Breaking down the quarterbacks: ACC Atlantic

 We’ve spent the past two days rating the SEC quarterbacks as training camp begins. Now let’s look at the ACC quarterbacks.

The league is as deep in really good quarterbacks as I have ever seen it. Eight of the 12 teams return their starter from a year ago and Virginia’s Marc Verica started nine games in 2008. So collectively the ACC has nine quarterbacks who have started a total of 182 career games. I haven’t broken down every conference, but I’m guessing no other league returns that many career starts at the position.

Today we’re going to break down the quarterbacks in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Tomorrow we will look at the Coastal Division. Remember that these quarterback rankings have nothing to do with NFL potential. They are based on success and/or potential at the college level.

Feel free to disagree and give me your rankings:

1. Christian Ponder, Florida State: Ponder missed his team’s last four games in 2009 after his shoulder lost a collision with Clemson’s DeAndre McDaniel. Still, the senior from Texas led the ACC in total offense, averaging 321.8 yards per game. Here is why this guy has a shot at the Heisman Trophy if he can stay healthy. He completed 68.8 percent of his passes last season. He is incredibly smart. Ponder has already received both an undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Florida State. He’ll be working on his second Master’s this fall. He is playing behind one of the best offensive lines in college football. He came to Florida State to win some kind of championship and is very motivated to get the Seminoles back to the ACC title game. Sophomore E.J. Manuel, a guy who was recruited by the whole world, is Ponder’s backup. That’s why head coach Jimbo Fisher, who takes over for the departed Bobby Bowden, is sleeping well at night when he thinks about the quarterback position.

2. Russell Wilson, N.C. State: Wilson, a gifted athlete who also plays minor league baseball, had a chance to turn pro in the sport when he was drafted in June by the Rockies. But he decided to return to Raleigh and now the Wolfpack is going to be very dangerous at the position. Wilson led the ACC in touchdown passes last season with 31 and completed almost 60 percent of his passes for 3,027 yards. Only Phillip Rivers, Chris Weinke, and Danny Kannell have ever thrown for more touchdowns in an ACC season than Wilson. He was the first-team All-ACC quarterback as a freshman in 2008. But waiting in the wings is redshirt sophomore Mike Glennon, one of the nation’s top recruits in 2008, who had a great spring, throwing for 423 yards and three touchdowns in the final scrimmage.

3. Kyle Parker, Clemson: Parker, like Wilson, could have said goodbye to football and played baseball after he was drafted in the first round (No. 26 overall pick) by the Rockies. But Parker made a lot of people in Clemson smile when he announced that he would be returning for his sophomore season of football. As a redshirt freshman in 2009 he threw for 2,526 yards, the fifth best total for a first-year player in ACC history. His 20 touchdown passes was a Clemson record for a freshman. Parker will miss three really good weapons: Running back C.J. Spiller, wide receiver Jacoby Ford, and tight end Michael Palmer. Collectively those three caught 135 passes last season. If Parker had not returned then the job would have fallen to redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd, who is going to be a very good quarterback. He just won’t have to do it this season if Parker stays healthy.

4. Dave Shinskie, Boston College: Shinskie gets this spot because he’s started 10 games at Boston College and, at age 26 (he played minor league baseball before returning to college last year), you have to figure he is no ordinary sophomore. But he doesn’t play like he’s 26 years old and has yet to prove he can consistently lead this offense.  Shinskie had problems at times last season, throwing 14 interceptions (to 15 touchdowns) and completing only 51.74 percent of his passes. Shinskie is going to get pushed in preseason camp by a couple of players, sophomore Michael Marscoveta and true freshman Chase Rettig, who enrolled early and was impressive in spring drills. Rettig, from California, was also recruited by Tennessee.

5. Jamarr Robinson, Maryland: Robinson started two games last year when Chris Turner was injured. Now Turner and his 30 career starts are gone and Robinson gets a chance to show what he can do on a consistent basis. In those two starts last season Robinson had 223 yards against Virginia Tech (129 rushing) and 233 yards passing against Florida State. Robinson has a chance to be a decent quarterback for Ralph Friedgen, and it doesn’t hurt that a healthy Da’Rel Scott returns at running back. Scott has averaged 5.5 yards per carry over his career at Maryland. His backup, Danny O’Brien, is more of a classic drop back passer. If Robinson struggles, Friedgen has confidence in O’Brien. Another redshirt freshman, C.J. Brown, could also be in the mix. With seven starters returning on offense, Friedgen expects some consistency from that unit.  Maryland was 2-10 in 2009 and lost five games by seven points or less. Better quarterback play is a must in 2010.

6. Skylar Jones, Brendan Cross, Ted Stachitas, Wake Forest: The Deacons are going to really miss Riley Skinner and his 49 career starts, which included a 10-3 season and an ACC championship in 2006. Jones, a redshirt junior, is a great athlete who almost switched to wide receiver. Jones had the edge coming out of spring practice but he does not have a lock on the job. Cross, an Alpharetta native and the son of Hall of Famer Randy Cross, was the best passer in the spring game. Cross was limited in spring drills as he recovered from a concussion. Stachitas, a redshirt sophomore, was the successor at quarterback for Tim Tebow at Jacksonville’s Nease High School. But he hasn’t done much at Wake Forest because of shoulder problems and a hamstring issue in the spring. Coach Jim Grobe is hoping that one of these three guys will grab the job and make it his in preseason practice.

 

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103 comments Add your comment

Atlanta Jackets

August 4th, 2010
8:08 am

Atlanta Jackets

August 4th, 2010
8:09 am

Hah! Mutts. First, like the Jackets in this this and like Nesbot in the ACC! And in the NCAA!

Nice article TB.

Atlanta Jackets

August 4th, 2010
8:10 am

The rankings…

1. Nesbot
2. Parker
3. Ponder
4. Everyone else
5. Ugag

Back Door Man

August 4th, 2010
8:14 am

Atlanta Jackets: tell your wife she left her panties here last night.

Ormewood

August 4th, 2010
8:21 am

Russell Wilson is a player, Atl Jacket. No way in heck he is behind Parker. Parker just lost his best two weapons. He may do okay this year, but his stats will be nowhere near those he had last season. Wilson was All ACC his freshman season. Last year, he throws for 30-plus TD’s. Not bad.

Atlanta Jackets

August 4th, 2010
8:24 am

Sorry, I’ve never heard of Wilson. So I left him off.

And BDMan, I don’t have a wife. Those must be your panties.

Tyler

August 4th, 2010
8:25 am

Ponder has already received both an undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Florida State. Actually that’s not a very smart thing to do. It’s frowned upon. But he’ll be drafted by the NFL so it won’t matter.

Wow, Atlanta Jackets...

August 4th, 2010
8:25 am

…you are way too excited about this first (and second and third) stuff – and to try to rub it into a dig at UGA – guess that’s what happens when you are used to only winning once every 10 years…

Why, Tyler...

August 4th, 2010
8:27 am

…would graduating from college and grad school be “not a very smart thing to do”? And, just who would frown upon that?

Ron Cherry

August 4th, 2010
8:30 am

Russell Wilson is good, but not good enough to carry his team. Parker won’t have weapons to throw to this year, but he wont take the game changing sacks the way Cullen Harper became famous for.

Ponder may have been pure gold last year, but that didn’t keep FSU from starting 0-3 in conference play.

naganole

August 4th, 2010
8:36 am

@ Ron Cherry. What a foolish statement. It wasn’t FSU’s offense that was the problem, it was the defense. When you score 40+ pts on GT at home, you should win that game. Look at what he did to UNC’s vaunted defense. Give me a break…

GeoffDawg

August 4th, 2010
8:37 am

Atlanta Jackets doesn’t have a wife!?! I’m assuming there must be some kind of love doll at home though.

s5

August 4th, 2010
8:39 am

JB

August 4th, 2010
8:39 am

Sorry, thought this was a story about the rusting of car parts in a junk yard, but i see it’s about ACC QB’s…..close

#2 BAMA FAN

August 4th, 2010
8:45 am

Ponder could start for anybody and Kyle Parker is a good qb to. The Wilson kid I saw play on tv and
he has talent just nothing else around him to worry about!! RTR

Beast from the East

August 4th, 2010
8:46 am

Ponder is a great QB. That trip to Tallahasee in November should be a scary one this year for UF. Glad to see Parker came back for one more year. Should be Clemson and FSU battling it out in the Atlantic, as I don’t see any of the other teams being able to match up with them.

Honrable Tech

August 4th, 2010
8:50 am

Believe or not JB, the SEC is not the only football conference. Got a huge superiority complex son. UGA sucks.

BCMike22

August 4th, 2010
8:55 am

“Sorry, I’ve never heard of Wilson”

This made me cringe, and I don’t even like the pack. Maybe read up a little before your next message board posting?

Paul in RDU

August 4th, 2010
9:01 am

The ranking order seems about right to me.
I like the comment from Tyler about Ponder being too smart. As a QB it shouldn’t affect his draft position in the NFL but being smart and a Rhodes scholar probably cost Myron Rolle a higher draft position.

Buckhead Dawg

August 4th, 2010
9:03 am

No one cares about the nerd’s conference.

kaput

August 4th, 2010
9:05 am

One of the reasons that Ponder threw for so many yards was because FSU’s defense finished last season ranked 108th in total defense. Couple that with the fact that he was 4-5 as a starter and I have my doubts about FSU.

kaput

August 4th, 2010
9:07 am

Myron Rolle just wasn’t a very good player, he never lived up to his recruiting hype (five stars). Great kids, big future and potential world beater but let’s not forget that he was never that good of a player. The notion that his Rhodes scholarship somehow caused his draft status to fall is loony – he was an average player, his story probably got him selected earlier than he should have been.

But let’s not screw up our narrative . . .

Paul in RDU

August 4th, 2010
9:18 am

kaput – Myron Rolle was a 3rd team All-American in 2008 and ran a 4.6 40 at his pro day – I wouldn’t define that as being an “average player”. He was the last player taken in the 2010 draft – so I guess you are saying he shouldn’t have even been drafted. .

Thats Right Honrable Tech

August 4th, 2010
9:21 am

Georgia sux so bad it kicks your arse. BTW that would be “Honorable” or maybe not!

A Pawsitive Experience

August 4th, 2010
9:22 am

Parker is a stud and a heady QB. He will prove a lot of folks wrong again just like the pundits who said he wouldnt return to Clemson. He is Much Much better than the midget a UGAG.

A Pawsitive Experience

August 4th, 2010
9:28 am

fan

August 4th, 2010
9:37 am

Fuzzybee

August 4th, 2010
9:51 am

The ACC East quarterbacks after Ponder are slightly above average – at best. Ponder is the real deal and should have a great year if he stays healthy.

Tallahassee, Florida

August 4th, 2010
9:51 am

.
————————–
Nesbitt for Heisman
————————–
.

Fuzzybee

August 4th, 2010
9:53 am

Correction – ACC Atlantic

help, I live in Ga

August 4th, 2010
9:58 am

Ok I give up. How did the ACC get all the good QBs? Is it me, or does it seem like the ACC QBs are of a higher caliber in general than the SEC. That goes for overall character as well.

Does anyone have a theory on that? Anybody? Bueller?

Anonymous

August 4th, 2010
10:05 am

Atlanta Jacket is single?

What a surprise!

Atlanta Jackets

August 4th, 2010
10:07 am

Anon, I didn’t say single. ;)

Tomorrow and for all of 2010 Nesbot is number one. Just weight on it.

LOL

August 4th, 2010
10:14 am

Yeah, Atlanta Jackets did not say he is single. He has a boyfriend of course.

Another Dawg

August 4th, 2010
10:23 am

How can ACC QBs possibly be considered “higher caliber” than SEC QBs? Granted, this is a year with question marks in the SEC, but if you want to look at winning at the college level or pro stock, the SEC has been head and shoulders above the ACC at the QB position for at least the last decade. 3 SEC QBs have been drafted #1 overall since the last ACC QB (Mike Vick, Eli Manning, Jamarcus Russell, Matthew Stafford.) Just because the ACC can’t run the ball to save its life (unless it’s a dumb highschool gimmick, and even that that appears to work inexplicably better in-conference than out) doesn’t mean its QBs are better.

Josh Nesbitt might be the best RB in the ACC, but he’s hardly a QB.

Atlanta Jackets

August 4th, 2010
10:31 am

You can’t deal with the truth that I’m bringing so you have to make up stuff about my personal life. Weak. You mutts are so burned on this that it isn’t even funny. Oh, wait. It is! ROTFLMAO!! OGRA! LOL!

The Robot is the best RB in the ACC. That’s on top of being the MVP and the baddest dude on the planet!

He’s the only player in NCAA history to lead the league in yards per carry and yards per pass attempt. Undisputed! Stuff it mutts.

dawgfan

August 4th, 2010
10:41 am

The league is deep in QBs but 100 bucks says we’re going to see the same sloppy uninspired offensive play that we’ve all grown to love from the ACC. Two words: Poor coaching. If you’re a stud offensive skill guy, why on earth would you want to play in this league? You wouldn’t. Manboobs is the best offensive mind in the ACC (that’s not saying much) and he needs 250 lb. lineman to run his system. What a joke.

Bring on the hate ACC fans. The truth hurts.

XpatHeel

August 4th, 2010
10:49 am

Jumping in a day early…
T.J.Yates will be ranked 8 out of 8 in the Coastal. Sorry, Marriettans, but he’s a lightning rod of controversy for Tar Heel Nation.

XpatHeel

August 4th, 2010
10:53 am

Muttsfans rejoice. At least you’re #1 at something. Hoisting brew.
A real reason to be proud. That, and sniffing red panties.
ACC QBs and the upper half of our league will be stealing a lot of your thunder by mid season. Enjoy it now, cause the times they are a’changin’.

Burdell

August 4th, 2010
10:53 am

BuckheadDawg-

Yeah, no one cares about the ACC except for the NFL maybe. More first round draft picks than any other conference in the past five years. Nice try though.

Hilarious

August 4th, 2010
10:56 am

dawgfan:

The truth is that your school ended up in Shreveport, even with all of that “SEC talent.” I KNOW that hurts.

Congrats again on the vicarious MNC. I’m sure it shines brightly next to the Poulan-Weedeater (or whatever the heck that bowl game sponsor is) trophy.

Paul in RDU

August 4th, 2010
10:59 am

dawgfan – The SEC has had better coaches overall than the ACC but the ACC has brought in better coaches in the last few years. Saying the ACC has poor coaching is nonsense, but certainly something expected from someone who throws out opinions without any supporting facts. Davis, O’Brien, Cutcliffe, Johnson and even Fisher are upgrades over their predecessors. Cutcliffe and O’Brien have each coached a couple of guys who are starting QB’s in the NFL.

Paul in RDU

August 4th, 2010
11:01 am

Xpatheel – You won’t be seing Yates starting by October.

destin dawg

August 4th, 2010
11:08 am

we had a bad year… still won our bowl game & beat Tech.. Texas A & M is better than Iowa… bad year is over… things going WAY up hill in Athens.. new DDDEEEEE coaches .. Go Dawgs !!

DawginLex

August 4th, 2010
11:15 am

Ponder is heads and shoulders above the rest of this group.

Parker should be 2nd but he lost to Tech twice so that automatically makes him a 2nd rate QB.

Atlanta Jackets

August 4th, 2010
11:17 am

Can we just get to the article where the Robot is named the top QB in the ACC and NCAA? I’m tired of waiting.

I have to get to practice in a bit. Sorry if I leave you mutts here posting on the internet. Athletes now have to go do athletic things. I’ll post again later.

Paul in RDU

August 4th, 2010
11:21 am

Wilson is a better QB than Parker. He has a poorer supporting cast and with NCSU not playing GT the last few years hasn’t had the visibility in ATL but I would take him over Parker.

Paul in RDU

August 4th, 2010
11:23 am

I expact Nesbitt to be ranked #2 in the Coastal – behind Harris but ahead of Tyrod

St.. Simons Daddy

August 4th, 2010
11:28 am

Ya think Atlanta Jackets has a crush on Nesbit? Ponder is by far the best QB in the conference. Jimbo will do big things at FSU.

George Stein

August 4th, 2010
11:32 am

Any UGA fans want to associate themselves with this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GJVxFP19Gs