Scouting Florida’s 2020 Opponents: Ranking the quarterbacks

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Then-Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman scrambles out of the pocket against Syracuse during the first half in Syracuse, N.Y. Georgia coach Kirby Smart says quarterback is the position most affected by spring practice being canceled by the coronavirus pandemic. It's bad timing for the Bulldogs, who would have used the spring as a time to have Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman and others compete to replace three-year starter Jake Fromm. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

 After facing the Heisman Trophy winner (LSU’s Joe Burrow) and a Heisman contender (Georgia’s Jake Fromm) last season, the best quarterback the Florida Gators see in 2020 could very well be their own — senior Kyle Trask.

 Among the 12 quarterbacks UF will be going against this fall — presumably this fall, that is — there is not a lot of name recognition or proven star quality heading into the year.

 After digging through player bios and individual stats, The Sun has come up with the QB rankings for UF’s 12 opposing quarterbacks:

  1. Jamie Newman, Georgia — the graduate transfer from Wake Forest is expected to step right in as the starter at a position that lacks any proven depth. A dual-threat guy, Newman threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 574 yards and six TDs in his first full season as the starter at Wake last year. Having no spring practice could mean a slow start for Newman, who will have to learn an entirely new offense in probably a short period of time.
  2. Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington — here’s another dual-threat QB whose numbers were off the charts last season: 558 yards rushing and eight touchdowns; 3,712 yards passing and 31 touchdowns. He’s experienced, confident and could be problematic for the UF defense.
  3. Jeremy Moussa, Vanderbilt — this junior college transfer from San Bernardino Valley College has the potential — and the arm talent — to rise to the top of the list. In only nine games last season, he threw for 37 touchdowns, while averaging 353.2 passing yards a game. In his first start, he threw for 636 yards and seven touchdowns.
  4. Myles Brennan, LSU — he hasn’t done anything in his four years in Baton Rouge, but Coach Ed Orgeron says he’s a big-time talent, so we’re believers after what his QB — and offense — did last season. With all those talented receivers to throw to, it seems inevitable that Brennan has a breakout season.
  5. Ryan Hilinski, South Carolina — he struggled with consistency last season, but still put up impressive numbers for a true freshman, throwing for 2,357 yards and 11 touchdowns. He now has what he didn’t have last season — experience.
  6. Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee — yes, this highly rated prospect coming out of high school has had an up-and-down career with the Vols. But he finished last season strong and enters 2020 brimming with confidence.
  7. Matt Corral, Ole Miss — this, of course, is assuming that Corral is a better fit in Lane Kiffin’s pro-style offense and beats out the uber athletic John Rhys Plumlee for the starting role. Whoever wins the job, this seems like the right spot for the Ole QB.
  8. James Blackman, FSU — there are a lot of questions about this guy, but no one questions his arm talent, which is way up there. In the right offense, which he might be in under the new coach staff, he could thrive.
  9. Josh Adkins, New Mexico State — he’s a proven player who threw for 2,588 yards and 14 touchdown passes last season. But his 15 picks is an indication he needs to take better care of the football.
  10. Terry Wilson, Kentucky — the Gators know all about this guy, who beat them two years ago in The Swamp. He missed most of last season, including the UF game, after injuring his knee. He’s going to have a great offensive line to operate behind.
  11. Desmond Trotter, South Alabama — it’s time for Trotter to take over the offense after sharing playing time last season with Cephus Johnson. He threw for 820 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019.
  12.  Taylor Powell, Missouri — this is assuming he wins the starting role. He’s the only QB on the roster with any significant experience, completing 29 of 62 passes for 297 yards and a TD last season. He’ll have to fend off Conor Bazelak.

 

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