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Rivals QB Week: ACC teams that have had the most QB success

As part of Quarterback Week, we take a look at the ACC and rank the quarterback talent by team during the era, from 2002-present.

RELATED: SEC teams with the most QB success | Top Big Ten QBs | Top SEC QBs | Full Rivals QB Week coverage


Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston (AP Images)

Florida State’s recent quarterback legacy comes with a Heisman winner. Jameis Winston took home the 2013 award and also led the Seminoles to a national title. He was the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and remains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting quarterback. Winston won NFL Rookie of the Year honors and has already played in the Pro Bowl.

Before Winston, E.J. Manuel made the jump from FSU to the first round of the NFL Draft after leading the ‘Noles to an ACC title and a win in the Orange Bowl. Christian Ponder was also taken the first round (2011) after an impressive college career that could have been even more special if it wasn't for a rash of injuries. These days, the future looks bright for the Seminoles, as current Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois is considered one of the top signal callers in the ACC despite being just a sophomore.


Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson (AP Images)

The Wolfpack mainly fly under the radar when people think of quarterback-producing powerhouses in the ACC, but they are the only team on this list with a quarterback that started and won a Super Bowl and has a profile. Russell Wilson wasn't highly touted coming out of high school, but he developed at N.C. State under head coach Tom O'Brien and offensive coordinator Dana Bible, and he's won a Super Bowl and has made three Pro Bowls in the professional ranks. Wilson was a third-round NFL Draft pick, and was so former N.C. State signal caller Mike Glennon. Glennon won a bowl game at N.C. State and is the projected starter for the Chicago Bears this season.


Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor (AP Images)

The Hokies have signed more big-time quarterbacks than any ACC team listed here. The highest rated player Virginia Tech has ever signed was Marcus Vick in the 2002 class. The troubled younger brother of Hokies legend Mike Vick had several run-ins with the police; he was dismissed from Virginia Tech in January of 2006 and continues to have problems with the law.

Sean Glennon took over for Vick, and much of his career overlapped with former five-star Tyrod Taylor. Glennon had an up-and-down career at Virginia Tech, but he did win MVP of the ACC Championship game in 2007. He signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent after the 2008 NFL Draft, but was released before that season.

Taylor has been the most successful of Virginia Tech's recent quarterbacks. The former five-star from the Tidewater region of Virginia saw time as a freshman, highlighted by a win over Florida State. His career is Blacksburg featured two ACC Championships, two bowl game wins, and he was named ACC Player of the Year in 2010. Taylor was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round and was on the team that won Super Bowl XLVII. He is currently projected to start for the Buffalo Bills this season.

Logan Thomas, Bucky Hodges and Jerod Evans are the other three major Virginia Tech quarterbacks in the era. Thomas was moved from tight end to quarterback and was a three-year starter for Virginia Tech. He led the Hokies to three straight bowl games, but the only win came in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl. Hodges was converted to a very successful tight end and was drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round after scoring 20 touchdowns in three seasons as a Hokie. In his only season at Virginia Tech, Evans led the Hokies to the ACC Championship game before going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft.


Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson (AP Images)

Clemson is on cloud nine right now. The Tigers just won a National Championship and Deshaun Watson, their star quarterback, was a Heisman runner-up for the second time. In the last few years, Dabo Swinney has put together an offensive system that lends itself to quarterbacks and gives them plenty of opportunities to be successful. This really took hold when Tahj Boyd became the starter in 2011. Boyd led Clemson to an ACC Championship that season, was named ACC Player of the Year in 2012, won the Orange Bowl in 2013 and set the ACC career record for passing touchdowns. Boyd was drafted by the New York Jets in the sixth round but underwhelmed and is currently out of football.

Watson didn't start right away for Clemson when he arrived on campus for the 2014 season, but received a lot of playing time before taking over the starting role in late September. He battled through injuries that season, but Watson really blossomed in 2015. Clemson went undefeated all the way up to the National Championship game and lost to Alabama. That season Watson was a Heisman Trophy runner-up, a consensus All-American, won the Davey O'Brien Award, the ACC Championship Game MVP, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Offensive Player of the Year. This past season was Watson's third and final in a Clemson uniform. He led Clemson to the second National Championship in school history and received many additional accolades. The Houston Texans drafted Watson with the No. 12 pick in the NFL Draft earlier this year.


Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson (AP Images)

Louisville’s mark has been made only recently. The headliner is the current starter, as the Cardinals head into the 2017 season with defending Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson at the helm of the program. Before Jackson, it was Teddy Bridgewater who rode his success at the school to the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Bridgewater is a former NFL rookie of the year and a Pro Bowler. Brian Brohm also has to be mentioned on any list of recent Louisville greats, as the Louisville-born quarterback turned himself into a Heisman Trophy candidate despite playing for the Cardinals during their time in Conference USA. A former Orange Bowl MVP, Brohm was a second-round draft pick and played in both the NFL and CFL.