Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2019 quarterbacks
The top of the quarterback position rankings stayed pretty static following the post-senior season update, with the only change in either top five being Taulia Tagovailoa replacing Michael Johnson Jr. at dual-threat quarterback. Further down the lists, however, there was more movement and prospects worth watching going into the final months of the class.
More Rivals Rankings Week:
Wednesday: 2019 Rivals250 revealed
Thursday: 2019 position rankings revealed
PROSPECT WHO MADE NOISE: KJ Jefferson
How about the season Arkansas commit KJ Jefferson put together? Jefferson would have liked to have finished the task by taking home a MHSAA Class 3A state championship, but North Panola bowed out in the semifinals to Walter Valley. That does not take away from an outstanding season and a testament to Jefferson’s development over the last couple years. As a senior, Jefferson completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 3,180 and 37 touchdowns. He added 916 yards and seven more scores on the ground and should be an outstanding fit in Chad Morris’ offense. Texas A&M tried to make a run at Jefferson to sway him away from the Arkansas commitment he made last spring, but the newly minted Rivals250 prospect is all Hog.
PROSPECT TO WATCH: Taulia Tagovailoa
This will either be much ado about nothing or one of the biggest storylines of the 2019 class. Taulia Tagovailoa, who will watch his brother, Tua, attend the Heisman Trophy ceremony this Saturday and possibly take home college football’s most prestigious individual award, is getting the full court press from LSU. Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron is pursuing Taulia despite the fact that he is committed to Alabama, the school at which his brother has captained all season, since last April.
This could probably be dismissed – after all, several schools, Georgia being a prominent one, have tried to make runs at Taulia since his Alabama commitment. But he did visit LSU for a game this fall. Now, that game was against Alabama, so was it just a free ticket to watch his brother play? Or is he giving the Tigers a serious look? We do not know, because Taulia has chosen to let rumors fester instead of addressing them publicly. So, again, this could be much ado about nothing, but if it’s not it will be a major storyline in the class of 2019’s final months.
TEAM TO WATCH: Michigan State
The Spartans thought they had their quarterback of the future when they landed Oak Park, Mich., four-star Dwan Mathis at the beginning of his junior season. Mathis, however, flipped to Ohio State after nine months on the Spartans' commitment list, and Michigan State was not quick to recover. The only other quarterback they had offered was five-star Bo Nix, who had long-since committed to Auburn.
It was not until after the college football season ended that Mark Dantonio and his staff started revving up the quarterback recruiting machine. Chicagoland three-star Payton Thorne received a visit from Michigan State this week. Thorne is currently committed to Western Michigan, but the three-star prospect has received overtures from several Power Five schools late in the process.
Keep an eye on the Spartans, because it appears they are trying to make something happen at the position in these final months, and with no quarterback committed in 2019 and a strong tradition at the position, they could make things interesting for a few prospects.