Projecting which B1G QB recruits will have the biggest impact in 2022
There were quite a few new quarterbacks to officially join the Big Ten on Wednesday, as 12 programs signed QBs. While contributing right away as a true freshman at any position is very difficult, much less QB, it’s not unheard of. No, none of these guys are going to win a starting job right away in fall camp. But at some point, there could be a few who are needed to step in and contribute.
So let’s project which ones could potentially make an impact in 2022. Here are my top 5 picks for guys to make an impact next season:
1. Drew Allar, Penn State
The highest-rated QB recruit in the B1G this year could also have the biggest impact in 2022, even with Sean Clifford returning. I’m wondering if James Franklin will look at how involved Jim Harbaugh kept 5-star freshman JJ McCarthy as an example of how to help develop Allar. Franklin did use 2 QBs a few years ago with Will Levis mixing in with Clifford. Plus, with Clifford’s injury history, it’s certainly possible Allar will have the chance to start at some point. The No. 4 QB in this class has high expectations and is going to be talked about extensively the next few years.
2. Katin Houser, Michigan State
Payton Thorne is entrenched as the starter, but the backup role looks to be there for the taking next season, and Houser should be in the mix. Current backup Anthony Russo isn’t expected back next season, and the third-stringer is freshman Noah Kim, who wasn’t a top-1,000 recruit. Houser will come in with much better recruiting credentials being the No. 13 QB in the 2022 class.
3. Brady Allen, Purdue
Aidan O’Connell was awesome this year, he really was. The former walk-on wound up being one of the conference’s top QBs this season after not even beginning the year as the starter. And that’s the thing with O’Connell — as good as he was, he has won the job and lost the job multiple times at this point, and he won’t have David Bell next season. I’m not saying O’Connell is going to regress, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. Every year, there’s someone who takes a big step back, like Tanner Morgan or Michael Penix Jr. And that could open the door for Allen, who will come to West Lafayette with a ton of hype after winning a state title in Indiana this fall.
4. Myles Burkett, Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s QB situation was a mess this year after Jack Coan left, and I don’t think anyone is sold on Graham Mertz at this point. And there isn’t much in the way behind him, which is why Mertz didn’t lose his job as the interceptions piled up. So is there a chance that a 3-star recruit steps in as a true freshman at QB at some point in 2022? I’m not ruling it out. It’s not like Wisconsin is hyper demanding of its QBs. And the Badgers already showed they are going to play the most talented player regardless of age, which is why Braelon Allen took over starting running back duties as a 17-year-old. Plus, there is just something about the way Burkett is talked about; the coaches reportedly love his leadership abilities, and an Iowa assistant apparently told his family that he couldn’t play QB in the Big Ten. I’m keeping an eye on Burkett.
5. Devin Brown, Ohio State
So, is this one going to stick around? That’s what Buckeyes fans are surely wondering after 2 blue-chip QBs left the program this year after just 1 season in Columbus. That’s the nature of the beast with recruiting big-time QBs, as Ryan Day does, with 5 in the last 3 years. Brown, a Utah native, heads to the Midwest and steps into an interesting situation. CJ Stroud is entrenched as the starter, and the backup is a former 5-star recruit, Kyle McCord, who still has 4 years of eligibility remaining. The Buckeyes need the depth, having already lost 2 QBs to the transfer portal, including No. 1 overall recruit Quinn Ewers. But Brown figures to be at least a year away from a legitimate shot at even the backup role, especially if Stroud doesn’t enter the NFL Draft after 2022.
There’s no clear path for Brown right now, but I’m just betting on the talent of the 4-star recruit and the tutelage of Ryan Day to put him in a position to contribute if necessary.