In The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks, Bruce Feldman writes, “You don’t play quarterback. You are quarterback.” The QB position, as Feldman rightly suggests in his masterful book, requires a leader. The success of a young athlete in stepping into that role is determining for team performance.
Given the criticality of the position, let’s look at three major QB storylines heading into the Division One college football season:
1) Josh Rosen: While the attention he has received lately has not been for his football, the youngster with much to learn has bags of talent. Rosen grew up in the world of USTA tournaments. However, Rosen decided that he wanted to chase his football dream. The rest is history. Amazingly, a kid with a 4.3 GPA, and big time skills (Ranked Number One QB in the country on Rivals), was not offered a scholarship by Stanford. Rosen, instead, elected attend UCLA.
Last season, Rosen made Freshman All-American. He has pro size (6’4), and a Johnny Manizel-attitude to go with it. He has may headlines for his antics. They include putting a hot tub in his UCLA dorm and then posting a picture of it on Twitter. If Rosen wants to win the Hesiman this year, he will need to keep his focus on his classes and his playbook, not his Twitter feed.
2) Shane Buechele: Everything is bigger in Texas. Sadly for Shane Buechele, it is includes big-time pressure to preform on the field. My beloved Longhorns have fallen on hard times. A range of factors are at play from the Mack Brown exit to new facility construction at ins-state rivals. Schools like TCU, Baylor, and Houston are now putting an old fashion whippin’ on the Burnt Orange. It will be up to the Lamar High School graduate to stop it.
3) Trevor Knight: While you may know him as the boyfriend of Duck Dynasty star, Sadie Robinson, Trevor Knight has a genuine chance to be a major star this year at Texas A&M. Last season, Knight suffered a crushing blow, watching Baker Mayfield win his starting job (at Oklahoma), lead the Sooners to the college football playoff, and become a legit Heisman contender (ultimately finishing 4th). Now, at an A&M program that sorely needs solid QB play, Knight can be a star. While he may not have elite size, Knight has shown flashes of success with the Sooners. Will that translate to College Station? We are about to find out.
The anticipation is building for another another stellar CFB season. Amid a number of talented teams that have a chance to compete for the national championship, Feldman’s writing rightly makes the case that the QB position looms as the critical swing variable. It is worth keeping a close eye on these three prospects both for individual team success and early Hesiman balloting.