Mickey Plyler's Blog for May 24


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SEC Quarterback Rankings

It is a terrific year in the SEC at this position. Any league that feature potential stars like Russell, Flynn, Perrilloux, Leak, Tebow, Schaffer, Cox, Caudle, Mustain, Ainge, Crompton, Mitchell, Barnes, Stafford and Wilson is fantastic. There are about 15 quality quarterbacks in the SEC more than any conference in America.



1. LSU

The Starter

LaMarcus Russell (6-6, 252, Jr)

No one is deeper or more talented than LSU at this position. Russell had a very good sophomore season until he got hurt. He is perhaps the nation’s biggest, strongest quarterback. Last year he was 188 of 311 for 2,443 yards for 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Flynn came in when Russell went down and made a case for himself by going 27 of 48 for 457 yards with seven scores and one pick. He destroyed Miami in the Peach Bowl 40-3. Perrilloux was the nation’s top signal caller coming out of high school but will have to wait his turn.



The Depth

Matt Flynn (6-3, 228, Jr)

Ryan Perrilloux (6-2, 222, Fr)



The Newcomers

N/A



2. Florida

The Starter

Chris Leak (6-0, 210, Sr)

Leak came out as the nation’s number-one quarterback four years ago. He has been very good at times but has not won as many games as I would have thought. Last season he completed 235 of 374 passes for 2,639 yards and 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Leak is not the perfect fit for Urban Meyer’s offense but Tebow is. Look for a battle for the starting spot to develop. Tebow is a terrific runner and a very hard-nosed player.



The Depth

Butch Rowley (6-1, 205, So)



The Newcomers

Tim Tebow (6-3, 225)



3. Ole Miss

The Starter

Brent Schaffer (6-2, 195, Jr)

Schaffer has won’t be in Oxford until this summer but has already been named the starting quarterback. The Ole Miss staff saw enough of him when he was in Tennessee to see that he is the most talented guy in the program.

Schaffer is an electrifying athlete who can hurt defenses with his arm and feet. He will be the focal point of this Rebel offense right away.



The Depth

Seth Adams (6-4, 215, Jr)



The Newcomers

Michael Herrick (6-1, 170)



4. Auburn

The Starter

Brandon Cox (6-2, 200, Jr)

Cox is just solid. He is not asked to carry this program; instead he gives the ball to the talented backfield and is successful in the play-action game. Last season he was 177 of 306 for 2,324 yards for 15 touchdowns and only eight picks. He is one of the most accurate passers in the SEC.

Caudle is the future. He is one of five or six top-notch signal callers entering the league this year.



The Depth

Blake Field 96-2, 195, So)



The Newcomers

Neil Caudle (6-3, 204)

Steven Emsminger (6-2, 210)



5. Arkansas

The Starter

Casey Dick (6-2, 211, So)

Dick played the last part of the season as a true freshman and did OK by going 2-2. Johnson was the starter early and came on pretty strong in the pre-season. Mortenson was a factor but Mustain will eventually take over.

No one has come into this Arkansas program with more hype than Mustain. I think the freshman will be the starter by seasons end.



The Depth

Robert Johnson (6-2, 215, Jr)

Alex Mortenson (6-2, 210, So)



The Newcomers

Mitch Mustain (6-3, 205)



6. Tennessee

The Starter

Erik Ainge (6-6, 220, Jr)

As a freshman Ainge looked like he was ready to develop as an all-conference QB. That season he completed 109 of 198 passes for 1,452 yards for 17 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. Last season he digressed as much as any player in the nation. As a sophomore he was 66 of 125 for only 737 yards for five touchdowns and seven picks. His completion percentage dropped form 55% to 45 %. Crompton was injured last year but is physically one of the best quarterbacks I have seen in recent years.



The Depth

Jonathan Crompton (6-4, 225, Fr)



The Newcomers

Nick Stephens (6-3,210)



7. South Carolina

The Starter

Blake Mitchell (6-3, 206, Jr)

Mitchell was one of the biggest surprises of the season last year. He completed 186 of 315 passes for 2,370 yards for 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Mitchell is a good player that needs to cut down on his interceptions from his last two games. He does not move as well as some in the league but makes most of the throws as well as anyone in the SEC.

Thompson had a nice spring game and emerged as the back up. Spurrier loves the pocket passer in Smelley. He may be the long-term answer in Columbia.



The Depth

Cade Thompson (6-2, 181, Fr)



The Newcomers

Chris Smelley (6-3, 210)



8. Georgia

The Starter

Joe Tereshinski (6-3, 217, Sr)

Tereshinski takes over for D.J Shockley but for how long. He will have to hold off Stafford and perhaps Barnes. Both are more talented than Tereshinski who completed 25 of his 49 passes for 371 yards for a touchdown and two picks last season. The Dawgs have talent here but it is young and inexperienced.



The Depth

Blake Barnes (6-3, 219, So)

Joe Cox (6-1, 200, Fr)



The Newcomers

Matthew Stafford (6-3, 210)



9. Alabama

The Starter

John Parker Wilson (6-2, 207, Fr)

I think Wilson will be the starter in T-Town. Replacing Brodie Croyle is difficult and neither Wilson nor Guillon had a great spring. But Wilson is more dependable than Guillon. Some thought Tebow was headed to Tuscaloosa to take over the reigns but he stayed in state instead.



The Depth

Marc Guillon (6-3, 212, Sr)



The Newcomers

Earl Alexander (6-4, 208)

Greg McElroy (6-2, 210)



10. Kentucky

The Starter

Andre Woodson (6-5, 240, Jr)

Woodson was average in 2005 and now that the Wildcats brought in former Tennessee quarterback coach Randy Sanders to run the show then there may be a quarterback competition. Last year Woodson completed 146 of 253 passes for 1,644 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. The staff liked the way Pulley looked in the spring. Woodson better not slip up or the job could be Pulley’s.



The Depth

Curtis Pulley (6-3, 205, So)



The Newcomers

Will Fidler (6-4, 203)

Mike Hartline (6-6, 190)



11. Mississippi State

The Starter

Michael Henig (6-1, 180, So)

Henig is an average college passer. He showed some sign last season late in the year but is still very inconsistent and not very accurate. We saw Rutland in high school at a camp and liked his athletic ability and versatility. This position is not a strong point in this West Coast offense.



The Depth

Tray Rutland (6-2, 220, Fr)



The Newcomers

N/A



12. Vanderbilt

The Starter

Chris Nickson (6-1, 210, So)

Jay Cutler’s successor has yet to be determined. Nickson was the back up last year but Adams may be more talented. Both run pretty well but neither has experience. Either will be OK but nowhere near where the Commodores have been in recent years with Cutler. The good news is that Earl Bennett can catch BBs.



The Depth

MacKenzi Adams (6-2, 205, Fr)



The Newcomers

Jarod Funk (6-2, 185)


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