Breaking down and ranking every Pac-12 team’s quarterback depth chart before spring football.
Pac-12 Prespring Quarterback Depth Chart Rankings
How do you get past losing Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Luke Falk? The conference still has several superstar college players, and there are plenty of big-time talents on the way from the recruiting ranks. Pac-12
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.
12. Oregon State
Inside Track Starter: Aidan Willard, Soph.
Contender: Jake Luton, Sr.
Wild Card: Jake Dukart, Fr.
Is Luton really going to be ready and part of the fun after such a frightening end to the 2017 season? Could Dukart step in and shine right away as the talented new recruit? Willi Willard use his dual-threat skills and running ability to take the job? Will Mason Moran stick at safety or will he get a shot at the quarterback gig again under the new coaching staff? No Pac-12 quarterback situation has more massive question marks.
– Oregon Schedule Analysis
11. Washington State Cougars
Inside Track Starter: Trey Tinsley, Jr.
Contender: Cammon Cooper, Fr.
Wild Card: John Bledsoe, Soph.
On the field, the production will eventually be fine. Of course, though, the tragic suicide of Tyler Hilinski will be top of mind for the team and the race for what would’ve been his starting quarterback job.
It’s a wide-open race with five options all battling for the pecking order – there is no Inside Track Starter. Tinsley has the most practice time logged in, however, true freshman Cooper might be the most talented passer, and Bledsoe and Connor Neville are going to get every opportunity. It’ll be an even race with everyone getting a chance.
– Washington State Schedule Analysis
10. Cal Golden Bears
Returning Starter: Ross Bowers, Jr.
Contender: Chase Forrest, Sr.
Wild Card: Chase Garbers, RFr.
It was a battle for the No. 1 job throughout last offseason, and it will be again. Bowers was okay throughout the year, but he wasn’t so amazing that he has a rock-solid lock on the job going into the spring. Forrest is a senior, but he doesn’t have any real experience, and Garbers is a talent who needs more time and seasoning.
– California Schedule Analysis
9. Stanford Cardinal
Returning Starter: K.J. Costello, Jr.
Contender: Davis Mills, RFr.
Wild Card: Jack West, Fr.
There’s a reason Keller Chryst decided to transfer. He wasn’t all that good, but more than that, Costello appears ready to grab the reigns as the No. 1 guy, but Mills – a former five-star recruit – is a dangerous option, and West is a nice-looking pro-style talent out of Alabama to groom for the future.
– Stanford Schedule Analysis
8. Colorado Buffaloes
Returning Starter: Steven Montez, Jr.
Contender: Sam Noyer, Soph.
Wild Card: Blake Stenstrom, Fr.
The talent is there for Montez to be the best quarterback in the Pac-12, but he needs to be more consistent and he needs to be better. Noyer was in the mix for time throughout last season when Montez struggled, and at the very least, he’s a strong No. 2. Walk-on Casey Marksberry, redshirt freshman Tyler Lyle, and incoming recruit Stenstrom are nice options to battle it out for the No. 3 gig.
– Colorado Schedule Analysis
7. UCLA Bruins
Returning Starter: Devon Modster, Soph.
Contender: K.J. Carta-Samuels, Sr.
Wild Card: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Fr.
Can Washington graduate transfer Carta-Samuels really start right away? Modster showed flashes of potential greatness when he filled in for Josh Rosen last season, but Carta-Samuels might just be the better fit for the Chip Kelly attack. However, watch out for Thompson-Robinson. The Las Vegas native was wanted by everyone, and could be the most talented option right out of the gate.
– UCLA Schedule Analysis
6. Arizona State Sun Devils
Returning Starter: Manny Wilkins, Sr.
Contender: Blake Barnett, Jr.
Wild Card: Ryan Kelley, RFr.
Welcome to ASU, Herm Edwards – your quarterback situation is solid. Wilkins is a veteran who doesn’t get enough love and respect in a conference full of superstars over the last few seasons, but Barnett is the former star recruit for Alabama with the skills to be in the hunt for the starting job. Losing Brady White to Memphis hurts the depth, but 2017 recruit Kelley is worth developing into the quarterback of the near future.
– Arizona State Schedule Analysis
5. Utah Utes
Returning Starter: Tyler Huntley, Jr.
Contender: Jason Shelley, RFr.
Wild Card: Jack Tuttle, Fr.
Huntley showed flashes of potential greatness as Utah changed up offensive systems last year, but he was inconsistent. Now he’s going to know what he’s doing. Shelley spent the season as a scout teamer and has practice time in the system, but the 6-4 Tuttle – a four-star talent – has the upside to push for the No. 2 job right away.
– Utah Schedule Analysis
4. USC Trojans
Inside Track Starter: Matt Fink, Soph.
Contender: Jack Sears, RFr.
Wild Card: JT Daniels, Fr.
This is going to be interesting. Daniels might not be Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) or Justin Fields (Georgia) as a prospect, but he’s not terribly far off. Sears will be in the hunt for the starting job from the start of spring camp, and Fink has a wee bit of experience after serving as the No. 2 behind Sam Darnold. And no, Jake Olson isn’t going to be in the rotation.
– USC Schedule Analysis
3. Oregon Ducks
Returning Starter: Justin Herbert, Jr
Contender: Braxton Burmeister, Soph.
Wild Card: Tyler Shough, Fr.
It’s this simple – Oregon is a dangerous contender for the Pac-12 title if Herbert can stay healthy all year. Burmeister is an experienced veteran, but as last year proved, there’s a massive drop off from the 1 to the 2. If Burmeister isn’t the No. 2 man, it’s Taylor Alie’s job – it’s not a bad situation. Incoming recruit Shough is a 6-5 pro-style passer who was wanted by Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, and everyone else with a big brand name.
– Oregon Schedule Analysis
2. Washington Huskies
Returning Starter: Jake Browning, Sr.
Contender: Daniel Bridge-Gadd, Soph.
Wild Card: Colson Yankoff, Fr.
You’re going to have to wait a year for Georgia transfer Jacob Eason. Until then, getting Browning back for one more year will do. Losing K.J. Carta-Samuels to UCLA hurts the depth, but there are plenty of young talents waiting to come in. Bridge-Gadd will only have the slightest of upper hands for the No. 2 job this spring because he’s been around longer than any of the other options, but with Eason lurking for next year, the time is now for star freshmen recruits Yankoff and Jacob Sirmon to show what they can do.
– Washington Schedule Analysis
1. Arizona Wildcats
Returning Starter: Khalil Tate, Jr.
Contender: Brandon Dawkins, Sr.
Wild Card: Jamarye Joiner, Fr.
Kevin Sumlin is walking into a wonderful situation. He not only has – arguably – the most explosive and dangerous quarterback in college football in Tate, but he has a veteran backup in Dawkins, too. Joiner is a 6-3 local product with the dual-threat skills you’d expect to fit what the program needs and likes.
– Arizona Schedule Analysis