Preseason rankings and all-conference teams dominate talking season. KSR might as well get a crack at it.
Last month one radio pundit ranked every SEC quarterback. In an egregiously ignorant move, he ranked Kentucky’s Terry Wilson last, the same guy who won ten games as a starter in 2018. Instead of just pointing and laughing, Adam Luckett and spent 30 minutes on the debut of 11 Personnel assembling the proper pecking order of SEC quarterbacks. You will not find a more accurate preseason ranking of SEC quarterbacks.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
2. Jake Fromm, Georgia
3. Kelly Bryant, Missouri
4. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
5. Joe Burrow, LSU
6. Jake Bentley, South Carolina
7. Feleipe Franks, Florida
8. Terry Wilson, Kentucky
9. Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee
10. Bo Nix, Auburn
11. Ben Hicks and Nick Starkel, Arkansas
12. Keyteon Thompson and Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State
13. Matt Corral, Ole Miss
14. Riley Neal and Deuce Wallace, Vanderbilt
There are four distinct categories in the hierarchy of SEC quarterbacks:
1. Tua and Fromm
2. Game Managers+
3. Game Managers
4. Unproven Passers
Kelly Bryant, Kellen Mond and Joe Burrow are not elite quarterbacks, but when their team needs them to make a big play, they’re capable enough to rise to the challenge, whether it’s with their arm or by using their legs. The next group is much more difficult to delineate. (Note: Game Manager does not and should not have a negative connotation.)
The four returners in the SEC East have all been dealt different hands. The players around them have dictated how they’ve performed up until this point. Even though Jake Bentley has not been great, South Carolina has never given him a run game. Feleipe Franks had the best numbers last year, thanks to a solid run game and Dan Mullen’s system. Terry Wilson was not asked to do much with Benny Snell in the backfield, while Guarantano was not asked to do much despite not having a run game. Billed as a dual-threat in high school, he has not done much of that at all against Tennessee.
The four middle of the road SEC quarterbacks have plenty to prove this season. Nobody has a higher ceiling than Wilson. With exponentially more responsibilities and options in his second year as a starter, Wilson can become a playmaker that jumps into the Game Managers+ category.
To hear more on the state of SEC Quarterbacks, listen to the first episode of KSR’s new football podcast 11 Personnel.