The long line of successful MAC quarterbacks continued last year when Jordan Lynch became a Heisman Finalist. The conference has produced two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger along with fellow 1st Round picks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich. Other notables include Charlie Frye, Charlie Batch, Dan LeFevour, Nate Davis, Bruce Gradkowski and more.
In the last few weeks, several of the conference’s programs have added major quarterback commitments. This 2015 class could be one that not only continues the lineage of those who came before them, but raises the bar. Here are the ones to know.
James Morgan, Green Bay (Wisc.) Ashwaubenon – committed to Bowling Green
Morgan had a good summer before his junior year, then turned in an All-State type season, passing for 2,540 yards and 26 touchdowns. He then dazzled at the recent Columbus Elite 11 Regional, finishing as a unanmious top three peformer by Scout’s staff. He recently committed to the Falcons, where he will be in good hands as Dino Babers and his staff turned Jimmy Garoppolo into a high-round NFL prospect at Eastern Illinois. Morgan, like Garoppolo, is a good sized (6-4, 205 pounds) kid with the arm to make all the throws.
Billy Bahl, Marian (Ill.) Central Catholic – committed to Miami (Ohio) Bahl, a strong-armed passer, was a big get for Chuck Martin and the Redhawks as he chose them over offers from Rutgers, UConn and a host of MAC foes. He is currently ranked as Scout’s top quarterback in Illinois over a couple of Big Ten commits. Martin and his crew will build their first full class around him and he appears to be the future in Oxford. At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, he has good size, and plays in a wide-open type offense in high schol that will have him well prepared for what he will see in college.
Mitch Guadagni – Hudson (Ohio) – committed to Toledo
It appeared as though BCS offers were on their way for Guadagni when he committed, and there are indications that some might still come, but he says even if they do, he’s a Rocket all the way. An athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound gunslinger, his ability to make plays with his feet makes him a great fit for Matt Campbell’s offense. He also turned in a good performance at the Elite 11 Regional in Columbus, and is a good bet for success, not just because of his talent, but because he chose a school and an offense that will take advantage of his best assets.
Jake Johnson – Dewitt (Mich.) – committed to Central Michigan
Some may be overlooking Johnson because he isn’t as big (6-2, 200 pounds) as some of the other guys on the list and didn’t have a laundry list of offers, but he can really throw the football. He spun it well in the spring, adding several offers and drawing the attention of Big Ten programs, but it was the Chippewas, who offered him nearly a year before, who always kept his attention. He can make all the throws, throws a beautiful deep ball, and is a better athlete than most people think.
Riley Neal – Yorktown (Ind.) – committed to Ball State
The Cardinals stayed in-state and added Neal, who stands nearly 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds. He threw it well at the Columbus Elite 11 Regional and at the Sound Mind, Sound Body Football Academy in Michigan. That all came after a season where he passed for over 2,700 yards and 35 touchdowns to only five interceptions. The Cardinals will put it in the air and Neal is comfortable doing that after playing in a pass-happy high school system.
Jon Wassink – Grand Rapids (Mich.) South Christian – committed to Western Michigan
After having an opportunity to see Wassink workout in the spring, the Broncos offered him a scholarship, the first school to do so, and he accepted shortly after. What P.J. Fleck and company are getting is a smart kid with all the leadership and intangible qualities a coach could want, and a winning pedigree. He lead his Sailors squad to two straight state title game appearances and he completed 70% of his passes last season and threw only two interceptions.
Alec Ingold – Bay Port (Wisc.) – committed to Northern Illinois
A former tailback, Ingold was being looked at by other schools for a variety of positions, but jumped at the chance to play quarterback for the Huskies, where his ability to run the ball and his linebacker playing quarterback mentality will likely remind some fans of Jordan Lynch. Having only played the position for a short time, he must continue learning the position, but he can make plays with things breakdown, is very tough, and is a really good athlete.
– Livonia (Mich.) Churchill – committed to Eastern Michigan
Alsobrooks committed to the Eagles as a quarterback, punter and kicker. He is ranked as one of the top specialists in the country, but also has a strong arm which should help him push for a job under center in Ypsilanti. He throws the ball well downfield and has good mobility in the pocket. He will be on the field in some capacity for the Eagles, possibly scoring touchdowns then kicking the extra point.