Who has the best quarterback situation in the Big 12? Going into the summer, here’s the quarterback ranking for every Big 12 team.
It’ll be a stunner if it’s not Ryan Willis returning to the starter’s job, but Montell Cozart has been around long enough be more than just a fill-in. The Jayhawks will need to be as creative as possible to use all their options, but for the future, they need to keep developing Willis.
9. Iowa State
The Cyclone quarterback’s No. 1 job is to hand the ball off to Mike Warren, but there should be more downfield passing this year. It’s Joel Lanning’s starting job with the dual-threat ability to help new head coach Matt Campbell get things going, but JUCO transfer Jacob Park is coming in this fall to add a pro-style option to the equation.
8. Kansas State
This isn’t all that bad a situation considering what Kansas State’s offense likes to do – but this is a tough league to get a whole bunch of quarterback respect. Joe Hubener is the tough veteran who had his moments last season, but Jesse Ertz appears to be the starter going into fall camp with Alex Delton the No. 2. It’ll be a fight for the starting gig up until the opener, but at least – unlike last year – there are healthy options to work with.
7. West Virginia
There are plenty of interesting, talented backup options to battle it out in fall camp – they’re all fighting to show what they can do to get into the starting race next year when Florida transfer Will Grier is ready to roll. In the meantime, Skyler Howard is a high-powered veteran passer who might not have the side, but knows how to get the offense moving.
There’s no Trevone Boykin anymore – this is the only Big 12 team taking a major starting quarterback hit – but all is fine if Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill plays up to his potential. The job isn’t his, though, with sophomore Foster Sawyer a solid option with a little bit of experience. It’ll take something special to keep the offense high-flying, but the passing game will still be a major positive with either one.
5. Oklahoma State
Mason Rudolph could turn out to be the Big 12’s best NFL quarterback prospect with the size, arm, and mobility. He’ll be a bit under the radar compared to the rest of the league’s stars, but he’s a tremendous talent who could carry the offense by himself. But there’s no J.W. Walsh this year to help out in the red-zone and provide veteran leadership – the backup situation is a major issue unless John Kolar grows into a dependable No. 2.
4. Texas Tech
Patrick Mahomes should lead the Big 12 in passing – and maybe even the nation – but the backup situation is a little iffy. Iowa transfer Nic Shimonek has been in the system long enough to not have to come in totally cold, but the season is Mahomes or bust.
The Longhorns might not have one true superstar, but they have three great options. Freshman Shane Buechele looked and played the part this spring while runner Jerrod Heard was healing up after a shoulder injury. Tyrone Swoopes is a pounding, grinding option who’ll have his own short-yardage package if he doesn’t take the gig outright.
Baker Mayfield is a top Heisman candidate and should be the best quarterback in the loaded Big 12, but he also takes a ton of shots. Freshman Austin Kendall is a good prospect, but the season is probably over – at least the CFP dream is – if Mayfield goes down.
The Bears survived injuries to its two star quarterback options, but both are back. Seth Russell is the typical Baylor statistical monster with all the tools and skills, while Jarrett Stidham is the perfect fit for the offense. Either one could lead the team to the Big 12 title.