College Football: The Schools with the Most 9,000-Yard Passers
115 NCAA FBS quarterbacks have accumulated more than 9,000 career passing yards. Which schools have the most?
Although the NCAA only started counting bowl games in 2002, some schools count all bowls in their official records. This list follows the NCAA rules for official stats and may not reflect each universities records.
1. Florida Gators: 5
Most people will probably be surprised to find out that it’s not Texas Tech, Houston, Hawaii, BYU, or other notorious passing schools that have produced the most 9,000 yard passers, but it is instead Florida.
Shane Matthews was the first Gator to eclipse the mark and when he graduated in 1992, his 9,287 yards were good enough to place him at No. 14 all-time, currently No. 95.
Matthews was followed by Danny Wuerrfel four years later. The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion left Gainesville with 10,875 yards, giving him the Gators’ record and No. 5 overall (currently No. 42).
In only three years with Florida, Rex Grossman became the third Gator over 9,000 yards, leaving school with 9,164 yards (No. 40 at the time, currently No. 105).
Florida’s all-time leader passer, Chris Leak (pictured) eclipsed the mark in his career in which he won a National Title in ’06 and threw for 11,213 yards, graduating as No. 17 (now No. 27).
The fifth and final Gator to eclipse 9,000 yards was another Heisman and National Championship winner, Tim Tebow. In his four years, Tebow threw for 9,285 yards, leaving Gainesville at No. 89 (now No. 96).
2. BYU Cougars: 4
Coming in alone at second place is BYU. One of the more notorious passing schools, BYU was ahead of the times when it began setting many of the passing records
The first Cougar to break the 9,000 yard barrier was Jim McMahon. He graduated in 1981 as the NCAA’s all-time leader with 9,536 yards, but is now only No. 82.
The next BYU grad to achieve the feat was its all-time leader and Heisman winner, Ty Detmer (pictured). Like McMahon, Detmer also departed Provo as the NCAA’s No. 1 passer with 15,031 yards. A record he would have for the next 13 years (Timmy Chang). Detmer is now No. 3 (Graham Harrell).
John Beck and Max Hall are the other two Cougars with over 9,000 yards. Graduating in ’06, Beck threw for 11,021 (No. 22 then, No. 34 now). Completing his career in ’09 Hall reached 11,365 yards (No. 22 then, No. 23 now).
3. (tie) Boise State Broncos: 3
Boise State’s first 9,000 yard passer came soon after the Broncos transition into FBS. Bart Hendricks played from ’97-’00 and threw for 9,020 yards putting him at No. 38, but has since dropped to #113.
Ryan Dinwiddie was the second Bronco to reach 9,000 yards, throwing for 9,819 yards in his time in Boise. His mark was good enough for No. 30 in ’03 (now No. 71).
Kellen Moore (pictured) is the most recent Bronco with over 9,000 yards. Reaching the mark during his junior year, Moore currently has 10,867 yards with another year to play. He is already holds the Boise record and will look to crack the top 5 in NCAA history by the end of the season (currently No. 43).
3. (tie) Boston College Eagles: 3
Doug Flutie’s 10,579 yards not only made him BC’s first 9,000 yard passer, it also gave him the NCAA record. In addition, Flutie won the 1984 Heisman after his senior year. He is currently ranked No. 52.
Glenn Foley (pictured) was the next Eagle to pass for more than 9,000 yards. From 1990-93, Foley passed for 10,039 yards placing him No. 7 in ’93 and is currently No. 66.
Matt Ryan was the most recent Boston College player to pass for more than 9,000. His big senior year gave him 9,313 yards and the No. 69 at the end of 2007. He is now No 94.
3. (tie) Duke Blue Devils: 3
Not known for its football prowess, three Blue Devils have reached 9,000 career yards. Ben Bennett was the school’s first QB over the mark, playing from 1980-83. His 9,614 yards were not only good enough to set the record in Durham; they were enough to set the record for the whole country (now No. 78).
The next Duke great was Spence Fischer. Playing in Durham form 1992-95, Fischer just barely met the mark with 9,021 yards. He left school as the No. 23 passer, but has since dropped to No. 112.
Thaddeus Lewis (pictured) set the Duke record in 2009 when he graduated with 10,065. This number, though, was not as impressive for its time as Lewis was only No. 59 at the time (No. 65 now).
3. (tie) Houston Cougars: 3
The other Cougar passing school comes in just below BYU. Houston’s Heisman winning QB, Andre Ware, does not make this list, but three others do.
The first over 9,000 was David Klingler. Finishing his career in 1991, Klingler threw for 9,430 yards, good enough for No. 9 (now 87th).
Kevin Kolb broke Klingler’s school record in 2006 when he left Houston with 12,962 yards. This put him fourth all-time, but since has dropped to eight.
Case Keenum (pictured) has surpassed Kolb’s school record and still has one year left to play. Keenum’s 13,586 yards currently put him in fifth place in NCAA history. Keenum needs only about 3,500 yards to pass Hawaii’s Timmy Chang for No. 1 all-time.
3. (tie) Louisiana Tech Bulldogs: 3
Jason Martin was the first Bulldog passer to reach 9,000 yards, hitting 9,062 yards in his career with Louisiana Tech. He left school as number 25 in the NCAA in 1996 (now 110th).
Tim Rattay (pictured) did not let Martin’s school record last long. He blew past it in the 1999 season, leaving school with 12,746 yards, making him the NCAA’s No. 2 passer (now No. 10).
Luke McCown is the other Louisiana Tech player to eclipse 9,000 career yards. In his four years in Ruston, McCown passed for 12,666 yards, good enough for No. 4 in 2003 (now No. 11).
3. (tie) Oregon State Beavers: 3
Erik Wilhelm was the first to surpass 9,000 yards in Corvallis. He reached 9,383 yards at the end of his career in 1988, placing him at No. 7 at the time. He currently ranks No. 88 on the all-time list.
Jonathan Smith was the second Beaver on the list. He just barely managed to accumulate 9,000 yards (9,106). Upon the completion of his collegiate career in 2001 he placed No. 38 (now No. 109).
Oregon State’s all-time passing leader and third to reach 9,000, is Derek Anderson (pictured). He threw for 11,249 yards in his four year career. At its end in 2004, Anderson was ranked No. 14, but has since dropped to No. 26.
3. (tie) Purdue Boilermakers: 3
Another school known for its passing, at least compared with the rest of the Big-10, three Boilermakers have thrown for over 9,000 yards.
In 1980, Purdue’s Mark Herrmann became the first player to ever accomplish the feat. His 9,188 yards were an unprecedented number for the time; 30 years later he ranks No. 103.
Following Herrmann and breaking his school record, was Drew Brees (pictured). Brees played for the Boilers from 97-00 and threw for 10,909 yards. He still holds the Big-10 and Purdue record with 11,792 yards (the Big-10 counts bowl games even before 2002). At the time he left, according to NCAA rules, he was the No. 9 passer (now No. 40).
Curtis Painter was the next over 9,000. In his four years in West Lafayette, Painter threw for 11,163 yards (but according to Purdue is not its all-time leader, Brees is) finishing his career in 2008 ranked 23rd (now 30th).