June 10, 2009
Part two of the ACC Unit rankings series looks at the rankings of the quarterback units of each ACC team.
Check out the completed rankings.
The Wolfpack are loaded at the quarterback position. As only a redshirt freshman quarterback, Russel Wilson was named First Team All-ACC. In 275 attempts, Wilson only threw one interception and led the ACC in passing efficiency.
A threat to run as well, Wilson had almost 400 yards rushing in 2008. As a backup, the Wolfpack have Mike Glennon a four-star quarterback from the class of 2008. Glennon is more a traditional dropback passer, and at 6'6" has great height for a quarterback.
2) Wake Demon Deacons
Riley Skinner has been underrated his whole college career. Wake Forest was one of his only Division One offers. The fact is Skinner is one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC. In 2007, he led the nation in completion percentage, and during his career has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes.
Skinner is not overly athletic, but is a good decision-maker in Jim Grobe's offense, and was part of a 2007 Deac squad that won the ACC. Behind Skinner it's a little thin. Wake Forest doesn't have a backup who's thrown a pass in college. Sophomore Sklyar Jones has some running ability and is the likely backup.
3) Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles might have finally found the quarterback they've been looking for since Chris Wienke left earlier this decade. Christian Ponder showed plenty of potential last season, leading Florida State to nine wins last season. He threw for over 2,000 yards, and as a second-year stater should improve quite a bit.
Ponder also has good mobility and ran for 423 yards last year. After Ponder is a five-star redshirt freshman E.J. Manuel. Manuel broke a finger on the first day of spring practice, and didn't get to play during the spring.
4) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Josh Nesbitt, an atheltic quarterback with a powerful arm, runs the show in Paul Johnson's triple option offense. At the beginning of the year Nesbitt got by on his athleticism, but the end of the year, he really began to master the offense, to the tune of over 800 rushing yards in Tech's final two regular season games.
Nesbitt will not be asked to throw much but will need to improve on a 43.9 completion percentage. What I like about Tech is that they have some experience at backup.
Jaybo Shaw started in a victory over Duke throwing for 230 yards, and played most of the game in a win over Missippii State. Not the runner Nesbitt is, he is a more accurate passer. Tevin Washingtion is the likely third string quarterback.
5) Virginia Tech Hokies
Tyrod Taylor is one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks in the ACC. He threw for over 1,000 yards and ran for over 700. Over the last couple of years, Taylor split time with Sean Glennon at quarterback, but now he's the full-time starter, and I expect him to take some giant strides this season.
Not a lot of experience is behind Taylor. Joseph "Ju Ju" Clayton is the most likely second stringer. Clayton had over 2,100 yards passing and 22 touchdowns his senior year in high school.
6) Duke Blue Devils
Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis would be a household name if he played at any other school. Lewis has experience. He's started 34 games. Last season Lewis threw for 2,171 yards 15 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He ranked fifth in the ACC in quarterback efficiency.
The Blue Devil's roster offers more than Lewis, though. Sean Renfree is a four-star quarterback out of Arizona, signed in 2008, who will be groomed to be the starter in 2010.
7) North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels have the potential to be third or fourth on this list if quarterback T.J. Yates can stay healthy.
What are the Tar Heels at quarterback? Do they have an injury prone starter, with little experience at backup or do they have the best dropback passer in the conference, with a four-star quarterback as backup just needing to get reps?
T.J Yates missed five games last season, but in games he played he had a 153.6 passer efficiency rating. Mike Paulus, the four-star 2007 recruit, has talent but was inconsistent in spot duty last year.
8) Miami Hurricanes
Right now, Miami is down the list, but like North Carolina, there is plenty of potential at the position. In a mistake by the Miami staff in my opinion, Harris split time with former Miami player Robert Marve.
Harris was inconsistent, but he has that something extra, that makes me believe, he will be a breakout player in 2009. Harris led late comebacks victories over Virginia and Duke last year. Taylor Cook will be probably be the backup. He's 6'7", but has no collegiate experience.
9) Maryland Terrapins
The Terrapins have experience coming back at quarterback in Chris Turner. Turner has started three straight seasons for the Terps. Last year he passed for 2,516 yards and 13 touchdowns, but he also had 11 interceptions.
Turner doesn't wow you with his talent, but is a very effective quarterback. Backup Jamarr Robinson didn't throw a pass last season.
10) Clemson Tigers
Coming out of the spring game the Tigers are not even sure who's going to be their starter.
Will it be Kyle Parker or Willie Korn? Big-time 2009 recruit Tajh Boyd is recovering from ACL surgery. Korn has been on campus since 2007, but hasn't distinguished himself.
I can say from attending Clemson's spring game, Parker is ahead of Korn at this time. Parker looked more comfortable in the pocket and made better reads. Korn was good, but wasn't anything special.
Coach Dabo Swinney has plenty to work out at this position before the season starts.
11) Virginia Cavaliers
The Cavaliers have just as many question marks at quarterback as the Clemson Tigers do.
With the Cavs new spread offense, who will the quarterback?
Is it Jameel Sewell; back after a one year suspension. He has started 22 games.
Is it Marc Verica, who started several games, but threw 16 interceptions?
Is it converted cornerback Vic Hall? Hall was a tremendous high school quarterback and looks to be the No. 1 guy at the moment.
12) Boston College Eagles
Even Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani says, "Quarterback is the biggest question mark on our team right now."
After being suspended by the team, sophomore Dominique Davis decided to transfer and redshirt freshman Justin Tuggle may be the starter this season.
The Eagles just signed 25 year old David Shinskie, as a quarterback to add some depth.
Spaziani has a real challenge at this position.