For SEC football fans, the topic is one of never-ending appeal in the offseason. Who will emerge as the league’s best quarterbacks once fall finally hits? Most every outlet under the sun produces its own spin on the issue, but only a few first team All-SEC quarterbacks actually chime in. Now, you can count former Arkansas star Tyler Wilson among this hallowed bunch.
On Tuesday, he broke down his five best current SEC quarterbacks on the ESPN-affiliated radio show Morning Rush with Derek Ruscin and Tommy Craft.
1. Sophomore Kyle Allen (Texas A & M)
2014: In five starts as a freshman, completed 96 of 157 (61.1 percent) passes for 1,028 yards, six interceptions and 12 touchdowns.
2015 Projection: Will complete 65.8 passes for 3,930 yards and 31 TDs [All Projections Provided by SaturdayDownSouth.com’s Brad Crawford]
“I think Kyle Allen is going to have a really good year. I think he’s going to have great numbers. He’s going to play in an offense under Sumlin that’s going to throw the ball around. He’s going to be featured. You can all of the hype from last year and all that kind of stuff – maybe he didn’t live up to some of the expectations – but I think Kyle Allen is going to have a really good year at Texas A & M.
2. Senior Dak Prescott (Mississippi State)
2014: Completed 244 of his 396 passes (61.6 percent) for 3,449 yards, 11 interceptions and 27 touchdowns. Rushed for 986 yards and 14 scores on 210 attempts.
2015 Projection: Completes 64.1 percent of passes for 3,610 yards and 30 touchdowns. Rushes for 1050 yards and 12 TDs.
“I don’t think Mississippi State is going to have the success they had last year. Consequently, he’s not going to get as much hype and as much love. So, I think I put Dak Prescott at 2.”
3a. Junior Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee)
2014: Playing in six games, with five starts, he completed 112 of 177 (63.27 percent) passes for 1,206 yards, six interceptions and nine touchdowns. He also rushed for 469 yards and eight TDs.
2015 Projection: Playing in a lot more games, will throw for 2,846 yards and 26 touchdowns. Will rush for 778 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“I think Tennessee’s going to have a good year on the Eastern side and do a really good job. Dobbs would be my 3rd quarterback, and I almost put a slash in there because I think Brandon Allen’s right in that conversation as well. He’s going to have a good year. Arkansas’s going to have a good year.”
No. 3b Senior Brandon Allen (Arkansas)
2014: Completed 190 of 339 (56 percent) passes for 2,285 yards and 20 touchdowns. Has a conference-high 25 starts in career.
2015: Projection sadly unavailable*
Like Dobbs, Allen excelled toward the end of the last season. Not only should those two quarterbacks produce at similar levels in terms of passing yards , but in 2015 they lead once-proud programs which appear to be on similarly upward trajectories after years of turbulence. “Really, Arkansas and Tennessee are in the same type of a boat program-wise,” Wilson says.
He also points out Greg McElroy, the SEC Network commentator, was on target with his on-air assessment of Allen: “Yes, he doesn’t have outstanding skill, position, or talent around him, but he has a great running game to rely on. He makes that running game better because of his play action passing capabilities and his ability to get them in and out of run plays that would or would not be successful. He does a lot at the line of scrimmage and I would expect a bit year from him. Another 5-interception year would have the Hogs looking very good.” Whereas McElroy has him firmly at No. 4 in the SEC, though, Wilson finds a way to squeeze him into the top 3.
No. 4 Junior Jeremy Johnson (Auburn)
2013/2014: In 13 career games (two starts), Johnson completed 57 of 78 (73 percent) passes for 858 yards and two interceptions.
2015 Projection: Will complete 63.7% passes for 3,205 yards and 24 touchdowns. Will rush for 785 yards and 9 touchdowns.
“I think he’s going to put up great numbers. I’d love to put him higher, but there’s not enough evidence out there for me right now to jump him up any higher than that.”
* If SaturdayDownSouth.com won’t project Allen’s 2015 stats, we – sure as Tretola’s arm – will. So, what are your predictions on the numbers Allen puts up this year?