Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley and Jameis Winston are gone, leaving massive voids at three power programs. With another year of turnover under center comes another year of new faces in new places.
So Athlon Sports takes its best shot at projecting each of the Power 5 programs starting quarterback for 2015, and most importantly, where they came from.
As National Signing Day approaches, here are some intriguing geographical facts to consider about the projected starting quarterbacks from the top 65 programs in college football (including Notre Dame) for '15.
Bragging about how good your league’s quarterbacks are really is all about conference supremacy. In the ACC, 11 of the 14 starting QBs are from East of the Mississippi and nine are from states touching the Atlantic Ocean. Seven starters from the Big 12 are from Texas and eight are from the Big 12 footprint. Out West, all but one Pac-12 starter is from West of Colorado with 10 coming from within the footprint. The SEC features 10 starters from the conference footprint, two more from border states (OH, NC) and only Texas A&M’s Kyle Allen hailing from outside of the region. Despite having the biggest conference footprint, from both a geographical and population standpoint, the Big Ten is the only league with issues at this position. Only six of 14 projected B1G signal callers hail from the B1G footprint.
Pennsylvania was once a hotbed for Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, Jim Kelly, Joe Namath, Johnny Lujack and even Rich Gannon came from the Keystone State. Entering 2015, not one Power 5 team projects to have a starter from Pennsylvania.
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Big Three (or four)
California (10), Texas (10) and Florida (6) have long been the riches recruiting hotbeds and that appears to be the case once again. Of 65 Power 5 teams, 26 feature projected starters from one of these three states. Add in Georgia (6) and basically half of the big school starting QBs hail from four states (32 of 65). The interesting question is what to make of Florida. Six schools will feature a starter from the Sunshine State but only one (Florida) is in-state or considered a national power. The other five programs with starters from Florida? Iowa, Iowa State, NC State, Duke and Wake Forest.
Southeast and East Coast dominate
When it comes to producing talent, it’s hard to argue that the Southeast is where the best prep football is being played. The SEC and Big Ten both brag 11 different states in their footprint but the southeastern footprint is dramatically out-producing the Midwest and Rust Belt. Of the 65 Power 5 starters, 32 hail from the SEC footprint while the B1G footprint produced just nine. Additionally, only two states, not housing a Power 5 team produced a Power 5 quarterback: Delaware (Darius Wade, Boston College) and Nevada (Anu Solomon, Arizona). Here is a breakdown of where starting QBs come from:
* - there is overlap as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky count as both ACC and SEC. Texas is both Big 12 and SEC.
Kevin Hogan’s journey
Only five of the 65 power programs traveled farther than 2,000 miles to land their starting quarterback. Stanford went the farthest of anyone to land Kevin Hogan, going 2,788 miles from Palo Alto to McLean, Va. In fact, only 16 of 65 Power 5 teams went more than 1,000 miles to get their starter. Here is the list:
Los Angelos, CA
West Hills, CA
Winter Park, FL
Fort Worth, TX
Lake Travis, TX
Luke Del Rio
Highland Ranch, CO
Wichita Falls, TX
Rock Hill, SC
Here are the projected starters from the Power 5 schools broken up state by state. These are extremely early educated guesses at who will be starting for the biggest programs in college football. And where they came from:
Cody Kessler, Brad Kaaya, Jared Goff, Mike Bercovici, Josh Rosen, Travis Wilson, Nate Sudfeld, Jeff Lockie, Tyler Ferguson, Hayden Rettig
Trevone Boykin, J.T. Barrett, Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Seth Russell, Tommy Armstrong, Skyler Howard, Tyrone Swoopes, Michael Cummings, Michael Brewer
Jacoby Brissett, Jake Rudock, Treon Harris, Sam Richardson, Thomas Sirk, John Wolford
Deshaun Watson, Josh Dobbs, Anthony Jennings, Brice Ramsey, Johnny McCrary, Greyson Lambert
Connor Cook, Maty Mauk, Malik Zaire, Austin Appleby
Justin Thomas, Jacob Coker, Jeremy Johnson
Christian Hackenberg, Kevin Hogan
Mason Rudolph, Caleb Rowe
Marquise Williams, Connor Mitch
Cyler Miles, Luke Del Rio
Dak Prescott, Zack Oliver
Terrel Hunt, Chad Kelly