Here are the likely starters for each Big Ten team this season.
Aside from Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Penn State’s Trace McSorley, quarterback play in the Big Ten was mostly inconsistent last season. And while some teams are returning their starter, a lot of teams spent the offseason evaluating the QB position in the hopes of finding a solid signal-caller for the upcoming season. With that in mind, we went ahead and predicted who will be under center for each team in week one.
These are our projected starters for each Big Ten team:
— EndZoneScore.com (@OPSN_NFL) July 11, 2017
Projected starter: Chayce Crouch
2016: 249 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7.8 yards/attempt, 176 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, played in 4 games
Before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in his first career start last season, Crouch proved to be a dual-threat quarterback with a lot of potential. He’s inexperienced, but the Illini have a solid receiving corps which could take some of the pressure off the signal-caller.
— Mike Pegram (@peegs) July 25, 2017
Projected starter: Richard Lagow
2016: 3,362 passing yards, 19 TDs, 17 INTs, 7.7 yards/attempt
Lagow was up and down in his first year as a starter last season. He ranked second in the Big Ten in total passing yards with 3,362, but he also threw 17 interceptions. When he plays well, the Hoosiers are potent through the air, but when he falters, it gets ugly fast. Regardless, he’s firmly entrenched as the starter.
— Hawkeye Nation (@HawkeyeNationHQ) August 9, 2017
Projected starter: Nathan Stanley
2016: 62 passing yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 6.9 yards/attempt, played in 4 games
Stanley was the No. 2 quarterback last year behind C.J. Beathard, and he should inherit the starting job this fall. The Hawkeyes’ passing attack was mediocre last season, but hopefully newly-hired offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz can turn things around. Stanley will need all the help he can get on an offense that struggles to gain yardage.
Caleb Henderson is the favorite to win Maryland’s QB job, but he’s still a mystery pic.twitter.com/tXyHdBH3Jo
— Mohcine Filali (@mohcine_filali) June 7, 2017
Projected starter: Caleb Henderson
Henderson is a North Carolina transfer eligible to play immediately after sitting out the 2016 season. He made only two appearances for the Tar Heels in which he completed one pass, but the talent is there. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, and he’s got the edge over fellow teammate Tyrrell Pilgrome for the starting job.
— TheWolverine.com (@TheWolverineMag) August 8, 2017
Projected starter: Wilton Speight
2016: 2,538 passing yards, 18 TDs, 7 INTs, 7.7 yards/attempt
Wilton Speight is certainly the favorite, but the job isn’t quite his just yet. Jim Harbaugh has been adamant that there’s an open competition for the starting job, and if John O’Korn or Brandon Peters impress in practice while Speight falters, we could see a switch midway through the season—or sooner.
— Spartans Fans (@SpartansViews) August 3, 2017
Projected starter: Brian Lewerke
2016: 381 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 6.7 yards/attempt, 149 rushing yards
Lewerke started in two games last year before suffering a season-ending leg injury, and he was solid in the games he played in. The defense will carry the Spartans in 2017, but Lewerke will be the piece that can get them over the top. If he continues to improve, this season could be a huge rebound year for Michigan State.
Catching up with Demry Croft on battling for the starting QB job at Minn. and playing for coach Fleck tonight at 9 and 10. pic.twitter.com/dF9ePkEWe9
— Scott Leber (@ScottLeberWTVO) May 23, 2017
Projected starter: Demry Croft
Croft is the starter as of now, but the position is far from secure. Senior Conor Rhoda isn’t far behind, and there are two freshman also in the hunt. While Croft has the higher upside and is likely a better fit for P.J. Fleck’s offense, Rhoda has more in-game experience, playing in three games last season. Croft should be No. 1 on the depth chart when the season begins.
— World-Herald Big Red (@OWHbigred) August 11, 2017
Projected starter: Tanner Lee
Lee previously started at Tulane from 2014-2015 where her threw for 3,601 yards and 23 touchdowns. With Nebraska, he’ll have a stronger supporting cast and should flourish in Mike Riley’s offense. He had a strong showing in Nebraska’s spring game earlier this year as well.
— Josh Helmholdt (@JoshHelmholdt) July 31, 2017
Projected starter: Clayton Thorson
2016: 3,182 passing yards, 22 TDs, 9 INTs, 6.7 yards/attempt
Thorson is entering his third season as the Wildcats’ starting quarterback, and there’s no reason to believe he’ll be unseated. Thorson was phenomenal last season, and although he lost his No. 1 receiving option in Austin Carr, he’ll find a way to get it done.
— Mike Wachsman (@cffmwachsman) July 30, 2017
Projected starter: J.T. Barrett
2016: 2,555 passing yards, 24 TDs, 7 INTs, 6.7 yards/attempt, 845 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns
With former Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson now taking the controls of the Ohio State offense, expect Barrett’s production to increase drastically. He should be contending for a Heisman Trophy this year.
— Burt Wilson (@BurtWilsonLNP) July 19, 2017
Projected starter: Trace McSorley
2016: 3,614 passing yards, 29 TDs, 8 INTs, 9.3 yards/attempt, 365 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns
McSorley was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation last year, and there’s no reason to think he’ll slow down. He should be even better this year, especially with the Nittany Lions now poised to make a national championship run.
— Post-Tribune Sports (@PostTribSports) July 26, 2017
Projected starter: David Blough
2016: 3,352 passing yards, 25 TDs, 21 INTs, 6.5 yards/attempt
Blough should benefit significantly from the arrival of new head coach Jeff Brohm. Brohm’s teams at Western Kentucky routinely scored over 40 a game, and this Boilermaker squad will try to replicate that. Blough is a gunslinger in the pocket, but the receiving corps is somewhat underwhelming.
— Sportnewall (@Sportnewsall) April 23, 2017
Projected starter: Giovanni Rescigno
2016: 889 passing yards, 5 TDs, 5 INTs, 5.5 yards/attempt, 107 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, started 7 games
Until sophomore Tyler Odin can make a significant push, the starting job is all Rescigno’s. Still, the Rutgers offense has a long way to go, and the Scarlet Knights will need more consistency moving forward. They were shut out four times in 2016 and only averaged 15.7 points per game.
#Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook appeared on BTN Live Thursday.
— Badger247 (@Badger247) August 4, 2017
Projected starter: Alex Hornibrook
2016: 1,262 passing yards, 9 TDs, 7 INTs, 7.0 yards/attempt
Hornibrook should be much improved in his first full season as a starter. He won’t be relied on to pass the ball, as the Badgers will lean on their strong defense and relentless running game, but he should see even more throwing opportunities than he did last year now that he’s firmly in the starting lineup.