Introducing 10 Freshman QBs Who Could Make Debuts in 2013

Randy ChambersAnalyst IApril 30, 2013

Introducing 10 Freshman QBs Who Could Make Debuts in 2013

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    Freshman quarterbacks in college football have helped change the game. In the past, a kid fresh out of high school would have to wait a couple seasons and pay his dues. Now, freshmen are game-ready and often become some of the nation's best quarterbacks.

    Whether it was Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota or Brett Hundley last season, teams are now looking for that next great young player who can start right away. With quarterback competitions taking place and players pushing each other during the offseason, we are sure to see a few talented freshman quarterbacks play in 2013.

    No matter whether they win the job in the fall or take over in the middle of the season, here are 10 freshmen who could soon introduce themselves to the college football world.

Maty Mauk, Missouri

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    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    It is surprising that Missouri is having a quarterback battle when James Franklin is still on the roster. And while Franklin should end up winning the starting job, he likely won't be the only one throwing the football. With Franklin spending most of last season injured, Maty Mauk, another dual-threat QB, will be waiting in the wings in case that happens again.

    Mauk is a lot like Franklin, as he has tremendous speed and can hurt you with his legs. He isn't as physical as Franklin, but he's adept at buying extra time in the pocket and displays terrific mobility. He isn't polished as a passer, but he does have that knack for making something out of nothing like a Johnny Manziel.

    Franklin gives Missouri the best chance to win, but Mauk will see playing time at some point.

Bart Houston, Wisconsin

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    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Wisconsin finished 115th in the country in passing yards last season. With new head coach Gary Anderson, there was sure to be a quarterback battle in Madison.

    Bart Houston is still considered the underdog behind Joel Stave and JUCO transfer Tanner McEvoy, but don't let that fool you. Houston has the tools to help the Badgers fix those passing issues, as he possesses a rocket for an arm and has a nice delivery as well. With great size at 6'3", Houston simply looks like a quarterback who could be starting right now.

    Wisconsin hasn't had much passing success recently, and that could remain the case until new blood enters the mix. Houston may be just what this offense needs to help put it over the top.

Nathan Peterman, Tennessee

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    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Tennessee has a new coaching staff, and with Tyler Bray no longer in the picture, the Vols are searching for a quarterback. There isn't much experience available, as Nathan Peterman and junior Justin Worley are the front-runners.

    Worley is the most experienced quarterback on the roster, but he's only thrown 63 passes. Peterman is more athletic and has that gunslinger mentality He does a nice job of rolling out of the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield, and he can throw the ball with terrific velocity.

    It has been a long time since the Vols have had an elite quarterback, and while Peterman may not be it, he would add needed excitement to the offense.

Chad Voytik, Pittsburgh

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    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    There may not be a more exciting young quarterback than Chad Voytik. At barely 6'0", Voytik does a little bit of everything and is a treat to watch. The ball flies out of his hand, as he has a quick release and can deliver the ball with pinpoint accuracy. He also displays good pocket presence and avoids the rush by stepping up and out of the pocket.

    If Voytik were a little taller and had the look of a "traditional" quarterback, he would be receiving a lot more love. The Pittsburgh quarterback competition remains wide open, but after completing 27 of 33 passes in the spring game, don't be surprised if Voytik is starting the regular season for the Panthers.

Patton Robinette, Vanderbilt

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    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Vanderbilt has likely found a starting quarterback in Austyn Carta-Samuels, but don't be surprised if you see Patton Robinette taking snaps as well this season.

    Robinette has had a solid spring practice and was able to top it off with a productive spring-game performance. He shows great touch throwing the ball and has remarkable footwork. For somebody who is 6'4", he also has underrated athleticism and can make plays with his feet.

    Robinette looks good in the pocket and will continue to push Carta-Samuels for the starting job throughout fall camp. Whatever the result, Robinette is too talented to keep on the bench for long.

Ford Childress, West Virginia

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    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Ford Childress is the son of Ray Childress, who was a defensive lineman in the NFL and appeared in five Pro Bowls with the Houston Oilers. Those great bloodlines should come in handy as Childress attempts to replace Geno Smith.

    Childress has good size at 6'4" and throws the ball with a lot of velocity. He does a nice job of moving around in the pocket for a guy his size and displays above-average arm strength when pushing the ball downfield.

    The redshirt freshman seems like a smart quarterback, but he must continue to fend off junior Paul Millard for the starting job. Childress seems ready to take on the task.

Jameis Winston, Florida State

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    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    With Clint Trickett transferring, Jameis Winston is the overwhelming favorite to start for the Seminoles. If you need to get familiar with the talented signal-caller, you can click here to see just what this kid is about.

    Winston has the size (6'4"), athletic ability and the ridiculously strong arm to make all of the throws. Like similar-sized dual-threat quarterback Cam Newton before him, Winston will be a favorite of NFL scouts. The possibilities for his career are endless.

    If there is any freshman quarterback to get excited about this fall, he is it.

Anu Solomon, Arizona

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    Class: True Freshman

    An intense quarterback battle is raging in Arizona, and it will only become more intense when freshman Anu Solomon enrolls this fall.

    Missing spring ball will hurt Solomon, but as far as elusiveness and playmaking ability, he will thrive in Rich Rodriguez's spread offense. His size, at 6'1", 200 pounds, is not ideal, but he has great footwork and can  put the ball on the numbers. Solomon also plays with a confidence that is contagious.

    It's going to be an uphill battle for him to earn playing time right away. However, if he can quickly make an impression on the coaching staff, it won't be long before he is in the lineup.

Christian Hackenberg, Penn State

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    Class: True Freshman

    Head coach Bill O'Brien showed last season that he can quickly turn around a quarterback, as he was able to get fine production out of Matthew McGloin. He won't have to do nearly as much work with Christian Hackenberg.

    Hackenberg has everything you look for in a traditional pocket passer. The size at 6'4", the strong arm, accuracy and the ability to read and adjust to defenses. He makes quick throws, has a strong delivery and can roll out of the pocket and buy himself extra time.

    The talented 2013 recruit may have to wait his turn while JUCO transfer Tyler Ferguson starts the regular season, but Hackenberg will be given an honest shot to start as a true freshman.  

Max Browne, USC

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    Class: True Freshman

    The USC quarterback competition will come down to the end. With several guys to choose from, Lane Kiffin and his staff must get it right with so much heat riding on the upcoming season.

    Regardless of who is picked as the opening-week starter, Max Browne is sure to see playing time throughout the year. Considered the second-best pro-style quarterback by 247Sports, Browne has the look of the next great USC offensive leader. With the arm strength, accuracy and high football IQ, Browne is college-ready and should be able to give the Trojans a spark.