Dear reader, you may or may not know this, but the SEC has some quality quarterbacks.
We know, we know. That’s quite a limb, but hear us out.
And, yes, we’re kidding with that introduction.
What is a bit less obvious is truly how deep college football’s best conference is at the position. Sure, Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young jumps out. Matt Corral was in the conversation for the trophy for three-quarters of the year. The astute may know Hendon Hooker and KJ Jefferson, too.
Outside of SEC country, though, maybe only Will Rogers registers with a bulk of college football. It shouldn’t be that way.
It’s January and college football almost couldn’t be farther away. To satisfy our edge, we took a look at every SEC team, predicted a potential starting quarterback for 2022 and ranked them.
You, dear read, are certain to disagree. Let us know in the comments or our Facebook or Twitter page.
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young. (Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports)
Completions/Attempts: 366 for 547
Completion Percentage: 66.9
Yards Passing: 4,872
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 47 to 7
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 81 carries for 0 yards and 3 touchdowns
He’s the reigning Heisman Trophy. We need not say more.
Sep 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) runs for a first down against the Texas A&M Aggies during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Completions/Attempts: 198 for 294
Completion Percentage: 67.3
Yards Passing: 2,676
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 21 to 4
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 146 carries for 664 yards and 6 touchdowns
No quarterback in the SEC is tougher to bring down than KJ Jefferson. He needs a new No. 1 target on the outside to hold to this second spot, but ask anyone who played Arkansas and they’ll tell you: Jefferson is a beast.
Oct 9, 2021; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) looks for an open receiver in the NCAA college football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the South Carolina Gamecocks in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Calvin Mattheis-USA TODAY Sports
Completions/Attempts: 206 for 303
Completion Percentage: 68.0
Yards Passing: 2,945
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 31 to 3
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 167 carries for 613 yards and 5 touchdowns
Hooker and Jefferson are eerily similar players, even if they aren’t built the same way. Hooker has the edge throwing, though. You could flip him and Jefferson with little quibble.
Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) kisses the trophy after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Alabama Crimson Tide Versus Georgia Bulldogs On Monday Jan 10 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship At Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis
Syndication The Indianapolis Star
Completions/Attempts: 185 for 287
Completion Percentage: 64.5
Yards Passing: 2,862
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 29 to 7
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 56 carries for 259 yards and 1 touchdown
The old meme phrase “Is Joe Flacco elite?” applies to this national championship winner. Bennett earned the job, kept the job and his play ran off JT Daniels, the former No. 2 recruit in the nation.
Oct 9, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) looks to pass the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Completions/Attempts: 140 for 187
Completion Percentage: 74.9
Yards Passing: 1,483
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 11 to 5
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 43 carries for 77 yards and 3 touchdowns
Rattler went from GOAT to goat at Oklahoma. His new Gamecocks team will welcome him with open arms. He remains dangerous.
Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers (2) throws the ball as Auburn Tigers take on Mississippi State Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated Auburn Tigers 43-34.
Completions/Attempts: 505 for 683
Completion Percentage: 73.9
Yards Passing: 4,739
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 36 to 9
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 63 carries for -95 yards and 0 touchdowns
Rogers is a bit of a product of Mike Leach’s system. Rather, his stats are. But he can sling it and that’s what the Bulldogs need.
Kentucky’s Will Levis hurdles a Florida defender in the second half as the Wildcats beat No. 10 Florida to remain undefeated Saturday night. Oct. 2, 2021
Kentucky Vs Florida October 2021
Completions/Attempts: 233 for 353
Completion Percentage: 66.0
Yards Passing: 2,812
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 24 to 13
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 107 carries for 376 yards and 9 touchdowns
If Levis cuts his interceptions in 2022, he moves up the list. Kentucky is still arguably the second best team in the SEC East, anyway.
Oct 23, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Garrett Nussmeier (5) during the second half against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Completions/Attempts: 29 for 57
Completion Percentage: 50.9
Yards Passing: 329
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 2 to 2
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 5 carries for -46 yards and 0 touchdowns
Dissatisfied LSU fans, Nussmeier’s father, Nussmeier himself and the Tigers lame-duck coach decided Max Johnson wasn’t enough toward the end of last year. Nussmeier didn’t ‘wow’ once taking over the final couple games, but apparently something is here. Apparently.
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 13: Max Johnson #14 of the LSU Tigers warms up before a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Tiger Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Completions/Attempts: 225 for 373
Completion Percentage: 60.3
Yards Passing: 2,814
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 27 to 6
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 78 carries for -40 yards and 1 touchdown
Johnson was let down by dozens of drops by his wide receivers last year and it cost him his job. He stayed in the division and should bolster A&M’s passing attack.
Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Zach Calzada. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Completions/Attempts: 184 for 328
Completion Percentage: 56.1
Yards Passing: 2,185
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 17 to 9
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 35 carries for -9 yards and 1 touchdown
Calzada was more of a game manager with Texas A&M last year and after Bo Nix moved on from Auburn, Calzada moved in. He isn’t a game changer, but experience is sound.
Completions/Attempts: 38 for 64
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) is pursued by Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Fabien Lovett (0) in the second half. The Florida Gators defeated the Florida State Seminoles 24-21 Saturday November 27, 2021 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. [Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner]2021
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Completion Percentage: 59.4
Yards Passing: 529
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 6 to 5
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 51 carries for 401 yards and 3 touchdowns
Richardson’s most significant time came in Gators losses to LSU and Georgia in the midseason. It’s possible Emory Jones, the regular starter, returns to Florida, which would create a competition. But either quarterback would land here.
Nov 27, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Mike Wright (5) throws a pass during the second half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
Completions/Attempts: 93 for 175
Completion Percentage: 53.1
Yards Passing: 1,042
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 8 to 6
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 91 carries for 376 yards and 1 touchdown
Both Wright and Ken Seals will return to Vanderbilt next year, at least as of now. They split time almost evenly last year. But we give a slight edge to Wright.
Jan 1, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Luke Altmyer (7) runs against the Baylor Bears in the fourth quarter of the 2022 Sugar Bowl at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Completions/Attempts: 20 for 37
Completion Percentage: 54.1
Yards Passing: 192
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 1 to 2
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 21 carries for 0 yards and 0 touchdowns.
Little is known about Altmyer, who picked up his only real duty in against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. He showed flashes, but it was also clear it was his first real collegiate action. Altmyer could certainly move up easily next year if he wins the job.
Dec 22, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Army Black Knights at the 2021 Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports
Completions/Attempts: 46 for 58
Completion Percentage: 79.3
Yards Passing: 345
Touchdowns-Interceptions: 2 to 0
Rushing Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns: 22 carries for 92 yards and 1 touchdown
In the little he played, Cook suggested he should not be at the bottom of this list. We feel a bit like the person last year who put KJ Jefferson at the bottom before the season started in doing this. Unfortunately, someone has to be last.
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