College Football Factory

CFF Dynasty Summer Series: QB

I’ve put together a list of possible dynasty quarterback additions that will help teams that are building for the 2019 season and beyond. This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, nor in order of preference, instead, my aim is to highlight a mix of players with various price tags and range of outcomes. This is part one of four in this summer series.

Dynasty Quarterback Targets:

Matt Corral, True Freshman, Ole Miss

Assuming that Ole Miss can keep their OC, Phil Longo, on staff for the next several years, this is a perfect situation for Corral. A future NFL passer playing in an air raid scheme whose game scripts will likely feature his team playing from behind, sign me up. There is almost no chance that the Rebels will acquire a more talented passer while he is in school, so the job is his in 2019 after Jordan Ta’amu graduates. With the new redshirt rule and Ole Miss’ bowl ban in place, I think he cuts his teeth in 2018 in a few games. Even with the likelihood of all of his top receiving targets moving on, he still has a floor of a Top 15 QB in any given season. He won’t be confused with a true dual-threat, but I anticipate he can do some scoring with his legs as a bonus. I believe he is the most valuable incoming freshman in CFF Dynasty formats.

Tommy Devito, Redshirt Freshman, Syracuse

Devito is likely to get some reps in 2018, but his greatest value lies in 2019, 2020, and 2021. My biggest concern for his value is tethered to Dino Babers’ job security, and it’s truthfully not much of a concern to me. The bar is pretty low at Syracuse, and the AD has already remarked that he would like to make Babers his “permanent head coach” so that makes me feel optimistic about the staying power of his air raid that has averaged 45 passes per game the past two years. Devito redshirted in 2017 after being a coveted, Elite 11 QB prospect in high school. Babers’ offense regularly features high-value passers and receivers. Eric Dungey hasn’t been able to stay healthy in his career (8, 9, 9 games played past three years) and will run out of eligibility following the 2018 season. Devito is the heir apparent and is talented enough that it’s highly unlikely they recruit a better prospect that could usurp his throne. The QB in this offense has both a very high floor and ceiling, and Devito should benefit from upgraded skill talent that the current Cuse staff has recruited.

Cephus Johnson, Redshirt Freshman, South Alabama

Johnson started spring ball in 2018 as a potential third-stringer but emerged as the starter. South Alabama moved on from Head Coach Joey Jones and hired away Steve Campbell from Central Arkansas. His offenses rarely featured prolific passers but his hiring of former Troy OC, Kenny Edenfield, has me jazzed. At Troy, he directed mid-major offenses that racked up 721 yards against Tennessee and 572 yards against Mississippi State in the past. In 2010, his freshman QB, Corey Robinson threw it 501 times in 13 games. Since then, 400 passes in a season is about the floor, which provides a terrific range for CFF. Johnson is a true dual-threat, and the new staff had them running some QB option this spring. Defense is generally frowned upon in the Sun Belt and Johnson appears to be a four-year starter at QB in a place where recruiting athletes for the skill positions is pretty simple.

Cammon Cooper, True Freshman, Washington State

Mike Leach’s passer will always be in demand in CFF. The 2018 situation is murky, but beyond that, there is a clear path for Cooper to shine. The most talented passer on the roster, Cooper played in a comparable offense last season in high school and had the natural ability to excel in Pullman. Here is a scouting report from Cougcenter.com, “Cammon Cooper is everything you want in a quarterback recruit, Air Raid or otherwise. The measurables are there with prototypical size and athleticism. He shows great pocket awareness with tremendous escapability. Above average arm strength coupled with tremendous accuracy in the pocket and on the move. His footwork and balance in the pocket are solid, and he works through progressions quickly. He’s a winner, guiding his high school team to a state championship. Cooper’s greatest strength and the one that will likely contribute the most to how well he performs at WSU in the Air Raid is his quick release. The time between when he starts his throwing motion and when the ball leaves his hand is minuscule. One criticism if we’re picking nits? His throwing motion is a little bit short-armed, and his arm angle tends to be a little low and flat, all very reminiscent of Philip Rivers. But if we end up with a left-handed Philip Rivers, I think we’d all be pretty happy with those results. Get hyped, Cougar fans; this guy is the real deal.”

Kevaris Thomas, True Freshman, Western Kentucky

Western Kentucky has been the home for many productive quarterbacks over the past few years. While Mike Sanford is newer to town, he fits the archetype for what Western Kentucky wants to do on offense. Mike White led the attack last season and threw the ball 560 times in 13 games. The 45 passes-per-game are extremely attractive for high school quarterbacks. As such, the Hilltoppers managed to wrangle a very talented signal caller from Florida. Kevaris Thomas is the first four-star prospect to sign with WKU out of high school. While still raw as a passer, the 250-pound bruiser can be a threat with his legs. WKU Head Coach, Mike Sanford had this to say about his prize recruit, “We were very fortunate to sign him in December… To be perfectly honest, the way that we watched the quarterback recruiting kind of go in January and into February, (Thomas) would be a Power 5 signee no doubt in my mind. And that’s what we got in Kevaris Thomas in building a relationship with him… He’s big, he’s physical, he’s tough, he can throw the ball. He’s got plenty of arm talent, and he’s got the mobility and toughness to go with it.” Thomas arrived in June and will have the opportunity to contend for the starting job in 2018. Given the new redshirt rules, I think he will get some work in at least four games this season and will then have the opportunity to be a four-year-starter in a very potent offense.

Justin Fields, True Freshman, Georgia

I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that the day Justin Fields stepped on campus in Athens, he was the most talented quarterback in Georgia history and the most talented quarterback in college football. Highly regarded QB Coach, Quincy Avery, recently facilitated a workout with Deshaun Watson, Dwayne Haskins, and Justin Fields. Following the workout, Avery gushed about Fields and remarked that Fields was so far ahead of Watson at this stage of their careers that there was no comparison between the two. Let that sink in. The two things that stand in Fields’ way from CFF greatness are future NFL QB Jake Fromm and an offense that is more conducive to winning real games than winning fantasy games. That being said, Fields elite arm and mobility make him an attractive option in any offense. Going back to Avery’s comments following the workout, he mentioned that there are physical things that Fields can do that Fromm can’t. Whether or not that means that Fields can win the job this year or next, is to be determined. Fields has a rare skill set, and due to his potential ceiling, I want him on my roster in every format. After all, he could be a hand injury away from “Jake Fromming” this job from the jump.

Trevor Lawrence, True Freshman, Clemson

Much of my thoughts on Justin Fields’ upside can be copied and pasted for Trevor Lawrence. Similar to the debates surrounding Derrius Guice and Saquon Barkley entering the 2017 season, these two will likely be tethered together when discussing the top young collegiate quarterbacks. Lawrence was an incredibly accomplished quarterback in high school that threw for 41 TDs and just 1 INT as a senior. Clemson’s offense has regularly supported very productive CFF quarterbacks. Lawrence is a pro-style quarterback that has the legs to do some damage on the ground. The path to playing time is much more clear for Lawrence than it is for Fields. Kelly Bryant was serviceable last season and led The Tigers to the CFP. He is a more gifted runner than a passer, but his passing is so limited that it’s a near certainty that Clemson couldn’t beat an elite defense in the CFP, should they make a return trip. Lawrence should be a multi-year starter for Clemson, and he’s surrounded by elite pass catchers and a very sound offensive system.

Phil Jurkovec, True Freshman, Notre Dame

Jurkovec is an outstanding athlete. He is listed as a pro-style quarterback on many sites, but I consider him a dual-threat. I watched him play live on ESPN last August, and he ripped off a very lovely 20+ yard rushing TD after reading the field and going through his progressions. He’s got a 36-inch-vertical and can throw down dunks on the hardwood. I believe he is as effective a runner as Brandon Wimbush, who put up 141-803-14 on the ground in 2017. Much of that was due to his regression as a passer, but this scheme at Notre Dame can support some gaudy numbers. My biggest concern is that Brian Kelly is likely to be fired while Jurkovec is in school and it’s unknown who the next hire may be. That being said, Jurkovec is a future NFL QB and talisman of the Irish over the next several years so I believe they would make a hire that caters to his robust skill set. I think Jurkovec will likely redshirt in 2018 and then take the reins in 2019, for at least two seasons before going to the NFL but having the upshot of starting for as many as four.

Spencer Sanders, True Freshman, Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State’s QB is one of the most desirable CFF commodities each season. Mason Rudolph finally moved on, and it left a huge void to be filled in 2018. Sanders is an incoming freshman, but I think it’s unlikely he’s called upon to be a significant contributor this year. After that, it should be Sanders’ job in 2019 and beyond. He played in a comparable offensive system in Denton, Texas where he led His team to a 14-1 record, throwing for 3,845 yards, and 54 touchdowns, while running for 1,380 and 16 scores last season, losing in the Class 5A state semifinals. Mason Rudolph was pretty much a statue in the pocket, but he still managed to rush for ten touchdowns last season on 61 attempts. Sanders has legitimate dual-threat ability and could be a massive, multi-year-producer for the Cowboys.

Keytaon Thompson, True Sophomore, Mississippi State

Thompson has already been productive at Mississippi State. When Nick Fitzgerald got hurt in the 2017 Egg Bowl, Thompson was called into action. His passing numbers look pretty grim, and he undoubtedly needs to grow in that area to reach his potential. Similar to his predecessor, Nick Fitzgerald, Thompson is a very gifted athlete that is learning to be a capable passer. Mississippi State just changed offensive staffs and schemes from Dan Mullen to Joe Moorhead’s. Thompson had the opportunity to get a bunch of reps this spring as Fitzgerald continues to recover from his gruesome ankle injury. His new coach had this to say about him this spring, “The thing I have been most impressed with K.T. (Thompson) is his approach and maturity… For being a young guy, he’s got a calmness and a poise and a presence about him. He doesn’t get rattled, and that is what you want out of the quarterback position. Never too high when it’s going well and never too low when it is going bad. So he has a nice steady approach, and that’s not even mentioning his talent and skills set. His approach has been one that has been very impressive.” Thompson put up 53-268-4 rushing in the final two games last season, and it’s critical that Joe Mo’s QBs can scoot. That being said, there is a chance that Mississippi State could recruit a more talented signal caller who is more refined as a passer and the window may not be big enough for KT to slip through and lead this team in 2019 and 2020. I’m cautiously optimistic, but he does represent a player with a wide range of potential outcomes. The high ceiling makes him a buy for me.

JT Daniels, True Freshman, USC

JT Daniels should be a senior in high school this upcoming year. Instead, he reclassified and enrolled a year early at USC with an opportunity to win the starting job in 2018. JTD is a state and national champion as well as the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Two talented quarterbacks are currently on USC’s roster, but neither of them will be confused with having talent like Sam Darnold. Daniels, on the other hand, has comparable stuff. He is about as natural a passer of the football as I’ve watched for any high school QB. As is the custom at USC, he will have a plethora of talented receivers to throw to for the next several years. While I don’t love the current scheme that USC runs for CFF, nor real football, there is an opportunity for it to host a productive passer. Darnold thew for 58 TDs in 2016 and 2017 combined. The volume won’t rival an actual air raid, but he also isn’t likely to be priced like a quarterback that will play in one of those systems. He is an ideal target if you play in a Hybrid CFF/Devy league. Well known sports trainer, Scot Prohaska, had this to say about JTD and his future at USC, “He’s never really failed,” said trainer Scot Prohaska, who has been JT’s emotional guru since the eighth grade. “He’s going to have some struggles at USC. My goal is to mentor him through those, make sure he has the right mindset to grow and not feel all the expectations he has on him. It’s been frustrating that he hasn’t failed at anything because I haven’t gotten to teach him those lessons.” How he handles adversity and who USC hires to replace Tee Martin in the next few seasons will ultimately determine this talented signal caller’s ceiling.

Alan Bowman, True Freshman, Texas Tech

Texas Tech has a bona fide quarterback competition on their hands in 2018. McLane Carter, Jett Duffey, and Alan Bowman will all be in the mix. “We’re going to take this thing through the summer and through fall camp, and when we jog out there the first game, that’s who our starter is going to be. That’s my thought process,” Kingsbury said this spring. “I wanted to see these guys work through the summer and work through fall camp and who can be the most consistent in all areas.” Whoever wins the job will have immense value in CFF playing in this air raid attack. The challenge with sorting through the trio is that each of them will have multiple years of eligibility left. Bowman is the most gifted passer of the group, Duffey, the most gifted athlete, and Carter has the experience. The reason why I chose Bowman on this list ahead of Duffey is that I don’t trust that he will stay out of jail. He has a behavior pattern that is eerily similar to that of former Florida Gator, Antonio Callaway. The other cause for pause is that I believe it’s a near certainty that Kliff Kingsbury will be fired in the next few years. It’s likely that Texas Tech continues their pattern of hiring coaches with CFF-friendly offenses, but it’s worth noting another potential pitfall. I’m generally avoiding Texas Tech in redraft, but Bowman would be a dynasty target I would consider buying and holding for at least the next 15 months.

Gerry Bohanon, True Freshman, Baylor

Gerry Bohanon is a very gifted true freshman who enrolled at Baylor. Bohanon was ranked as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks coming out of high school. He threw for 2,675 yards, and 34 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,200 yards and 17 scores on the ground as a senior. He was recruited by Arkansas, which is the state where he played his high school ball, but the change in regime in Fayetteville ultimately put them too far behind the eight ball in relationship building, and he chose to go to Baylor. As a college football fan, I’m disappointed we won’t get to see him run Chad Morris’ offense (yet). He will compete with Charlie Brewer this fall to start for the Bears. Brewer got some playing time last season as a freshman and performed admirably. He is the presumed starter, but I don’t think he is as talented or versatile as Bohanon. If Brewer has another productive season, then it may be best for Bohanon to transfer out. That muddies the water for CFF purposes, but he is the type of player that I want to gamble on with his ability to win with his legs and also having a big-league arm. He received rave reviews this spring, and he is another player that I would look for a 15 month buy-and-hold while things play out in Waco.

Willie Jones, True Sophomore, Texas State

Who? That’s right, the Lamar Jackson of the Sun Belt! Kin to Steamin’ Willie Beamen, Jones was called upon to try to rescue a terrible Texas State offense in 2017. They were entirely devoid of skill talent, weak in the trenches, and generally lacking an offensive identity. That being said, when Jones got on the field, he made my jaw drop on several occasions. He wore #8 and made several plays where he looked incredibly similar to Lamar Jackson. He is one of the most gifted athletes in the conference, and Texas State is currently recruiting at a high level. Former Miss St QB coach, Brett Elliott, will be Texas State’s QB coach in 2018. He helped to develop Nick Fitzgerald as a passer and called the plays in the bowl game which saw Keytaon Thompson run for 100+ yards and score three rushing touchdowns against Louisville. While he won’t be the OC in 2018, I believe his influence on the staff will help to maximize Jones’ skill set. I expect we see some spikes for Jones in 2018 and he will be a legitimate asset in 2019 and 2020.

Holton Ahlers, True Freshman, ECU

I watched Ahlers this past spring as I was writing about the top incoming freshman QBs. I came way super impressed with Tim Tebow of Appalachia! I’m not particularly impressed with either of the other options that are currently on ECU’s campus. Reid Herring is the likely 2018 starter and has shown the most command of the offense, given his extended time in the program. Kingsley Ifedi is a tantalizing option in this offense, given his tremendous running ability. However, I could see a position switch being in his future to maximize his athleticism. Ahlers has the total package. ECU managed to thwart late pushes from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama to land the big fella. A few concerns are the current depth chart and the future of this coaching staff. I don’t like the way that things are trending at ECU and there is a good chance that a coaching change is imminent. The other issue of there being multiple QBs that are freshman or sophomores can be more easily overcome, due to Ahlers’ superior ability. I don’t have him rostered on any of my squads, but I wish that I did. A dual-threat QB, running an air raid, with SEC ability in the AAC is a recipe for CFF success.

Tevaka Tuioti, Redshirt Sophomore, New Mexico

When Bob Davie wasn’t abusing his players, he was busy making an offensive coordinator hire that got my attention. Calvin McGee was Rich Rodriguez’s right-hand man for 16 of the past 17 seasons. Most recently, he co-coordinated the offense that introduced Khalil Tate to the footballing world (How it took them months to realize he was a better option than Brandon Dawkins is another story). New Mexico previously ran a triple-option offense but now will transition into a spread option which will likely mean more touches for sophomore QB, Tevaka Tuioti. Recruited as an athlete to run the triple option, this change immediately made him a priority target for me, due to the potential rushing upside. Tuioti got some work in 2017 as a freshman and should now be a three-year starter on a wonderfully accommodating offense. There will likely be some ups and downs in 2018, but I’m optimistic about a nice 2019 and 2020 for a growing, dynamic player like Tuioti. Most of your league mates won’t know anything about him, so his price tag is free. If he can tighten up a few things as a passer, there is a lot to like about the Samoan Khalil Tate!

Chevan Cordeiro, True Freshman, Hawaii

Until June of this year, I’d never heard of him. My friend, Mike Bainbridge, brought him to my attention, and for a good reason. Hawaii is migrating back to their famous run and shoot offenses that lit up college football in the past. Cordeiro backed up Tua Tagovailoa on the island and filled in admirably last season. He is a dual threat that threw for 29 TDs, with 8 INT, and ran for 10 TDs as a senior. I’m intrigued by what I’ve seen from him on his highlight tape and how he could fit in this offense. Right now, I’d consider him more of a “watch list” player for two reasons. The first is that Hawaii’s QB room is full of young players with diverse skill sets. The second is that it appears there is some underlying unrest within the football program and if they made a coaching change and elect not to stick with this offensive scheme, I’m no longer interested. I’ve seen enough of this offense in the past, and now I’ve seen enough of Cordeiro to put him on a short list of players to monitor this season. I don’t have the space to add him in any of my leagues, but if you have room and like to play the lotto, he may be worth a ticket. CC didn’t enroll early which also puts him behind the eight ball for 2018, and it’s entirely possible another young gunslinger grabs the bull by the horns and doesn’t let go.

Dorian Thompson Robinson, True Freshman, UCLA

DTR is one of my favorite quarterbacks in this extremely talented freshman class. I can’t imagine many better fits for him than his pairing with Chip Kelly. As far as 2018 goes, I have no idea what this UCLA team will look like. I really don’t have a very good feel for the years beyond that, but I do feel confident about two things. DTR will be the most talented quarterback on this roster for the next several years, and Chip Kelly’s quarterbacks are highly desirable in CFF. DTR backed up Tate Martell in high school and as a result, only has one year of starting experience. While it’s highly unlikely that Martell will ever carve out a significant role as anything other than a gadget QB at Ohio State, I am confident that DTR’s collegiate trajectory will look much different. Looking back at a few of Kelly’s quarterbacks, Dennis Dixon ran for 105-590-9 and threw for 20 touchdowns, in 9.5 games. Jeremiah Masoli then ran for 23 touchdowns and 1,386 yards over the next two seasons. He added 28 passing touchdowns in that stretch, but he was more limited as a passer than DTR. The potential rushing upside is immense, and it will make the Bruins’ quarterback a hot commodity. I don’t have clear expectations for when DTR will start contributing. My guess is that he gets his opportunity in 2018 with the new redshirt rule. I’m unsure how significant that will be but in looking at their current roster, if I had to bet, he will be the QB1 in 2019, and he has the ability to be a very productive, four-year-starter.

Feature image credit: USA Today

kfrancis

Senior Director of College Fantasy Football. Watch and absorb football year round and apply what I learn to CFF. Fan of the one true dynasty - Roll Tide.

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