College Football 2013: Ranking Tajh Boyd and the ACC's quarterbacks

Ranking the ACC's quarterbacks for 2013

7/5/13 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

The Atlantic Coastal Conference has had an interesting set of quarterbacks come through over the last several years, most notably Florida State products E.J. Manuel and Christian Ponder.Blog Photo - College Football 2013: Ranking Tajh Boyd and the ACC's quarterbacks

It's a safe assumption to say that Clemson's Tajh Boyd is the new face of the ACC, although there are plenty of other options that could quickly take the throne.

True freshman Jameis Winston was one of the most decorated dual-threat recruits in the nation, and his explosive abilities could help the Seminoles stay on the BCS path.

North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner has already proven to be one of the conference's most efficient passers, but can he continue the pace now that the Tar Heels are eligible to win the Coastal Division?

How will Syracuse, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech and Duke move on after losing their starting field generals from last year?

There are only 55 days until the first college football game of the season. The anticipation is agonizing.

*Projected starter

1. Tajh Boyd, SR, Clemson (2012 stats: 3,896 pass yards, 36 touchdowns, 13 interceptions; 514 rush yards, 10 touchdowns)

There's a reason Boyd turned down the NFL for one more year in Death Valley—to win the ACC Championship game and reach a BCS bowl. He's the hands-down favorite for the conference Offensive Player of the Year Award and a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. What makes him so dangerous is his huge improvement as a mobile quarterback, more than doubling his rushing statistics from 2011. This helped open the passing game even more last season, letting Boyd show off his huge arm and further utilize his outstanding down-field accuracy. Boyd threw for 1,988 yards and 21 touchdowns—not including six scores on the ground—during his final six games of the 2012 campaign. This is the Tajh Boyd we can expect for the entire 2013 season.

2. Jameis Winston, FR, Florida State

Blog Photo - College Football 2013: Ranking Tajh Boyd and the ACC's quarterbacksYou're probably surprised to find an unproven true freshman such as Winston so high on this list, but you won't be once the regular season begins. This kid is the real deal. For starters, Winston is the kind of pers
on you want leading your football program—he's a born leader with all the tools to earn the respect of his peers. What comes with this is his poise as a passer, at times looking like a veteran and handles the ball well in high-pressured situations. Winston has good arm strength and great pocket presence, elite decision-making skills and 4.5-speed. Translation: he's a dangerous asset to have under center and can beat you in many different ways. There's no doubt that Winston can help the Seminoles forget about E.J. Manuel in his first collegiate season and take his team to a second straight BCS bowl.

3. Bryn Renner, SR, North Carolina (3,356 yards, 28 touchdowns, 7 interceptions)

With the help of his teammates, Renner quietly led UNC to an 8-4 record (5-3 Coastal) and the conference's second highest-scoring offense in the conference at 40.6 points per game. The Tar Heels were ineligible, but that didn't stop Renner from completing 65.4 percent of his passes and slinging over 300 yards in each of his last four games to end the 2012 season. He has an excellent grasp on Larry Fedora's system and does a nice job with his pre-reads and making adjustments before the snap. What makes him a dark horse candidate to become a high-round NFL draft pick next year is his deep-ball accuracy and pro-like quick release. Renner only took 11 sacks last season compared to his 26 in 2011 after working extremely hard on his mechanics, making decisions faster and getting rid of the ball at a much higher rate. He has North Carolina on track to vie for the Coastal Division.
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