University of Utah

Ranking the Pac-12’s Starting Quarterbacks: Pre-Season Edition

ESPN 700’s Mitch Harper ranks the Pac-12 Quarterbacks in Fall Camp

Arizona’s Khalil Tate the best quarterback in college football. It got me thinking, is he even the best quarterback in the Pac-12?  I broke it down in my Pac-12 Quarterback rankings for the 2018 season.

  1. Khalil Tate, Arizona

I’m in agreement with Sports Illustrated. I love me some Khalil Tate.  Tate is a dynamite player who can do with his arm and on the ground. The Foster Farms Bowl against a saltier defense that you would expect, Purdue squad, Tate tossed for more than 300 yards in the bowl.  Tate is going to be really good with Kevin Sumlin and Noel Mazzone. Not only did Sumlin have success at Texas A&M with Johnny Football, he also developed some great quarterbacks at Houston, for example, Case Keenum who is one of the all-time passing leaders in the sport.  Tate will be the best the Pac-12 has to offer in 2018 from the quarterback position, a league built on great QB play.

  1. Jake Browning, Washington

There is this strange pocket of Washington fans that want Browning benched.  I’ve never understood that. Browning is as solid as they come. The floor is probably the highest of all the QB’s in the Pac-12, but the ceiling isn’t much higher than where he’s at.  I’m a ceiling guy, but Browning is going to quarterback one of the best teams in the country this season.

  1. Justin Herbert, Oregon

Best pro prospect in the conference.  But can Herbert play an entire season? In his eight games last season, Oregon’s offense looked like the heyday of the Chip Kelly days in Eugene putting up huge numbers.

  1. Steven Montez, Colorado

Hard to get a clear read on Colorado in 2018 in large part because they have one of the league’s better QBs in Montez.  Montez stepped in for a few games during the Buffs Pac-12 South title season in 2016 and last year threw for nearly 3,000 yards. He’s got great size at 6’5” and he can move with his feet.

  1. Manny Wilkins, Arizona State

The Herm experiment in Tempe is either going to be really good or a colossal failure.  ASU could surprise some folks and overcome the craziness of Herm because of a returning senior in Manny Wilkins.  Wilkins led ASU to wins over Washington and Utah in back to back weeks en route to a 3,000+ yard passing season.

  1. Tyler Huntley, Utah

Huntley has taken control of the offense to where there is no debate about Elite 11 QB Jack Tuttle pushing for time.  Huntley is Utah’s leader at Quarterback and he’s got a strong connection with fellow Hallandale product at wide receiver Demari Simpkins.  Huntley is still expected to be part of the run game in some capacity, but how long can that last? Keeping Huntley healthy will be the utmost of importance if Utah looks to break through and win their first Pac-12 South crown.

  1. Ross Bowers, California

The second year in Beau Baldwin’s offense in Berkeley should see a rise in production from the quarterback with Bowers who was underrated in the conference a season ago throwing for 3,039 yards.  Four of his five victories as a starter was against Power Five opponents.

  1. JT Daniels, USC

There’s a movement out of Troy that it is time to start believing the hype in true freshman JT Daniels.  Daniels, a five-star recruit who reclassified is starting to become the leader to become the starter at Quarterback for the Pac-12 south favorite Trojans.  Daniels, a Mater Dei product, lit it up according to reports in USC first scrimmage with his strong arm and accuracy. With the talent USC has around him, Daniels could find success very early and that’s why he sits relatively high on this list for not playing a down in college football yet.

  1. Wilton Speight, UCLA

New hotshot coach in a storied program turns to a grad transfer in his first season.  Sounds a lot like what Jim Harbaugh did his first season at Michigan back in 2015. Well, one of those old Michigan quarterbacks, Wilton Speight, is now at UCLA looking to become Chip Kelly’s first QB in Westwood and all indications point to Speight having the lead in the job.

  1. KJ Costello, Stanford

Costello is young as he’s only a sophomore.  The former four-star recruit had flashes of brilliance last year in some highlight touchdown plays but there isn’t a QB ahead of him that I would slot Costello above right now.  Costello is fortunate to have a star like Bryce Love behind him.

  1. Gardner Minshew, Washington State

The latest scrimmage at Wazzu camp in Lewiston, Idaho saw Minshew start to separate himself from the pack.  Whoever the QB ends up being, Leach will get production from that QB and Minshew looks to be next in line. But right now in the pre-season, has to be near the bottom.

  1. Jake Luton, Oregon State

Former JUCO quarterback won the job last year for Gary Andersen. He’s back this season and head coach Jonathan Smith will try to get the most out of Luton as OSU looks to get back to respectability in the conference

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