Schools all over the country are trying to figure out who their starting quarterback will be. Injuries, graduation, transfers, suspensions and good old-fashioned competition all play significant roles as to why there are so many unanswered questions about arguably footballs most important position. We are seeing it at Miami with the quarterback completion here.
We see this same thing happening all over Miami’s schedule. LSU brings in transfer quarterback, Joe Burrow, from Ohio State to shake things up. Deondre Francois is back from an injury, but James Blackman showed flashes in his absence. Josh Jackson’s eligibility is in question at Virginia Tech. Questions all over the schedule still need to be answered, but here is who I believe will come out on top and be the top five quarterbacks Miami will face in 2018.
5. Joe Burrow, LSU
Joe Burrow, the Ohio State transfer quarterback, eventually wins the starting job. Despite a push from Myles Brennan, who was a former four start recruit and supposed heir to Danny Etling’s tiny throne, Burrow comes out on top. Burrow wanted to play, and he was not going to do that at Ohio State because of Dwayne Haskins’ emergence as a potential college football star in the making. If he knew he was going to play second fiddle to someone, he would have taken his talents elsewhere. I know coaches don’t just “hand” people a starting job, but I believe Burrow would have gone to a school like North Carolina or Cincinnati, both in which he visited, if it wasn’t clear that he would be their guy.
Burrow was given a real chance to compete for a while at OSU, but Haskins really separated himself when he came in to the game against Michigan and went 6 of 7 passing for 94 yards and led them to a victory in the Big House.
Burrow was a consensus three star recruit out of Athens, Ohio. He reeled in offers from schools like Michigan, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Nebraska. At Ohio State Burrow completed 29 of 39 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Daniel Jones, Duke
Daniel Jones’ strong freshman year at Duke consisted of him throwing for 2,836 yards and 16 touchdowns. However, those numbers dropped last year to 2,691 yards and 14 touchdowns. His completion percentage slightly plummeted from 62.8% to 56.7%.
Jones stature (6’5 220lbs) gives him the unique ability to be extremely productive in the run game. In 2017, Jones ran for 518 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, making him one of just five FBS quarterbacks to surpass 2500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards. In his career at Duke, Jones has surpassed 1000 yards on the ground.
Against Miami, Jones was just 21/41 passing for 166 yards and an interception. Definitely not his best game, but not many quarterbacks had their best game against Miami.
3. Ta’Quon Marshall, Georgia Tech
Playing Georgia Tech is never fun. It is especially uneasy when they have a quarterback that can run the system almost to perfection. Ta’Quon Marshall is that guy. In 2017, Marshall accounted for 1,146 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground alone. Marshall is just a 37% passer, but Georgia Tech won’t ask him to pass very often. I would, however, expect that number to rise in his second season at quarterback.
Marshall also had six games with over 100 yards rushing, including a 249-yard performance in a double overtime loss against Tennessee.
In a 25-24 nail-biting loss against Miami in 2017, Marshall was just 3/7 passing for 55 yards and a touchdown. Miami was also just one of two teams to keep Marshall from scoring on the ground against them.
2. James Blackman, Florida State
If Willie Taggert doesn’t know who will be starting game one against Virginia Tech, I sure as hell don’t. I am basing this plainly on the fact that Deondre Francois has not been fully medically cleared to play yet and was limited throughout seven-on-seven’s throughout the spring.
James Blackman showed some flashes last year. In his first game as a starter against NC State, Blackman went 22 for 38 for 278 yards and a touchdown. He’s not bad. Given the fact that he got on FSU’s campus two months prior to Francois going down against Alabama and suddenly becoming the starter of a major program as a true freshman (who nobody expected to play for a couple of years), he did a pretty good job. Blackman threw for 1997 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2017, but he also threw 11 interceptions. I feel like the system that Willie Taggert runs fits well with Blackman’s skill-set and that ultimately gives him the upper hand over Francois.
I fully expect Blackman to take the next step as a quarterback in year two. He’s been there and done that now. He has a coach that runs a fast-paced West Coast offense that should benefit him and the rest of the Seminole offense that looked dead whenever the ball wasn’t in Cam Akers hands.
If I had to take my best guess, this is how the FSU quarterback competition plays out.
1. Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech
Okay, so Virginia Tech is in a pretty sticky situation here. Star quarterback, Josh Jackson, may or may not be suspended regarding academic issues. Some are reporting he is still with the team — seen below.
Others are reporting this.
Virginia Tech starting QB Josh Jackson has been suspended indefinitely pending an investigation into an academic issue, per sources.— Mike McDaniel (@MikeMcDanielCFB) June 7, 2018
Regardless of Jackson’s status with the university, who has not commented on the issue, he is still the best quarterback that Miami will face in 2018 — if he plays. Jackson started all 13 games for the Hokies and led them to a 9-4 record with the help of his 2,991 passing yards, which shattered Michael Vick’s freshman passing record at VT, and 20 touchdowns. Jackson was selected as a Freshman All-American in 2017.
Rumors regarding his ineligibility are serious and it seems like Virginia Tech may be preparing to play without Jackson in 2018. If that is the case, Justin Fuente may look at Junior College transfer, Ryan Willis, or either redshirt freshman Hendon Hooker or 6’4 true freshman Quincy Patterson, a Chicago native.
It is important to note that Josh Jackson is still listed on Virginia Tech’s official roster.
Who Is The Best QB Miami Will Play In 2018?
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