When it comes to the quarterback position, non-BCS conferences have often been on the cutting edge of the game’s changing landscape. With a talented crop of both dual-threat and traditional drop-back style passers returning from last year, today we take a look at the Top 10 non-BCS conference quarterbacks headed into fall camp.
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1. Max Hall, Brigham Young: A viable Heisman contender? Even if not, Hall put up outstanding numbers in his first year of competitive football since 2003 for the Cougars last season, and with a loaded offense returning to Provo this year should be poised for a monster 2008.
2. Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan: Mr. Do-It-All up in Mt. Pleasant, LeFevour became only the second player in NCAA history to rush for 1000 yards and throw for 3000 yards in a single season when he accomplished the feat last season. He’s the undisputed “Tim Tebow” of the non-BCS conferences and leads the MAC’s most explosive offense.
3. Tom Brandstater, Fresno State: At 6’5, 220 he has NFL potential written all over him, and with a veteran cast of returning starters in 2008 looks poised to lead the Bulldogs to a WAC championship and possible BCS bowl berth.
4. Nate Davis, Ball State: Perhaps the next in line in a storied tradition on MAC quarterbacks to make it in the NFL, Davis threw for an amazing 30 touchdowns to only six interceptions in 2007. His pocket presence is uncanny, and he displays the kind of pinpoint accuracy on the move that makes him an ideal prospect at the next level.
5. Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, Navy: While known more for his running than his passing, Kaheaku-Enhada has made considerable strides in his development of the latter part of his game over the past season. The leader of Navy’s potent ground attack, he’s also a threat to score anytime he gets in the open field.
6. Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic: In a league often passed over by media coverage, Smith is fast becoming the new face of the more competitive Sun Belt conference. Compared to former Miami great Bernie Kosar by his legendary head coach Howard Schnellenberger, Smith was First-Team All Sun Belt a year ago while throwing for a league-high 32 touchdowns.
7. Brian Johnson, Utah: Strong armed quarterback could lead the Utes to a conference title if fully recovered from a 2007 shoulder injury which hampered his production.
8. Chase Clement, Rice: Lead a prolific Rice offense in both passing and rushing a year ago, Clement is arguably the best dual-threat quarterback in all of C-USA. With eight other returning starters coming back to the offense this year expect Clement to lead one of the conference’s most improved teams.
9. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada: An amazing athlete for his 6’6 frame, Kaepernick has already drawn comparisons to former Texas great Vince Young. If he can hold onto the starting job over Nick Graziano (himself a capable quarterback) than Kaepernick could very well become the next “hot” dual-threat quarterback in the country.
10. Trevor Vittatoe: One of the most unheralded quarterbacks in the country, Vittatoe threw for over 3000 yards with 25 touchdown passes for the Miners last season as a freshmen. With a full year under his belt expect him to have UTEP relevant in the C-USA title hunt in 2008.
Just Missed the Cut: Chase Holbrook (NMSt), Tyler Sheehan (Bowling Green), Drew Willy (Buffalo), Patrick Pinkney (ECU), Donovan Porterie (New Mexico.)
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