The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has occasionally struggled with quarterback play over the last few years, but appears to be improving in the signal-caller area with Jake Fromm, Jarrett Stidham and Drew Lock. When Urban Meyer came in, many teams utilized a dual threat model quarterback, but they’re now trending toward pocket passers. Let’s look at the Top 5 quarterbacks in the SEC over the last ten years (with honorable mention to Josh Dobbs (Tennessee) and Chad Kelly (Ole Miss).
5. Matthew Stafford– Georgia: Stafford was an All-American in 2008 and probably the most successful SEC quarterback in the pros in the last ten years, perhaps behind Cam Newton. He amassed 7,731 passing yards to go with 51 touchdowns. He was MVP of the Capital One Bowl in 2009 over Michigan State. The sole thing that hurt him in his career was the fact he was more turnover-prone than other quarterbacks on this list. Stafford was the No. 1 overall pick to the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft.
4. Dak Prescott– Mississippi State: Prescott was first team All-SEC in 2014 and 2015. He finished with more than 9,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards. Dak also accounted for 114 touchdowns in his career. In 2014, Prescott led the Bulldogs to their first No. 1 ranking in the history of the program. He carried the team on his back throughout his three, full seasons as starter, as the Bulldogs didn’t truly have any other superstars.
3. Johnny Manziel– Texas A&M: It’s hard to look past Manziel’s off-the-field issues and pro career when putting him on this list, but this is solely based on college stats. Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in 2012 and was also numerous entities’ Player of the Year. He only played two full seasons for the Aggies, but racked up 153 touchdowns with 7,500 passing yards and more than 4,000 rushing yards. He was the most electrifying player we’ve seen in many years. He also talked a lot, but ultimately backed it up. Johnny Football also took down No. 1 Alabama, racking up 345 yards of total offense in that memorable game.
1B. Tim Tebow – Florida: The top two on this list have to be ranked 1A and 1B. Tebow was a 2x National Champion, 2x SEC Player of the year, and 2x First Team All-American. He changed the way quarterbacks played in college. Tebow also won the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He could run and throw. Tebow racked up more than 9,200 yards passing with 88 touchdowns and more than 2,900 yards rushing with 57 touchdowns. He was practically unstoppable when it came to short distances to go.
1A. Cam Newton – Auburn: Newton won the Heisman Trophy, the National Championship and the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards all in 2010, his only year at Auburn. He threw for 2,854 yards and 30 TDs and ran for 1,473 and 20 TDs that year. He led Auburn to a comeback victory over Alabama after being down 24-0, in one of the greatest retaliations in SEC history. He played the same year I covered the Vols with Sal Sunseri as defensive coordinator and I believe to this day if the Vols had played him that year, he would have had 1,000 total yards from scrimmage. Newton was the most unstoppable force the SEC has seen in years.