The quarterback position is always under the spotlight in the SEC, and there's no lack of intrigue surrounding the position for 2021. With standouts like Florida's Kyle Trask and Alabama's Mac Jones off to the NFL, there's room for another wave of stars to emerge this fall. None of the league's returning quarterbacks earned all-conference honors last season, so the preseason vote is a wide-open battle. Alabama's Bryce Young, Georgia's JT Daniels and Ole Miss' Matt Corral are the favorites to take the top spot, but Florida's Emory Jones and Missouri's Connor Bazelak are two others to watch.
Who will be the SEC's top quarterback in 2021? That was the question posed to Athlon editors and college football contributors.
SEC Football: Who is the Top Quarterback in the Conference for 2021?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
This is a tough call between three quarterbacks. Alabama's Bryce Young, Georgia's JT Daniels and Ole Miss' Matt Corral should all be in the discussion to be the No. 1 signal-caller in the league for 2021. Young has the least amount of experience of this trio but also possesses the most upside. Daniels brought a spark to the Bulldogs' offense over the final four games of ’20 and should benefit from a full offseason to work as the starter under coordinator Todd Monken. Corral is going to post monster numbers in coach Lane Kiffin's high-powered offense, but the California native needs to cut down on the mistakes after tossing 14 interceptions last year. I can make a good argument for any of the three at No. 1, but I'll take Corral at the top, followed by Young and then Daniels.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
Ole Miss' Matt Corral should have the stats running Lane Kiffin's high-octane offense with an assist to a generous Rebels defense that will result in plenty of high-scoring affairs, while Alabama's Bryce Young has the high school pedigree and accompanying hype as well as plenty of support from the Crimson Tide's loaded roster. But I'm going to take Georgia's JT Daniels. A top recruit himself, the former USC starter needed some time to fully recover from the devastating knee injury he suffered in the 2019 season opener that eventually led to him coming to Athens. When Daniels finally made his debut for the Bulldogs in late November, all he did was transform the offense and lead the team to four straight wins, including in the Peach Bowl over Cincinnati. Georgia has plenty of skill position talent around Daniels, although the loss of wide receiver George Pickens (ACL) will not be easy to overcome, and he's had a full offseason to become familiar with both his teammates and offensive coordinator Todd Monken's system. As last season showed, Georgia's defense was good enough to win several games on its own merits but in 2021, the Dawgs will have more bite on offense, thanks to Daniels.
Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
The best quarterback in the SEC is a signal-caller who has only thrown 22 passes in college: Alabama's Bryce Young. No, he doesn't have the track record (yet), but he's also the No. 2 overall recruit from the Class of 2020 and the sixth-best QB recruit of all-time, per 247Sports. It may take him a few games to get up to speed, but as we've seen the last few years with Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, Alabama is built to create star quarterbacks. And they've never had a quarterback recruit like Young before. Even with the departure of two first-round receivers and a first-round running back, tight end, and offensive tackle, Young will have plenty of talent surrounding him to help put up a Heisman campaign.
Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB)
I think JT Daniels really delivered last year once he got going with Georgia. I’m inclined to suggest he has what it takes to be the top passer in the SEC in 2021, even if the stats don’t quite reflect that compared to some others around the conference. Georgia's running game will be a strength and will help take some of the pressure off Daniels throughout the season, but Georgia should be able to count on him making the passes he needs to when needed.
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