Meet the top 10 QBs committed to SEC programs
As 2019 was the year of the quarterback shuffle, it’s probably wise to learn about the SEC’s crop of incoming QBs in 2020.
For that matter, 7 of the top 20 QB prospects in the nation (per 247sports.com’s rankings) are SEC commits, including top-ranked passer Bryce Young. Here’s a little early info on the best of the SEC’s QB class ahead of the start of next week’s Early Signing Period (Dec. 18-20).
1. Bryce Young (Alabama)
National QB Rank: No. 1 (No. 6 player overall)
What You Need to Know: Young, who passed for over 13,000 yards and 152 touchdowns in high school at Mater Dei in California (former home of Matt Barkley and Colt Brennan, among others) has a ridiculously high upside. He can throw, he can run, he’s very savvy. If he has a weakness, it’s that he’s not very tall (5-11). Alabama took him away from Southern Cal, where he had committed.
2. Luke Doty (South Carolina)
National QB Rank: No. 4 (No. 65 overall)
What You Need to Know: Doty chose the Gamecocks more than a year ago. An in-state recruit, Doty is a capable drop-back passer, but also has the speed to wreak havoc on a defense. He’s bonding well with new USC coordinator Mike Bobo and could have an excellent battle with Ryan Hilinksi next fall.
3. Haynes King (Texas A&M)
National QB Rank: No. 5 (No. 71 overall)
What You Need to Know: Like the QBs ranked above him, King is an excellent pocket passer and a superb athlete who can run the ball. He’s a track and basketball guy, and it shows in his skill-set. King is rail-thin and might need some time to put on weight and strength at A&M. A year behind Kellen Mond (if he returns) might be helpful.
4. Harrison Bailey (Tennessee)
National QB Rank: No. 8 (No. 143 overall)
What You Need to Know: UT went down to Georgia and snagged Bailey. At almost 6-5, he’s perhaps the top prototype pocket QB in this group. He has a big arm and if UT can give him enough support in the run game, he might see the field next fall.
5. Anthony Richardson (Florida)
National QB Rank: No. 11 (No. 190 overall)
What You Need to Know: Richardson is a local product, and will be an early enrollee at Florida. He’s built in the Cam Newton mode, and his passing game is still something of a work in progress. But Richardson rushed for 29 touchdowns in his last two seasons of high school and could be a situational player for UF even in 2020, although his best days will probably be post-Kyle Trask.
6. Carson Beck (Georgia)
National QB Rank: No. 14 (No. 204 overall)
What You Need to Know: Beck surprised many with his decision to abandon his homestate Gators (and previously, Alabama, to whom he was once committed) for Georgia. But he’s a better fit for Kirby Smart’s Georgia squad than for Mullen and UF. A standout baseball guy, Beck has a huge arm and will be an early enrollee. Given the chaos in Georgia’s QB situation at the moment, he could play early if Jake Fromm leaves for the NFL.
7. Max Johnson (LSU)
National QB Rank: No. 20 (No. 252 overall)
What You Need to Know: Johnson had an interesting recruitment. The big lefty is the son of former FSU quarterback Brad Johnson and the nephew of Mark Richt. Despite those connections (to FSU, UGA, and/or Miami), when the Georgia-born lefty committed, he chose the LSU Tigers. In retrospect, Johnson’s decision to jump on the LSU train just ahead of their 2019 offensive revolution looks pretty wise.
8. Beau Allen (Kentucky)
National QB Rank: No. 37 (No. 480 overall)
What You Need to Know: Allen’s father, Bill, was a quarterback at UK in the 1980s. Allen has excellent touch in the pocket, and commands an offense well. He could use some weight and upper body strength, but projects to be an able downfield passer to complement and eventually replace Joey Gatewood in Lexington.
9. T.J. Finley (LSU)
National QB Rank: No. 38 (No. 494 overall)
What You Need to Know: An in-state recruit, Finley give LSU a mountain of potential. At 6-6, 250 pounds, Finley is built like a JaMarcus Russell. He’s still learning the finer points of playing the position, but he’ll be well-coached at LSU. Finley is a talented but raw prospect, who’ll need some time to adjust to the college game.
10. Ken Seals (Vanderbilt)
National QB Rank: No. 41 (No. 508 overall)
What You Need to Know: Seals is a strong-armed Texas prospect who chose Vandy over mostly a group of lower-tier offers. With the departure of Riley Neal, the Vandy job will be open. Seals would probably benefit from a year or two of learning, but with Derek Mason coaching for his job, he might play sooner rather than later.