Athlon Sports ranks all QB's in CFB
Athlon Sports, like the rest of the world, doesn’t know who will be starting for Ohio State at quarterback. Whoever it is, however, they’re convinced they’ll be the nation’s best at the position.
The publication ranked both J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones as the nation’s top quarterback. Urban Meyer will not announce his starter until game time at Virginia Tech on Monday, but he has remained open to the idea of playing both.
Whether or not that would maximize or hinder their value it remains to be seen.
Among the other Big Ten quarterbacks that were ranked high on the list of 128 were Michigan State’s Connor Cook, who was slotted at No. 4 while Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg earned the No. 9 spot on Athlon’s list.
Here’s what they had to say about each Big Ten signal-caller:
1. J.T. Barrett/Cardale Jones, Ohio State
Urban Meyer isn’t going to name a starter for the opener against Virginia Tech, and both players are likely to see snaps against the Hokies. Regardless of who starts or finishes a game, this is the best quarterback situation in college football.
4. Connor Cook, Michigan State
Cook is 23-3 as a starter at Michigan State and will keep the Spartans in the mix for a playoff spot this fall. Cook is also regarded as one of the top quarterback prospects in next season’s draft.
9. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
Didn’t have the best sophomore season, but there’s no question about talent. Hackenberg needs more help from his supporting cast.
37. Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska
How quickly Armstrong adapts to new coach Mike Riley and coordinator Danny Langsdorf will play a huge role in how high Nebraska climbs in the Big Ten West.
43. Wes Lunt, Illinois
Talented passer but has yet to start for a full season. Missed nearly half of 2014 due to a leg injury but passed for 1,763 yards and 14 scores in eight games.
44. Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Missed half of 2014 due to a shoulder injury. Sudfeld’s return should be a huge boost for Indiana’s bowl hopes in 2015.
54. Jake Rudock, Michigan
Rudock is making the rare intra-conference transfer from Iowa to Michigan. Expected to beat Shane Morris for the starting job.
61. Mitch Leidner, Minnesota
Leidner is a good runner, but he has to progress as a passer for Minnesota to win the Big Ten West.
63. C.J. Beathard, Iowa
Iowa coaches hope the switch to Beathard gives the offense more big-play ability.
76. Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
Thorson was a huge catch on the recruiting trail for coach Pat Fitzgerald, ranking as a four-star recruit and the No. 188 overall player in the 2014 247Sports Composite. The redshirt freshman is an intriguing player to watch this fall.
80. Joel Stave, Wisconsin
Which Stave will Wisconsin get in 2015? The version that threw for 22 touchdowns and 2,494 yards in 2013? Or the one that struggled last year?
81. Perry Hills, Maryland
Hills started seven games for the Terrapins in 2012 but suffered a torn ACL and used 2013 as a redshirt. Edged Caleb Rowe and Daxx Garman for the job this fall.
88. Hayden Rettig, Rutgers
LSU transfer is slated to start the opener after Chris Laviano was suspended. Rettig ranked as a four-star recruit in the 2013 signing class.
100. Austin Appleby, Purdue
Purdue hopes to take a step forward in coach Darrell Hazell’s third season. The Boilermakers need better quarterback play to escape the Big Ten West cellar.