Quarterback should be a position of strength in the ACC this year. Several teams having returning starters, and I would estimate that there are 6 or 7 ACC quarterbacks that could make a run at All-ACC Honors. Who the best of the bunch?
1) Tajh Boyd, Clemson
In just his first year as the starting of the Clemson Tigers, Boyd had one of the most prolific QB seasons in Clemson history. Last season while leading the Tigers to an 8-0 start Boyd had 3,828 yards passing with 33 TD’s. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have weapons like WRs Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins, but Boyd’s direction is what makes the offense go. He enters 2012 as a darkhorse Heisman candidate. With a full year now under his belt should be even better.
2) Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has their own quarterback that just completed his first season as a starter in Logan Thomas. Thomas had over 3000 passing and 19 TD’s in 2011. He put up 469 yards rushing too. He’s a real load at 6-6 and 262 lbs and can be very difficult bring down when he runs. With some of the Hokies top offensive stars RB David Wilson, WR Jarrett Boykin and WR Danny Coale no longer in Blacksburg, Thomas will be the focus of the Hokie offense. Like Boyd, Thomas is also listed by many as a darkhorse Heisman candidate.
3) Mike Glennon, NC State
I really like Mike Glennon. Glennon is the best pure pocket passer in the ACC. At 6-6 and 232 lbs he has great size to see over his offensive linemen. In his first year as a starter he had 3,054 yards passing with 31 TDs while complete nearly 63% of passes.
Tom O’Brien had so much faith in him at the start of last season, he hastened the departure of starter Russell Wilson. Glennon didn’t fail to deliver, and I expect him to continue to improve in 2012.
4) E.J Manuel, Florida State
At times Manuel looks like one of the best players in the country. At others he looks uncomfortable and tentative in the pocket. He has loads of potential. Manuel completed better than 65% of passes last year for over 2600 yards. He’s another ACC qb with good size at 6-5.
Manuel has good running ability and some have even compared him to Cam Newton. I’m not ready to go that far but the natural ability is there.
5) Bryn Renner, North Carolina
Bryn Renner as a sophomore led the ACC in passing efficiency with 159.4 passer rating and set a UNC record for TD passes with 26. He’s really flown under the radar as one of the ACC’s elite QBs, but Renner is a good one. He completed over 68% of his passes in 2011.
With a good QB in Renner and a good RB in Giovani Bernard this UNC offense is one to keep an eye on. That’s an awful lot of talent for your offense.