Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Personal Favorite Returnees for 2011-QBs

     This will be my first venture into covering the 2011 season in an official manner. This will also be post number 750 since August of 2010. I did not want a milestone to be a run of the mill review for a losing Citadel team, so here is something just a little bit more for your reading enjoyment. Here is my list of my personal favorite returning QBs for the 2011 season at the FBS, FCS, and D2 levels. This will be my first sample of my journey into covering D2 football, which will begin in full coming up in May with an interview that I am sure that D2 fans from the MIAA will love. But for now, here is my list for my favorite QBs that will be returning in 2011.


Bryant Moniz, Sr.-Hawaii
Moniz was a video game in live action in 2010, as he fired away for 5040 yards and 39 TD passes. Hawaii's offense is perfectly suited for his abilities, and although he loses several big time players from the skill positions, it should not affect him all that much, as he makes players around him better. Moniz is never intimidated, as he looked right at home going nose to nose with USC last September. If you like high octane passing games, then Moniz is your guy.

Landry Jones, Jr.-Oklahoma
Jones was the guy that took over for eventual #1 draft pick and OU legend Sam Bradford. The Sooners have never missed a beat with Jones at QB, as he has developed into another QB that may indeed be a #1 pick himself one day. Before that happens, Jones may very well be a top competitor for the Heisman in 2011. Jones tossed 38 TDs in 2010, second only to Moniz. OU will be a strong candidate to win the Big 12, and should be a pre-season top 3 team.

Brandon Weeden, Sr.-Oklahoma State
Who knew this guys name last summer? If you were a Cowboy fan, you probably knew, but the rest of us had no idea. Weeden formed a perfect trinity on offense with RB Kendell Hunter and All-Bilo WR of the Year Justin Blackmon, and Blackmon will return to give Weeden one hell of a target. Weeden passed for 4277 yards and 34 TDs in 2010, good for 329 yards per game. With Weeden back and pulling the trigger, expect OSU to give Oklahoma a run for the Big 12 title, as it'll come down to one of the two.

Kellen Moore, Sr.-Boise State
Having gotten to see Moore perform live was a highlight of my 2010 season. Moore is as fluid as any QB that I have ever seen at this level, and he just makes everything look so damned easy. Moore passed for 3845 yards with 35 TDs last fall, but even better is that he went the entire season tossing only 6 picks, which was the best number of anyone on this list. Watching Boise State in action is like watching a team of pros, and their QB is pro to the extreme.

Andrew Luck, Sr.-Stanford
Luck is a throwback QB in that he knows what it means to be the leader. So many QBs in the game are attention hounds and get a lot of it for all of the wrong reasons, and are not technically sound in their passing game, and are not strong leaders who can control a locker room (see Cam Newton). Luck is a leader and is a naturally gifted QB who understands what it means to take the reins, to lead by example. Luck shocked a ton of folks by coming back to Stanford when it would have been so easy to walk away for NFL millions, especially after Jim Harbaugh bolted for the 49ers, but Luck did come back, and David Shaw is his new best friend. Stanford will once again give Oregon a run for their money in the newly formed Pac-12, and should also be a major player on a national stage with Luck running the show.

Ryan Lindley, Sr.-San Diego State
Lindley was resurrected by Brady Hoke last season. He was always a young QB who was full of talent, but for whatever reason, Chuck Long, a former QB himself, was never able to bring Lindley to full potential. Here's the deal...He still hasn't peaked out at full speed. The only thing that should hold him back in 2011 is the coaching change, but Rocky Long has worked on teams with great college QBs in the past (see Cade McNown) and understands where the focus needs to be when you have a gem running the offense. Lindley could add 5 more TDs and subtract 5 picks, and he would be considered to have had a brilliant season. It's all possible.

Dominique Davis, East Carolina; Nick Foles, Arizona; Corey Robinson, Troy; GJ Kinne, Tulsa; Ryan Radcliff, Central Michigan; Denard Robinson, Michigan; Alex Carder, Western Michigan; Kyle Padron, SMU; Robert Griffin, Baylor; Darron Thomas, Oregon


Brad Sorensen, Jr.-Southern Utah
Sorensen may be one of the best QBs that you may never heard of, but the only way you haven't heard his name is if you don't follow FCS football, and you should. Sorensen led Southern Utah through a meatgrinder of a schedule, and straight into the Great West title, where the Thunderbirds shucked Cal Poly from the trophy. Sorensen passed for 3163 yards and 21 TDs in 11 games, and will be a senior in 2012, when SUU joins the Big Sky.

Casey Therriault, Sr.-Jackson State
Therriault is another name that you had better remember coming into the 2011 season. Therriault shredded the SWAC with 3436 yards passing with 31 TDs to just 8 picks in 2010, and the Tigers missed playing in the SWAC title game by 2 points in an unfortunate loss to eventual division champ Alabama State. Therriault is going to try to make it his mission in 2011 to not see that happen again. He's buried a bit in obscurity as the SWAC does not participate in the FCS playoffs, but he could start for anyone.

Bo Levi Mitchell, Sr.-Eastern Washington
If I left the championship team's starting QB, I'd prbably get massacred on the fan message boards. Well, that happens sometimes anyway, but not because I'd leave Mitchell off of any list of mine. Mitchell was nothing short of brilliant in bringing the Eagles all the way to the top of the mountain in 2010 after having transferred from a log jam at QB at SMU. Mitchell passed for 3496 yards and 37 TDs in 2010 and the Eagles tossed Montana from the throne in the Big Sky. Now Mitchell and EWU are the hunted.

BJ Coleman, Sr.-Chattanooga
Coleman was at the center of one of the collest turnarounds in FCS college football last season. The Mocs had been mired in suckage for quite a few seasons, and although they have not fully turned the corner, Coleman is leading UTC in the direction of shocking some folks in 2011. Coleman passed for 2996 yards and 26 TDs in 2010, and with a ton of talent coming back around him, UTC is an early favorite of mine to be a surprise FCS Playoff participant in 2011. Whatever happens, Coleman will be right at the center of it as the focal point for this football team.

Denarius McGhee, So.-Montana State
The kid of the group. I took some serious heat last season for dropping some heavy criticism of young Denarius during the first month of the season for what I perceived were turnnover issues. McGhee proved me wrong and only tossed 2 more picks against 17 TDs the rest of the way from that point, and Montana State wound up sharing the Big Sky title with eventual national champ Eastern Washington. The Bobcats came up short in the playoffs, but with a full season under his belt, the incredibly athletic McGhee could have an amazing seaosn in store, and the Bobcats should have problem finding their way back to the playoffs once more.

Josh MacGregor, Sr. Jacksonville
The Dolphins have a special place in my heart, as JU has shown me a ton of love over the last several months since beginning this blog. That, however, has nothing to do with the love I have for MacGregor. He has earned the respect for sure, as he tossed the ball to the tune of 3049 yards and 32 TDs in 2010, and he also led the Dolphins to having the top ranked offense in FCS football. It doesn't hurt that the Dolphins also won 10 games. MacGregor's task in 2011? Return to the conference title, and force those idiots that bumped them out of the playoff picture to let them in the door. I am planning a road trip to Jacksonville this fall, and I can't wait to see MacGregor and the Dolphins live.

Casey Brockman, Murray State; Zach Lewis, Morehead State; Nathan Dick, Central Arkansas; Thomas DeMarco, Old Dominion; Ryan O'Neill, Lafayette; Mike Brown, Liberty; Matt Brown, Illinois State; Randy Wright, UC-Davis; Steve Probst, Rhode Island; Chris Lum, Lehigh

QBs D2

Bo Cordell, Jr.-Tusculum
What Cordell did as a sophomore in 2010 shatters the brain. Cordell passed for 4657 yards and 38 TDs on the season, and if the defense had not failed him when he needed them most, Tusculum would have been playoff bound. That can be fixed, and Cordell brings his video game-esque zaniness back to the field for 2 more magical seasons. Again, this kid is the reason why you should pay attention to D2 football.

Clay Garcia, Sr.-Colorado Mines
The Orediggers have a reputation as a team that likes to throw the football in bunches, and they have found another player worthy of allowing to toss it plenty in Garcia. Garcia tore up the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference by passing for 4066 yards in leading the Diggers to the D2 Playoffs, where they unfortunately fell to powerhouse Grand Valley State. Garcia tossed 39 TD passes in 2010, and I would not be shocked to see him lead Mines back to the playoffs to cap his senior season.

Cody Haffly, Sr.-Wingate
The Eagles are surely happy to have a QB back who finished only second to the Harlan Hill winner in TD passes with 42 on the season. That's what they have returning in Haffly, a major league gunslinger playing at a small school. Add to the crazy TD numbers that Haffly also passed for 3952 yards, and Wingate has the ability to get back to the playoffs after a first round loss to Albany State bounced them in 2010.

Kevin Morton, Sr.-Kutztown
Morton was a machine at QB for the Golden Bears in 2010, passing for 38 TDs on 3633 yards passing. The Bears had a solid playoff run, but also fell short in the first round in a loss to Shepherd. The Bears raced out to a 9-0 start before a total meltdown 61-35 loss to Bloomsburg threw a blight onto what had been a perfect season. If Morton can reduce his 16 picks by 4, Kutztown could have another magical run in 2011, something I fully expect to happen.

Micthell Gale, Jr.-Abilene Christian
What Gale did as a sophomore may not have been numerically impressive as Cordell last season, but what he did showed maturity at the QB position that you rarely find in someone so young. Gale tossed 38 TDs in 2010, but only threw 3 picks all season long, giving Gale the best ratio of anyone who tossed the ball as much as he did in D2. Gale did not have a leash in him either, as one would expect, and he passed for 3595 yards on the season. ACU finished the regular season with a perfect 11-0 mark, but fell to Harlan Hill trophy winner Eric Czerniewski and Central Missouri in a 55-41 shootout in the first round. Gale could drive the Wildcats further in 2011, as they have unfinshed business to attend to.

Dane Simoneau, Sr.- Washburn
Simoneau and the Ichabods had a rough start to the season, but made a very strong run at the end to slip into a playoff birth before falling to Midwestern State. Washburn finshed the season at 8-4, and Simoneau had a very solid season that promises more to come in 2011. Simoneau passed for 3459 yards last fall with 33 TDs. With Czerniewski out of the way at Central Missouri, and with a coaching change at Northwest Missouri, Simoneau has a chance to lead the Ichabods to an upset title in the MIAA.

Wesley Wood, Eastern New Mexico; Tim Jenkins, Fort Lewis; Zack Grossi, Concord; Micah Davis, Delta State; James Suozzo, Merrimack; Kevin Lynch, Southern Connecticut State; Michael Pierce, St. Anselm; Lee Chaple, North Alabama; Phillip Klaphake, St. Cloud State; Ethan Sharp, Central Oklahoma

Stay Tuned Sunday night for my list of favorite returning RBs for the 2011 season. As I have said, this was my 750th post on this site since July of last year. Thanks to all of you for reading, and for making this a blast to do. I appreciate all of the support and email I have gotten from everyone. Keep it up, and I promise, this is just the beginning!

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