Manuel tops ACC quarterback rankings

Manuel tops ACC quarterback rankings

Published Jun. 18, 2012 8:46 a.m. ET

If the ACC isn't the most quarterback-heavy conference going into the 2012 college football season, then it is certainly the most experienced. Eleven of the 12 programs return starting signal callers – and the lone new starter is not exactly green to live action.

Ranking the QBs isn't easy, as from one week to the next. eight or nine of these players can post impressive numbers and perform like NFL prospects.

But the best of the lot heading into this fall is Florida State senior E.J. Manuel.

At 6-foot-5, 238 pounds and plenty athletic with a terrific arm, he's been described as Cam Newton-lite by some observers, drawing on not only the physical similarities between the Seminoles' star and last season's NFL Rookie of the Year, but also regarding Manuel's significant upside. (Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas also receives similar comparisons.)

If Manuel remains healthy, cuts down on risky mistakes and has time to relax more in the pocket, he can lead the Seminoles into national championship and Heisman Trophy contention.