The strength of the sophomore ranks in college football may be at running back, but the quarterback position isn't hurting for top-flight talent either. We're on the cusp one of the most wide-open national championship races in recent memory, and these next four quarterbacks could have plenty to say about the College Football Playoff final four before we tie a bow on the 2015 season. Here's our list of the 4 Best Sophomore Quarterbacks In College Football For 2015.
4. Brad Kaaya -- Miami Hurricanes
Kaaya is the most intriguing wild card of this year's sophomore QB crop. He captured the ACC Rookie of the Year award last year and set Miami true freshman records for passing yards and touchdowns, but he'll now have to provide a follow-up without some key NFL-caliber supporting cast members (Ereck Flowers, Phillip Dorsett, Duke Johnson). He isn't a reliable deep-ball threat just yet, but his accuracy and ability to relax in the pocket in the face of pressure is that of someone beyond his years. Head coach Al Golden's job may ride on Kaaya's arm. Lucky for Golden, Kaaya has all the markings of a kid who's up for the challenge.
3. Anu Solomon -- Arizona Wildcats
The weird thing about Solomon is that his tangibles are that of an average college quarterback, but his ability to win far outstrips "average." Solomon doesn't have afterburner speed, can't dip and dive very well against oncoming rushers, and he doesn't possess an NFL-strength cannon. However, Solomon was 57-3 as a prep quarterback and led Arizona to its first double-digit win season and ranked season since 1998. As the first holdover starter for the Wildcats since Nick Foles (2010-11), we expect Solomon to improve on his already-impressive totals of 3,793 passing yards and 28 touchdowns in 2014.
2. JT Barrett -- Ohio State Buckeyes
From an eye-test standpoint, Barrett's intelligence manifests itself in jaw-dropping accuracy, including a dart to the goalline at the recent Elite 11 camp which made former QB Trent Dilfer scream out of amazement. Add in his versatility as a thrower from all angles and situations, along with the propensity to make leap-sized improvements on a week-to-week basis, and Barrett seems to have all the intangibles to paper over some of his tangible "deficiencies." We've got him pegged as the favorite to beat out Cardale Jones for Ohio State's starting job. If he does so, there's no reason to expect a drop-off of any sort for the defending national champs.
1. Deshaun Watson -- Clemson Tigers
Watson missed nearly five full games in 2015 with a broken finger and a torn ACL, but the ACL surgery was way back in December and he's plenty healthy to get things rolling for a Clemson team that has assumed Florida State's former throne as the current favorites in the ACC. Watson is THE Heisman candidate no one is talking about -- a dual-threat monster who can outrun you, outgun you and outthink you, sometimes in the same play. He's got excellent WR targets (Mike Williams, Artavis Scott) and an improving running back corps to take some of the load off of him when needed. If Watson stays healthy and produces at the level he did in eight games (five starts) last year, Clemson is both an ACC Championship AND a national title contender.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed