What lies ahead of for newest batch for 4- and 5-star QBs?
Blue-chip quarterback recruits bring hype and hope to campuses.
The reality is those celebrated QBs are more likely to transfer than start for the schools they sign with Wednesday. Of the top 25 quarterbacks in the class of 2013, at least 14 will not finish their college careers where they started.
According to research by Fox Sports, 47 percent of all the four- and five-star quarterbacks from 2011-14 transferred.
The ones that do quickly ascend to the top of the depth chart often end up driving away incumbent quarterbacks.
With national signing day officially bringing a new crop of quarterbacks into college football, AP takes a look at the situations this year’s four- and fives-stars are entering and what it could mean for the players already on the rosters.
Quarterback rankings are from 247Sports.com’ composite ratings. Depth charts are projected based on scholarship quarterbacks on the roster and do not including incoming freshman. Class years are at the start of the 2017 season. (x- denotes a quarterback is an early enrollee.)
No. 1 Davis Mills, Stanford
Ryan Burns, fifth-year senior
K.J. Costello, sophomore
Keller Chryst, senior
Outlook: Chryst’s severe knee injury in the Sun Bowl could clear the way for Costello, a former four-star recruit, to grab hold of the job in the spring. As for Mills, Stanford does not allow freshman to enroll early so he is likely looking toward a competition with Costello in 2018.
No. 2 Hunter Johnson-x, Clemson
Kelly Bryant, junior
Zerrick Cooper, redshirt freshman
Tucker Israel, third-year sophomore
Outlook: Bryant is slated to get the first snaps in spring ball, but the competition to replace Deshaun Watson is wide open. Cooper is the most highly touted of the holdovers. Johnson will have a chance to shake things up. Clemson also has No. 20 quarterback prospect Chase Brice in this signing class, and already holds a commitment from the Trevor Lawrence, the top-rated QB in 2018.
No. 3 Tua Tagovailoa-x, Alabama
Jalen Hurts, sophomore
Outlook: Hurts’ rapid rise to starter as a freshman caused the veteran quarterbacks at Alabama to scatter via transfers. That means Tagovailoa, who went to the same high school as Marcus Mariota, has a straight shot to being at least Alabama’s backup in 2017. Considering how Hurts hit a wall in his development as a passer at the end of last season, Tagovailoa could create some real intrigue this offseason in Tuscaloosa. Needing depth, the Tide also has No. 21 prospect Mac Jones coming on board.
No. 4 Jake Fromm-x, Georgia
Jacob Eason, sophomore
Brice Ramsey, senior
Outlook: Eason was good enough as a freshman starter to warrant optimism for the next two seasons. Ramsey is now first and foremost a punter so Fromm could be the true No. 2 if something goes wrong with Eason. Ideally, Fromm can redshirt in 2017, back up in 2018 and take over in 2019 after Eason leaves early for the NFL draft.
No. 5 Tate Martell-x, Ohio State
J.T. Barrett, fifth-year senior
Joe Burrow, third-year sophomore
Dwayne Haskins, redshirt freshman
Outlook: Barring injuries, it is hard to project a scenario in which Burrow, Haskins and Martell, who was originally committed to Texas A&M, all finish their careers at Ohio State. They are all too talented to sit. That’s the long-term intrigue. In the short term, Barrett, the most prolific quarterback in Ohio State history, has a new offensive coordinator and QB coach and some legitimate competition for his job in 2017.
6) Jack Sears-x, Southern California
Sam Darnold, third-year sophomore
Sam Fink, redshirt freshman
Outlook: Sears replaced Darnold at San Clemente (California) High School. If Darnold’s first season as a starter goes as well, Sears will get a chance to replace him again in 2018.
7) Kellen Mond-x, Texas A&M
Jake Hubenak, senior
Nick Starkel, redshirt freshman
Outlook: All these blue chippers arrive on campus saying that they want to start as freshmen. Mond probably has the best chance.
8) Sam Ehlinger-x, Texas
Shane Buechele, sophomore
Matthew Merrick, third-year sophomore
Outlook: The Longhorns’ situation is similar to Georgia’s, with Ehlinger stepping in behind a freshman starter. The difference is new coach Tom Herman recruited Ehlinger not Buechele and Ehlinger’s mobility could be a better fit in the offense.
9) Dylan McCaffrey-x, Michigan
Wilton Speight, senior
John O’Korn, fifth-year senior
Alex Malzone, junior
Brandon Peters, redshirt freshman
Outlook: Speight and O’Korn should capably fill the position this season. McCaffrey is the guy Michigan fans are dreaming about for 2018. Peters was a four-star recruit, too, but he seems in danger of getting squeezed.
No. 10 Myles Brennan and No. 19 Lowell Narcisse-x, LSU
Danny Etling, fifth-year senior,
Brandon Harris, senior
Justin McMillan, third-year sophomore
Lindsey Scott Jr., redshirt freshman
Outlook: You might have heard the Tigers have had some quarterback issues in recent seasons. Everybody starts even with new offensive coordinator Matt Canada, and no reason to think the new guys can’t pass the holdovers sooner rather than later.
No. 11 Keytaon Thompson-x, Mississippi State
Nick Fitzgerald, fourth-year junior
Outlook: Yep, Fitzgerald is the only scholarship quarterback on the roster. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, he’s a good one. Coach Dan Mullen could be in the market for a transfer to provide some short-term depth and to avoid having to burn a year of Thompson’s eligibility if Fitzgerald needs a reliever.
No. 12 Chris Robison-x, Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield, fifth-year senior
Kyler Murray, third-year sophomore
Austin Kendall, sophomore
Outlook: Former five-star Murray, who transferred from Texas A&M, will try to win the No. 2 job behind the Heisman Trophy contender Mayfield and be positioned to take over in 2018 with two seasons of eligibility left. Unless Robison changes the plans.
No. 13 Sean Clifford, Penn State
Trace McSorley, fourth-year junior
Tommy Stevens, third-year sophomore
Jake Zembiec, redshirt freshman
Outlook: It looks like McSorley will have the next two seasons covered. Clifford is considered the most talented quarterback recruit Penn State has landed since James Franklin took over in 2014. Keeping both Stevens and Zembiec around could be tough.
No. 14 N’Kosi Perry, Miami
Jack Allison, redshirt freshman
Malik Rosier, fourth-year junior
Evan Shirreffs, third-year junior
Outlook: Brad Kaaya’s backups have not distinguished themselves so there is a solid chance his replacement will come from the younger players. Perry won’t participate in spring practice, but another signee, three-star recruit Cade Weldon, will.
No. 15 Tristan Gebbia-x, Nebraska
Tanner Lee, fourth-year junior
Patrick O’Brien, redshirt freshman
Outlook: Lee, a transfer who started 19 games and threw 21 interceptions at Tulane, is the front-runner to start in 2017 – which probably says a lot about where O’Brien stands. The opportunity is there for Gebbia to get on the field early.
No. 16 Shawn Robinson-x, TCU
Kenny Hill, fifth-year senior
Grayson Muehlstein, fourth-year junior
Brennen Wooten, redshirt freshman
Outlook: Hill is a returning starter who struggles with consistency and neither backup is considered the quarterback of the future. If Hill’s turnover-prone ways continue, Robinson has a chance to be the guy coach Gary Patterson turns to at some point.
No. 17 Kasim Hill, Maryland
Caleb Henderson, fourth-year junior
Tyrrell Pigrome, sophomore
Max Bortenschlager, sophomore
Outlook: Henderson is a transfer from North Carolina and the two sophomores both got some game action last year. But ideally they are just holding things down until Hill, the most highly touted of the bunch, is ready.
No. 18 Avery Davis, Notre Dame
Brandon Wimbush, junior
Ian Book, sophomore
Montgomey VanGorder, senior
Outlook: The early departure of Deshone Kizer and transfer of Malik Zaire means Notre Dame is banking on Wimbush for the next two seasons. Davis gets a couple of years to develop.
No. 22 Bailey Hockman-x, Florida State
Deondre Francois, third-year sophomore
J.J. Cosentino, fourth-year junior
Outlook: Hockman is an immediate contender to be No. 2. Considering Francois’ bouts with inaccuracy and penchant of taking hard hits, coach Jimbo Fisher could really use the freshman to develop quickly.
No. 23 Braxton Burmeister, Oregon
Justin Herbert, sophomore
Terry Wilson, Jr. redshirt freshman
Travis Jonsen, third-year sophomore
Taylor Alie, fifth-year senior
Outlook: Herbert was a bright spot as a freshman in a bad season for the Ducks and the fact that he vaulted past the more experienced players on the rosters suggests that those guys are likely to end up as backups or transfers. Herbert will have to impress a new coaching staff in 2017. Burmeister, a late flip from Arizona, might need to be patient.
No. 24 Hendon Hooker-x, Virginia Tech
Josh Jackson, redshirt freshman
A.J. Bush, fourth-year junior
Jack Click, third-year sophomore
Outlook: The surprising early departure of Jerod Evans puts Jackson and Bush, a junior college transfer who began his career at Nebraska, at the top of the depth chart and gives Hooker a legit shot to compete for playing time.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP
More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org/
- Alex Malzone
- Austin Kendall
- Baker Mayfield
- Brad Kaaya
- Brandon Peters
- Brandon Wimbush
- Brennen Wooten
- Brice Ramsey
- Caleb Henderson
- Clemson Tigers
- Danny Etling
- Deondre Francois
- Deshaun Watson
- DeShone Kizer
- Dwayne Haskins
- Evan Shirreffs
- Florida State Seminoles
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Grayson Muehlstein
- Ian Book
- J.J. Cosentino
- J.T. Barrett
- Jack Allison
- Jack Click
- Jacob Eason
- Jake Hubenak
- Jake Zembiec
- Jalen Hurts
- Jerod Evans
- Joe Burrow
- Josh Jackson
- Justin Herbert
- Justin McMillan
- K.J. Costello
- Keller Chryst
- Kelly Bryant
- Kenny Hill
- Kyler Murray
- Lindsey Scott, Jr.
- LSU Tigers
- Malik Rosier
- Malik Zaire
- Matthew Merrick
- Max Bortenschlager
- Mississippi State Bulldogs
- Nick Fitzgerald
- Nick Starkel
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Oregon Ducks
- Penn State Nittany Lions
- Ryan Burns
- Sam Darnold
- Shane Buechele
- Stanford Cardinal
- Taylor Alie
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Terry Wilson
- Texas A&M Aggies
- Tommy Stevens
- Trace McSorley
- Travis Jonsen
- Tucker Israel
- Tyrrell Pigrome
- Virginia Tech Hokies
- Wilton Speight
- Zerrick Cooper