hundley, UCLA – RS Freshman Hundley was always the guy for this season, as long as he progressed the way the Bruin coaching staff hoped he would. The other quarterbacks at UCLA have had their opportunities and never fully took advantage of them over the past couple of years. Also Hundley brings athleticism and leadership that the team has been lacking from the quarterback position. He could leapfrog a couple of guys as the season goes on but his underclassman status and the fact that the other qbs on this team just haven’t proven anything means he too needs to prove himself before we move him up. No doubt though, he makes this team more dangerous.
9: Jordan Webb, Colorado – The Kansas transfer graduated early and thus got the opportunity to go wherever he wanted and play immediately, provided the University had a program not offered at Kansas. Colorado was his choice and he has 2 years remaining. Webb put up some pretty decent numbers at Kansas, throwing for over 3,000 yards with 20 tds. However he also threw 20 ints and that’s bad news for a team that really doesn’t scare anyone from the receiver or running back position. His starts in the quality Big 12 easily put him above Hundley at the moment, although we believe Hundley is going to be a far greater quarterback in the long run, and probably even by the end of this season.
8: Zach Maynard, Cal – The senior signal-caller has been so inconsistent the past 2 seasons but he has the team around him to be successful. He did lead his team to a Holiday Bowl appearance last season and his job will be managing the game better and keeping away from turnovers as the Bears look to surprise some folks around the nation. With Keenan Allen on the outside, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where he will go when he gets in trouble, but the Golden Bears also added some explosive young talent to surround Maynard and he needs to take advantage of them.
7: Sean Mannion, Oregon State – Mannion’s presence was definitely felt against the Washington schools last season, and he had a very solid freshman year overall, garnering a spot on the Freshman All-America team. Big and really strong at 6’5 212 lbs, Mannion will jump into the top half of the conference going into next season, but for now he’s stuck behind some quality seniors and a really talented freshman. Mostly because of the fact that he still lacks real explosion on the outside in the Beaver offense.
Look for our top 6 Qbs in part II.