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Rivals Rankings Week: Who will challenge for top spot in QB rankings?

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

Quarterback is still the position that commands the most attention in the recruiting process, and the 2021 class looks strong at the top with five ranked among the top 15 overall prospects. Georgia native Brock Vandagriff starts out as the highest ranked quarterback in the class, but he has several top gunslingers on his heels looking to overtake him at No. 1. Who are some of the players with the best shot?

Rivals Rankings Week:

Tuesday: 2021 Rivals100 revealed | Vandagriff No. 1 | Mind of Mike

Wednesday: 2021 Offensive position rankings

Thursday: 2021 Defensive position rankings revealed

ADAM FRIEDMAN, MID-ATLANTIC RECRUITING ANALYST

Kyle McCord
Kyle McCord (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

McCord has been on my short list for top quarterback in the 2021 class since I first saw him work out a couple years back. The Ohio State commit has outstanding arm strength and a great sense of timing with his receivers. McCord sees the defense well and does a good job going through his progression to find the open man. There is plenty to like about McCord physically and there is little doubt he'd be able to stand up to the punishment of college defensive linemen.

As for whether or not McCord could end up as the top quarterback in the class, there is a good argument that he is more physically ready for the college game than any of the other quarterbacks ranked ahead of him. The combination of his performances against elite competition and the way he quickly adjusts to the speed of defenders should give the rest of the analysts a boost of confidence in him. McCord's performance at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas next week will be a great opportunity to see where he stands in comparison to Vandagriff and Michigan commit J.J. McCarthy.

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ADAM GORNEY, NATIONAL/WEST RECRUITING ANALYST

Sam Huard
Sam Huard (Rivals.com)

It is really something watch Huard because the lefty quarterback hardly ever makes a bad throw. It's actually pretty amazing to watch because the Washington commit delivers passes on time and he makes the right decision almost every time. He's a great leader on the field, a quick decision-maker and even though he trusts his arm talent Huard doesn't try to force bad throws to make the highlight play. He's just a super smart, savvy, quietly competitive kid who has been impressive for years.

Huard is not going to blow anyone away physically and so getting bigger should be a focus in the coming years, but in terms of accuracy, decision-making, leadership, pedigree and arm strength, Huard is right up there with any quarterback in the 2021 class.

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JOSH HELMHOLDT, MIDWEST RECRUITING ANALYST

J.J. McCarthy
J.J. McCarthy (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

When McCarthy committed to Michigan earlier this spring, the Chicagoland quarterback cited his similarities to current Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson as one of the factors that cinched his decision. Patterson, of course, was the No. 1 ranked quarterback in the 2016 class. So, does McCarthy possess that same type of ability? From a purely passing standpoint, the answer is yes. Like Patterson, McCarthy throws a beautiful football and is able to place it consistently in spots few other quarterbacks can.

What McCarthy will have to show to fulfill those comparisons, and lay claim to the No. 1 quarterback ranking in this 2021 class, is the moxie and athleticism that Patterson combined with that passing ability. The early returns are positive with McCarthy, though, who has shown the leadership and competitiveness that can portend future success.

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