Breaking down and ranking every ACC team’s quarterback depth chart before spring football.
ACC Prespring Quarterback Depth Chart Rankings
It’s an interesting year for ACC quarterbacks. Lamar Jackson is gone, but there’s a whole lot of tremendous talent about to step in and push for jobs across the conference.
So which teams have the best quarterback situations 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.
14. Boston College
Returning Starter: Anthony Brown, Soph.
Contender: E.J. Perry, RFr.
Wild Card: Matt Valecce, Fr.
Anthony Brown changed around the season when he stepped in and helped make the passing game go – this ranking goes up if Brown returns 100%. With Darius Wade transferring to Delaware, the Eagles need another option to step up in case Brown isn’t back from the torn ACL suffered late in the season.
– Boston College Schedule Analysis
13. Virginia Cavaliers
Inside Track Starter: Bryce Perkins, Jr.
Contender: Lindell Stone, Soph.
Wild Card: Brennan Armstrong, Fr.
Perkins is a JUCO transfer and former Arizona State Sun Devil with the size, accuracy and great running ability to be even more productive than Kurt Benkert was in a strong 2017. Stone was the backup last season, and he has a little bit of experience, but there’s a problem if Perkins – brother of NY Giant, Paul Perkins – doesn’t win the job.
– Virginia Schedule Analysis
12. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Inside Track Starter: Kendall Hinton, Jr.
Contender: Jamie Newman, Soph.
Wild Card: Sam Hartman, Fr.
Hinton is more than ready. He saw plenty of time last year – he was thrown to the wolves against Clemson after starter John Wolford couldn’t go – and got into the mix over the first few games of the 2016 season. Newman is a 6-4, 235-pound passer who got in a little work.
– Wake Forest Schedule Analysis
11. Duke Blue Devils
Returning Starter: Daniel Jones, Jr.
Contender: Quentin Harris, Jr.
Wild Card: Gunnar Holmberg, Fr.
Jones was inconsistent, but the offense was terrific when he was on his game. Harris can run a little bit and has just enough experience to not step in cold if needed. Holberg is an accurate passer who can move.
– Duke Schedule Analysis
10. North Carolina Tar Heels
Returning Starter: Nathan Elliott, Jr.
Contender: Chazz Surratt, Soph.
Wild Card: Jace Ruder, Fr.
There’s actually no sure-thing No. 1 in the race. Elliott rose up and provided a late-season spark, but Surratt is the better prospect with a bigger upside. And then there’s Ruder, a great-looking dual-threat playmaker who turned into a top prospect over the last year.
– North Carolina Schedule Analysis
9. Pitt Panthers
Returning Starter: Kenny Pickett, Soph.
Contender: Ricky Town, Jr.
Wild Card: Nick Patti, Fr.
With Ben DiNucci transferring to James Madison, the job opened up for Pickett, who rose up late in the season, helping the Panthers get the win over Miami. Town is a JUCO transfer and former big-time prospect who started out at Arkansas. However, once he gets his bearings, Patti might be the most talented all-around option on the roster.
– Pitt Schedule Analysis
8. Louisville Cardinals
Inside Track Starter: Jawon Pass, Soph.
Top Contender: Malik Cunningham, RFr.
Wild Card: Jordan Travis, Fr.
Pass was given the “keys to the program” by Lamar Jackson, but redshirt freshman Malik Cunningham has tremendous running skills and will get every shot at the gig. Travis is a good-looking recruit who’ll get his chances, too, but Pass has the inside track with his experience, limited as it might be.
– Louisville Schedule Analysis
7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Returning Starter: TaQuon Marshall, Sr.
Contender: Lucas Johnson, Soph.
Wild Card: James Graham, Fr.
Marshall is firmly entrenched as the main man who’ll handle the triple-option starting job, but finding the backup will be the key this spring with Matthew Jordan forgoing his senior year of football. Graham is a super-recruit who was off to Virginia Tech right up until he signed with Georgia Tech. Johnson and Tobias Oliver will get their shot at the No. 2 spot.
– Georgia Tech Schedule Analysis
6. NC State Wolfpack
Returning Starter: Ryan Finley, Sr.
Contenders: Matt McKay, RFr.
Wild Card: Devin Leary, Fr.
It was, potentially, one of the biggest moments of the ACC offseason when Finley chose to return for his final season. However, that meant that after waiting around for his turn, Jalan McClendon chose to transfer, leaving the backup cupboard bare. McKay was the top quarterback prospect picked up last year, but Leary is a four-star talent who’ll likely be the main option going into 2019.
– NC State Schedule Analysis
5. Syracuse Orange
Returning Starter: Eric Dungey, Sr.
Contender: Tommy DeVito, RFr.
Wild Card: Chance Amie, Fr.
When healthy, Dungey is one of the most productive all-around quarterbacks in the ACC, but he’s been banged up a bit too much – the Orange backup job is very, very big. Rex Culpepper saw time in every game last year as the No. 2 option, but DeVito is the guy – he’s the future of the program and the almost certain backup.
– Syracuse Schedule Analysis
4. Virginia Tech Hokies
Returning Starter: Josh Jackson, Soph.
Contender: Ryan Willis, Sr.
Wild Card: Quincy Patterson, Fr.
Jackson is the clear, unquestioned No. 1, but it’s going to be a war for the No. 2 job. Former Kansas starter Ryan Willis is the veteran, but Hendon Hooker is a very big option with plenty of upside. Patterson is the dangerous 6-4, 235-pound bomber from Chicago with the talent to play right away. The rumors are rolling that former JUCO and Nebraska Cornhusker AJ Bush will transfer in his final season.
– Virginia Tech Schedule Analysis
3. Miami Hurricanes
Returning Starter: Malik Rosier, Sr.
Contender: N’Kosi Perry, RFr.
Wild Card: Jarren Williams, Fr.
As good as Miami was last year, and as strong as Rosier was at times, the offense needs more from the quarterbacks. Rosier might be the steady, veteran leader, but Perry was the superstar recruit of last year who didn’t get in any work – he’s the one a whole slew of Cane fans want to see. With another star recruit – Jarren Williams – coming in, Evan Shirreffs is transferring rather than be the No. 4 man in the mix.
– Miami Schedule Analysis
2. Florida State Seminoles
Returning Starter: James Blackman, Soph.
Contender: Deondre Francois, Jr.
Wild Card: Bailey Hockman, RFr.
The situation took a turn with Francois’s recent off-field drama. Even if that all turns out fine, and even if his injured knee is healthy and ready, he’ll have to push Blackman out of the job and hold off Hockman. It’s a deep group with J.J. Cosentino still around, too, for new head man Willie Taggart to look at.
– Florida State Schedule Analysis
1. Clemson Tigers
Returning Starter: Kelly Bryant, Jr.
Contender: Trevor Lawrence, Fr.
Wild Card: Hunter Johnson, RFr.
Boo hoo … Clemson has way too much talent. Bryant might have taken the Tigers to an ACC Championship and the College Football Playoff No. 1 spot, but Hunter Johnson was a top recruit last year with the NFL passing skills to do more with the offense.
However, Trevor Lawrence is, arguably, the nation’s top recruit with the skills to take over immediately. Zerrick Cooper is transferring because of what’s coming with the young stars in what will be one of the nation’s most interesting position battles.
– Clemson Schedule Analysis