The college football season is approaching. There is always debate over ranking the best players in the sport. Here are the top 25 college football quarterbacks heading into the 2022 season.
Note: While projection of what a player can be is taken into account, most rankings are from what has been seen on the field so far. These are not NFL Draft rankings, but rather focus on the best players in college football.
25. Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland Terrapins
Tagovailoa is entering his third season at Maryland after transferring from Alabama. He passed for 3,860 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 69.2 percent completion. Tagovailoa doesn’t throw the ball downfield well and had some notably bad performances, but overall is a good quarterback for Maryland and has plenty of talented receivers returning to the Terrapins to help him out.
24. Clayton Tune, Houston Cougars
Every season Tune has improved and is now heading into his fifth season with the program. The 2021 season saw Tune pass for 3,544 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Tune can lead the Cougars to a New Year’s Six Bowl with another solid season.
23. Tanner Mordecai, SMU Mustangs
Mordecai transferred to SMU from Oklahoma and had a good 2021 season. He passed for 3,628 yards, 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 67.8 percent completion. Mordecai gets Rashee Rice back at receiver and new head coach Rhett Lashlee could help him reach a new level.
22. Cameron Ward, Washington State Cougars
There have been a few FCS quarterbacks who have transferred up to the FBS and had success. It looks like Ward may be next. At Incarnate Word, Ward passed for 4,648 yards, 47 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021. He takes over the reins of the Washington State offense, which will allow him to put up more great stats.
21. Aidan O’Connell, Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue has had some quality offensive players under Jeff Brohm. O’Connell grew into a good quarterback during the 2021 season. He had 3,712 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 71.6 percent completion. O’Connell will have to get used to some new receivers as David Bell is in the NFL now and Milton Wright is no longer with the team.
20. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA Bruins
Thompson-Robinson is inconsistent with his arm, but he adds the ability to run the football. He accounted for over 3,000 total yards and 30 touchdowns in 2021. Entering his fifth-season, Thompson-Robinson is experienced and will be looking to have his best season yet.
19. Will Rogers, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Playing in Mike Leach’s offense helps Rogers standing on this list, as he will put up some stats. He passed for 4,739 yards, 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 73.9 percent completion. Is Rogers the most naturally talented player on this list? No. But he does produce and runs the offense well.
18. Jake Haener, Fresno State Bulldogs
After flirting with the transfer portal, Haener decided to return to Fresno State. He led his team to some upsets in 2021, but also put up some nice numbers. He finished the season with 4,096 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 67.1 percent completion.
17. Spencer Rattler, South Carolina Gamecocks
Rattler was projected to be one of the best quarterbacks in college football last season, but ended up getting benched. After passing for 1,483 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions on 74.9 percent completion, he decided to transfer to South Carolina. While 2021 didn’t go well for Rattler, he does deserve some credit for a solid 2020 season. If he can recapture that, South Carolina could take a step forward this season.
16. Jaren Hall, BYU Cougars
Hall stepped right in after Zach Wilson went to the NFL and performed well. He passed for 2,583 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions on 63.9 percent completion. His tape looks pretty solid for a player who was relatively inexperienced heading into the season. He’ll have to be at the top of his game in 2022, as BYU has a very tough schedule.
15. Phil Jurkovec, Boston College Eagles
Last season, Jurkovec injured his hand after building up a resume that could have seen him be selected in the NFL Draft. He chose to return to school for the 2022 season. In six games, he passed for 914 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions on 54.2 percent completion. Now that he is back healthy, Jurkovec can get back on track.
14. Will Levis, Kentucky Wildcats
Levis has been someone that many are projecting to go early in the NFL Draft. He did help improve the offense from a passing perspective, which was missing from the team for the past few seasons. Levis passed for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on 66 percent completion. He rushed for 376 yards and nine touchdowns. To move up this list, he needs to read the whole field better and limit the turnovers.
13. Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma Sooners
Gabriel spent three seasons at UCF, but was injured last season after just three games. He has passed for 8,037 yards, 70 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 60.7 percent completion. Gabriel is taking a step up going to Oklahoma and should have the offense running smoothly, especially with the help of star receiver Marvin Mims.
12. Cameron Rising, Utah Utes
In his first season as a starter, Rising led the Utes to the Rose Bowl. After passing for 2,493 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions on 63.8 percent completion, improvement is likely coming. The Utes are projected to win the Pac-12 and Rising is a large reason why.
11. Malik Cunningham, Louisville Cardinals
The running ability is what sets Cunningham apart, but he also passed for 2,941 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions on 62 percent completion. He rushed for 1,031 yards and 20 touchdowns. The stats are eye-popping. Now he needs to lead Louisville to more wins, as they’ll be counting on him more than most teams rely on their quarterback.
10. Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
McCall has had two straight great seasons for Coastal Carolina. In 2021, he was able to pass for 2,873 yards, 27 touchdowns and three interceptions on 73 percent completion. He also rushed for 290 yards and four touchdowns. He may not get as much recognition because he plays in the Sun Belt, but his production has helped put the program on the map.
9. Tyler Van Dyke, Miami Hurricanes
After D’Eriq King went down with an injury in 2021, Van Dyke stepped in and looked like a future star for the Hurricanes. He had 2,931 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions on 62.3 percent completion in 10 games played. Expectations are high for the U and with how Van Dyke played last season, they should be.
8. Caleb Williams, USC Trojans
Williams has been ranked on other lists much higher. He played well down the stretch for Oklahoma last season, throwing for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions on 64.5 percent completion. Williams rushed for 442 yards and six touchdowns. He is supremely talented, which gives him a chance to rise up this list by season’s end, but needs to show it for a full season.
7. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest’s offense is one to behold and Hartman thrived in it. In 2021, he passed for 4,228 yards, 39 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 58.9 percent completion. The completion percentage and the average yards per attempt are low, but he is effective in the Wake Forest offense. Hartman’s offense helped the team win 11 games and they look like they can be competitive again in 2022.
6. Brennan Armstrong, Virginia Cavaliers
Armstrong had amazing stats in 2021 for the Cavaliers and it showed off with the team making a bowl game. His 4,449 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions were impressive. The Cavaliers were lucky to get Armstrong back for the 2022 season, as he flirted with the NFL Draft. With his two top receivers back, Armstrong will be gunning for more wins and improved stats.
5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee Volunteers
Last season, Joe Milton started the year for Tennessee, but Hooker stepped in and led the offense to new heights. He passed for 2,945 yards, 31 touchdowns and three interceptions on 68 percent completion. Hooker runs the ball as well, finishing the 2021 season with 616 rushing yards and five touchdowns. With a full year as a starter in Josh Heupel‘s offense, Hooker could put up some monster numbers and lead Tennessee to an even better season.
4. K.J. Jefferson, Arkansas Razorbacks
Jefferson led the Razorbacks to a good season, but isn’t necessarily getting a lot of credit for it on a national level. He passed for 2,676 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions on 67.3 percent completion. Jefferson was also able to rush for 664 yards and six touchdowns. Heading into 2022, Jefferson leads a team that should push the envelope in the SEC West.
3. Devin Leary, NC State Wolfpack
Not only did Leary have a breakout year in 2021, but so too did his team. NC State won nine games, while Leary passed for 3,433 yards, 35 touchdowns and five interceptions on 65.7 percent completion. His ability to make plays downfield and protect the football at the same time is unique. After upsetting Clemson last season, NC State could do bigger things in 2022.
2. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State Buckeyes
Although he had a shaky start, Stroud was one of the best quarterbacks in the country by season’s end. He finished the year with 4,435 passing yards, 44 touchdowns and six interceptions on 71.9 percent completion. Stroud is a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy this season. Ohio State has plenty of fire-power on offense for the 2022 season and if Stroud continues his good play, the Buckeyes could be champions by season’s end.
1. Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide
Young won the Heisman Trophy last season after throwing for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 66.9 percent completion. He had some clutch performances, including when Alabama had their back against a wall in the Iron Bowl. Young led them on 97-yard drive to win the game. Alabama is projected to be national contenders again, but Young will have to break in some new wide receivers.
Notable Quarterbacks Outside the Top 25
Quinn Ewers, Texas Longhorns-Ewers has a lot of talent, but has not played a meaningful snap yet. In other seasons, he could be ranked top 25 based on projection, but there are plenty of talented quarterbacks returning in college football this year.
Anthony Richardson, Florida Gators- Many people have Richardson ranked higher because of his physical traits. They are incredible, but the tape from 2021 doesn’t look great. He can work his way up the list very quickly.
JT Daniels, West Virginia Mountaineers- Daniels has bounced around from USC to Georgia to West Virginia. He has battled injuries, but has had some really good stretches of play. As a Mountaineer, Daniels fits in well with Neal Brown‘s offense.
Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss Rebels- Dart is another former USC quarterback who transferred. He has plenty of arm talent and was a highly-rated recruit. At USC, he played just six games. With Lane Kiffin, he has a chance to move up this list with some early production.
Stetson Bennett, Georgia Bulldogs- Winning a championship helps and Bennett doesn’t have as bad of stats as many would think. He’s fully capable of leading Georgia to success again, but the former walk-on doesn’t have the greatest arm talent.
Frank Harris, UTSA Roadrunners- Harris led the Roadrunners to a great 2021 season and put up some nice stats along the way.
D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson Tigers- His really bad 2021 season holds him off this list, but he has all the tools to make the list by the end of the season.
Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh Panthers- Slovis is also a former USC quarterback who dealt with injuries. He joins Pittsburgh after a decent 2021 season, but will be without Jordan Addison, who transferred to USC.
Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets- Injuries held him back last season, but the dual-threat quarterback did show promise as a freshman in 2020.
Sean Clifford, Penn State Nittany Lions- Clifford is one of the more experienced quarterbacks in college football and has made some incredible throws. The consistency and attempts downfield have to improve.
Cade McNamara, Michigan Wolverines- McNamara led his team to the College Football Playoff last season, but that was mostly on the heels of a good running game and defense. He has to watch out behind him, as the talented J.J. McCarthy got some reps last season too.
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State Cowboys- Sanders has shown the ability to throw and run it for Oklahoma State and is experienced. He could lead the Cowboys to a Big 12 title this season, but last season the running game was a bit more impressive.
Adrian Martinez, Kansas State Wildcats- The transfer from Nebraska brings his dual-threat abilities to an offense with a few playmakers around him.
Hank Bachmeier, Boise State Broncos- Bachmeier has been a key member of the Broncos for three seasons. He had over 3,000 passing yards in 2021 and can lead the Broncos to a Mountain West title in 2022.
Tanner McKee, Stanford Cardinal- McKee certainly looks the part of a future NFL quarterback at 6-foot-6. He has plenty of returning talent coming back for Stanford and now needs to put up more wins or numbers to prove his worth.
Jayden De Laura, Arizona Wildcats- The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year from 2021 transferred from Washington State to Arizona. He won’t have a bunch of help around him.
Chase Brice, Appalachian State Mountaineers- Brice has gone from Clemson to Duke to Appalachian State in his career. He had a solid season for the Mountaineers in 2021, when they won 10 games.
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