College Football's Most Underrated Quarterbacks Heading into Week 3
All college football fans are familiar with names like Johnny Manziel, Braxton Miller, Teddy Bridgewater, Aaron Murray, Marcus Mariota and AJ McCarron. But who are some of the underrated quarterbacks that are making names for themselves so far this year?
While we are only two weeks into the 2013 college football season, some quarterbacks who most have not even heard of have started to emerge.
These names might be in the national spotlight by the end of the season—similar to what Mariota and Manziel went through last year.
But which 10 quarterbacks are the most underrated in college football so far this season?
These are signal-callers who were not well-known heading into 2013 but have proved to be worthy of national recognition.
Check out the 10 most underrated quarterbacks in college football heading into Week 3.
*All stats via ESPN.com. This slideshow has been modified from its original published form to reflect the results of the Thursday night game between Texas Tech and TCU.
10. Jared Goff, California
Replacing a quarterback as talented as Zach Maynard is not easy to do, but California starter Jared Goff is certainly making it seem that way.
He has passed for more than 440 yards in each of the first two Golden Bears games this season.
So far on the year, Goff has totaled 935 yards passing, which leads the country by a wide margin. He has also thrown four touchdowns and three interceptions.
The freshman would be higher on the list if not for two costly interceptions in the 44-30 loss against Northwestern in Week 1.
Still, he will be a name heard throughout the Pac-12 all season long.
9. Bryce Petty, Baylor
Bryce Petty is another quarterback who has big shoes to fill. The junior took over for Nick Florence and has not disappointed thus far.
He has gone over 310 yards passing in each of the first two games.
In total, he has passed for 650 yards with five touchdowns (one rushing) and no interceptions. While those stats have come against the likes of Wofford and Buffalo at home, it is still hard to deny the success this kid has had.
After hardly playing the past couple of years at Baylor, Petty has filled in nicely, complemented by a talented running game behind him.
There is no question he's one of the top quarterbacks in the Big 12.
8. Keith Wenning, Ball State
Ball State senior quarterback Keith Wenning is one of the most experienced players on the list.
Wenning has been the starting signal-caller for four seasons now, and it is looking like 2013 is going to be his best season yet.
He has passed for 340 and 325 yards in each of the first two games this season. His 665 yards through the air rank 10th in the country.
Wenning has also thrown five touchdowns with no interceptions.
Ball State could be a sleeper in the MAC, led by a senior quarterback who has already thrown for nearly 8,000 yards in his career.
7. C.J. Brown, Maryland
Maryland senior C.J. Brown is the first dual-threat quarterback on the list.
Brown has been excellent so far this season in two Maryland victories. He has thrown for 556 yards while completing 34-of-45 passes. Throw in five touchdowns and no interceptions, and he's virtually flawless.
What allows Brown to be so high on the list is his ability to do damage with his legs.
On just 15 carries, he has rushed for 135 yards and four touchdowns.
6. Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech
It is not often that a walk-on quarterback starts his first collegiate game as a true freshman, but that was the case in late August for Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield has shined in his first three collegiate games while filling in for the injured Michael Brewer.
So far, he has passed for 996 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions. He has also rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries.
He did struggle on Thursday night, completing 21 of 40 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. He left the 20-10 victory over No. 24 TCU in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury. Davis Webb relieved Baker and threw a go-ahead touchdown pass that proved to be the difference.
Baker's best game, by far, came in the season opener against SMU, where he completed 43 of 60 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns. He also had a rushing TD.
5. Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
After an awful junior season that featured only four touchdown passes to eight interceptions, Illinois senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is off to a fast start in 2013.
He has already totaled six touchdowns and only one pick. Yardage has also been easy to come by. Scheelhaase has passed for 728 yards, including a 416-yard performance against Southern Illinois in Week 1.
Against a much better Cincinnati defense in Week 2, he passed for 312 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
Don’t look now, but this kid has the potential to have an All-Conference season if he keeps playing the way he is.
4. Brett Smith, Wyoming
The Mountain West is filled with very talented quarterbacks. One of those names is Wyoming junior Brett Smith.
Smith is off to a fast start this season through two games, having passed for 678 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions so far.
Unlike a lot of other players on the list, those stats have come against at least one solid team. In the season opener against Nebraska, Smith completed 29-of-43 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns with only one interception.
Look for Smith to have a huge junior season for the Cowboys in 2013.
3. Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Indiana sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld might just be the man to lead Indiana to a bowl appearance in 2013.
He showed plenty of promise in 2012 as a true freshman.
In 2013, he has started off fast once again. So far in two games, Sudfeld has passed for 582 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
In a loss against a talented Navy team in Week 2, Sudfeld threw for 363 yards with four touchdowns and an interception, completing 31-of-42 passes.
Those are impressive numbers, and we should be seeing more of the same throughout the season.
2. Derek Carr, Fresno State
There are few quarterbacks in the country who are better pure passers than Fresno State senior Derek Carr.
The third-year starter is proving that once again this season.
So far, he has passed for 661 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception. He might be the most well-known player on the list, but still does not get nearly the recognition he deserves.
In a 52-51 overtime victory against Rutgers to kick off the season, Carr threw was 52-of-72 for 456 yards with five touchdowns and an interception.
He has a chance to go over 4,500 yards and 45 touchdowns this season, particularly if Fresno State is not blowing teams out, forcing him to sit out late in games.
1. Chuckie Keeton, Utah State
Topping the list is a guy who can do it all with the ball in his hands.
Utah State junior Chuckie Keeton is the definition of a dual-threat QB.
So far this season, he has passed for 674 yards with seven touchdowns and an interception. He has also rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown on 23 attempts.
Against a talented Utah team on the road, he completed 31-of-40 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also carried the ball 15 times for 85 yards and a score.
Without question, this guy is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, even if a lot of fans have not heard of him.
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