The SEC lost many standout quarterbacks last season, making this season one for rebuilding. Last post gave you insight to our thoughts on the bottom tier of the top ten SEC quarterbacks. Now, we look at the top half:
5. Jeff Driskel, Florida (Jr.)
Head coach Will Muschamp dropped the pro-style offense and picked up the no-huddle offensive scheme run by Kurt Roper. Now, Driskel can thrive in a much more uptempo style of play that better fits his skill type. Driskel will have every chance to showcase his ability to move the ball downfield and leave the defense on its heels. His success will be heavily contingent on his ability to recover from last year’s season-ending injury. Florida will fly only as high as Driskel takes them.
4. Maty Mauk, Missouri (So.)
Although Mauk only saw playtime in critical situations while incumbent James Franklin was injured, Mauk proved that he has the arm strength and athleticism to be an elite quarterback in this conference. His dual-threat capabilities are why he is on the short list to be among the league’s most improved players this year, as he impressed in limited minutes last fall. He showed flashes of what’s to come now that he’ll be given significant reps. However, Missouri lost some integral pieces of its receiving corps, and Mauk will have to lead some new faces in order to make this offense run. Mauk started in four games and played in thirteen of the fourteen games with an eleven-to-two TD to INT ratio. He threw for 1071 yards this past season, but we believe that was him only scratching the surface, let’s see what he can do now that he has the keys to the car…
3. Dak Presscott, Mississippi State (Jr.)
In 2013 Prescott showed real courage and determination as he played through a handful injuries and the tragic death of his mother. Prescott is poised for another breakout year after leading his team to a killer rivalry victory in the Egg Bowl and a stellar performance in the Liberty Bowl these past two seasons. Prescott is a big runner but one whose arm is equally valuable. He averaged 269.3 yards through the air in eight SEC challenges, while also leading the team in rushing yards. Prescott returns with a strong supporting cast, one that includes his top target from last year, Jameon Lewis.
2. Bo Wallace, Ole Miss (Sr.)
Wallace is the most experienced returning QB in the SEC. He is coming back in full force this season with fourteen other returning starters by his side. The Rebels definitely have a chance at the SEC West this year after Auburn, Alabama and LSU each lost key players on both sides of the ball. Of the returning SEC quarterbacks, Wallace threw for the most yards and touchdowns last season. However, Wallace was one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks last season. He just needs to cut down on his interceptions (27 last season) and stay out of his own head, keep control . Nevertheless, he did account for 54 touchdowns last season, and that’s what I think also makes him one of the most promising of the group. Wallace also has a year under his belt since completing recovery from his shoulder injury over a year ago.
1. Nick Marshall, Auburn (Sr.)
Marshall is one of college football’s top athletes and players at any position. His passing numbers for this season could definitely be better than last years, even though he will be missing the season opener. Throughout the spring he has honed in on his ball accuracy, working with coaches to help fit the ball in tight spots, a weakness from last year (if he had one). His athletic ability, as seen last year, is off the charts and he is one of the most dynamic athletes in the league. With the help of top JUCO transfer Duke Williams and the return and familiarity of the Tiger offense, Marshall and the boys at Auburn will surely be fighting for a spot in that four team playoff come December and another chance to win it all.