20 highest-rated QB recruits in SEC history
High school recruiting has developed a major cult following in recent years with the help of online evaluation services. One site, 247Sports.com, has compiled a running list ranking ever prospect since 2000.
With the help of that list, we’ve compiled the 20 highest-rated quarterback prospects to sign with an SEC program out of high school.
All 20 were 5-star recruits. Yet there are far more misses than hits on this list and there are two prominent names you won’t find: Heisman Trophy winners Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel.
No. 20: Kyler Murray, Texas A&M
Prospect rating: .9852
One of the more recent prospects on this list, Murray gained 1,021 yards of total offense and threw for five touchdowns and seven interceptions in his one season with Texas A&M. He transferred after his true freshman season, however, and will be eligible to play this season for Oklahoma.
No. 19: Jason Campbell, Auburn
Prospect rating: .9853
Campbell was one of the best players in the SEC. The former Auburn star threw for 7,299 yards with 45 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in his career, and he was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2004.
— Posing Plainsmen (@PosingPlainsmen) September 19, 2016
No. 18: Robert Lane, Ole Miss
Prospect rating: .9876
Lane played a little bit of quarterback early in his career at Ole Miss, but he switched to a hybrid tight end/h-back position for his final three years. He was the top dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2003 but made a bigger mark as a receiver.
No. 17: James Banks, Tennessee
Another player who switched positions at the next level, Banks played quarterback and wide receiver as a freshman before switching to the latter full time as a sophomore. In 2003, he led the Vols with 42 catches for 621 yards. After his sophomore year, Banks was kicked off the team.
No. 16: Casey Clausen, Tennessee
Prospect rating: .9896
Clausen ended his career at Tennessee second only to Peyton Manning in Vols’ passing yardage. He’s still in the top 10 in the SEC.In four years, Clausen completed 775 passes for 9,707 yards with 75 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.
No. 15: Blake Barnett, Alabama
Prospect rating: .9896
Entering the 2016 season, Barnett appeared to be the favorite for Alabama’s starting quarterback position. He lost that battle to true freshman Jalen Hurts and announced his transfer four games into the season.
No. 14: Aaron Murray, UGA
Prospect rating: .9897
Murray became the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in four consecutive seasons, and he ended his college days as the conference’s leader in career passing yards and touchdowns, among others. The former Georgia star completed 921 passes for 13,166 yards with 121 touchdowns and 41 interceptions.
No. 13: Jeff Driskel, Florida
Prospect rating: .9915
Driskel inherited the impossible task of following in Tim Tebow’s footsteps at Florida, a job he never came close to accomplishing. He helped lead the Gators to an 11-2 record in 2012, his first as a starter, but transferred before his redshirt senior season.
No. 12: Tim Tebow, Florida
Prospect rating: .9916
Considered one of the best players in SEC history, Tebow arrived at Florida as one of the top prospects in his class. The Heisman Trophy winner finished his college career with 12,233 total yards and 145 combined touchdowns.
No. 11: D.J. Shockley, UGA
Prospect rating: .9926
Mark Richt’s first major commitment as Georgia’s head coach, Shockley was a highly-coveted dual-threat quarterback. Shockley spent much of his career behind Bulldogs star David Greene, but he led Georgia to an SEC championship victory in his final season and first as a full-time starter in 2005.
No. 10: Chris Leak, Florida
Prospect rating: .9940
Leak signed to play for Ron Zook at Florida, but he helped lead the Urban Meyer-led Gators to their second national championship in 2006. Leak finished his career with 11,213 passing yards — third all-time in the SEC — and 88 touchdowns, tied with Tebow for fourth in SEC history.
No. 9: Kyle Allen, Texas A&M
Prospect rating: .9950
Texas A&M looked set with for the future at quarterback with Allen and Murray in the mix, but both left. Allen played on and off in his two seasons with the Aggies, before transferring before the 2016 season. He left with 3,532 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
No. 8: Mitch Mustain, Arkansas
Prospect rating: .9961
Mustain earned a starting role in his first season on campus, but he was benched that same year in favor of sophomore Casey Dick. The Arkansas quarterback transferred before his sophomore year and eventually wound up at Southern California.
No. 7: Ryan Perrilloux, LSU
Prospect rating: .9968
Perrilloux was one of the highest-rated quarterbacks to come out of high school when he chose to join LSU. He redshirted his first season and played sparingly over the next two years before being dismissed for violating team rules.
No. 6: Jacob Eason, UGA
Prospect rating: .9973
Eason was the No. 2-ranked QB in the Class of 2016. He helped Georgia earn a victory in its season opener against North Carolina and then went on to start the Bulldogs’ remaining games. For the season, Eason threw for 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns.
No. 5: Shea Patterson, Ole Miss
Prospect rating: .9979
Part of a highly-touted crop of young quarterbacks in the SEC, Patterson excited Ole Miss fans in his thrilling debut against Texas A&M. In his first three games, Patterson completed 72 passes for 880 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.
No. 4: Matthew Stafford, UGA
Prospect rating: .9975
The prospect to whom Eason is most often compared, Stafford was already big man on campus upon arriving at Georgia. Before becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick, Stafford threw for 7,731 yards with 51 touchdowns and 33 interceptions in his three seasons with the Bulldogs.
No. 3: Russell Shepard, LSU
Prospect rating: .9985
Shepard is one of the top dual-threat quarterback prospects since recruiting services came into effect, but he spent the majority of his career playing wide receiver. He finished his career with 1,298 total yards and 10 touchdowns.
No. 2: Brodie Croyle, Alabama
Prospect rating: .9986
Long before Alabama’s reign atop college football, Croyle offered a glimpse of hope for the Crimson Tide. Injuries plagued Croyle for much of his career, but he finally stayed healthy his senior season and helped Alabama to a 10-2 record in 2005 while setting a single-season school record with 2,499 passing yards.
No. 1: Brock Berlin, Florida
Prospect rating: .9998
Coming out of high school, Berlin already had numerous national accolades and was one of the most hyped prospects in history. He was the No. 2 QB prospect since 2000, trailing only Texas’ Vince Young.
Berlin only played in 12 games for the Gators, and he spent much of his Florida career behind Rex Grossman on the depth chart. He transferred to Miami after the 2001 season where he finished his career.