The significance of new starting quarterbacks shouldn’t be lost on the modern-day college football fan. Just check the past two groups of Heisman Trophy finalists.
Although the 2019 Heisman winner, LSU’s Joe Burrow, was in his second year with the Tigers, the other two quarterback finalists, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, had shined after transferring to their new teams. In 2018, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray won the Heisman in his first year as the Sooners’ starter, while the other finalists, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, also stood out in their first full seasons as QB1.
Not surprisingly, new quarterbacks are in the spotlight this season. Some are already on the Heisman radar, alongside familiar names such as Fields and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence as well as other incumbents, including Florida’s Kyle Trask. I spoke to coaches about five notable QBs playing their first major minutes for their teams, and had the coaches assess their play so far, their potential this season and what lies ahead for them.
Stats: 63-of-94 passing for 736 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions, 83.9 QBR; 28 rushes for 157 yards, one rushing touchdown
Up next: Saturday at No. 1 Clemson
King already is exceeding the expectations placed on him to jump-start a dormant Miami offense. Along with new playcaller Rhett Lashlee, King is adding a dynamic element for the Hurricanes with his efficient passing, explosive running ability and field vision, both as a passer and a runner. It’s still early, and Miami will learn a lot more after this week’s trip to Clemson, but King looks a lot like the player who was a Maxwell Award semifinalist in 2018, when he accounted for 50 touchdowns despite missing time with a late-season injury.