RANKINGS - QUARTERBACKS
(3877, 28 TDs) may not have started 2002 as the Sun Devil's number
one guy, but he has left little doubt as to who will be the starter
for 2003. After throwing for 3877 yards and 28 touchdowns in just
10 starts, Walter looks to improve on those gaudy numbers. The Sun
Devil's offense will squarely rest on his shoulders. Backup Chad
Christensen (24-for-60, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) started Arizona State's first
4 games last season.
Why #1? - Andrew Walter might be the best Quarterback in the nation
with an experienced backup.
A big reason
behind the last year's 13-1 season had to do with the play of All-American
quarterback David Greene (58% comp, 22TDs, 8 INTs). Also, at the
Bulldogs' espousal is the multidimensional D.J. Shockley (61%, 5
TDs - 2 rushing TDs). Despite last year's ankle injury, Shockley
saw action in 10 games.
Why #2 - Last year's quarterback carousel may have cost Georgia
its only loss, and unless Coach Richt has good reason to insert
DJ Shockley, any change could hurt as much as it helps.
1-2 punch at Quarterback might also be the most competitive in the
country. Half of the reason is due to the steady play of projected
starter Kyle Orton (2257, 12 TDs). Orton capped off a decent 2002
season with an impressive performance in the Sun Bowl. Competing
with Orton for the starting job is Brandon Kirsch. The more athletic
Kirsch (1067 passing yards) rushed for 423 yards on 72 carries -
making him a great change of pace for Joe Tiller if need be.
Why #3 - The Boilermakers might be the only team who would suffer
virtually no drop off from one quarterback to the next.
After a very
successful freshman campaign, Paul Pinegar returns for his 2nd season
as not only the starter for the Bulldogs but also as one of the
top young Quarterbacks in the entire country. In his freshman season
Pinegar threw for 2929 yards and 20 touchdowns while leading the
Bulldogs to a 9-3 record under his watch. Providing depth will be
last years opening day starter Jeff Grady. Grady has 2 starts under
his belt from last year before making way to Pinegar as the full-time
Why #4? - While Jeff Grady might not have wowed anyone with his
performance last year, experience is never taken for granted especially
if one of the more promising young quarterbacks (Pinagar) goes down
battle may go well into August, but no matter whom the Aggies go
with there will be good talent on the bench as well as the field.
The versatile and explosive Reggie McNeal possesses the most potential
of the two. He is most remembered for single-handedly slicing and
dicing his way through the vaunted Oklahoma defense to the tune
of 30 points, 86 rushing yards, 190 passing yards and four touchdown
passes. Dustin Long (2500, 19 TDs) on the other hand carries more
experience, and, though not as athletic, still gets the job done
as a more traditional drop-back quarterback.
Why #5? - If Reggie McNeal does eventually start, then it will only
be a matter of time before he performs up to his lofty expectations
while Dustin Long is to be considered one of the best backups in
Just Missed: Washington
best quarterback in the country - Cody Pickett alone would be enough
to consider Washington as one of the best QB units. Backup Corey
Paus looks like a future star, but will be lacking the same high
level needed just in case Pickett has to miss any time.
Could be there: Miami
looks like he has the edge on Derrick Crudup for the starting job
at Miami. Regardless, either would be considered one of the top
backups in the country while the other will have future NFL talent
to give the ball (or vice versa). With a month or two of experience,
the Canes could easily penetrate and have one of the better quarterback
units in the country.