Thomas: Top 10 College Football Quarterbacks for 2020

A few days ago, I analyzed ESPN’s top 10 quarterbacks, offering a few of my own criticisms, and hinted at my own rankings, which I will now share. Without ado, here are my Top 10 (and a few extra) college football quarterbacks for the 2020 season. 

Just Missed the Cut

13. Ian Book, Notre Dame 

12. Levi Lewis, Louisiana 

11. Jayden Daniels, Arizona State

The Top 10

10. Kyle Trask, Florida

Trask made headlines last season when he took over as the Florida starter, becoming his team’s starting signal-caller for the first time since early in his high school career. Kyle Trask boasted a few notable accomplishments, including being the only quarterback in the country to lead Joe Burrow in the second half. The Gators lost just twice, with the other defeat coming at the hands of Georgia, and Trask put up solid numbers, throwing for 25 touchdowns. He will be Florida’s rock in 2020, as the Gators hope to break through in the SEC, and maybe even take their shot at the College Football Playoff picture. 

9. Dillon Gabriel, UCF

We’re staying in the state of Florida for #9 as well. Gabriel was one of the most underrated QBs in the country, as there was quite literally nothing he would have been able to do that could have lived up to McKenzie Milton, the best signal-caller in UCF program history. Gabriel took over the starting job in the middle of Week 1, and he tossed for 3,653 yards, 29 touchdowns and just seven picks. He led the Knights to another double-digit win season, and Gabriel will be back in 2020.

8. Sam Howell, North Carolina

Cal Christoforo, when ranking the ACC quarterbacks for the upcoming season, put it pretty simply and accurately: Howell put up one of the best true freshman seasons in college football history. With 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions and 3,641 passing yards, Howell has been pronounced the savior of the Tar Heels. UNC has been killing it on the recruiting front, and with two more years of Howell, they could be a prominent team, not just in the ACC, but on the national scale pretty soon. 

7. Dustin Crum, Kent State

ESPN had Crum ranked 8th, and I loved it. Kent State is a small program, and it could be easy for the Golden Flashes’ signal-caller to go unnoticed, but Crum is a great talent, and he could find himself playing on Sundays. (Remember a certain Kent State quarterback that became an elite slot receiver). 

6. Brady White, Memphis

I was stunned that White didn’t make it on ESPN’s list, as the Memphis quarterback led one of the most explosive offenses in the country. After squeaking out an ugly 15-10 victory over Ole Miss in the season opener, Memphis scored at least 28 points in every game. Most impressively, White and the Tigers rolled all over Penn State’s illustrious defense for 39 points in the Cotton Bowl. Despite the team loss, it was a very impressive performance from a quarterback who impressed all year long, tossing for over 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns. Look out for Brady White and Memphis in 2020. 

5. Layne Hatcher, Arkansas State

The former Alabama quarterback transferred to Arkansas State after redshirting his freshman year, and in his first season as a starter, Hatcher was very efficient and led the Red Wolves to 28 points or more in all but two contests, with one of those being a road game at Georgia. Hatcher’s numbers may not be jawdropping, but he finished sixth last season in pass efficiency, and he was a very capable leader of the Arkansas State offense. I’m really high on this young QB, so keep an eye on him in the next season or two. 

4. Kedon Slovis, USC

I mean, you know it’s legit because this is coming from a Notre Dame fan. Slovis is the real deal, and as a freshman Slovis threw for a little more than 3500 yards, thirty touchdowns, and nine interceptions, leading USC to a three-win improvement in 2019. One of Slovis’s most impressive performances came in a road night game at Notre Dame. In a hostile environment, Slovis put up 27 points on a very strong Irish defense, nearly leading the Trojans to victory. He also put up 30 points on a top-10 Utah team that challenged for a Playoff berth until the Pac-12 championship game. Slovis is legit, and you heard it here…from an Irish fan…don’t make me say it again. 

3. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Not second?? I’ll be brief in my explanation as I’m sure you want to see who is second, and you may have already scrolled to that point. Anyways, Lawrence is obviously one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, but I’m ranking him third. He showed a little sloppiness last year early in ACC play, but he’s still dynamic. One of the best, but I wouldn’t say he’s 1 or 2. 

2.Tanner Morgan, Minnesota

Over Trevor Lawrence? Yes sir. Tanner Morgan simply did more with far less than Lawrence. All respect to Minnesota, but they are not Clemson, and they don’t have Clemson’s skill. Morgan led the Gophers, who most thought to be a middling Big 10 team, to the bring of the Big 10 championship and into the top 10. Morgan averaged more yards per game, had better pass efficiency, and competed in a much tougher conference. Clemson is an elite team who also has Trevor Lawrence. Minnesota is a great team because of Tanner Morgan.

1. Justin Fields, Ohio State
If you want proof of how good Fields is, look to the year before, when the Buckeyes were led by first round draft pick Dwayne Haskins under center. Under Haskins, the Buckeyes put together a solid campaign, winning the Rose Bowl, but they had several close calls, and they lost by 29 points to Purdue. Under Fields, the Buckeyes won six games by 40+ points, and only one opponent came within 20 points in the regular season. Fields is a dynamic dual-threat QB, and he simply elevates his team to an entirely new level.