Sporting News played it safe with Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud in last year's top 25 quarterback rankings.
SN ranked Young at No. 11 and Stroud at No. 18. Too safe.
Young finished with 4,872 yards and 47 TDs and won the Heisman Trophy while leading Alabama to an appearance in the College Football Playoff championship game. Stroud passed for 4,435 yards, 44 TDs and six interceptions and capped the season with a record-setting performance in the Rose Bowl.
Young and Stroud are easy choices at the top, but this year's list has a few surprises. A total of 10 quarterbacks who made last year's top 25 returned to school, and they aren't on the list this year. Seven quarterbacks are on the list again, including Oklahoma's new quarterback Dillon Gabriel and Oklahoma's old quarterback Spencer Rattler.
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As always, this list is subject to debate. With that in mind, Sporting News looks at the top 25 college football quarterbacks for 2022:
Just missed: Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland; Cade McNamara, Michigan; Casey Thompson, Nebraska
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Top 25 Quarterbacks for 2022
25. Stetson Bennett, Georgia
2021 passing: 2,862 yards, 29 TDs, 7 INTs
Doubt Bennett at your own peril. He's 14-3 as a starter the last two seasons, and now the starting job is his after leading the Bulldogs to a national championship in 2021. In the playoff victories against Michigan and Alabama, Bennett completed 66.1% of his passes and averaged 268.5 yards. He had 5 TDs and no picks in those monumental victories. The Bulldogs' offensive game plan isn't going to change much in 2022 either.
24. Phil Jurkovec, Boston College
2021 passing: 914 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs
It's a huge year for Jurkovec, who is projected much higher on NFL Draft boards. The 6-5, 226-pound dual-threat quarterback missed most of last season with a wrist injury a year after showing his potential with four 300-yard games for the Eagles. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry last season. If Jurkovec puts it all together this season, then he could be a top-10 pick in 2023. The 381-yard, five-TD performance against Georgia Tech last season was a strong reminder of that high-end potential.
23. Cam Ward, Washington State
2021 passing: 4,648 yards, 47 TDs, 10 INTs
Ward is arguably the most-fascinating quarterback on this list. He piled up 4,709 yards of offense in the FCS with Incarnate Word last season. The only FBS QB with more yards last season was Bryce Young. The 6-2, 223-pounder put on a show at the spring game with four touchdown passes, and that should ease the transition with new coach Jake Dickert.
22. Aidan O'Connell, Purdue
2021 passing: 3,712 yards, 28 TDs, 11 INTs
O'Connell had a breakout performance in the upset against Iowa, and he emerged as one of the hottest quarterbacks in the FBS in Purdue's last five games. He averaged 432.2 passing yards in that stretch, and that included a pair of 500-yard games in victories against Michigan State and Tennessee. O'Connell is a high-volume passer, but with a 71.6% completion percentage, that makes the Boilermakers a dangerous team in 2022.
21. Quinn Ewers, Texas
2021 passing: None
Ewers skipped his senior season of high school, and he transferred after one season at Ohio State where he did not throw a pass. Casey Thompson transferred to Nebraska, and Ewers will battle Hudson Card for the starting job in fall camp. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback can stretch the field with his arm, and if he wins the starting job he will be in control of a 40-points-per-game offense in Austin. We like the upside.
20. Will Levis, Kentucky
2021 passing: 2,826 yards, 24 TDs, 13 INTs
Levis might make headlines for eating bananas with the peels on them, but there's more substance to what he brings to the Kentucky offense. The Penn State transfer led the Wildcats to a 6-0 start before hitting a few dips on the second half of the schedule. Levis faced just three ranked teams last season, and he had four TDs and three interceptions in those games. He'll be working with new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello in 2022.
19. Clayton Tune, Houston
2021 passing: 3,544 yards, 35 TDs, 10 INTs
Expectations are high this season for the Cougars, and Tune's return for a fifth season are part of the excitement. Tune shook off a slow September and led Houston to 10 straight victories in 2021. He hit more than 70% of his passes in seven games last season, and he adds a dimension in the running game. The Birmingham Bowl victory against Auburn was a confidence builder, too.
18. Will Rogers, Mississippi State
2021 passing: 4,739 yards, 36 TDs, 9 INTs
Mike Leach-system quarterbacks always find a way on this list, and Rogers ranked third in the FBS with 4,739 passing yards last season. Rogers had more than 300 passing yards in 11 of 13 games, and he led the nation in completion percentage at 73.9%. The Bulldogs still lost five Michigan vs. Ohio State Rivalry Jerseys games, and a late-season slide in losses to Ole Miss and Texas Tech was part of the story.
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17. Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss
2021 passing: 1,353 yards, 9 TDs, 5 INTs
Trust the system that made Matt Corral a star. Dart transferred from USC, and the four-star recruit showed flashes of that talent with the Trojans in 2021. Ole Miss has a new co-offensive coordinators in Charlie Weis Jr. and John David Baker, who was on USC's staff last season. That continuity should help in Lane Kiffin's stat-friendly offense. Dart should emerge as a breakout player in the SEC West as a result.
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16. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
2021 passing: 2,409, 21 TDs, 6 INTs
It seems like DTR has been with the Bruins forever. He's paired with Chip Kelly for a fifth year – which will be pivotal for the program. Thompson-Robinson had his most-efficient season as a passer last season with a career-best 8.5 yards per attempt. He also had 609 rushing yards and nine TDs. He's 3-7 against ranked teams as a starter. Will he lead UCLA to that long-awaited breakthrough?
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15. Spencer Rattler, South Carolina
2021 passing: 1,483 yards, 11 TDs, 5 INTs
Rattler was No. 1 on this list in 2021. He lost the starting job at Oklahoma to Caleb Williams, but the five-star recruit who has been in the spotlight his whole career transferred to South Carolina. That fresh Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Gear start for Shane Beamer for an up-and-coming program should make a di UNC vs. Duke Rivalry Jerseys fference, and Rattler does have a career complet Fairleigh Dickinson Knights clothes ion percentage of 70.1% with 40 TDs and 12 interceptions. The SEC spotlight could push him back up draft boards, too.
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14. Anthony Richardson, Florid Caldwell Cougars clothes a
2021 passing: 529 passing yards, 6 TDs, 5 INTs
Between Richardson's rushing and passing attempts, the Gators averaged 7.4 yards per play last season. The 6-4, 236-pounder is a big-time talent who has had brilliant moments, but he's also been an inconsistent passer. New coach Billy Napier brings a system that produces results. Levi Lewis had 65 TDs and 15 interceptions the last three years. If Richardson can produce like that with the ability to break off the huge run, watch out.
13. Brennan Armstrong, Virginia
2021 passing: 4,449 yards, 31 TDs, 10 INTs
Armstrong averaged 427.3 yards of total offense last season, which is tops among returning quarterbacks. He put up huge numbers in the Cavaliers' offense last season. He's back for a third year and gives first-year coach Tony Elliott an experienced leader to build around.
12. Cam Rising, Utah
2021 passing: 2,493 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs
Rising settled in at quarterback in the back half of last season and led the Utes on a Pac-12 championship run and Rose Bowl berth. Rising is a road warrior quarterback. He was 4-1 with 10 TDs and no interceptions in five road starts last season, and he put on a show against Ohio State at the Rose Bowl with 214 passing yar Collin Cougars clothes ds, 92 rushing yards and three total TDs before leaving with a head injury. Rising has the Utes in position to make another Pac-12 run, and the opener against Florida is a huge spotlight game.
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11. Malik Cunningham, Louisville
2021 passing: 2,941 yards, 19 passing T Texas vs. Oklahoma Rivalry Gear Ds, 20 rushing TDs, 6 INTs
Cunningham returns for his fourth year as the Cardinals' starter, and he's the only quarterback on this list that rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season. He had 20 rushing TDs on top of that. He's on pace to break Lamar Jackson's school record of 50 TDs, and he could join Chris Redman and Brian Brohm as a 10,000-yard passer. Cunningham is 18-21 as a starter in that stretch.
10. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
2021 passing: 4,228 yards, 39 TDs, 14 INTs
Hartman was the conductor of a Wake Forest offense that ranked fourth in the FBS with 41 points per game. The Demon Deacons made the ACC championship game, and Hartman had his best season; one in which he was briefly considered a Heisman candidate. Hartman threw half of his interceptions in two games again Austin Peay State Governors Jerseys st ranked teams, which he needs to improve on in his fifth season with the program.
9. Devin Leary, NC State
2021 passing: 3,433, 35 TDs, 5 INTs
Leary took advantage of his first season as a full-time starter. He threw multiple TDs in all but one game, and Leary closed the season with a torrid stretch in which he had 18 TDs and three interceptions in the Wolfpack's last five games. Young (+40) and Stroud (+38) are the only returning FBS QBs who had a higher differential between TDs and interceptions. Leary will generate more NFL attention as he continues that mistake-free play.
8. Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
2021 passing: 2,931 yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs
Van Dyke took over when D'Eriq King was injured last season, and the results were a hit. Van Dyke started in nine games and finished with a 6-3 record, and he had three or more TD passes in each of Miami's last six games. That included wins against ACC contenders Pitt and NC State. Mario Cristobal's arrival has rekindled high expectations at “The U,” and the Hurricanes have a QB capable of leading a run to the ACC championship game.
7. Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma
2021 passing: 814 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs
Gabriel was ranked No. 5 on this list last year while still with UCF. He had 8,037 passing yards, 70 TDs and 14 interceptions the last three seasons with the Golden Knights, and most of that production was with former coach Josh Heupel – who has Oklahoma ties. Gabriel's 2021 season was cut short by a broken clavicle. He fits well in the offense, and that showed in the spring game when he hit 19 of 28 passes for 250 yards. The fit with Brent Venables and former Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby will lead to high production.
6. KJ Jefferson, Arkansas
2021 passing: 2,676 yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs
Jefferson is one of three quarterbacks on this list who had at least 2,500 passing yards and 600 rushing yards last season. He's had three 300-yard passing games, including the 326-yard effort at Alabama. He also had three games with at least 80 yards rushing. That elite two-way production should continue with offensive coordinator Kendal Briles at Arkansas.
5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
2021 passing: 2,945 yards, 31 TDs, 3 INTs
Hooker also hit the 2,500-yard passing and 600-yard rushing marks as a breakout performer with first-year coach Josh Heupel at Tennessee. Hooker averaged 274.2 yards of offense per game, and his 181.4 efficiency ranking trailed only McCall and Stroud. Hooker is a huge reason why expectations are high in Knoxville again, and with good reason.
4. Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
2021 passing: 2,873 yards, 27 TDs, 3 INTs
McCall led the FBS with a 207.7 passer efficiency rating last season. He has 54 TD passes and six interceptions for the Chanticleers and is 20-2 as a starter the past two seasons. McCall ran less last season, and it didn't impact his play-making ability. He also opted to stay at Coastal Carolina instead of entertaining offers in the transfer portal, and that makes him our top Group of 5 quarterback for 2022.
3. Caleb Williams, USC
2021 passing stats: 1,912 passing yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs
Williams made a huge impression when he took over for Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler during the Texas game last season. There were moments of brilliance, but Williams had ups-and-downs after taking the starting job as a true freshman. He followed coach Lincoln Riley to USC, and the offense should have that chunk-play capability with a strong supporting cast on the perimeter. Williams is a superstar in the making, but the top two choices on this list have proven that over a full season.
2. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
2021 passing stats: 4,435 yards, 44 TDs, 6 INTs
There is a case to be made for Stroud at No. 1, especially considering the last impression he made on the field. Stroud threw for 573 yards and six TDs against Utah in the Rose Bowl. He averaged 10.1 yards per attempt last season, a number that could conceivably increase given the receiver talent at Ohio State this year. Stroud also has signature stages at home against Notre Dame and Michigan this year. He'll push for the Heisman Trophy in 2022.
1. Bryce Young, Alabama
2021 passing stats: 4,872 yards, 47 TDs, 7 INTs
Young clinched the Heisman with a 421-yard, three-TD performance against the nation's top defense in the SEC championship game, and he still managed 369 passing yards in the CFP championship game rematch with Georgia despite being down his top two receivers. Young's play-making skills are off the charts, and he came up clutch in last year's Iron Bowl. He has competition from Stroud, and that's one that could be settled in this year's CFP. Young is on track to be the next Alabama QB to be selected with a first-round pick either way.