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Breaking down the ACC's quarterback battles

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Kelly Bryant
Kelly Bryant (AP Images)

The start of fall camps is right around the corner and at several major programs the focus will be on the quarterback position as former elite recruits battle it out for the starting job. Last week, we took a look at some of the most high-profile battles and had National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell weigh in on how he sees them shaking out. This week, we take a conference-by-conference look at the remaining quarterback competitions. Today we focus on the ACC.

RELATED: Breaking down the Big Ten's QB battles | SEC's QB battles

MORE QB BATTLES: USC | Alabama | Michigan | Notre Dame | Florida State


Frontrunner: Kelly Bryant

Contender: Trevor Lawrence

Longshots: Chase Brice, Ben Batson

The situation: We weren’t even sure if we should include the Tigers on the list, especially since Kelly Bryant was technically named the starter in May. But there’s no doubt that many are expecting Lawrence to continue to push for the job, and even if he doesn’t overtake Bryant in camp, he’s expected to see the field plenty in 2018. While Lawrence is one of the best quarterback prospects in recent memory, Bryant did lead the Tigers to the playoff last year and beat out 2017 five-star quarterback Hunter Johnson, who has since transferred to Northwestern. How things shake out could have a major impact on the college football season as a whole.

Farrell’s take: I’m taking Trevor Lawrence here. He’s the better option, and I haven’t seen enough passing improvement from Kelly Bryant to say he’s going to win the job. Lawrence may be a true freshman, but he’s the best high school football quarterback I’ve ever seen and he’s ready.


Jawon Pass
Jawon Pass (AP Images)

Frontrunner: Jawon Pass

Contender: Malik Cunningham

Longshots: Jordan Travis, Clay Bolin, Sean McCormack

The situation: This one might be one of the easiest battles to handicap in the whole conference, as Pass has been groomed for two years to take over for former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Pass' hold on the job only got stronger during the spring, and he put up huge numbers in the Cardinals' spring game. Cunningham is an intriguing talent in his own right, and while he spent last year redshirting, it’s very possible he sees some time on the field in 2018 as well.

Farrell’s take: Pass is the easy choice here as a big, somewhat mobile quarterback who can do what Bobby Petrino wants in his offense. No, Pass is not Lamar Jackson, but he’s pretty good in his own right.


Chazz Surratt
Chazz Surratt (AP Images)

Frontrunner: Chazz Surratt

Contender: Nathan Elliott

Longshots: Jace Ruder, Cade Fortin, Jack Davidson, Manny Miles

The situation: North Carolina had a season to forget in 2017, as injuries decimated the roster and had a major impact on the quarterbacks' ability to be effective. Surratt won the job coming out of camp last year, but he bounced in and out of the lineup as the year went along due to ineffective play and injuries. Elliott finished the year as the Tar Heels' starter after starting the year as the third stringer, and he impressed with his toughness and leadership. Surratt has the higher ceiling and is a terrific athlete, so if all things are even, he should be able to win the job again.

Farrell’s take: You have to think Surratt is the guy here, as he has very impressive upside and has shown flashes of his potential. Last year was a disaster for everyone. but it wasn’t Surratt’s fault. I’ll take his talent level over Elliott or anyone else on the roster right now.


Arizona State transfer Bryce Perkins
Arizona State transfer Bryce Perkins (AP Images)

Frontrunner: Bryce Perkins

Contender: Lindell Stone

Longshots: Brennan Armstrong, Tristan Hillerich, T.J. Kitts, Matthew Merrick

The situation: The Cavaliers' quarterback situation seems like it will have an easy resolution, with Perkins, a former Arizona State signee and junior college transfer, the most likely candidate to win the job. Stone saw limited action as a true freshman last year but was recruited by the current staff with the idea of being the program’s quarterback of the future. The versatile Perkins was impressive during the spring and considering his age and experience, it will be an upset if he doesn’t start Game 1.

Farrell’s take: Stone is the long-term answer, but Perkins is the answer right now because Virginia needs his maturity and experience under center.


Kendall Hinton
Kendall Hinton (AP Images)

Frontrunner: Jamie Newman

Contenders: Kendall Hinton, Sam Hartman

Longshots: Tayvon Bowers, Matthew Considine

The situation: Coming out of the spring, it seemed like only a formality that Hinton would eventually be named the opening game starter. After spending more than three years in the program, Hinton has playing experience and a proven track record on the field. However, Hinton is suspended for the first three games of the season due to a violation of team rules. That opens the door for Newman and Hartman to compete for the right to open the season and at least keep the seat warm until Hinton comes back from his suspension. Newman has been in the program for more than two years and should be able to hold off Hartman, a true freshman. What’s worth watching is whether or not the job is waiting for Hinton after he returns from his suspension.

Farrell’s take: Hinton will be the guy after his suspension, but Newman will keep the seat warm for him and have some success. I don’t see a quarterback controversy here at all, as Hinton is the best of the bunch. Regardless of how well Newman does Hinton should be the Game 4 starter.