Ranking the top SEC HC-QB duos for 2014
Some quarterbacks are stars based on sheer talent. Other quarterbacks are products of the system. We’ve seen five-star guys come in and flake at the college level, and we’ve seen Heisman Trophy winners and national champions be high draft picks and be a bust in the NFL.
Quarterbacks need to be developed, and playing under the right coach in the right offensive system carries a ton of weight.
Here are the top HC-QB duos in the SEC:
5. Dan Mullen – Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Prescott’s ceiling is arguably higher than any signal-caller in the SEC. He’s bullish as a runner and has a cannon for a right arm. He’s a perfect fit in Mullen’s spread offense, but needs to polish his fundamentals and become a more accurate passer. If things come together for him, he’s a sure All-SEC selection.
4. Gary Pinkel – Maty Mauk, Missouri
Mauk was thrust into action after James Franklin went down last season and showed signs of greatness. He’s athletic, tough and a great arm. Pinkel has a track record of developing average quarterbacks into top-tier guys and Mauk could be the next on his list.
3. Hugh Freeze – Bo Wallace, Ole Miss
Wallace threw for over 3,000 yards last season, and that was with him dealing with shoulder issues. He’s thrown 27 interceptions over the last two years, and needs to cut down on that number but could have an even bigger year. Freeze has turned Wallace into one of the best passers in the league and has designed his offense around Wallace’s strength.
2. Steve Spurrier – Dylan Thompson, South Carolina
Thompson’s going to have a huge year in 2014 because he has big game experience and he’s played well in big games. He already has a win over Clemson under his belt and will add plenty more this year. He’s a perfect fit for Spurrier’s system, though he doesn’t run as well as Connor Shaw. Expect Spurrier to open up the playbook and let Thompson loose.
1. Gus Malzahn – Nick Marshall, Auburn
Malzahn and anyone would probably top this list. The guy is that good of a quarterback coach and offensive wizard. We all remember the year Cam Newton had in 2010, and Marshall impressed last year without having a spring practice in the system. Now that he has a full year under his belt, expect Malzahn to balance out the offense and let Marshall throw the ball more, at which he should be improved. Dark horse or not, I think Marshall’s a legit Heisman candidate.