football Edit

Three-Point Stance: QBs that waited, under-the-radar passers, recruiting National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a focus on the quarterback position, including a look at the how the signal callers for most top-10 teams had to wait their turn.

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

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Ian Book
Ian Book (James Sisson)

Waiting isn’t always a bad thing and the AP Top 25 is packed with teams whose quarterbacks had to wait their turn to become the starter. Here’s a snapshot of the journey of each top-10 team’s leader.

1. Alabama Tua Tagovailoa – Tagovailoa had to wait almost a full season to replace Jalen Hurts and, of course, go on to win a national title. Now he’s the man for Alabama and should win the Heisman Trophy this year after admitting he did think about transferring at one point.

2. Clemson Trevor Lawrence – OK, Lawrence didn’t have to wait long to show he’s better than Kelly Bryant, so he’s not a great example. There was no doubt he was going to be the man. But he did wait a few games, right?

3. Georgia Jake FrommJacob Eason was the man for Georgia and was a successful true freshman, so things didn’t look great for Fromm early. But Eason got injured and the rest is history.

4. Ohio StateJustin Fields – Fields chose Georgia despite the elite talent at quarterback and the fact that Fromm was the established starter after a great freshman year. After a year at Georgia, he smartly transferred and is now a Heisman candidate at Ohio State. He’s a great example of a player perhaps not making the smartest choice during the recruiting process but being bailed out by the transfer portal.

5. LSU Joe Burrow – Burrow was an afterthought at Ohio State after losing out to Dwayne Haskins and with a guy named Tate Martell waiting in the wings. Now he’s a Heisman candidate at LSU. Another transfer portal star.

6. Oklahoma Jalen Hurts – Hurts was the man for Alabama, but once Tagovailoa took over he was just a backup. He played the role well and has now landed on his feet at Oklahoma.

7. Auburn Bo Nix – Nix didn't have to wait a second at Auburn. Moving on.

8. Wisconsin Jack Coan – Coan saw limited time his first two seasons at Wisconsin and had a couple of starts but had to wait until this season, his junior year, to be the man and starter. Now he’s leading one of the best teams in the country.

9 Notre DameIan Book – Book was fourth-string as a freshman and was the backup to Brandon Wimbush before taking over due to injury. Then he was clearly the better option over Winbush last year and is the key to the offense as a senior.

10. Florida Kyle Trask – Trask is a great example of a player being patient as he was a backup in high school and wasn’t a factor at Florida until Feleipe Franks went down to injury. Now he’s the key to Florida’s attempt to make a run at the CFB Playoff.


Tanner Morgan
Tanner Morgan (AP Images)

Here are seven quarterbacks that aren't getting talked about enough for how well they are performing this season.

Brian Lewerke, Michigan State – Look at his numbers and then look again. He’s put up a ton of yardage, has 10 touchdowns and only one pick and he looks like the quarterback of a high-powered offense based on his stats. You’d never think Lewerke would have numbers that are better than those of Fields, Hurts and others, especially with the Spartans ranked No. 60 in scoring offense.

Anthony Gordon, Washington StateMike Leach’s latest quarterback star is putting up monster passing numbers and very few in the country know his name. But that could be said about Gardner Minshew before last season. Gordon leads the country in passing yards by a good margin. His stats to this point already look like a season’s worth for some others.

Tanner Morgan, Minnesota – Minnesota is undefeated and Morgan’s play is a big reason why. People don’t pay attention to the Gophers' quarterback, but they should. He’s very efficient.

Dillon Gabriel, UCF – Despite the loss to Pitt, Gabriel has been excellent for UCF this season and one of the more prolific quarterbacks in the country. UCF knows how to develop them, right? Wasn’t Wimbush supposed to be the guy?

Sean Clifford, Penn State – I’ve always liked Clifford from his days as a winner at a great high school program in Ohio and now he’s showing that the Penn State offense is not taking a step back at all without Trace McSorley. Nine touchdowns with only one pick is impressive.

Sam Ehlinger, Texas – Ehlinger should be on everyone’s Heisman list with his play and numbers and gets overlooked mainly because of how well Oklahoma and Hurts have started. His 15-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio is awesome.

Jamie Newman, Wake Forest – Who? Yep, this is the quarterback of the undefeated Demon Deacons and he’s efficient and putting up some very impressive numbers. He’s also doing it against a few good defenses.


Harrison Bailey
Harrison Bailey (

Let's take a look at the 2020 quarterback class and some of the prospects heading into the best situations.

Harrison Bailey, Tennessee – The quarterback situation at Tennessee is wide-open and Bailey has a ton of experience, having been a highly scrutinized recruit since middle school. He has the maturity to step right in and will have a chance to play.

Carson Beck, Georgia – The quarterback numbers are down at Georgia because of transfers and such and Fromm should leave after this season for the NFL. Beck will have a chance to compete early for a very good team. And the way the Bulldogs recruit offensive linemen, he could fall into a great situation.

Jay Butterfield, Oregon – Herbert is gone and backup Tyler Shough is still young so it’s not crazy to think a guy like Butterfield, with his size and ability, could come in and compete right away.

Jeffrey Sims, Florida State – The Seminoles didn’t recruit a quarterback in the last two recruiting cycles, so Sims walks into a great situation with a team that is always loaded with talent.

Bryce Young, Alabama – Tagovailoa will be gone and his little brother will be tough to compete with, but Young decommitted from USC to head to Alabama for a reason – and that reason is to play early.

Haynes King, Texas A&M – It’s not that there isn’t talent behind Kellen Mond, but King is a Jimbo Fisher kind of guy. If Mond returns, King can learn under him before taking over. Mobility is King's strength and that’s what Fisher likes about him.

D.J. Uagalelei, Clemson – Why is he so low on the list with Lawrence surely gone after his junior season? Because Clemson recruits at the highest level possible and you know the Tigers will be bringing in studs. But the No. 1 player in the country should hit the ground running following Lawrence.