football Edit

ACC Breakdown: The league's future QBs to monitor

The competition to replace Deshaun Watson at Clemson is one of the biggest storylines in all of college football, but that's far from the only intriguing quarterback situation in the ACC.

MORE QB BREAKDOWNS: SEC | Big Ten

CLEMSON

Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence (Rivals.com)

Current starter: TBD

In the fold for 2018: Five-star Trevor Lawrence

Breakdown: Filling the void left by Deshaun Watson is one the biggest storylines in college football. Watson’s production and clutch performances lifted the Tigers to a national championship. While coach Dabo Swinney has yet to name a starter for the upcoming season all signs point to Kelly Bryant taking the first snap against Kent State on Sept. 2. The Tigers are too talented for the coaches to allow the team to sink because of poor quarterback play so sophomore Zerrick Cooper or early enrollee and former five-star Hunter Johnson could see game action if Bryant struggles.

Meanwhile Clemson has one of the most polished quarterbacks in the last few years committed in the 2018 class. Trevor Lawrence picked the Tigers over the hometown Georgia Bulldogs and seems very solid with Clemson. He is a major part of Clemson’s future and is really helping the Tigers recruit in this 2018 class.

MIAMI

Artur Sitkowski
Artur Sitkowski (Rivals.com)

Current starter: TBD

In the fold for 2018: Rivals250 four-star Artur Sitkowski

Breakdown: The departure of Brad Kaaya leaves Miami without anything resembling a proven quarterback on its roster. Jack Allison was the highest-ranked recruit of the programs returning players, while Malik Rosier, who has served almost exclusively in backup duty, is probably the most game tested. Evan Shitreffs is also thought to be in the thick of the race. Newcomers Cade Weldon and N’kosi Perry could challenge for playing time with strong preseason camps, but winning a starting job as a true freshman is no easy task. That’s all to say that, Sitkowsk is seen as the heir apparent to the Miami quarterback throne, making 2017 a bridge year of sorts. Some player on the roster could become a breakout star this fall, but until that happens, Sitkowski is one of the program’s most important recruits in years.

FLORIDA STATE

Deondre Francois
Deondre Francois (AP Images)

Current starter: Deondre Francois

In the fold for 2018: N/A

Breakdown: Florida State's quarterback situation is squared away for the time being. Francois was solid as a redshirt freshman a year ago, and FSU expects him to take a step forward as a sophomore. The question mark at the position don’t present itself until further into the future. Five-star prospect Malik Henry signed with the Seminoles in 2016 but has already left the school and FSU does not have a quarterback on its 2018 commitment list. Dorian Thompson and Justin Fields are FSU’s main 2018 targets but in-state options Joe Milton and Michael Penix Jr. could come into play should the Seminoles miss on their top choices.

PITTSBURGH

Kevin Doyle
Kevin Doyle (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Current starter: TBD

In the fold for 2018: N/A

Breakdown: Former Pittsburgh quarterback Nathan Peterman is projected to be a middle round pick in the NFL Draft later this month and Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi and his staff are busy grooming his replacement. Even though it isn't official yet, it is essentially a forgone conclusion that USC grad transfer Max Browne will be Pittsburgh's starting quarterback this season. Redshirt sophomore Ben DiNucci's relief performance in last season's bowl game was lackluster but he is in contention for the starting job as well. Redshirt freshman Thomas MacVittie and true freshman Kenny Pickett have received good reviews throughout spring practice.

Kevin Doyle is Pittsburgh's top priority at the quarterback position in the 2018 class. He is a well-known prospect that many schools are recruiting but he has yet to land offers from programs such as Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama and others. Doyle plans on committing in June and it seems the Panthers are in good position to land his commitment.

VIRGINIA TECH

Quincy Patterson
Quincy Patterson (EDGYTIM)

Current starter: TBD

In the fold for 2018: Three-stars Quincy Patterson and DeJuan Ellis

Breakdown: In his first year taking over for legendary head coach Frank Beamer, Justin Fuente’s success exceeded all expectations. With Jerod Evans under center Virginia Tech made it to the ACC championship game and finished with a 10-win season, its first since 2011. Fuente is looking for his replacement for Evans but likely won’t name a starter until August. Redshirt freshman Josh Jackson will probably get the nod but true freshman Hendon Hooker is being given a real chance to win the job. Junior college transfer and former Nebraska quarterback AJ Bush is in the mix as well.

The commitments of Patterson and Ellis in the 2018 class have solidified Virginia Tech’s future at the quarterback position and provide some important depth.