Here is a breakdown of the Top 10 SEC Quarterbacks coming into the 2008 Season:
1. Tim Tebow (Florida, Junior): The Heisman trophy winner recorded an outstanding 55 touchdowns last season. Expectations are even higher this season, now that we know what he is capable of. With a disappointing bowl game loss against Michigan, Tebow is anxious to get back on the field and contend for the BCS Championship game. With his play-making abilities, this quarterback very well could be the Heisman winner again this season.
2. Matthew Stafford (Georgia, Junior): Stafford isn’t flashy and doesn’t wow you with amazing plays often, but gets the job done. Each year he has shown improvements and is key if the Bulldogs plan on making a national title run. Stafford needs a target receiver he can rely on to make over par plays. This solid quarterback along with Moreno could be the ones to lead the Dawgs back to the long awaited Promised Land.
3. Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee, Junior): Crompton is the perfect replacement for Erik Ainge. He has looked great this spring and looks about ready to take leadership of the Vols offense. With only some experience at quarterback it should be interested to see if he can carry his spring performances into when it counts.
4. John Parker Wilson (Alabama, Senior): This Senior quarterback has had an up and down career at Bama. We have seem him make some great plays and seen some not so great plays. Last season he started very strong until an end of the season collapse where he threw 7 interceptions in the last five games. I see Wilson being a smarter quarterback this season, learning from his mistakes over the years, and leading Bama to 8 or 9 wins.
5. Chris Nickson (Vanderbilt, Senior): Don’t be confused by Nickson’s “off-season” last year, he was plagued by injuries. As a sophomore he put up 24 touchdowns and compiled 2,779 yards. Nickson is a straight up athlete, which drives defenses crazy because they don’t know if he is going to pass or run. Look for this Alabama native to bounce back and post better numbers than he did two seasons ago.
6. Kodi Burns (Auburn, Sophomore): Burns’ has yet to get his first start, but with a new offensive coordinator he fits just right with the spread offense. The Tigers are expected to put up a bunch of points and this is the guy that’s going to have a huge part in that. This sophomore might be the best unseen talent coming out of the SEC this season. Expect for the kid to make a name for himself and put his team into SEC title contention.
7. Chris Smelley (South Carolina, Junior): Right now Spurrier has Tommy Beecher ahead of him on the depth chart but there is an unclear starter. Based on previous experience Smelley put up pretty good numbers last season before getting mysteriously benched. He threw for 9 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 1,136 yards, with a 127.5 QB rating in 5 games. It should be interesting to see if The Ole Ball Coach gives him the nod in their season opener against N.C. State.
8. Jevan Snead (Ole Miss, Sophomore): There is much talk around the town about the sophomore Texas transfer, who fans hope can be their next Eli. His mobility and strong arm could have the Rebels winning a couple more games than a season before. One piece to the puzzle won’t make them better overnight but, it definitely could be a good start.
9. Casey Dick (Arkansas, Senior): We know Casey for mainly just handing the ball off to D-Mac and Felix Jones. However, with Petrino in town, expect him to have the most passes of his career and finally have the opportunity to show that Arkansas has a quarterback. I expect the senior to throw surprising numbers and maybe not have quite the down season that is expected. He will need help from his wide receivers and having his 4th offensive coordinator in 4 years must be confusing. With it being his turn to shine, we should hear his name being called a bit more than a season ago.
10. Jarrett Lee (LSU, Freshman): I know, this guy wasn’t ever going to see the playing field this season and probably wasn’t going to till his junior year if it wasn’t for the dismissal of Ryan Perrilloux. But, Lee wasn’t the seventh best quarterback coming out of high school for no reason. This pro-style QB out of Texas not only is talented but is surrounded by great talent too. If LSU wants to make back to back runs at a BCS title, Lee will have to get comfortable right away, which might be too much to ask of a freshman quarterback.