Ranking the quarterbacks

With football season less than four months away, CUTigers.com examines the top quarterbacks Clemson will face this fall.

1. E.J. Manuel, Florida State
2010: With more injury issues from Christian Ponder, Manuel saw his fair share of snaps last season. Manuel, who played in 10 of the Seminoles' 14 games, completed 65 of 93 passes for 861 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed 41 times for 170 yards and a touchdown. Manuel's best outing last season came against Clemson when he completed 15 of 24 for throws for 210 yards and a touchdown with 71 rushing yards and a score.

What he's doing here: Manuel was forced into the starting job at the end of the 2009 season when Ponder was sidelined with an injury against Clemson. He went on to lead Florida State to a 3-1 record and picked up MVP honors in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia. Manuel finished with 196 rushing yards and completed just over 65 percent of his pass attempts for 817 yards. With wide receivers Wille Haulstead and Bert Reed back in the fold, Manuel he'll have a pair of reliable pass catchers to look for downfield.

2. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
2010: Garcia completed 64.2 percent of his passes, hitting on 224 of 349 attempts for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also rushed for six scores. His 20 touchdown passes tied for second in the school's history for a single-season. In his second career start against Clemson, Garcia went 14 for 20 for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

What he's doing here: Garcia, a redshirt senior, is third all-time at South Carolina in passing yards (6,753), completions (528), attempts (903) and passing touchdowns (43). He's also the third quarterback in school history who's thrown for 6,000 career passing yards. Despite his indefinite suspension from the team in the spring, Garcia is expected to return and regain the starting job as the Gamecocks' starter later this summer. He‘ll be back alongside running back Marcus Lattimore and have wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to hook up with downfield.

3. Danny O'Brien, Maryland
2010: It took a few games for O'Brien to move into the starting job, but when he did, he was as good as anyone in the ACC. The ACC Rookie of the Year completed 192 of 337 passes for 2,438 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

What he's doing here: The redshirt sophomore has more red flags working against his favor than any other player on this list. Not only does he have a new head coach and offensive coordinator, Randy Edsall and Gary Crowton, but he's lost his two favorite targets from last season. Wide receives Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon, who combined for almost 50 percent of the Terrapins' receptions last season, are both gone. Still, it‘s too hard to ignore the season O'Brien put together in 2010.

Honorable mention: Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
2010: In seven games appearances in relief of Tyrod Taylor, Thomas completed 12 of 26 passes for 107 yards and rushed for 22 yards. While his experience is lacking, his ability is not.

What he's doing here: Thomas' inclusion as honorable mention has more to do with his upside than what he's done on the field. A member of the Hokies' 2009 signing class, Thomas wore a redshirt during his first year on campus. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound redshirt sophomore was listed as a five-star sophomore by Scout.com in 2009.

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