College Football QBs We Wish We Got to Watch in Spring Games
In the overall picture of college football, spring games don't really matter. The scrimmages are a low-pressure end to the valuable stretch of practices and workouts in March and April.
Nevertheless, football fans are missing out.
As with every spring, 2020 would've offered an early look at quarterbacks expected to hold pivotal roles in the fall. We would've closely monitored a group of signal-callers in new circumstances—both through roster departures or transfers.
Provided the regular season is played as expected, these players will remain among the most notable to watch. The spring, unfortunately, will not provide any on-field updates about them.
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Throughout the spring, I would've consistently said to remember Mac Jones will likely be Alabama's starter this fall.
That wouldn't have changed the intrigue around Bryce Young.
Considered the No. 2 player in the 2020 class, the quarterback enrolled early in Tuscaloosa after a brilliant high school career. Young racked up 4,528 yards and 58 touchdowns to six interceptions as a senior, also scampering for 357 yards and 10 scores.
We were eager to see Young's performance in comparison to Jones, a quality starter in relief of Tua Tagovailoa last season.
Feleipe Franks, QB, Arkansas
You know the phrase "you can't lose your job because of injury"? Well, it's not true. Feleipe Franks is the latest reminder.
The two-year starter appeared in three games for Florida last season, but a broken ankle ended his junior year. In the meantime, Kyle Trask emerged as a reliable player. After the Gators finished 10-2 in the regular season, Franks decided to transfer and eventually picked Arkansas.
Fitting, because the Razorbacks needed a fresh start too.
Last year, Arkansas quarterbacks combined for 5.7 yards per attempt and threw 15 interceptions to 14 touchdowns. Franks had an opportunity to establish himself as the no-doubt starter in spring practice—right up until he didn't.
Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia
National contender, new quarterback. Why wouldn't we be interested in Jamie Newman at Georgia?
After a successful year at Wake Forest, the graduate transfer jumped at the chance to replace Jake Fromm in Athens. Newman threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns to 11 interceptions last season, adding 574 yards and six scores on the ground.
But the competition must wait.
Although Newman is the expected starter, he must officially beat out Stetson Bennett, Carson Beck and D'Wan Mathis.
Myles Brennan, QB, LSU
Joe Burrow threw a record 60 touchdowns, led LSU to a national title and is the expected No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft.
Have fun following him!
Myles Brennan is preparing for that unenviable task in 2020. A former top recruit, he has patiently waited for three seasons, attempting just 70 passes during that time.
On the bright side, Brennan will have a stellar target. LSU returns All-American wideout Ja'Marr Chase after a 20-touchdown year. Brennan's connection with Chase, as well as Terrace Marshall Jr., would've been tracked closely in LSU's spring game.
D'Eriq King, QB, Miami
Recently, Miami has fallen maddeningly short of expectations because of an inconsistent offense. Last year, the 'Canes ranked 128th in sacks allowed and 129th in third-down conversion rate.
Manny Diaz will hope new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and quarterback D'Eriq King change that trend.
King transferred from Houston after taking advantage of the four-game redshirt rule. Prior to that limited 2019 season, he assembled a sensational junior year. King passed for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for 674 yards and 14 scores in 2018.
Although the Lashlee-King combination remains one of the more exciting storylines for 2020, the debut is on hold.
Dylan McCaffrey, QB, Michigan
When Shea Patterson's roller-coaster career at Michigan ended, Dylan McCaffrey shifted into a long-awaited place in the spotlight. Jim Harbaugh said he planned to play both in 2019, but McCaffrey ended up with only 20 attempts on the season.
As the Wolverines lost meaningful road games yet again, clamors for McCaffrey grew louder. The backup quarterback is the most popular guy in town, after all.
But how would he perform when considered the favorite to start?
Instead of seeing the initial results of the competition between McCaffrey and Joe Milton, we won't have any hints until the fall.
Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
Over the last three seasons, Oklahoma has celebrated three Big 12 titles, two Heisman Trophy winners (Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray) and the 2019 runner-up (Jalen Hurts).
Spencer Rattler has some challenging acts to follow, huh?
In a redshirt year, the 5-star quarterback made three appearances in blowouts. He finished 7-of-11 for 81 yards and rushed for 23 yards. Despite that limited playing time, Rattler entered the spring as the favorite in the competition against Tanner Mordecai.
Lincoln Riley likely wouldn't have announced a starter in April anyway, but Rattler could've solidified himself as the top option and showed it during the spring game.
Tyler Shough, QB, Oregon
Since Oregon could have a tremendous defense in 2020, the team's upside hinges on the performance of the offense. The Ducks, however, must replace NFL-bound Justin Herbert.
Tyler Shough served as the backup last season, completing 12 of 15 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns. None of his appearances happened in meaningful snaps, though. The spring would've been the nation's introduction to Shough.
In the meantime, he must settle for a tentative No. 1 spot on the depth chart.
"We think Tyler Shough did an outstanding job in the spring," coach Mario Cristobal told reporters. "He entered the spring as the starter; he leaves the spring as the starter."