Down in SEC country, the quarterback landscape is all over the place. Some of the players that many believe will be the best in the league are brand new graduate transfers from elsewhere in college football. Things are a bit more consistent in the Big Ten right now.
247Sports has been ranking quarterbacks in each conferences as we near spring football. While there are definitely some position battles that have to be sorted out, we have a pretty good idea of who will start for most teams. In the Big Ten, the No. 1 quarterback should come as no surprise.
Ohio State’s Justin Fields lived up to all the hype after transferring in from Georgia ahead of last season. The former five-star recruit slid right in to the job vacated by Dwayne Haskins, and put up eye-popping numbers. He finished the year as a Heisman finalist, and will be on of the favorites to win the award this year.
“Ohio State did such a good job of giving Justin Fields open receivers within the offense and he showed that he’s precise and efficient as a passer,” 247’s Barton Simmons writes, before going into what can help Fields reach the next level. “The next iteration is about anticipation to me, hitting the tight windows, making a covered receiver open by ball placement. That’s what we saw out of Joe Burrow and if Justin Fields is a No. 1 overall type of talent — and I think he can be — that’s the step we need to see out of him in the fall.” That is very high praise, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he and Trevor Lawrence battled it out for Heisman and NFL Draft plaudits after being the Nos. 1 and 2 recruits in their class.
— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) February 26, 2020
Things get more interesting after Fields at No. 1. He’s followed by a pair of players coming off of big, breakout seasons both personally and for their programs—Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan and Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr.
Those players, as well as the group right below consisting of Wisconsin’s Jack Coan, Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez, and Penn State’s Sean Clifford should be up to serious debate. It wouldn’t be a major surprise to see any of them at the No. 2 spot by season’s end.
Michigan’s Dylan McCaffrey, Iowa’s Spencer Petras, and Michigan State’s Rocky Lombardi all rank among the bottom half of the league’s quarterbacks in this list.
For the full list and player breakdowns, head to 247Sports.