Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, and Colt McCoy. Two Heisman Trophy winners between the three and three names that come to mind when talking about top quarterbacks in the nation.
But two other names that fly under the radar are two quarterbacks playing in the state of Michigan and neither attend Michigan or Michigan State. Western Michigan's Tim Hiller and Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour are among the tops of quarterbacks in the country.
Last season, Hiller completed 64.9 percent of his passes and led the Mid-American Conference with 3,725 yards and 36 touchdown passes. Hiller led a Bronco offense that was ranked 11th in the nation in passing offense.
Hiller has already broken or is close to breaking many Western Michigan passing records. Last season, he broke WMU's single-season record for pass attempts, completions, yards, and touchdown passes, while leading the Broncos to the Texas Bowl, their second bowl game in three seasons.
Hiller can impress NFL scouts with his 6'5" 230 pound frame and scouts love his arm strength and decision making and some are even saying if he has a season like 2008, Hiller could be the first quarterback taken in the 2010 NFL Draft. Some scouts say his arm strength is better than Bradford's and McCoy's.
As for LeFevour, scouts rave about him as he's everything you look for in a NFL quarterback. LeFevour stands at 6'3" and weighs 226 pounds and is mobile at times. LeFevour came into the scene as a freshman in 2007 and has failed to disappoint Chippewa nation.
Since LeFevour has taken over, he's led CMU to two MAC Championships and three-straight Motor City Bowl appearances. LeFevour was the Motor City Bowl MVP in 2006 when CMU beat Middle Tennessee State 31-14.
LeFevour completed 251 of 376 passes (67 percent) last season for 2,784 yards with 21 touchdowns and being picked off only six times and he only played in only 10 games due to injury. He missed games against rival Western Michigan and Indiana. He also become only the second quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in 2007.
Former Texas and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young was the first to accomplish that feat.
Both Hiller and LeFevour are ranked very high as Hiller is ranked No. 5 top senior quarterback by NFL.com and LeFevour is No. 3 on that same list. LeFevour is also ranked No. 2 on Mel Kiper's best quarterbacks, just behind Bradford and many have hinted him as a Heisman candidate.
Hiller and LeFevour will have an interesting 2009 as they'll both led their respective teams to fight for a MAC Championship. They also will see some great competition as WMU faces three Big Ten teams (Michigan, Michigan State, and Indiana) and CMU will face the likes of Arizona, Michigan State, and Boston College. Western Michigan and Central Michigan will do battle on Oct. 17 in Kalamazoo.
Tebow, Bradford, and McCoy will be among the top quarterbacks this season, but some might want to look at two rival quarterbacks in Michigan as well.