Position Preview - Quarterback

In the next installment of our position series, the Quarterback position gets looked at as we take account of the present and future prospects of the Bears signal caller.

The Bears have an outright star, and a possible Heisman Trophy winner under center with a few star pupils backing him up (and a few more talented youngsters committed to Briles and company). Baylor is just loaded at the quarterback position, one that the Bears have had elite production at for 3-straight seasons.

CURRENT STARTERS – 10

Quarterback Depth Chart

Starter

2nd String

3rd String



Bryce Petty
Senior
6-3, 230



Seth Russell
Sophomore
6-3, 205



Chris Johnson
RS Freshman
6-4, 220

2013 Big 12 POY, All-American, 4200 passing yards, 46 Total TDs 427 yards passing, 6 Total TDs Redshirted in 2013

Bryce Petty is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country, and is pretty much the unanimous player of the year in the Big 12 heading into 2014. He was the player of the year last year, and a Top-10 Heisman finalist. Petty is an extremely accurate quarterback who delivers a great ball, and knows how to run this offense to the fullest of its ability (as seen in early 2013). He is a dangerous runner, though that was a skill that was limited due to an ankle injury quite a bit last year. Simply put, there might just be only 2-3 quarterbacks that you would want more than Petty under center in college football this year. Enjoy him.

POSITIONAL DEPTH – 8

Quarterback Eligibility
Name
Scout Ranking
SR
JR
SO
rFR
FR
Commit
Bryce Petty

Seth Russell

Chris Johnson

Chad President

Zach Smith
NR
2016

Most schools would love to have a guy like Seth Russell as their starter, but the Bears get to utilize him as an insurance policy on anything bad happening to Bryce Petty. Russell showed tremendous play-making ability in the offense in 2013, playing primarily in blow-outs for the Bears. He has incredible agility and speed for the QB position and runs the ball very well. Russell does throw a good ball, but has struggled with decision making and got himself in trouble with some interceptions last year.

The only reason that Russell won’t be the primary backup is because Chris Johnson beat him out for the position, which can only be a good thing. Johnson has tremendous raw skills but is still developing as a passer and leader of an offense. He might have the biggest arm of the three quarterbacks, and that is saying something with Petty involved. However, his footwork, timing and decision making are still in the developmental process. Briles has two large and talented pieces of clay to work with for the future, but any serious playing time this year would require a change in the offensive scheme to maximize what they both do well.

CLASS BALANCE –9

The Bears have a perfect deck, outside of a junior this year. They have a senior starter, backed up by two younger under classmen who have both redshirted and are still developing. Baylor also has two top commits for the 2015 and 2016 season, meaning that they should have good balance moving forward as well.

NEXT YEAR – 7

With the loss of Bryce Petty, the Bears will need a new signal caller for 2015. There will be two main competitors to fill those rather large shoes. Seth Russell was the primary backup in 2013, earning playing time in quite a few games. He is battling redshirt freshman Chris Johnson for the top backup spot and the top position heading into 2015. Both are dual threat players, much more comfortable running than throwing at this point of their career. A dark-horse could be 2015 incoming true freshman Chad President, but it is assumed he could use a redshirt year to acclimate to college life.

FUTURE YEARS – 4

Baylor commit, Chad President

The future of the position is probably getting ready for their senior or junior year of high school right now. The Bears have their QB committed for the 2015 and 2016 classes, with Chad President leading the way for the Bears for the upcoming signing class. President is a dual threat QB, but is coming off of a knee injury that cost him some of his junior campaign. He doesn’t have a lot of experience at the quarterback position, but he was the first quarterback offer for that class for a reason. The 6-foot-3, 190 pound Temple High School star was the Bears first commitment for the 2015 class, and is looking to prove himself on the field in 2014.

Strangely, the Bears 2016 commit has more playing time and experience than President, just not the exposure. Zach Smith became the Bears first 2016 commitment on June 1st. The Grandview, TX star is currently not rated by Scout, but it is still very early in the evaluation process. At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Smith has tremendous size for the position.

IMPORTANCE –5

Simply put, there is no more important player for a team. He is the man that makes the offense clicks, and everything pretty much starts there. Ask TCU if they would like to have their quarterback position solved, knowing that they have defense to win a Big 12 championship. Ask UT if they would take even good quarterback play with their collection of skill players. This is the one position on the field that can literally make or break a team, taking a good team to average without one, or a good team to great with one.

TOTAL – 43

The Bears have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Bryce Petty, one that is a proven starter for the first time since Robert Griffin III was getting ready for his Heisman season. But the key asset to this position is not on the field, but rather on the sideline. As long as Art Briles is in Waco, who really wants to doubt the future of the quarterback position for the Bears?


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