Now that the A11FL Magazine has completed its look at the Bleacher Report’s Top 25 quarterbacks of the 2013 college football season, it’s time to analyze some of the fast-risers, freshmen and overlooked among this year’s college pivot crop.
Bryce Petty, junior (RS), Baylor – Coming into the 2013 season, Petty had thrown a total of 14 collegiate passes. Through the weekend, he is the top-rated quarterback in the Football Bowl Subdivision (239.5 passing efficiency). In just three games this season, Petty is 50-for-67 for a whopping 1,001 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. It is questionable, however, whether Petty (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) would fit into an A11FL offense, having run for just 65 yards on 24 attempts in 14 career games.
Jameis Winston, freshman (RS), Florida State – Winston (6-foot-4, 228 pounds) spent a year learning from Buffalo Bills first-round pick E.J. Manuel, and, so far, he’s proven that he’s learned his lessons well. Now second in the FBS in passing efficiency (209.49), Winston has posted 1,048 yards and 12 touchdowns in the air in his first four collegiate games, while also running for a net of 111 yards (162 gained, 51 lost) and two scores. Winston has a lot of collegiate action ahead of him, but his skill set seems to fit the A11FL perfectly.
Blake Bortles, junior (RS), Central Florida – Bortles has been flying under the radar despite putting up some impressive numbers in Orlando. At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Bortles displays the accurate passing and athleticism A11FL offensive coordinators will be looking for. In 28 collegiate games through the weekend, Bortles has thrown for 5,191 yards, 40 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while completing 65.2 percent of his passes. He also has run for 323 yards and 10 scores. So far in 2013, Bortles is a 70.8-percent passer with 1,174 yards, nine touchdowns and three picks in four games.
C.J. Brown, senior, Maryland – Although listed as a senior, Brown (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) will have this year and next available to him in terms of eligibility after missing 2012 with a knee injury. His most extensive playing time prior to 2013 came as a redshirt sophomore in 2011, as he played in 10 games (started five), passed for 842 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions, and ran for 574 yards and five scores. Coming back from the knee injury this year, Brown has been better than before – 1,043 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception passing, a 66.7 completion percentage and 283 yards and six scores on the ground.
Nathan Scheelhaase, senior, Illinois – The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Scheelhaase has the qualities A11FL coaches will look for – a ton of experience, an accurate arm and high-end mobility. Through the weekend, Scheelhaase has played in 40 college games, and has been responsible for 62 touchdowns (46 passing, 16 rushing). In four games so far in 2013, he is gunning for his best season, completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 1,162 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. As a freshman in 2010, Scheelhaase ran for 868 yards and five touchdowns.
Keith Price, senior, Washington – Price (6-foot-1, 202 pounds) is an accomplished passer for the Huskies, and he certainly has pro potential. In the last two full seasons, Price piled up 5,789 yards and 52 touchdowns through the air. So far in 2013, he has racked up 1,044 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions in four games. Price, however, doesn’t look to go outside of the pocket often, as his 46 rushing yards this season would be a career-high – meaning A11FL coaches most likely would look elsewhere.
Kenny Guiton, senior, Ohio State – An unknown outside of Columbus, Ohio, before this season, Guiton (6-foot-3, 208 pounds) has burst on to the scene in recent weeks – and become an intriguing pro prospect in the process. Playing in place of an injured Braxton Miller, Guiton displayed the dual threat excitement that the A11FL will be looking for. In five games this season, Guiton has completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 664 yards and 13 touchdowns, and ran for 186 yards and another score. He also has accounted for a pair of two-point conversions – one running and one passing.