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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Articles tagged: Justin Herbert

10 best quarterbacks in college football

Trevor Lawrence

Since 2000, 16 of the 19 players to win the Heisman Trophy were quarterbacks. In other words, the best player in college football is usually adjudged to be the nation’s top signal-caller, underlining the importance of the position if a school wants a chance at claiming a conference or national title. Just ask the Oklahoma Sooners, who boast back-to-back Heisman-winning quarterbacks, both of whom played in the College Football Playoff.

Which quarterbacks are going to be the ones competing for those honors this season? Here are the ten best quarterbacks in college football in 2019.

10. Adrian Martinez, Nebraska

Any rebirth of Nebraska football is tied to Martinez, who was handed the quarterback job as a freshman and acquitted himself well. He threw for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns while adding 629 rushing yards. A better supporting cast should help those numbers go up, and some have even mentioned him as a potential dark horse Heisman candidate. That may be premature, but given Martinez’s natural talent and Scott Frost’s reputation for developing players, it may be realistic eventually.

9. D’Eriq King, Houston

King suffered a knee injury toward the end of 2018, and his recovery and health will be paramount to him reaching his potential. If King does reach his potential, he’ll easily become one of the country’s most dynamic quarterbacks. As a junior, King threw 36 touchdown passes and added 14 more rushing scores, bringing him to an even 50 on the year despite playing in only 11 games. Dana Holgorsen’s offense has the chance to make him one of the most prolific stat-producers in the entire nation.

8. Jordan Love, Utah State

After passing for 32 touchdowns and 3,567 yards last season, there’s no reason to believe Love won’t be able to turn in a repeat performance in 2019. Ranking as one of the Group of Five’s top quarterbacks, Love had a pair of 400-yard passing games in 2018, and nearly beat Michigan State in East Lansing. He has a new coach in Gary Andersen, but don’t expect that to slow him down as one of the best returning quarterbacks.

7. Shea Patterson, Michigan

Michigan was likely headed for a College Football Playoff appearance last season had they not lost to Ohio State, and that defeat largely was not Patterson’s fault. The senior enters 2019 with a lot of pressure on his shoulders given the prevailing narrative that Michigan is long overdue for a Big Ten title and has the talent to win one. They certainly have the quarterback to do it, as Patterson was good for 2,600 yards last season. The hope is that a more expansive offense will boost Patterson’s numbers and make the team even better.

6. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

After an up-and-down Alabama career, Hurts has moved to Oklahoma. Coach Lincoln Riley has made clear that Hurts is expected to compete with Tanner Mordecai for the starting job, but most expect Hurts to win it. Known primarily for his mobility, the key for Hurts will be to show improvement as a passer. However, Riley and Oklahoma’s high-powered approach to offense could make Hurts yet another Oklahoma Heisman candidate. He’d love to make it three years in a row for the Sooners.

5. Sam Ehlinger, Texas

It’s comical to now think that Ehlinger was once part of a quarterback controversy at Texas. Nobody is questioning him now. He racked up 41 total touchdowns in 2018 — 25 passing and 16 rushing — while quarterbacking the Longhorns to their first ten-win season since 2009. The junior is only getting better, and as long as there are no injuries or other issues, a Big 12 title and Heisman consideration is not out of the question for Ehlinger.

4. Justin Herbert, Oregon

Herbert surprised many when he passed on the NFL Draft despite the fact that scouts are said to be drooling over his pro potential. The beneficiary of that decision is Oregon, which will subsequently be able to play one more season with one of the nation’s best quarterbacks. Herbert is a classic pocket passer with size and a big arm, as evidenced by his 63 touchdown passes in three years with the Ducks. Don’t be surprised if he has a 30-touchdown, 3,000-yard season in the pipeline.

3. Jake Fromm, Georgia

Georgia’s second season with Fromm under center wasn’t quite as successful as the first, but it certainly wasn’t down to the quarterback, who continues to develop at an elite level. Fromm posted a 30-touchdown season and improved his completion percentage as a sophomore despite falling short of 3,000 yards. There’s no reason to believe Fromm’s development won’t continue as a junior. A higher national profile could follow if the Bulldogs can make the College Football Playoff.

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Tua was everything the Crimson Tide hoped for and then some until a poor performance and injury in the SEC Championship helped derail his Heisman hopes. His season ended with two interceptions against Clemson, where he was outplayed by Trevor Lawrence. Losing that game gives Tagovailoa something to prove, which Nick Saban knows. Tua is entirely capable of making another run at the Heisman, and it’s worth remembering that he fell just 34 yards shy of 4,000 and added 43 passing touchdowns despite the fact that he was rarely playing the entirety of Alabama blowouts.

1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

For the bulk of the 2018 season, Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray were dominating the college football quarterback conversation. Lawrence proceeded to make the title game his personal coming out party. The freshman capped off a 3,000-yard season by throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns against a shell-shocked Crimson Tide defense. With no questions about his starting job and a talented team around him, Lawrence has the chance to surpass those numbers and win a Heisman Trophy as a sophomore. Another national title isn’t out of the question either.

Report: NFL scouts drooling over Oregon QB Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert has been mentioned by many as a potential candidate to be taken first overall in the NFL Draft next year, and apparently scouts agree that the Oregon quarterback is a tremendous prospect.

Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com reports that Herbert was rated the top NFL prospect at the senior meetings last month, and scouts gave him one of the highest grades of any senior in the past 10 years.

Herbert made a somewhat surprising decision to return to Oregon for his senior season, but that should allow him to develop more if he can stay healthy. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 29 touchdown passes last season to go along with eight interceptions.

As of now, it seems likely that either Herbert or Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa will be the first QB off the board in 2020. One NFL scout has already revealed which player he considers a better prospect, and that opinion may become more popular in the coming months.

Peyton Manning counseled Justin Herbert on NFL Draft decision

Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert surprised many by opting to return to Oregon for his senior season, passing up the chance to be the best quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft pool. It turns out he got some advice along the way from someone who’d know the process quite well.

Herbert said he spoke with Peyton Manning as he was making his decision on his future.

“I kind of talked to Peyton Manning a little bit,” Herbert told Chantel Jennings of The Athletic. “He offered some really good advice. He’s a guy who has done an incredible job. I have so much respect for him, and if there’s anyone who I could emulate, it’d be him. He just offered some great advice.”

Manning essentially told Herbert to push aside emotion and feelings and consider the short- and long-term ramifications of each choice. That led Herbert to decide to play one final year in college — the same decision Manning made in 1996.

Herbert had another iconic quarterback eyeing his progress during the season, and his stock was high. Ultimately, though, he’s elected to put off the NFL for a year. It worked out for Manning, and Herbert can only hope that he’s anywhere close to as successful.

NFL scout says he would take Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa

Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert’s decision to return to remain in school for his senior season means the 2020 quarterback class is even more loaded with talent, and some believe the Oregon star could be the best of the best.

While Herbert doesn’t get nearly as much attention as Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, one NFL scout told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports that he would put Herbert ahead of Tagovailoa at the moment.

“If I was on the clock right now, I’d go with Herbert,” the scout said. “He’s taller and fits the prototype more. I really like his arm strength and ability to stay in the pocket. Tua has three or four first-round picks on offense with him, and Herbert has Dillon Mitchell. That’s pretty much it. Tua has a lot to work with. He’s got first- and second-rounders galore around him that makes his job easier.”

Another concern for Tagovailoa could be durability, as he has dealt with multiple injuries in his first full season as Alabama’s starter and may have to play at less than full strength in the College Football Playoff because of the latest.

Any discussion about the top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is obviously premature, as there is still another full season of college ball to be played prior to that. Both Herbert and Tagovailoa will enter the 2019 season as Heisman Trophy candidates, and how they play will go a long way toward determining who is considered the better NFL prospect.

Justin Herbert announces he will return to Oregon for senior season

Justin Herbert

NFL executives who have been keeping a close eye on Justin Herbert are going to have to wait another year for a shot at drafting him, as the Oregon quarterback announced on Wednesday that he is not leaving school early.

In a statement released by the team, Herbert said he does not want questions about his future to distract the Ducks from preparing their upcoming bowl game against Michigan State. He added that he remains committed to Oregon and is looking forward to his senior season next year.

Many experts predicted that Herbert would be the top QB taken in the 2019 NFL Draft, so the decision is obviously huge news. It could also be good news for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who has not yet announced his intentions for next season but would have more competition for his services if he decides to turn pro.

Herbert has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions this year. He has 62 touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions in his three seasons at Oregon. One NFL executive who is in need of a quarterback already seems high on Herbert, so he and several others will likely be disappointed that the 20-year-old is spending another year in school.

Justin Herbert knocked out of Civil War after big sack

Justin Herbert injury

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert was knocked out of Friday’s Civil War game between Oregon and Oregon State after taking a big sack late in the second quarter.

Herbert was drilled on a sack with just over four minutes to go in the second quarter.

Herbert remained on the sideline for the Ducks’ final drive of the half. He did not come out for the start of the second half, and instead Braxton Burmeister came out to play quarterback.

Herbert was later seen leaving the Oregon locker room on a cart:

Herbert was 9/12 for 102 yards and a touchdown pass before suffering the injury. The Ducks took a 21-3 lead into halftime. Midway through the third quarter, Herbert was back on the sideline in street clothes.

Herbert, a junior, has been viewed as a top NFL Draft candidate, though it’s possible he will return for his senior season.

John Elway liked what he saw from Oregon QB Justin Herbert

John Elway

John Elway and several other members of the Denver Broncos were in Eugene on Saturday to watch Oregon take on Washington, and the Hall of Famer seemed impressed by Justin Herbert.

Herbert is regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects for next year’s NFL draft. After the junior threw a touchdown pass to Jaylon Redd right before halftime, Elway smiled and shook his head, according to Oregonian columnist John Canzano.

Canzano further reported that there were 13 scouts attending the game. The Broncos seemed to have the strongest presence with four scouts in attendance.

Quarterback has been the biggest weakness for the Broncos since Peyton Manning retired. Whether it was drafting Paxton Lynch or signing Case Keenum, Elway hasn’t been able to get things right at the position.

The 2-3 Broncos seem like they may be too good of a team to end up with a high enough pick to draft Herbert, but if they like him enough, who knows what kind of trade package they might try to put together to acquire him.