Experience Returns at QB in the SEC for 2019
By: Tony Thomas
June 1, 2019
The SEC has a load of talent returning at the quarterback position in 2019, with over half the conference having starters back.
Arkansas will have 2 transfers, Ben Hicks (9,081 yards, 71 TD’s, and 34 INT’s in three years at SMU) and Nick Starkel (Texas A&M) competing for the starting job in Fayetteville. Hicks reunites with Head Coach Chad Morris and knows the offense well.
Kelly Bryant comes to Missouri after only 4 games as a senior QB at Clemson, competing to replace four year starter Drew Lock, who was drafted in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.
Keytaon Thompson looks to replace Nick Fitzgerald at Mississippi State, and will compete with Tommy Stevens, who transfers in from Penn State and reunites with Head Coach Joe Morehead.
Auburn must replace Jarrett Stidham, Vanderbilt loses Kyle Shurmur, and Ole Miss graduated Jordan Ta’amu.
Now, lets take a look at the returning starters at QB:
Tua Tagovailoa-Alabama: the Heisman runner-up, threw 2 INT in the National Championship Game loss vs. Clemson. He completed 69% of his passes for 3966 yards, 43 TD’s with only 6 INT’s in 2018.
Jake Fromm-Georgia: threw 3 TD’s with 1 INT in Sugar Bowl loss vs. Texas. Last year, Fromm completed 67% of his passes for 2749 yards, 30 TD’s and only 6 INT’s.
Jake Bentley-South Carolina: had zero TD passes vs. Virginia in the Belk Bowl. In 2018, Bentley completed 62% of his passes for 3171 yards and 27 TD’s, but he threw 14 INT’s.
Kellen Mond-Texas A&M: passed for 6 TD’s and rushed for another TD in the 7 overtime win vs. LSU. Mond completed 57% of his passes for 3107 yards and 24 TD’s, with 9 INT’s, and added 474 yards rushing and 7 more scores.
Joe Burrow-LSU: passed for 394 yards and 4 TD’s in Fiesta Bowl win vs. UCF. In the 7 overtime loss vs. Texas A&M, Burrow passed for 270 yards and rushed for 100 yards and accounted for 6 TD’s. For the year, he completed 58% of his passes for 2894 yards and 16 TD’s and 5 INT’s. Burrow also ran for 399 yards and 7 TD’s.
Felipe Franks-Florida: passed for 173 yards and a TD and rushed for 74 yards another TD in the Peach Bowl win vs. Michigan. In 2018, Franks completed 58% of his passes for 2457 yards and 24 TD’s and 6 INT’s. He also rushed for 350 yards and 7 scores.
Jarrett Guarantano-Tennessee: In 2018, Guarantano completed 62% of his passes for 1907 yards and 12 TD’s and only 3 INT’s in year 1 of the Jeremy Pruitt era.
Terry Wilson-Kentucky: Last year, Wilson completed 67% of his passes for 1889 yards and 11 TD’s with 8 INT’s, while adding 547 yards and 4 scores for a Kentucky team that had their best season since 1977.
In recent memory, this appears to be the most experience at quarterback that the conference has had in quite some time. With 5 teams listed in some preseason Top Ten rankings, the SEC is in position to once again have teams to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Stats and material retrieved from: cfbstats.com, espn.com, ncaa.com, and Athlon Sports.