The college football season is quickly approaching, and we’re getting you ready for kickoff. Our experts break down the best players for 2018, starting with the commander of the offense: the quarterback.
Andrea Adelson: Will Grier, West Virginia.
Expectations are high in Morgantown after watching what a healthy Grier could do in Dana Holgorsen’s high-flying offense in 2017. Before a finger injury curtailed his season, Grier ranked No. 2 nationally in touchdown passes and No. 3 in passing yards.
Edward Aschoff:Justin Herbert, Oregon
If we’re talking about who’s going to end up being the best pro prospect, I’ll go with Herbert, even with him running his third different offense in three years. He’s a shifty runner with a cannon for a right arm. A collarbone injury limited him to eight games last season, but Herbert averaged 247.9 yards and had 15 touchdowns in those games. He also has a 34-9 TD-INT ratio over 16 career games.
Chris Low:Trace McSorley, Penn State
McSorley might be the most underappreciated player in the country, not just the most underappreciated quarterback. And while he’s not the biggest guy and doesn’t possess the biggest arm, he has a great feel for the game and a knack for making clutch plays. As former Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley said, “You’re never out of a game when Trace McSorley is your quarterback.”
Adam Rittenberg: Will Grier, West Virginia
He has had significant experience and success in two Power 5 conferences. He has one of the nation’s best wide-receiver groups at his disposal, led by end-zone magnet David Sills. Grier also plays in a league where most defenses lack elite depth. He should thrive in his final season under Dana Holgorsen as WVU chases its first Big 12 title.
Alex Scarborough: Will Grier, West Virginia
Grier might throw for 500 yards against Tennessee’s dilapidated defense Week 1. And he might not look back all season long, building off of last season’s already impressive totals of 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns passing. With most of the line and receivers back, including touchdown machine David Sills, the Mountaineers offense should be prolific.
Jake Trotter: Will Grier, West Virginia
Before breaking a finger on his throwing hand last year in Week 12, Grier was second nationally in passing touchdowns and third in passing yards. Healthy again, with an even better supporting cast, including the nation’s top receiving corps, Grier could be in for a monster senior season while contending for both the Heisman Trophy and Big 12 championship.
Tom VanHaaren: Will Grier, West Virginia
I think Grier is coming back to a more certain situation compared to a few of the other quarterbacks who could be in this conversation. Grier suffered an unfortunate injury in the Texas game last season, so he didn’t get to finish what he started. But the Mountaineers return receiver David Sills, who had 980 receiving yards in 2017, as well as Gary Jennings, who had 1,096 yards through the air. If Grier can stay healthy, he should have an outstanding season.