SEC QBs ranked by career yards
If you played quarterback in the SEC prior to 1990, chances are history has forgotten you.
Sure, we may remember players like Joe Namath, Steve Spurrier and Archie Manning, mostly because of what they did after quarterbacking an SEC team. But when it comes to all-time passing records, just three quarterbacks who played prior to the 21st century even register.
It’s going to take another decade, maybe even two, before the new breed of offense produces enough standout quarterbacks with the longevity to swallow Peyton Manning, Danny Wuerffel and Eric Zeier from the Top 10 of the SEC career passing list.
Looking for a Year of the Quarterback in the SEC? How about 2003, when half the players in the Top 10 all-time were active?
Recently, Georgia’s Aaron Murray smashed the all-time SEC passing record held by former Bulldogs standout David Greene, while Bo Wallace (career yards) and AJ McCarron (career touchdowns) each snuck onto the bottom of the list — for now.
It’s inevitable that several more players push onto this list soon. All due respect to Wallace, who had a great career for the Rebels, but he’s not quite the talent of an Eli Manning, who has claimed two Super Bowls. Apply that context to the mere 585 yards separating the two players’ college careers and you have a good illustration of how the game has changed.
Incidentally, Wallace finished 158 career yards ahead of Dak Prescott, who projects as a mid-round pick in next week’s NFL draft. The state of Mississippi arguably contains the best passer in the SEC again in 2016 in Chad Kelly, who threw for more than 4,000 yards last season as a JUCO transfer. But with just one year of eligibility remaining, it’s almost impossible for Kelly to catch Wallace.
As far as future threats, that depends largely on which young quarterbacks emerge as starters during fall practice or perhaps take over during the 2016 season. Five of last year’s top 10 SEC passers no longer play for that team. We’ve touched on Kelly already. Joshua Dobbs, Brandon Harris, Greyson Lambert and Perry Orth aren’t going to be top 10 all-time SEC passers either.
Considering there are three Georgia quarterbacks in the all-time top 5, Jacob Eason seems like an interesting place to start when discussing potential candidates. Yes, that’s a very, very lofty bar for a guy who hasn’t even thrown 100 scrimmage passes yet at the college level. But there’s a legitimate conversation about whether Eason will start the season opener against North Carolina, or perhaps replace Lambert at some point this season.
If Eason accumulates, say, 1,500 passing yards this year, that’ll leave him 8,034 yards short — or 2,678 yards per season for three more years.
Redshirt freshman Blake Barnett (Alabama) also could become a three- or four-year starter. Ole Miss’ handling of 2016 signee Shea Patterson will be worth watching. If he redshirts this year rather than getting spot time behind Kelly, he could start for a number of seasons as well.
Drew Lock has to get much better before he’s even in the conversation — as do Mizzou’s receivers — but he did manage 1,332 yards as a true freshman, and at least has the opportunity to start for three more years. If he can double that total this year, he’ll be well on his way.
It’s hard to foresee another current quarterback challenging for this list, but we’ll have to wait until the fall to see if there are any other true freshmen who look like they could lead their respective programs for years to come.
Here are the Top 10 all-time SEC quarterbacks ranked by career passing yards.
|1. Aaron Murray||Georgia||13,166||2010-13|
|2. David Greene||Georgia||11,528||2001-04|
|3. Chris Leak||Florida||11,213||2003-06|
|4. Peyton Manning||Tennessee||11,201||1994-97|
|5. Eric Zeier||Georgia||11,153||1991-94|
|6. Danny Wuerffel||Florida||10,875||1993-96|
|7. Jared Lorenzen||Kentucky||10,354||2000-03|
|8. Eli Manning||Ole Miss||10,119||2000-03|
|9. Casey Clausen||Tennessee||9,707||2000-03|
|10. Bo Wallace||Ole Miss||9,534||2012-14|
|11. Dak Prescott||Mississippi State||9,376||2012-15|
And here are the Top 10 all-time SEC quarterbacks ranked by career touchdown passes.
|1. Aaron Murray||Georgia||121||2010-13|
|2. Danny Wuerffel||Florida||114||1993-96|
|3. Peyton Manning||Tennessee||89||1994-97|
|T4. Chris Leak||Florida||88||2003-06|
|T4. Tim Tebow||Florida||88||2006-09|
|6. Eli Manning||Ole Miss||81||2000-03|
|7. Andre Woodson||Kentucky||79||2004-07|
|8. Jared Lorenzen||Kentucky||78||2000-03|
|T9. Rex Grossman||Florida||77||2000-02|
|T9. AJ McCarron||Alabama||77||2010-13|