Photo courtesy of USC athletics
Although the calendar may read only July, it is never too early to take a look at some of the best gunslingers our game has to offer.
For five days, we’ve been counting down the best quarterbacks in college football. We’ve reached the next-to-last piece in our series. If you haven’t been following along, here’s a look at the first three:
For the first time in this series, we have two quarterbacks from different conferences featured in the same piece. Here is a look at No. 3 and 4 on the list:
4. KJ Jefferson, Arkansas
There are boys, there are men, and then there is KJ Jefferson. Jefferson, a 6-foot-3 dual-threat from Sardis, Miss., is what we like to call a “do-it-all guy.” Jefferson was born with a cannon for an arm, a tree trunk for legs, and has one of the higher football IQs seen at the collegiate level.
Head coach Sam Pittman has himself a diamond in the rough; if you think last season was something, just wait until fall rolls around.
When you play in the SEC, you can expect two things: beautiful women to come to your games, and grueling competition on a weekly basis. For Arkansas, last year was no exception. The slate included the likes of Texas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Georgia, Auburn, LSU and Alabama.
So how is it possible that the Razorbacks managed to navigate that schedule with nine wins and a bowl victory? Well, look no further than Jefferson.
Jefferson dominated the SEC landscape, passing for 2,676 yards, 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions. With his legs, he added 664 rushing yards and six scores.
— MaximBet (@MaximBetUSA) October 16, 2021
Is Jefferson the best quarterback in the SEC? No.
We all know who that title belongs to. But make no mistake about it: Jefferson is No. 2 on that list without any real debate.
3. Caleb Williams, USC
Is USC football…..back?
Look, it’s premature to think that USC will make the College Football Playoff in head coach Lincoln Riley’s first season. At the same time, it’s hard not to be excited with the new faces in Southern California.
Riley, who for all intents and purposes, owned the Big 12 Conference for the better part of a decade, announced in November that he would be leaving Norman for USC.
Then came Caleb Williams, who burst onto the scene last year as a true freshman in Norman. The former Oklahoma signal caller decided to follow Riley and become the next starting quarterback for the Trojans.
Then Jordan Addison, who was widely considered the best receiver in the country last year at Pittsburgh, decided to follow the bright lights and NIL opportunities that were presented to him in sunny Los Angeles. So that is where we stand today.
That’s three of the best at what they do in the sport relocating to the same place. What could go wrong?
It’s easy to rave about Riley or Addison, but this piece is about quarterbacks. So, we should talk about Williams.
TD No. 5️⃣ for Caleb Williams
He becomes the first true freshman with 5 passing TDs in a game in Oklahoma history
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 30, 2021
Williams, a once 5-star recruit from Washington D.C, made his mark the second his number was called in Norman and on one of the biggest stages. With the Sooners down three scores to Texas in the Red River Rivalry, Williams came off the bench to account for 300 total yards in a season-saving 55-48 comeback win.
From there, Williams became the permanent starter. In just seven starts, Williams threw for an impressive 1,912 yards to go along with 21 touchdown passes, four interceptions and a QBR of 86.5. Williams added six rushing touchdowns.
He even earned some Heisman Trophy buzz, and was a semifinalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award. Williams is a star, and in a place where stars go to shine, it seems as if the stars may just be aligning.