Photo credit: Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee 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.
Each day for the next five days, we’ll be counting down the best quarterbacks in college football. Our 5-part series begins with a pair who play in the SEC:
10. Will Rogers, Mississippi State
One of the best dynamics to watch over the course of last year’s college football season was the erratic, yet explosive nature of Mississippi State’s offense. And yes, anytime you have an evil genius named Mike Leach guiding your ship, it is to be expected that there will be fireworks on board.
But last year felt different.
Frankly, the reason it felt so different, was because of junior quarterback Will Rogers. Rogers, a gunslinger from Brandon, Miss. is what we like to call an “air-it-out attacker.”
With an above-average arm and brute confidence, Rogers was able to finish his sophomore campaign hurling 36 touchdown passes on 505 completions with just nine interceptions. With many weapons returning, expect Rogers to have a monster season.
He may even land himself in the Heisman Trophy race.
Will Rogers had one of the greatest QB performances in Mississippi State history yesterday.
📈 179.4 QB Rating
🐶 25-point comeback
✅ win over Auburn at Jordan-Hare pic.twitter.com/6PLdyT9gbH
— Tru Maroon Nation (@TruMaroonNation) November 14, 2021
9. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
How much do we like Hendon Hooker, you ask? Well, let’s just say this: Hooker’s current odds to win the Heisman Trophy are at +6000. It would be a disservice to not sprinkle at least some action on that.
Hooker has as good of a chance to win this year’s Heisman as any quarterback in the country.
Hooker, to the delight of many cheering fans in Knoxville, made the announcement over the offseason that he would be forgoing the NFL Draft to return to Tennessee for a fifth year of college ball. In many ways, the Greensboro, N.C. native can be described as a redemption story.
Hendon Hooker 75 yard rope for a TD against Florida … 🌽 pic.twitter.com/qfhuMKwZkO
— օ×ѵէ (@OX_VT) September 26, 2021
After getting injured in Blacksburg during the 2021 season, the former Virginia Tech standout decided that he would be transfer to Knoxville, He initially backed up Michigan transfer Joe Milton.
However, after Milton failed as the starter, Hooker took over the reins and did not look back. Hooker won six games as a starter to go along with 2,945 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Equally as dangerous with his feet, Hooker added 620 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. With Hooker behind center, the Volunteers averaged upwards of 39 points per game. With Hooker now back with a year of SEC ball under his belt, many see the Vols as a dark horse to win the SEC East.