Grading the QB situations across the Big 12
The quarterback position is arguably the most interesting to follow in recruiting to see where players choose to sign and how schools recruit the position. Here’s a look at the scholarship QBs across the Big 12.
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Two of Baylor’s scholarship quarterbacks are from Texas and two are from out-of-state, but they’re also from the region, so the Bears have focused relatively locally for players at that position. Charlie Brewer was a three-star in the 2017 class from Austin (Texas) Lake Travis, and 2019 four-star Jacob Zeno is out of San Antonio John Jay. Gerry Bohanon was a three-star in 2018 from Earle, Ark., and 2020 three-star Blake Shapen is from Shreveport (La.) Evangelical Christian.
Farrell’s take: This has been an average group on paper that has been developed very well and should improve in the next few years. I give it a B-minus.
Starter Brock Purdy was a three-star quarterback from Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry who saw his recruitment take off in the closing weeks before National Signing Day but had no Pac-12 offers. In 2020, Iowa State’s focus was two quarterbacks in the class, and the Cyclones didn’t stray far from home as they signed three-star Aidan Bouman from Buffalo, Minn., and three-star Hunter Dekkers from Hawarden (Iowa) West Sioux.
Farrell’s take: Iowa State continues to recruit three-stars and develop them well, but remember this is about recruiting and the Cyclones couldn’t reel in Brock’s higher-ranked younger brother. This is a B-minus.
Kansas has gone near and far for quarterbacks - from the high school ranks to the JUCO ranks - in search of someone to jumpstart the offense. Miles Kendrick is a former three-star from San Mateo (Calif.) College and Thomas MacVittie is a three-star from Mesa (Ariz.) San Diego Mesa College. Jalon Daniels was a two-star in the 2020 class from Lawndale, Calif., and Jordan Medley is the only player not from the West region, a two-star from Kannapolis (N.C.) Brown.
Farrell’s take: This has not gone very well or been consistent and it shows on the field. I give this a C.
Skylar Thompson is the lone four-star among scholarship quarterbacks at Kansas State, the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the 2016 class out of Independence (Mo.) Ft. Osage. He’s not the only Missouri-based quarterback on a roster that also includes Jaren Lewis, a two-star in 2019 from Columbia (Mo.) John S. Battle. The third quarterback is the current starter in Will Howard, a three-star prospect from Downingtown (Pa.) Downingtown West, who took over when Thompson was injured earlier this season.
Farrell’s take: Thompson was a real get and has shown flashes when healthy, but mostly this is a three-star QB school and the Wildcats get a B-minus.
Starter Spencer Rattler was a five-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting class and a huge win out West for Oklahoma as he played at Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle. The state of Texas has been the focus of Oklahoma’s other QBs. In 2018, the Sooners signed three-star Tanner Mordecai out of Waco (Texas) Midway and last recruiting cycle three-star Chandler Morris signed with Oklahoma out of Dallas (Texas) Highland Park. Oklahoma has a firm commitment from five-star Caleb Williams out of Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga in the 2021 class.
Farrell’s take: What else is there to say? This is an A-plus in every way, with NFL first-rounders and five-stars.
There is an interesting mix of players in Oklahoma State’s quarterback room as starter Spencer Sanders is a four-star from Denton (Texas) Ryan in the 2018 class and then there are two 2020 prospects. One is former four-star Shane Illingworth out of Norco, Calif., and then three-star Ethan Bullock, who’s originally from Florida but played at City College of San Francisco before heading to Stillwater.
Farrell’s take: The Cowboys do well recruiting quarterbacks and that should continue even with the offense up and down. I give them a B-plus.
TCU has a boat load of walk-on quarterbacks on the roster, but Max Duggan is the starter and the biggest name by far, a four-star prospect from Council Bluffs (Iowa) Lewis Central. The other scholarship quarterback is Stephon Brown, who picked Appalachian State out of Kernersville (N.C.) Glenn but then went to Independence (Kan.) Independence Community College and chose the Horned Frogs from there.
Farrell’s take: Overall, this has been solid, but there aren’t a lot of scholarship guys and some big names have transferred away. This is a B.
The Longhorns are loaded at the quarterback position, and it’s not just because former four-star Sam Ehlinger from Austin (Texas) Westlake is the starter and still putting up big numbers. In 2018, Texas signed four-star quarterback Casey Thompson from Newcastle, Okla., the only out-of-state QB on the roster. Last recruiting cycle, the Longhorns landed four-stars Ja’Quinden Jackson and Hudson Card from Duncanville, Texas, and Austin (Texas) Lake Travis, respectively.
Farrell’s take: The loss of Quinn Ewers in 2022 doesn’t count here, and neither does 2021, but aside from those struggles this has been very solid and the Longhorns get a B-plus.
Texas Tech has a pretty traditional list of quarterbacks on its roster with 2018 three-star signee Alan Bowman, 2019 three-star signee Maverick McIvor and 2020 three-star signee Donovan Smith all being in-state prospects. And then there is starter Henry Colombi, who was a three-star recruit out of South Florida who started his career at Utah State but left there, ended up in Lubbock and has now earned the job.
Farrell’s take: I like what Texas Tech is doing by selling the success of Patrick Mahomes, and the Red Raiders continue to improve. They are a solid B.
Starter Jarret Doege was a three-star in the 2017 class from Lubbock (Texas) Cooper who signed with Bowling Green and then transferred to Morgantown, where it has worked out really well for him. He’s not the only transfer, though, since former four-star Austin Kendall started his career at Oklahoma before transferring to West Virginia, although his success has been limited. In 2020, West Virginia signed Garrett Greene, a three-star prospect from Tallahassee (Fla.) Chiles who had some SEC and ACC offers as well.
Farrell’s take: It’s mostly three-stars for WVU, and that’s average but not quite good enough. This is a B-minus.