Breaking down and ranking every Big 12 team’s quarterback depth chart before spring football.
Big 12 Prespring Quarterback Depth Chart Rankings
You don’t immediately replace Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph – and finding another Kenny Hill isn’t all that easy, either – but it’s the Big 12. The quarterbacks will put up massive numbers and be some of college football’s statistical superstars.
So which teams have the best quarterback depth charts going into the spring? Here’s the early look at the position for every team, loosely ranking them all based on how good the starter is along with how talented and deep the backup situations are.
10. Iowa State Cyclones
Returning Starter: Kyle Kempt, Sr.
Contender: Zeb Noland, Soph.
Wild Card: Re-Al Mitchell, Fr.
It’ll be better than last in the Big 12, but in terms of experience and high-end talent, there are plenty of question marks, mainly because the Kempt situation is up in the air – he’s waiting to hear from the NCAA on whether or not he gets another year of eligibility.
If not, it’ll be up to Noland to get the first shot – he has the most experience – but Devon Moore is a solid option now that he’s back after missing time with a torn ACL. However, Mitchell is the fun baller with the moves and smarts to step in right away and – potentially – make the Cyclones more dangerous.
– Iowa State Schedule Analysis
9. Baylor Bears
Returning Starter: Charlie Brewer, Soph.
Contender: Gerry Bohanon, Fr.
Wild Card: Preston Heard, Jr.
Zach Smith transferred to Tulsa, and Arizona transfer Anu Solomon is done, meaning there’s absolutely no question that Brewer is the No. 1 man going forward. The backup situation is a problem until Bohanon – a big, talented prospect with all the tools – is ready. If there’s a disaster up top, former walk-ons Heard and Zack Bennema would get thrown to the wolves.
– Baylor Schedule Analysis
8. Kansas Jayhawks
Returning Starter: Carter Stanley, Jr.
Contender: Peyton Bender, Sr.
Wild Card: Miles Kendrick, Jr.
Both Stanley and Bender threw a ton of picks and struggled behind a bad offensive line, but they’re experienced and known the system. Bender is the better passer, Stanley the better runner, and it’ll come down to the one who can get the offense moving on a consistent basis – much, much easier said than done. Kendrick is a smallish JUCO transfer who also throws plenty of interceptions, but he can move.
– Kansas Schedule Analysis
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Inside Track Starter: McLane Carter, Jr.
Contender: Jett Duffey, Soph.
Wild Card: Alan Bowman, Fr.
Carter was given a shot late in the season to be the main man, and then Nic Shimonek took over again and won the Texas game. Now it’s Carter’s gig to lose, but Duffey – off-the-field issues now in the past – is a dangerous prospect who can do a little of everything. Bowman is a very smart pro-style passer who can potentially push for the No. 2 job if he lights it up this offseason.
– Texas Tech Schedule Analysis
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Inside Track Starter: Taylor Cornelius, Sr.
Contender: Keondre Wudtee, Soph.
Wild Card: Spencer Sanders, Fr.
Cornelius has been very, very patient behind Mason Rudolph, and now the job is his as long as he’s merely solid – he’s earned his stripes. However, Wudtee is a dangerous dual-threat option who could be used here and there as a bit of a curveball, if he doesn’t win the gig outright. Sanders is a big-time prospect who’ll get a little while to learn the ropes, but he’s not going to be in camp this spring to push for a backup job.
– Oklahoma State Schedule Analysis
5. TCU Horned Frogs
Inside Track Starter: Shawn Robinson, Soph.
Contender: Grayson Muehlstein, Sr.
Wild Card: Justin Rogers, Fr.
Kenny Hill had a terrific final year – leading the Horned Frogs to the Big 12 title game – but Robinson might be better after a little bit of time logged in. He needs to work on his accuracy, but he can move, and he’s got the skills to fit everything the TCU offense likes to do. Muehlstein is more of a pure passer, but he doesn’t have a whole lot of experience. He’s a safe No. 2, but top recruit Rogers is the shot for the stars. Robinson might have been a perfect-fit recruit, but realizing it’s impossible to be better than perfect, Rogers might have an even bigger ceiling.
– TCU Schedule Analysis
4. Kansas State Wildcats
Returning Starter: Alex Delton, Jr.
Contender: Skylar Thompson, Soph.
Wild Card: John Holcombe, Fr.
The Wildcats will use both of their quarterbacks again. After Jesse Ertz went down, Thompson and Delton were each able to get the offense moving, but they didn’t always make the passing game rock. Delton is the more dangerous runner, but they’ll each see time. Holcombe is the near-future, with 6-5 size, a big arm, and the dual-threat ability the offense needs.
– Kansas State Schedule Analysis
3. West Virginia Mountaineers
Returning Starter: Will Grier, Sr.
Contender: Chris Chugunov, Jr.
Wild Card: David Isreal, Jr.
Okay, fine. Chugunov almost certainly isn’t going to be a contender for anything after his performances after Grier went down. JUCO transfer Isreal and Miami transfer Jack Allison are better options to step in an emergency. Grier is back and going again after injuring his hand late last year – he’ll be fine.
– West Virginia Schedule Analysis
2. Oklahoma Sooners
Inside Track Starter: Kyler Murray, Jr.
Contender: Austin Kendall, Jr.
Wild Card: Tanner Mordecai, Fr.
There’s life after Baker Mayfield. Texas A&M super-recruit Murray is more than ready to make the offense shine, but in a whole different way. He’s not going to be as accurate as Mayfield, but he’ll run more and make big plays on the ground. Kendall is a pro-style passer who’s going to be more in the race for the starting job than it might appear. Mordecai is a nice recruit, but he’s going to have to wait his turn to be in the hunt for the backup job.
– Oklahoma Schedule Analysis
1. Texas Longhorns
Returning Starter: Shane Buechele, Jr.
Contender: Sam Ehlinger, Soph.
Wild Card: Cameron Rising, Fr.
No, it’s really not the best quarterback situation in the Big 12 – there are more talented starters – but the Longhorns have two good ones with experience.
Buechele-Ehilinger, Ehlinger-Buechele – it’s not that bad a situation.
They’ve each shown enough to be the unquestioned, No. 1 guy, and they’ve each shown enough to show that the offense needs a steady playmaker taking over the job. Best guess? Ehlinger is head coach Tom Herman’s guy, but it’ll take the entire offseason to figure it out. Rising and Casey Thompson are two more good, young options, but it’ll take something amazing to bust into the top two.
– Texas Schedule Analysis