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ACC post-spring position rankings: Quarterback

Now that spring practice is in the rearview mirror, it is time to take a look at each ACC team by position. First, we will look at quarterbacks. It is important to note that we are not ranking the starting quarterbacks from top to bottom; rather we are looking at the position as a whole on each team. The better the starting quarterback, the higher the ranking. But keep in mind, experienced depth also has been considered.

1. Clemson. Deshaun Watson puts the Tigers into the No. 1 spot, even though they have no proven backup behind him. A healthy Watson means this team is a national championship contender again, and that is enough to override concerns about the backup positions. Because Clemson has no plans to play its backups.

2. Louisville. Lamar Jackson had a breakthrough performance against Texas A&M, increasing expectations for this year. But the Cardinals also have experienced backups, with Kyle Bolin leading the way. Reggie Bonnafon could also play the spot if absolutely necessary.

3. Miami. Brad Kaaya has been solid for the Canes in his first two seasons and should have his best season yet in 2016. It’s the shaky backup quarterback situation that puts Miami just behind Louisville in the rankings. The backup job -- between Jack Allison, Malik Rosier, Evan Shirreffs, Vincent Testaverde remains undecided.

4. Florida State. There’s no question the Seminoles have talent at the position, but coach Jimbo Fisher hasn’t announced a starter yet. Veteran Sean Maguire is capable of winning games, as we’ve seen in the recent past, while Deondre Francois and Malik Henry showed some playmaking ability in the spring game.

5. North Carolina. Mitch Trubisky earned raves during spring practice, and now he has to fill the big shoes Marquise Williams leaves behind. He has every opportunity to elevate the deep passing game. Behind him, the Tar Heels are completely inexperienced.

6. Georgia Tech. The big question here is whether Justin Thomas can return to the form we saw in 2014, when he led the Jackets to the Orange Bowl. He was hamstrung last season by injuries at the back positions and a step down in production from the receivers and offensive line. Backup Matthew Jordan appears to be set at No. 2.

7. Pitt. Nate Peterman unseated Chad Voytik a year ago and returns as the incumbent (2,287 yards passing, 20 touchdown passes, eight interceptions). Now he has a new offensive coordinator and no safety blanket in Tyler Boyd. Behind him, Pitt has no proven backup.

8. Duke. When Thomas Sirk went down with an Achilles injury, the Blue Devils were able to turn to a quarterback with playing experience in Parker Boehme (78 attempts in 2015, two touchdown passes). Though there is nobody experienced behind him, coach David Cutcliffe remains hopeful Sirk will return at some point this season.

9. Syracuse. New coach Dino Babers has yet to name a starter, but he has options. Eric Dungey appears to be the front-runner after a strong spring game (297 yards, seven touchdowns), while Zack Mahoney and Austin Wilson have all played in games for the Orange. Dungey showed flashes before he got hurt last year, and has a chance to move this group up (if he starts and stays healthy).

10. Virginia Tech. The Hokies don’t have a starter yet, either, in the race between Brenden Motley and Jerod Evans. Motley was inconsistent during his turn as the starter a year ago; Evans is an early enrollee from junior college. Both are learning an entirely new up-tempo scheme and are perhaps the biggest unknowns on this list.

11. NC State. The Wolfpack lose a third-round draft choice in Jacoby Brissett and don’t have a clear No. 1 to replace him. The competition between Jalan McClendon and Jakobi Meyers will go into fall camp, as both work to learn a new offensive scheme from Eli Drinkwitz.

12. Wake Forest. The good news is the Deacs have two experienced quarterbacks returning in John Wolford and Kendall Hinton. The bad news is neither has been able to effectively lead the offense for extended periods of time. Coach Dave Clawson has left the competition between them open through the offseason.

13. Virginia. Quarterback is the position that has vexed Virginia the most over the last six seasons. Though incumbent Matt Johns returns, new coach Bronco Mendenhall has yet to declare him the starter. Connor Brewer is pushing him; East Carolina transfer Kurt Benkert will join the mix in the fall.

14. Boston College. The Eagles got no production out of its quarterbacks once Darius Wade got hurt last season. Wade was back this spring, but he has yet to win the starting job. Kentucky transfer Patrick Towles is his biggest competition, though neither produced any offensive fireworks in the spring game.