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Ranking the ACC Quarterbacks

By Matthew Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
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The ACC will arguably have the top collection of quarterbacks in the country this fall.

Though the ACC has found itself in an endless battle to improve its reputation on the gridiron in recent seasons, there is no denying the quality of the quarterback play in the conference.

As we begin to look ahead to the 2013 season, here is the ranking of the projected ACC starting quarterbacks for this fall.

1. Tajh Boyd, Clemson

In the heart of the offseason, Boyd has to be considered one of the early favorites to bring home the Heisman Trophy at the end of the 2013 season. Boyd finished in the top five nationally in QB rating last year, and has been the first-team All-ACC signal caller each of the past two seasons.

2. Stephen Morris, Miami

Not much was expected out of Morris prior to the start of last season, but he put together a very solid 2012 campaign. The Hurricanes averaged over 31 points per game last fall, and Morris was a big reason for the offensive resurgence in Coral Gables.

3. Bryn Renner, North Carolina

Renner’s game has been the model of efficiency each of the last two seasons. He makes smart decisions with the football, and has the physical tools to make any throw on the field. His production should see a nice jump with more of the offensive focus being shifted to the passing game this year.

4. Vad Lee, Georgia Tech

Throwing the football is certainly part of playing quarterback, but it isn’t everything. For what he is asked to do in Paul Johnson’s offense, Lee executes to near perfection. He has steadily increased his understanding of the option, and his athleticism will lead to more explosive plays for the Yellow Jackets.

5. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

NFL experts are in love with Thomas’ potential, but the simple fact of the matter is that the production does not currently live up to the hype. Thomas is capable of being one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, but he first must learn to take better care of the football consistently.

6. Tanner Price, Wake Forest

Price doesn’t always post the gaudiest statistics, but he is an intelligent field general that excels at protecting the football. His production was hurt by a porous offensive line last season, but he should have the tools at his disposal to post solid numbers in 2013.

7. Chase Rettig, Boston College

Early last season Rettig showed that he has the potential to be an above-average quarterback in the ACC. Unfortunately for Eagles fans, he experienced a significant drop off in production over the second half of the season. With four years of starting experience, Rettig should have a solid 2013 season.

8. Anthony Boone, Duke

Boone saw a decent amount of playing time as Sean Renfree’s backup last fall, and he played very admirably. Although he is not the pure passer that Renfree was, he is a bowling ball runner that will create problems for opposing defenses with his dual-threat abilities.

9. Jameis Winston, Florida State

There is a good chance that Winston will be ranked higher than ninth at the end of the season, but with no playing experience under his belt, he starts off 2013 a little lower on the list. The physical tools are obviously there, and his production will improve as the season wears along.

10. Phillip Sims, Virginia

Sims is still in a three-way competition to win the Cavaliers’ starting quarterback job, but he is the most physically talented of the bunch. He has sometimes struggled to protect the football throughout his career, although he did not throw an interception in the final four games of 2012.

11. Terrel Hunt, Syracuse

Hunt separated himself from the pack with a strong performance during spring practice. It is easy to spot his talent when you watch him on the gridiron, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has spent multiple seasons learning from recent NFL draftee Ryan Nassib.

12. Pete Thomas, North Carolina State

Thomas has never attempted a pass as a player in a BCS conference, but he was a solid player at Colorado State before transferring to Raleigh. He has always completed a high percentage of his passes, but he must learn to limit his interceptions.

13. C.J. Brown, Maryland

After missing all of last season with a knee injury, Brown will look to add some much-needed stability under center for the Terrapins. While he is a dynamic player running the football out of the backfield, there is still a lot of polishing to do with his throwing motion.

14. Tom Savage, Pittsburgh

Savage was once the starting quarterback at Rutgers as a true freshman, but has not played in a game since 2010. Savage has never been an extremely accurate quarterback, but he is an impressive physical specimen with a strong arm.

Matthew Osborne - With an extensive background in both writing and high school recruiting, Matt serves as the Editor and Director of Recruiting for Southern Pigskin. Once serving as the South Region Senior Scout for a national scouting service, Matt is very familiar with the top football prospects in the south. If it is a weekend in the fall, you can rest assured that Matt is on the road watching some of the top high school and college games in the region. To keep up with all of the latest recruiting news in the south, be sure to follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborneSP. You can email him at matt@southernpigskin.com.