The Atlantic Division, and the ACC in general, is run by Clemson. It still may be Trevor Lawrences’s conference, but what other signal-callers are going to shine in the ACC in 2020? Here’s the Atlantic Division QB rankings.
7. Dennis Grosel, Red-shirt Junior, Boston College
After Eagles’ starter Anthony Brown suffered a season-ending leg injury against Louisville in week 6, it was up to Grosel to finish out the 2019 season under center. He finished 3-4 as a starter and was primarily a game manager for the BC offense, which was 8th in the country and 1st in the ACC in rushing offense with 3,291 yards. After Brown transferred to Oregon in April, it seems like it is Grosel’s starting job to lose in 2020. Even with stud running back AJ Dillion off to the NFL, the Eagles still have an excellent back in David Baily and a rock-solid offensive line that should lead to open passing lanes for Grosel off of play-action.
6. Devin Leary, Red-shirt Sophomore NC State
Three different players threw for over 500 yards for the Wolfpack in 2019 but Leary was the leader throwing for 1,219 in eight games. Now in his redishirt sophomore season, the former four-star from Sicklerville, New Jersey, has been announced the starter going into camp. He became the first red-shirt freshman to start for NC State since Russell Wilson after starting the last 6 games of the season. However, he definitely has a long way to go. Leary completed just 47.5% of his passes in those 6 starts throwing only 8 touchdowns to go with his 5 interceptions as the Wolfpack lost every one of those starts. Hopefully going into the season as the main man under center will be just what he needs for more success.
5. Sam Hartman, Red-shirt Sophomore, Wake Forest
After winning the starting job in his true freshman season back in 2018, Hartman lost the quarterback battle to Jamie Newman in 2019. But, with Newman transferring to Georgia, the job is Hartman’s again in 2020. Hartman was just a three-star recruit coming out of high school in South Carolina, but he really improved when he got to Wake, throwing for nearly two thousand yards as a freshman. He can run into a bit of trouble with turnovers, throwing 10 career interceptions as opposed to his 20 touchdown passes. Hartman was able to get a red-shirt after losing the job last year, so with the team back under his reins in his sophomore season in 2020, Hartman will look to improve off of his 2018 campaign.
4. Tommy Devito, Red-shirt Junior, Syracuse
The great people of central New York were expecting big things from Devito in his first year as the starter. But the Orange win total regressed from 10 in 2018 to just 5 in 2019. Most of that, however, was not the fault of Devito who spent most of the season either on his back or running for his life behind one of the worst offensive lines in the conference. Devito was sacked more than any other quarterback in the nation – 44 times in 2019. The New Jersey native, who was a four-star recruit, completed 63% of his passes for 2,360 yards and 19 touchdowns. Hopefully, with a full year under his belt and a better O-line, Devito and the Orange can get back on track in 2020.
3. James Blackman, Red-shirt, Junior, Florida State
Blackman has had a very interesting career in Tallahassee. He won the starting job as a true freshman back in 2017, throwing for 1,997 yards in 12 starts. In 2018 he lost the QB battle to Deondre Francois and took a redshirt season. Then in 2019, he beat out Wisconsin grad-transfer Alex Hornibrook and threw for ,2339 yards in 10 starts. At 6’5” Blackman was a three-star recruit out of high school and another QB with the misfortune of playing behind a pitiful offensive line. He was sacked 27 times in his 10 starts and Hornibrook who also made starts for FSU was sacked 20 times. Hopefully, with a better line upfront, Blackman can have a breakout season in 2020.
2. Micale Cunningham Red-shirt Junior, Louisville
Micale Cunningham turned Louisville football around in 2019. After going 2-10 with wins against Indiana State and Western Kentucky in 2018, the Cards had an eight-win season in 2019, including a victory in the Music City Bowl. After leading the Birds by rushing for 497 yards in 2018, the former three-star from Montgomery, Alabama threw for 2,061 yards and ran for 482 more in 2019. Cunningham also set the Louisville record for passing efficiency with a mark of 194.45. The highly talented dual-threat signal-caller will look to continue to improve his numbers as well as the team’s success in 2020.
1. Trevor Lawrence, Junior, Clemson
Not maybe, possibly, or potentially – Lawrence IS and WILL BE the number one selection in the 2021 draft. Coming out of high school in Cartersville, Georgia Lawrence was the number one recruit in the class of 2018 and the sixth-highest recruit since 2000. At Clemson, he has lived up to expectations and then some. As a true freshman, he beat out returning starter Kelly Bryant, who took the Tigers into the college football playoff as the #1 team the year before, and won the national title. As a sophomore, Lawrence went all the way back to the national championship game. He led the ACC in passing in 2019, throwing for 3,665 yards to go along with 36 touchdowns. Lawrence will look to continue his college football dominance in 2020 for a Clemson team who once again is a favorite to win another national championship.