College Football Quarterback Battles at Top-6 Schools

College Football Quarterback Battles at Top-6 Schools
Reading Time: 5 minutes.

If you enjoy quarterback battles and races, this year’s spring training will keep you highly intrigued.

Five of the top six programs in the nation are heading into spring practice without a definitive starting quarterback. And of the four starting signal-callers in the College Football Playoff, only one returns next season.

Stetson Bennett, Max Duggan, CJ Stroud, Hendon Hooker, and Bryce Young are all heading to play on Sundays, so all their schools are seeking their replacement.

But it’s not only the top of the College Football rankings that will have quarterback battles. QB competitions will be happening up and down the country. Here are some to keep a close eye on.

Georgia Bulldogs – Carson Beck vs Brock Vandagriff

Image Credit: 247 Sports

There’s no better place to start than the defending back-to-back national champions.

With Stetson Bennett out of eligibility, Kirby Smart will have to make a decision on the starting quarterback for the championship defense in 2023.

Carson Beck will be the name most known by College Football fans. He saw action in the National Championship game against TCU when the starters were pulled and completed two passes for 31 yards.

The redshirt Sophomore has been in the program since 2020. A Florida native, with good size, was a four-star prospect and was ranked the ninth-best pro-style quarterback in the 2019 class.

However, the mobility of Brock Vandagriff may help him win the starting job. Vandagriff has seen very minimal playing time as a redshirt Freshman. But he was a five-star recruit in 2020 and ranked the second-best dual-threat quarterback in the country.

When Georgia starts its 11-v-11 drills, the mobility of Vandagriff may push him as the favorite. He may also dance around and make plays during Georgia’s spring game.

But the experience of Carson Beck is critical.

Kirby Smart opting to put Carson Beck under center in the National Championship game speaks volumes. Albeit, the game was a blowout, Smart still wanted Beck to gain the experience.

Whoever gets the job will be the spearhead of once again, one of the most talented teams in the country. The starting QB will have to live up to the expectations Stetson Bennett set, and there’s no doubt the goal in Athens is to achieve the three-peat.

PREDICTION – Carson Beck

Ohio State – Kyle McCord vs Devin Brown

Image Credit: 247Sports

It’s almost impossible to replace a generational talent and potential first-overall pick. But Ohio State is in a pretty good situation to do it.

Kyle McCord and Devin Brown were both top-10-rated quarterbacks in their recruiting class.

McCord joined Ohio State as a five-star recruit in 2021. He was the third-ranked quarterback in the class.

In his two seasons in Columbus, McCord has seen action in seven games. All of which were in garbage time and all his stats were empty numbers. But it shows that Ryan Day and the Buckeyes believe he could be Stroud’s replacement.

However, Devin Brown is a top-50 prospect and sixth-ranked quarterback in his own right.

He is still an enigma to the majority of us, as he is yet to throw a collegiate pass. His only recorded stat was a one-yard carry against Toledo in the third game of the season.

His speed and versatility may intrigue the Ohio State coaching staff over the seniority of Kyle McCord.

The indicators point to this being Kyle McCord’s job to lose. But for the first time since JT Barrett and Cardale Jones, Ohio State will have a true quarterback battle throughout the spring and summer.

Prediction – Kyle McCord

Tennessee – Joe Milton III vs Nico Iamaleava

Image Credit: Rocky Top Insider

Nico Iamaleava was one of the first major quarterback recruits to sign a major NIL deal. The deal that brought him to Knoxville was reportedly worth $8 Million.

The 6ft 6 California native was the nation’s fourth-ranked player in the 2022 recruiting class and is poised to be the quarterback of the future in Rocky Top.

But his anticipated collegiate debut may not happen this season.

Joe Milton III was named the starting quarterback for Tennessee before the 2021 season after he transferred to the program from Michigan. However, he lost the job to a rising Hendon Hooker a few games into the season.

When Hooker suffered a season-ending injury against South Carolina last season, Milton came in under center for the final two games of the season and showed signs of brilliance. Especially in the Orange Bowl game against Clemson.

Milton will be given the starting job this off-season. But he has had problems keeping that position. He lost the starting QB1 role in Michigan too.

Expect Milton to start week 1. But if issues arise, it’ll be very hard for Josh Heupel to keep the five-star prodigy on the sidelines.

Prediction – Joe Milton III

Alabama – Jalen Milroe vs Ty Simpson

Image Credit: 247Sports

Tuscaloosa boasts one of the most intriguing quarterback battles in the country… If you can call it a boast.

Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson are four and five-star recruits, respectively.

Milroe joined the program as part of the 2021 class. He made his first start for the Crimson Tide against Texas A&M this season. He showed signs of an improved passing game. However, his ability on the move is what catches the eye.

He is a run-first quarterback who will need to improve his accuracy, timing, and pocket presence if he wants to earn the QB1 job.

Ty Simpson will enter his Sophomore season with the hopes of taking the starting job in Tuscaloosa.

He was a five-star recruit from Tennessee and one of the best quarterbacks in his recruitment class. He has a good arm, good accuracy, and looks comfortable in the pocket in the small sample size we’ve seen.

Simpson has been training with QB Country. The same program that developed AJ McCarron, Jacob Coker, and Mac Jones.

He looks primed to be the next long-term starter in Alabama. He has enough versatility and mobility to appease that need for Nick Sabin. But Jalen Milroe has the experience advantage. Expect a fiery competition this spring.

Prediction – Ty Simpson

This article was written by our new writer Ross Love. Thanks to Ross for contributing this article and you can catch more of his work here in the future.

Feature Image Credit: Bleacher Report

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