Ranking the SEC's Top 5 dual-threat QBs for 2015
Facing a crucial 3rd-and-5 midway through the fourth quarter, what’s the call?
These five quarterbacks have a proven ability to take matters into their own hands. Here are the SEC’s top dual-threat signal callers heading into the 2015 campaign:
5. Brandon Harris, LSU: The rising sophomore can pick up yards in a hurry when he’s on the move, but that was part of the problem with LSU’s quarterback play last season — not enough firepower through the air. Harris is competing with incumbent Anthony Jennings for the starting job, a competition that will spill over into fall practice since both quarterback were near flawless against an outmatched secondary. Whether or not Harris earns the spot is moot — he runs smooth, knows how to avoid direct contact near the sideline and has the escapability that’s often needed in offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s attack.
4. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: Much is expected out of this facilitator of the spread as a junior after he became one of college football’s hottest quarterbacks down the stretch last fall. His 166 yards rushing and three touchdowns against South Carolina in his first start of the season was the most ever by a Tennessee quarterback and he followed that up with 228 yards on the ground over his final four starts. The Vols’ offense was explosive with its new dimension and averaged 35 points per game in November. If that continues with a wiser Dobbs, Tennessee should be one of the SEC’s most exciting teams to watch this fall.
3. Maty Mauk, Mizzou: The Tigers’ coaching swears Mauk has improved his ability to stay within the pocket, but after Saturday’s spring game, offensive coordinator Josh Henson admitted he may have to tailor his scheme to fit Mauk’s desire to run since the junior quarterback scrambled several times when it didn’t call for it against the second-team defense. Truth be told, Mauk’s comfortable when he’s on the move and has shown playmaking ability over the last two seasons when doing so. His physical touchdown run against Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl was a reflection of who he is as a player, a gritty and determined quarterback who extends plays and keeps drives alive for the Tigers.
Josh Henson on Maty Mauk: “He ran a bunch today, and none of it was by design. If we’ve got to use that more to win, that’s what we’ll do.”
— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) April 18, 2015
2. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn: Any question lingering about Johnson’s fit in Gus Malzahn’s offense were answered over the weekend after a memorable spring game performance for the first-year starter. He made every throw — short, intermediate, sideline and deep — with tremendous accuracy after he was hurt early by drops. The Tigers didn’t turn Johnson loose in the zone-read like we’ll see in September, but his speed (somewhere in the 4.5-4.6 range) and size will come in handy in a system that calls for expert-level decision-making on third down which usually involves quarterbacks freelancing a bit. Johnson has the total package and could be the SEC’s newcomer of the year this season if he continues to play confident at a high level.
While we’re all trying to figure out who will start at QB for Alabama…. Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson may be primed for a Heisman campaign #CFB
— John Hayes (@johnP_hayes) April 19, 2015
1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: If all goes right for the Bulldogs, Prescott will lead SEC quarterbacks in rushing for the second straight season with another total offense explosion for Mississippi State. Prescott flexed his development as a passer in Saturday’s spring game and with more reps, is continuing to improve his draft stock with every throw and proper read. Not only was Prescott able to feel the blitz in the red zone, his ability to look off linebackers on one side of the field and throw to the other is an element he didn’t have during the first half of last season. Now a complete quarterback, Prescott’s legs to escape pressure are a weapon instead of his preferred choice after taking the snap.
Beautiful TD pass by Dak Prescott https://t.co/BnFq6imzug
— The Student Section (@TheStudentSect) April 18, 2015