Thursday, June 16, 2011
Ranking the ACC quarterbacks
By Heather Dinich
In addition to the position rankings, this year I’ll also rank the players 1-10 at each position in the ACC.
These will be the top 10 players overall, so if Florida State happens to have two of the best running backs in the league, it will be reflected in the ranking. If Duke doesn’t have any players who have proven worthy of the list, you won’t find any Blue Devils. The players will be judged on past performances, but also on how they are expected to fare this fall.
Bottom line: Who would you choose at each position if you had to line up tomorrow against Oklahoma?
Following up on this morning’s quarterbacks ranking, we’ll start there.
This will be the most impossible and most unfair assessment since over half of the quarterbacks in the conference will be first-year, full-time starters this season. While experience is a factor, so is how they fared this spring and what their coaches and teammates have been saying about them.
Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien threw for 2,428 yards and 22 touchdowns as a freshman.
Here are your top ACC QBs:
1. Danny O'Brien, Maryland: He was the ACC’s 2010 Rookie of the Year after he completed 57 percent of his passes and threw only eight interceptions. He had a 7-3 record as a starter, threw for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns. And that was only his freshman season.
2. EJ Manuel, Florida State: He’s 4-2 as a starter, including bowl wins over two ranked teams. He completed 67.3 percent of his passes and totaled 2,044 yards of offense.
3. Sean Renfree, Duke: He threw for 3,131 yards and only had two interceptions in his final 188 pass attempts. He completed 61.4 percent of his passes and finished second in the ACC in total offense (257 yards per game).
4. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: He had an outstanding spring, and quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain said Thomas was ahead of schedule. His teammates raved about how far he has come, and his leadership on and off the field. Overall, the Hokies couldn’t have asked for a better transition after losing the winningest quarterback in school history.
5. Jacory Harris, Miami: His experience can’t be ignored, and when he’s healthy and confident, he’s good. Harris enters his final season with 6,340 career yards and has thrown 50 touchdown passes. There’s no guarantee he’ll be Miami’s starter this fall, but he is a proven veteran.
6. Mike Glennon, NC State: He completed 9 of 13 pass attempts last year and could be one of the most accurate rookies in the league this year. Those within the program have said Glennon can make a throw just about anywhere on the field, and the receivers know if they’re on time, they’re going to get the ball.
7. Bryn Renner, North Carolina: He’s only thrown two collegiate passes, but he had one of the better spring games of the rookie quarterbacks in the league. He completed 9 of 13 pass attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown.
8. Tanner Price, Wake Forest: He started nine games as a true freshman and completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 1,349 yards and seven touchdowns. He also ran 75 times for 120 yards and four more touchdowns.
9. Chase Rettig, Boston College: He should take a major step forward in his second season as starter, and should also flourish under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers. He completed 51.3 percent of his passes for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns last year.
10. Tajh Boyd, Clemson: He had an inconsistent spring, but overall, the coaches were pleased with the progress he made in the new offense under first-year coordinator Chad Morris. He played in seven games last year and threw four touchdowns and three interceptions in 63 pass attempts. He completed 52.4 percent of his passes for 329 yards.