Big 12 QB Rankings 2010 BIG 12 QB RANKINGS 1. Jerrod Johnson, Sr. Texas A&M The hope was for senior Johnson to grow into a consistent bomber after getting a little bit of experience under his belt, and then … KABOOM. The 6-5, 243-pounder finished third in the nation in total offense and led the Big 12 averaging 314 yards per game completing close to 60% of his passes for 3,579 yards and 39 touchdowns with eight interceptions while adding 506 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. When he was on, he was unstoppable including an incredible final two games throwing for 342 yards and four touchdowns, and running for 97 more, and chucking for 362 yards and two scores against Georgia. However, A&M lost both of those games and lost four of his six 300-yards games (with the two wins coming against New Mexico and Utah State). A legitimate pro prospect with his size, arm, and mobility, he could grow into a Josh Freeman-like first rounder who can up his stock immeasurably if he can start leading the team to more big wins. 2. Blaine Gabbert, Jr. Missouri The talk throughout the 2009 offseason was that Gabbert was a far better talent than Chase Daniel, the Heisman-caliber star who helped Mizzou turn the corner. The 6-5, 240-pound junior has the size, arm, and skills to continue to push the ball down the field. Gone are the dink and dunk days of Daniels. Gabbert hit on 59% of his passes for 3,593 yards and 24 touchdowns with nine interceptions, and he was mobile with 204 rushing yards and three scores. The picks came in bunches with five in a two-game stretch against Nebraska and Oklahoma State and with two against both Colorado and Navy. His best day, a 468-yard, two score day against Baylor, resulted in a loss. 3. Robert Griffin, Soph. Baylor The 6-2, 210-pound sophomore who was one of the breakout stars of 2008. He completed 60% of his throws for 2,091 yards and 15 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He showed off a good, accurate arm and decision-making ability beyond his age. While his passing game was nice, setting the NCAA record with 209 straight passes without an interception to start his career, his running skills are what made Baylor a hot team to watch out for with 843 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. One of the fastest players in college football when he’s healthy, he won the Big 12 gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles with the third fastest time in school history. He saw time in three games before tearing his ACL, and he was on his way to a magnificent year completing 65% of his throws for 481 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, while running for 77 yards and two scores. While he’s not 100% healthy, he’ll be ready for the start of the season. Look out! 4. Landry Jones, Soph. Oklahoma Thrown into a bad situation after Sam Bradford went down, Jones stepped in and came up with a better season than he got credit for. While he wasn’t Bradford, he was terrific considering the offensive line wasn’t nearly as strong as it was over the previous few years and a lesser receiving corps. At 6-4 and 216 pounds he has good size, a terrific arm, and handled himself well under the pressure leading all freshmen in passing yards and finished completing 58% of his throws for 3,198 yards and 26 scores with 14 interceptions. While there was a record-setting six touchdown pass day against Tulsa and five touchdown passes thrown against Texas A&M, he also threw five interceptions in the loss to Nebraska and two against Texas. The talent is there, and now he has the experience. 5. Garrett Gilbert, Soph. Texas Thrown into the spotlight at the worst possible time, Gilbert was asked to win a national championship against the incredible Alabama defense on a night that was supposed to belong to Colt McCoy. He looked lost, couldn’t handle the pressure, and didn’t appear to belong on the field … and then the light bulb turned on. He finished completing just 15-of-40 for 186 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions, but it was the way he handled the adversity and brought the team back to make the Tide sweat. That type of moxie is part of the reason why the 6-4, 212-pounder was one of the nation’s top recruits last year after throwing for a Texas high school record 12,540 yards with 138 touchdown passes on the way to two state titles. As good as McCoy was, Gilbert has the bigger NFL upside and will get the chance to throw down the field early and often. 6. Taylor Potts, Sr. Texas Tech There’s going to be a dogfight for the starting job, and the issue isn’t likely to be settled for most of the season, but the team’s most talented quarterback is Potts. A 6-5, 218-pound senior who completed 66% of his passes for 3,440 yards and 22 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, but he didn’t show the magic that Steven Sheffield did and he was out with a serious concussion for two of the team’s key midseason wins. He has NFL size and the big arm to be more than just the typical Texas Tech midrange passer, but he needs to get healthy and he has to take the job by the horns. That has been a problem this offseason as he has tried to get over a cut hand suffered by banging it on a helmet. 7. Austin Arnaud, Sr. Iowa State Arnaud appeared to be ready to take over as one of the Big 12’s best all-around quarterbacks, but he struggled and sputtered in his third offensive system in four seasons. He completed 59% of his passes for 2,015 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he threw 13 interceptions and wasn’t consistent. With 6-3, 226-pound size, he’s a big, strong passer with excellent rushing skills finishing second on the team with 561 yards and eight touchdowns. Tough to bring down, he’s a bruising runner who always gets the hard yards, but the most important part of his game should now be his passing ability after looking sharper and far better as a decision maker this offseason. 8. Zac Lee, Sr. Nebraska Lee took over the starting role in 2009. His sporadic play had Husker fans everywhere shaking their heads. Lee passed for over 2,100 yards and had a 14-10 TD-Int ratio. He was injured and missed Spring practice further delaying his progression. His fourth quarter heroics in the Missouri game is what legend is made of, but the three picks against Iowa St. is not. If he is able to keep his job, he will have to be consistent as Nebraska looks to return to glory. 9. Brandon Weeden, Jr. Oklahoma State While Weeden didn’t get a whole bunch of playing time as the No. 2 man behind Zac Robinson, he played just enough to get his feet wet. Following an inconsistent offseason, he was just good enough to hold down the backup job and finished completing 15-of-24 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns with an interception with his most important work coming in the tight win over Colorado when Robinson got knocked out. The 26-year-old former pitcher in the New York Yankee farm system is 6-4, 224 pounds, and has a gun. He’s not going to run much, but he can move. 10. Steven Sheffield, Sr. Texas Tech Sheffield doesn’t have a big arm, he’s a stringy 6-5 and 190 pounds, and he’s not all that mobile, but he’s a fan favorite after finding ways to come through in the clutch when called on leading the way to wins over Kansas State and Nebraska highlighted by a seven touchdown day against the Wildcats. He stepped in late against Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl completing 9-of-11 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown on the way to the win. The former walk-on knows what he’s doing and is a great decision maker, and he’s deadly accurate completing 101-of-136 passes for 1,219 yards and 14 touchdowns with four interceptions last year. However, he has a hard time staying healthy and didn’t get a chance to show what he could do this offseason with an injured foot. 11. Tyler Hansen, Jr. Colorado Finally, Colorado has settled on Hansen as the starting quarterback … maybe. Thrown into the mix as a true freshman when Cody Hawkins wasn’t getting the job done, he has been in and out of the starting slot over the last two seasons. Last year he completed 56% of his passes for 1,440 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he finished fourth on the team with 61 rushing yards with a score. The 6-1, 205-pounder became a better passer as the season went on throwing for over 250 yards in three of his final four games, but the three interceptions thrown in the season finale against Nebraska were costly. He’s not the passer that Hawkins is, but he’s the better runner.