And at #4 spot on my list is….
#4 University of Ole Miss’s Chad Kelly- Kelly had his first season of football last year as a Junior. Kelly started his collegiate career at Clemson. Kelly didn’t play much as a freshman because he was behind one of the great Clemson Quarterbacks, Tajh Boyd and he sat out his sophomore year due to transfer rules. He found his future home at Ole Miss. The 6’2″ QB did well in his full first season as a starting Quarterback. He threw for 4024 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, while also rushed for 500 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground. Kelly led the Rebels to a 10-3 record including a bowl win against Oklahoma State, which was one of his best game of the season. Kelly came up big in many of the Rebels games this season.
On September 9th, the Rebels went down to Alabama for this SEC West showdown. The Rebels would win the game 43-37. The Ole Miss offense was hitting on all cylinders especially on Kelly’s miracle fling to Quincy Adeboyejo for 66 yards. For the game, Kelly threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns on the Alabama secondary. He also added 21 yards to the run game and one score on the ground. His passer rating was 171.3 and had an adjusted QBR of 95.8. This was Ole Miss’s first win at Bryant-Denny in about 25 years.
On November 7th, the Rebels had another SEC West showdown against Arkansas that had to be decided in overtime. The Rebels did not come out victorious, losing by a score of 53-52, but it was one of Kelly’s best games. He threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns, and also added 110 yards on the ground while finding the endzone three times using his feet. Kelly was hot, he completed over 70% of his passes, had a passer rating of 190.6, and a season high 98.3 QBR. Even though the team did not win, it showed how effective Chad Kelly could be if he is dialed into the game.
His last big game was against another SEC West bitter rival, Mississippi State. It was Senior Night, and their starting Quarterback, Dak Prescott wanted a win badly. Kelly and the Rebels out dueled Prescott and his Bulldogs. Ole Miss beat their rival 38-27. Kelly threw for 236 yards and had two passing touchdowns, while also having 74 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. He had a 70% completion rate, 158.1 passer rating, and also had QBR of 94.2. Out of 13 games Kelly only threw for under 300 yards five times and threw for over 350 four times.
Next year’s Ole Miss team has the potential to be even better. Though, Kelly will be missing his one of his favorite receivers, Laquon Treadwell, and his left tackle Laremy Tunsil, he still should have great success. He should have another 4000 passing yard season and hopefully less interceptions than his junior year. Kelly has the potential to be a Heisman candidate and one of the first Quarterbacks taken in next year’s NFL Draft.