Beginning today, A11 Football Magazine will take a look at the Bleacher Report’s list of the Top 25 quarterbacks for the 2013 college football season, and how they would stack up in the upcoming A11 Football League. Today’s story looks at the quarterbacks in spots 21-25…
25. Brett Smith, junior, Wyoming – The 6-foot-3, 206-pound Smith gets the job done for the Cowboys both in the air and on the ground. Through the first three games of the 2013 season, Smith has passed for 6,401 yards, 56 touchdowns and just 20 interceptions in 26 collegiate games. That efficiency, accuracy (a career 61.7-percent completion rate) and his mobility (710 rushing yards as a freshman in 2011, and a career 4.1-yard average even when sacks are added to rushing totals) would make Smith a prime candidate to be successful in the A11FL.
24. Taylor Kelly, junior (RS), Arizona State – Another pass-run threat out West, Kelly and the Sun Devils are coming off a key 32-30 home win against another nationally-ranked team, Wisconsin. In two games in 2013, he has thrown for 652 yards and five touchdowns, while completing 63.4 percent of his passes and running for 49 yards. In his first season as a starter at ASU last fall, Kelly completed 67.1 percent of his throws for 3,039 yards, 29 touchdowns and just nine interceptions, while adding 516 net rushing yards (724 gained, 208 lost). At 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds, Kelly’s performance would suggest future A11FL success.
23. Cody Fajardo, junior (RS), Nevada – Following in the footsteps of former Wolf Pack and current San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Fajardo (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) has put up some impressive numbers in Nevada’s Pistol offense. Despite having to face nationally-ranked UCLA and Florida State on the road so far this season, Fajardo has put up 403 yards and two touchdowns (no interceptions) through the air and ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns in three games. Fajardo’s numbers in his first two seasons as a starter would make any A11FL offensive coordinator happy – 4,493 yards and 26 touchdowns passing, and 1,815 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing.
22. Blake Bell, junior (RS), Oklahoma – Bell doesn’t have an extensive collegiate body of work to this point, but as a 6-foot-6, 252-pound quarterback who could take the direct snap or take a handoff in an A11 dual-QB formation, he at worst would be a nice goal-line option. He made his first college start last weekend vs. Tulsa, and went 27-for-37 for 413 yards and four touchdowns while running for 24 more yards. In 2011 and 2012, Bell ran for 24 touchdowns in 104 carries.
21. Jeff Driskel, junior, Florida – Driskel, at 6-foot-4, 237 pounds, is yet another dual threat. He set the Florida single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 177 last year against Vanderbilt, and finished with 413 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in 2012. As a passer last fall, Driskel completed passes at a 63.7-percent rate with 12 touchdowns and just five interceptions. In the first two games of 2013, Driskel is 39-for-55 for 444 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, and has run for 38 net yards (71 gained, 33 lost) and a touchdown. His accuracy and running ability would be a good fit in the A11FL.