2010 CFN All-Americans & Top Players - QBs
Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett & Terrelle Pryor
It might not be like 2009 when names like Tebow, Bradford and McCoy headlined the show, but there are still plenty of great quarterbacks ready to shine this year like OSU's Terrelle Pryor, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, and Washington's Jake Locker. Check out the CFN 2010 All-America Teams.
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All-Americans & Top 30 Players
2010 CFN All-Americans & Top 30 Players
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CFN 2010 FIRST TEAM PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
1. Terrelle Pryor, Jr. Ohio State
Now the expectations go from hoping he’ll take another step forward to hoping he can win a Heisman while leading Ohio State to the national title. Pryor hasn’t been the be-all-end-all transcendent player that many thought he’d be right away after being everyone’s No. 1, can’t-miss recruit in the 2008 class, but he has been good enough to be the starting quarterback on two BCS bowl teams and the reason why the team won the 2010 Rose Bowl. At 6-6 and 233 pounds he’s big, really big, and tough to bring down with just one defender. Extremely fast and elusive for a player of his size, he ran for 779 yards and seven touchdowns last year with 74 yards against Michigan and 72 against Oregon in the Rose Bowl despite playing on a banged up knee. While he might never be Peyton Manning as a passer, he’s improving enough to be accurate and effective on midrange throws while making defenses worry a bit more on the deep balls. At his best when on the move, he’s great making plays out of the pocket while being able to make something out of nothing when the play breaks down.
He appears to be working his way up in the logical progression of a great college quarterback’s career having relied on his raw skills as a freshman and expanding his passing abilities last year, completing 57% of his throws for 2,094 yards and 18 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He completed 61% of his passes for 1,311 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions as a freshman, but he wasn’t allowed to do anything that wasn’t ultra-safe. After a year and a half of starting experience, he’s more in command of the offense now, appears to be quicker with his decision making, and he’s ready to open up the attack more to unleash his tremendous arm on more downfield throws. Work-level isn’t an issue; he has had problems with a sore arm from overuse working on throw after throw. Toughness isn’t an issue; he played hurt at the end of last year and underwent minor knee surgery to clean everything up. This is his team and his season for the taking, and for all the hype and all the promise, he appears ready to be the player everyone has been waiting for. The pressure has gone up ten-fold on his career and the success of the team rest squarely on his shoulders.
CFN 2010 SECOND TEAM PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
2. Case Keenum, Sr. Houston
After three prolific seasons as the rifleman for the high-powered Cougar offense, the 6-2, 210-pound Keenum is one healthy year away from smashing all kinds of NCAA passing marks. A reigning All-American, who joined Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell as the only players to have multiple 5,000-yard seasons, he completed 492-of-700 passes for 5,671 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. An ideal fit for this Houston attack, he has a quick trigger, excellent feet, and a great feel for the pocket and the system. He did, however, finish the year by throwing nine interceptions in back-to-back losses to East Carolina and Air Force, which could linger in the minds of some national award voters.
CFN 2010 HONORABLE MENTION PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
3. Kellen Moore, Jr. Boise State
It’s time to start including Moore in the discussion among the best players in America. Everyone wants to talk about Boise State being a buster in the BCS and possibly the national championship, but Moore could also be a bit of a trailblazer (at least since Ty Detmer won 20 years ago) and bring the Heisman to a non-BCS team.
After setting the NCAA record for completion percentage by a freshman (69.4%), the lefty was even more magnificent last year completing 69.3% of his throws for 3,536 yards. After throwing ten picks in 2008, he threw just three last season along with 39 touchdowns (to 25 in 2008). But his great year was more than just about stats; he always seemed to generate the foot-on-the-throat drive to put teams away and came up with the scores needed to prevent any legitimate threats. At 6-0 and 186 pounds he’s not big, has decent arm, and he’s not all that mobile, but he’s accurate and he knows how to get things moving. The Washington high school record holder for touchdown passes (173) is ultra-efficient, mistake-free, and as cool as they come. A 26-1 career record isn’t bad, either.
CFN 2010 PRESEASON WATCH LIST
4. Ryan Mallett, Jr. Arkansas
Mallett might not have gone No. 1 overall to St. Louis in the 2010 NFL Draft, but he would’ve been considered. At 6-7 and 238 pounds, he has tremendous size, a huge arm, and is a pure pro bomber who’s expected to take Arkansas to a whole other level. After starting out his career at Michigan, and getting a few starts as a true freshman completing 61-of-141 passes for 892 yards and seven scores, the hiring of Rich Rodriguez meant the end of Mallett’s time in Ann Arbor. A perfect fit for Bobby Petrino’s offense, he has all the throws in the bag and is a fiery leader who’s the unquestioned main man in the offense.
Expected to shine right away after getting a year off after transferring, he blew up from the start highlighted by a 409-yard, five touchdown day in the loss to Georgia and continued to roll from there. He finished the season as the SEC’s best passer completing 56% of his throws for 3,624 yards and 30 touchdowns with seven interceptions, and while he had his problems against the teams with the better pass rushes, he managed to fight back from adversity to make big plays. He might have completed 12-of-27 passes against Florida, but he had the Hogs in the game up until the end. However, consistency will be a key and he needs to be far better against the top teams. Against Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, LSU, and in the bowl against East Carolina, he completed 68-of-171 of his throws (just 39.7%) and with five touchdown passes while never throwing for more than 254 yards.
5. Colin Kaepernick, Sr. Nevada
Kaepernick hasn’t led the team to many big wins and he hasn’t come through in the bowls, but he has been one of the nation’s top dual-threat playmakers with two straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons while completing 56% of his career throws for 7,076 yards with 61 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. When he’s on a roll, he’s unstoppable rushing for 240 yards and three touchdowns against UNLV a few years ago and ripping off 230 yards and four scores against Idaho while running for five 100-yard games on the year. Deadly on the move, he has rushed for 39 career scores averaging 6.8 yards per carry. How accurate was he last year? He threw just two interceptions over the final 11 games. A Vince Young type of quarterback, he’s 6-6 and 215 pounds with a slippery running style and a live arm with a major-league fastball. But for all the stats and for all the amazing things he has done over his phenomenal career, it’s all about coming up with the big wins in his final year.
6. Ricky Dobbs, Sr. Navy
Option quarterbacks have never made much noise in the Heisman race, but Dobbs is no ordinary option playmaker. He set the NCAA record for touchdown runs by a quarterback scoring 27 times and running for 1,192 yards with seven 100-yard games, and he even threw a little bit completing 53% of his passes for 1,031 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions. Making the season and the stats even more impressive was that he missed the Wake Forest and was limited against Temple with a knee problem. Had he been 100% in those three games, he would’ve been a mortal lock for more than 30 rushing scores.
At 6-1 and 198 pounds he has decent size and the prerequisite quickness for a Navy quarterback, he’s also tough as nails running inside or out, and he can hit the home run from anywhere on the field. With his experience and his skill in running the option (even though offensive coordinator, Ivan Jasper, thinks he could do a better job on his reads), now he has to do more to let others do the work; the fewer shots he has to take, the better. With a terrific arm, he’ll also expand the passing game a little bit and he needs to be more accurate after struggling way too much when he was forced to throw. But any negatives and concerns are nitpicking for a leader and a talent who could go down as the most productive spread-option running quarterback of all-time.
7. Andy Dalton, Sr. TCU
Dalton has grown from a nice player who was a caretaker for the offense to one of the school’s greatest statistical quarterbacks. His job has been to not screw up and let the defense win games, and he has been able to do that with 24 career interceptions in 1,001 attempts, but he grew into more of a playmaker last year as the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year completing 62% of his passes for 2,756 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and he ran for 512 yards and three scores. Of his eight picks, three came in the Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State and he didn’t throw more than one interception in any game and threw for 200 yards or more eight times. While the 6-3, 215-pounder isn’t a high-powered passer and doesn’t have a next-level arm, but he has been a perfect leader for the Horned Frog offense.
8. Jerrod Johnson, Sr. Texas A&M
The hope was for Johnson to grow into a consistent bomber after getting a little bit of experience under his belt, and then … KABOOM. The 6-5, 243-pounder finished third in the nation in total offense and led the Big 12 averaging 314 yards per game completing close to 60% of his passes for 3,579 yards and 39 touchdowns with eight interceptions while adding 506 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. When he was on, he was unstoppable including an incredible final two games throwing for 342 yards and four touchdowns, and running for 97 more, and chucking for 362 yards and two scores against Georgia. However, A&M lost both of those games and lost four of his six 300-yards games (with the two wins coming against New Mexico and Utah State). A legitimate pro prospect with his size, arm, and mobility, he could grow into a Josh Freeman-like first rounder who can up his stock immeasurably if he can start leading the team to more big wins and if he can stay healthy; he has had problems with his shoulder.
9. Jake Locker, Sr. Washington
When Locker decided to return for his senior year rather than declare for the NFL Draft, it represented one of the most important developments in the recent history of Husky football. He’s a game-changer, who’s good enough to elevate an entire program that’s been floundering for a decade. At 6-3 and 226 pounds, he’s uncommonly athletic, breaking containment and barreling into the defense with the force of a fullback and quickness of a tailback. As a passer, he made a quantum leap in his first year under the guidance of head coach Steve Sarkisian and assistant Doug Nussmeier as he became more consistent, more accurate, and simply better after struggling at times over the first part of his career. There’s more room for growth, but the strong-armed dual-threat looked like a different player, going 230-of-394 for 2,880 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 picks, adding 388 yards and seven scores on the ground.
10. Dwight Dasher, Sr. Middle Tennessee
The big question going into last season was whether or not Dasher was ready to step up and become the star many in the program thought he could be. He was always a good rusher and a dynamic playmaker, but he was too inconsistent, didn’t practice well, and ended up splitting time when he should’ve made the team his. The concerns about his potential quickly went away as he blew past his sophomore slump to complete 55% of his passes for 2,789 yards and 23 touchdowns, while also leading the team with 1,154 yards and 13 scores, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. The 5-10, 202-pound senior throws too many interceptions (14 last year) and he’s used way too much for the ground game, but now he comes into the season as the best player in the Sun Belt and a leader expected to carry the team on his back. After running for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the New Orleans Bowl win over Southern Miss, and after leading the way to a big season, he’s the key to the Sun Belt race.
11. Andrew Luck, Soph. Stanford
12. Josh Nesbitt, Sr., Georgia Tech
13. Christian Ponder, Sr., Florida State
14. John Brantley, Jr. Florida
15. Nick Foles, Jr. Arizona
16. Jeremiah Masoli, Sr. Ole Miss
17. Russell Wilson, Jr., NC State
18. Robert Griffin, Soph. Baylor
19. Blaine Gabbert, Jr. Missouri
20. Jacory Harris, Jr., Miami
21. Tyrod Taylor, Sr., Virginia Tech
22. Matt Barkley, Soph. USC
23. Landry Jones, Soph. Oklahoma
24. Scott Tolzien, Sr. Wisconsin
25. Ricky Stanzi, Sr. Iowa
26. Garrett Gilbert, Soph. Texas
27. Stephen Garcia, Sr. South Carolina
28. Ryan Lindley, Jr. San Diego State
29. Jordan Jefferson, Jr. LSU
30. Diondre Borel, Sr. Utah State