Freshmen/JUCO QB Outlook
Athlon continues its 2010 college fantasy draft kit with a look at freshmen, redshirt freshmen and junior college quarterbacks that could contribute this season. # - National Fantasy Quarterback Ranking
Every season, freshmen and junior college recruits step onto campus with an opportunity to start. Which true/redshirt freshmen and JUCO quarterbacks should you target in your fall draft?
1. Jake Heaps, BYU (#47)
Easily the top true freshman fantasy option for 2010 is Mr. Heaps. The No. 1 high school quarterback recruit in the nation last season, the Washington native has a chance to start from day one at one of the most QB-rich schools in the country. Should he pick up the scheme quickly, Heaps could turn into an every week fantasy starter much like the Cougar quarterback is every season. Additionally, he could be more of a threat on the ground than most BYU passers of recent memory. All of this hinges on beating Riley Nelson out for the starting gig.
2. Pete Thomas, Colorado State (#109)
Potentially the highest rated quarterback recruit to ever sign with CSU, Thomas is a tall, pocket-passer who is best suited for a pro-style attack. The strong-armed early enrollee will have to beat out redshirt freshman Nico Ranieri for the starting job. However, keep expectations tempered as he would be controlling what was a mediocre unit — 97th in scoring offense and 79th in total offense last season.
3. Stump Godfrey, New Mexico (#118)
Darian “Stump” Godfrey was recruited specifically to run Mike Lockley’s spread attack. He has electric running ability and can score from any where on the field. He is a big play waiting to happen in the ground game. Unfortunately, he might be a big play waiting to happen in the passing game too — for the opposition. The Texas native will need to develop as a passer if he expects to start all season long.
4. Devin Gardner, Michigan (#125)
Think Denard Robinson blended with Tate Forcier. Gardner is not the athlete Robinson is, nor the passer Forcier is, however, he might be the best overall blend of skill and athletic ability on the Wolverine quarterback depth chart. He is a special talent who fits RichRod’s scheme perfectly. Both Forcier and Robinson will have to hold off this talented frosh this summer.
5. Paul Jones, (#128) / Robert Bolden (#172), Penn State
Both Jones and Bolden were AC100 recruits and both have loads of talent — similar talents. Both are tall, athletic dual-threats who can makes things happen outside of the pocket. Jones has the better arm while Bolden might be quicker. Kevin Newsome has not sewn up the starting job like many anticipated, so there could be room for these two if they can pass Matt McGloin on the depth chart.
Others to watch:
6. Jeffrey Godfrey, UCF (#133)
7. Tyler Bray, Tennessee (#153)
8. Barry Brunetti, West Virginia (#155)
9. Connor Shaw, South Carolina (#165)
10. Tanner Price, Wake Forest (#197)
1. Cameron Newton, Auburn (#45)
Few newcomers will step into a better situation than Newton. A nice set of receivers and tailbacks, as well as an offensive guru calling the shots, should offer the former Florida Gator plenty of help. The dual-threat passer led Blinn College to the NJCAA National Championship in 2009 while posting 2,833 yards (22 TDs) passing and 655 rushing (16 TDs).
2. Matt Simms, Tennessee (#112)
The son of Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms will have to beat out freshman Tyler Bray for the starting job. The Tennessee offense does not set up favorably for a fantasy quarterback, however.
3. Matt Pelesasa, Western Kentucky (#120)
Pelesasa emerged from spring practice as the likely starter and the new West Coast offense could be better than a year ago (101st total offense). However, there is little fantasy value in Bowling Green at the moment.
4. Dominique Davis, East Carolina (#132)
Davis still has some work left to do before being draftable in any league format. The former BC quarterback will have to beat out Brad Wornick when he arrives this summer but if all things go according to plan, Davis will be starting for the Pirates when the season starts. Should he win the job, there is some interesting value here due to the new air-it-out offensive scheme Ruffin McNeil brings with him to Greenville.
Others to watch:
5. Andy Summerlin, Memphis (#156)
6. Randall Mackey, Ole Miss (#185)
7. Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt (#193)
1. Aaron Murray, Georgia (#79)
The Georgia offensive philosophy won’t change anytime soon: pound the football with a great set of backs and offensive linemen. But Murray is a play-maker. The former Florida state champion has waited his turn and now looks to have the keys to the Bulldog kingdom. He is smallish but has tremendous leadership ability and athletic ability UGA fans are not used to seeing from their statuesque pocket passers.
2. Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois (#94)
A nice set of tailbacks and receivers make Scheelhaase an interesting option this fall. With Eddie McGee (to WR) and Jacob Charest (transfer) out of the picture now, the redshirt freshman has a good chance to post some adequate numbers this season — especially since the Illini will be playing from behind frequently.
3. Matt Schilz, Bowling Green (#98)
The offense has much to replace (try 298 receptions for 10,117 yards and 70 career scores by Freddie Barnes) but the scheme could be good enough to produce another fantasy starter — they were 6th nationally in passing offense last season.
4. Tajh Boyd, Clemson (#137)
With Kyle Parker most likely heading into the Rockies minor league system, Boyd gets the call to start. The talented AC100 recruit has plenty of talent as a passer as well as some athletic ability, but will need to replace the entire receiving corps as well as top play-maker C.J. Spiller. Keep an eye on Boyd’s development throughout the summer.
5. Tyler Russell, Mississippi State (#134)
Could split some time with the more athletic Chris Relf.
Others to watch:
6. Taylor McHargue, Rice (#140)
7. Kolton Browning, UL Monroe (#152)
8. Raymond Cotton, Ole Miss (#161)
9. Bryn Renner, North Carolina (#163)
10. Brendan Cross, Wake Forest (#174)
Follow us at Twitter: AthlonBraden