North Dakota State's Trey Lance is one of the quarterbacks to watch during the 2020 college football season (assuming there is one amid the COVID-19 pandemic).
And despite playing for a smaller school, Lance is already garnering big comparisons. The NFL Network's draft guru, Daniel Jeremiah, sees a lot of Andrew Luck in Lance's game:
"I know Luck is a little bit bigger, but they are similar athletes and they both played with a maturity beyond their age at the collegiate level. I remember watching Luck run over defenders. I also remember being so impressed with his ability to execute on key plays in every game. I see the same things when I study Lance. More than anything else, these are two guys who exude confidence on the field. They are fearless, but they avoid being reckless. That's a very delicate balance. Luck was on his way to a Hall of Fame career before shocking the football world and retiring a year ago. I don't have quite the same grade on Lance, but he could get there with continued growth and development."
Lance has good size for the position (6'3", 224 lbs) and had an excellent 2019 season, throwing for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 66.9 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 scores.
Those are massive numbers on their own. But don't ignore that North Dakota State has also become something of a burgeoning quarterback factory in recent years. Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Carson Wentz is an NDSU alum. So is Los Angeles Chargers' fifth-round pick Easton Stick.
And Jeremiah isn't alone in being high on Lance:
Fran Duffy @EaglesXOs
Scariest part about Trey Lance is the arrow is only pointing up. Example of a play he makes for a TD that didn’t have to be quite as hard, but it worked anyway. Reading defenses, both pre- & post-snap, comes with more reps. Can’t wait to watch him over next few years in college! https://t.co/vEQtArm7Xw
Bucky Brooks @BuckyBrooks
The QB1 of the 2021 draft is expected to be a battle between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. However, @MoveTheSticks and I believe another QB (Trey Lance) should be included in the conversation. We had a lively discussion on the MTS podcast today.. https://t.co/mEHnCGtmDe
Comparing him to Luck is major praise. Before shocking the world by retiring before the age of 30, Luck was a four-time Pro Bowler who had thrown for 4,593 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2018, completing 67.3 percent of his passes.
If Lance ends up being anything close to Luck, he'll have had a successful career and made an organization very happy. For now, of course, he has to prove his superb 2019 season wasn't a fluke.