The opposing quarterbacks

With the start of football season nearly two months away, CUTigers ranks the top quarterbacks Clemson will face in 2012.

1. Mike Glennon, N.C. State
2011: The offseason break-up with Russell Wilson could have made for one ugly season. But Glennon showed that he was one of the top signal callers in the league. And he probably helped save head coach Tom O'Brien's job.

With his 31 touchdown passes, Glennon tied the second-highest single-season mark in school history. Only Philip Rivers has thrown more touchdown passes in a single-season at N.C. State. Glennon finished 2011 ranked fourth in the ACC in passing yards per game and second in touchdown throws.

Glennon completed 283 of 453 passes for 3,054 yards with 31 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Against Clemson, he completed 19 of 29 throws for 253 yards with three touchdowns.

What he's doing here: What's most impressive about Glennon is his accuracy. During his career, he's completed 63 percent of his passes [316 of 505].

Glennon, who will be protected by one of the nation's most experienced offensive lines, will have plenty of time to look downfield. Wide receiver Tobias Palmer and tight end Asa Watson could be in store for break-out seasons. But Glennon will be without several key pieces from last season, including leading receiver T.J. Graham, a third-round pick by the Buffalo Bills.

At 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, Glennon has the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback.

2. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
2011: A second-team All-ACC selection last season, Thomas racked up 3,482 yards of total offense and registered the second-highest single-season passing total in Virginia Tech history with 3,013 yards. He threw 19 touchdown passes and ran for 11 more scores.

Against Clemson in Lane Stadium, Thomas completed 15 of 27 passes for 125 yards with an interception. In the ACC Championship game, he connected of 22 of 44 throws for 274 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

What he's doing here: Although Thomas wasn't impressive in either game against Clemson last season, he remains one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country.

Had Virginia Tech not lost so much skill around him, Thomas would probably have been No. 1 on this list. But running back David Wilson, plus wide receivers Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin are all gone.

Some NFL Draft analysts believe Thomas could be one of the first few quarterbacks selected in next year's draft.

3. E.J. Manuel, Florida State
2011: The debate on Manuel will continue for one final season. But he was able to silence a few critics with a solid redshirt junior campaign.

To start the season, Manuel was operating as the Seminoles' full-time starter, a job that was finally his with the departure of Christian Ponder. But a shoulder injury against Oklahoma sidelined him for the following week's showdown at Clemson.

Once fully recovered, Manuel was one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country. His 151.2 efficiency rating was second-best in the ACC and 19th in the country. Manuel completed 203 of 311 passes for 2,666 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also finished second among Florida State rushers with four touchdowns.

What he's doing here: Manuel will open the 2012 season riding an impressive streak of 121-straight passes without an interception.

And he still has plenty of targets at his disposal. Aside from Clemson, Florida State has the more talent at wide receiver and tight end than anyone else in the ACC. The Seminoles return Rashad Greene, Rodney Smith, Nick O'Leary, Willie Haulstead and Kenny Shaw, to name a few.

But there are still plenty of questions marks along the Florida State offensive line, which had as many as four freshmen starters a year ago. And gone from the unit is Zebrie Sanders, the team's top offensive lineman. Top Stories