Johnny Manziel returns after winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, but will there be a new name to emerge as the face of college football?
Last week marked the first session of spring practice for most teams, leaving us fans with a small taste of an autumn breeze.
As teams prepare for their respective spring games and the upcoming season begins to unravel, let's check out the Top 10 quarterbacks heading into April’s workouts.
Derek Carr, Fresno State; Brett Hundley, UCLA; David Fales, San Jose State; David Ash, Texas; Bo Wallace, Ole Miss.
10. Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
Why: At this point last year, Arizona State had no idea who would start under center. Now, the Sun Devils are aware that they have a dark horse Heisman candidate and an outstanding field general. He will only continue to grow and develop under new offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, who is expected to help open up the offense this spring and summer. ASU has some young talent in the receiving corps and, with Kelly’s success, can contend for the Pac-12 South.
9. Wes Lunt, Oklahoma State
Why: Lunt won the starting job as a true freshman over some very capable counterparts in Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh. Oklahoma State is a bonafide pass-happy football program, so the man under center has to have a gunslinger mentality. Lunt does. He’s still one of the younger guys in the league, but has incredible upside and the WOW factor within his passing skills.
8. Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Why: If the Cardinal can replace Stepfan Taylor in the backfield – and they should – then the offense will be more balanced than ever, allowing Hogan to lead one of the more dangerous play-action schemes in the nation. Yes, I said it. Sure, Stanford’s strength will certainly be on the defensive side of the ball, but we need to give Hogan credit where it’s due: he doesn’t make many mistakes.
7. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Why: Mariota threw for nearly 2,700 yards and 32 touchdowns last year as a freshman. He’s a superstar in the making and will only get better. But Chip Kelly is gone, and he was a true quarterback mentor. Things shouldn’t change too much with Mark Helfrich at the helm, but we don’t know that for sure. Will Mariota’s development become stagnant or will he emerge as one of the top passers in the league?