Christian Ponder: 183-294(62.2%), 2,038 yards, 20/8
E.J. Manuel: 54-78(69.2%), 777 yards, 3/4
Will Secord: DNP
Ponder entered his senior campaign as a Heisman candidate, but due to a series of injuries never made a serious run at the award. What he showed this year was amazing toughness to go with a fighting desire to win.
Should he play in the bowl game he should eclipse 7,000 passing yards for his career. He will get a long look in the NFL and probably projects to be a developmental project and someone drafted in rounds 3-7.
Ponder's best games were vs. Samford, Wake Forest, and North Carolina this year. When he was at his best he was working the short passing game and managing the team. He will need to improve his ability to get the ball down the field at the next level. His athleticism is under-rated and that will be a key asset going forward.
Ponder will be remembered for his toughness and flashes of brilliance over his career. No one thought he would be a three-year starter when he signed out of Colleyville, Tx in 2006. He worked very hard throughout his career and we are confident that without injuries his numbers would have been much better.
His relationship with Coach Fisher is the model we would like to use going forward, it is clear that both parties have a ton of respect for each other. I would expect to see plenty of Ponder in Tallahassee in the year's going forward.
Manuel started two games this year and threw for 498 yards in those contests(Clemson and VT). Combined with his starts down the stretch in 2009(vs. Maryland, West Virginia, Florida, and Wake Forest), we have six starts vs. BCS teams over the past two years to look at. One of those games is a bowl and another is the ACC title game.
In those six contests his numbers are:106-157(67.5%), 1,299 yards, 3/9. He rushed 67 times for 271(4.04 ave). He is 4-2 as a starter.
Manuel's numbers are very impressive, especially considering the quality of competition(no Samford or other non BCS teams to prop up stats).
The TD to INT ratio is "not good", but it is hard to see that continuing in the future. He is simply too accurate throwing the football and with experience he will learn when to hold the ball and not force the issue.
He is a better runner than Ponder and has a bigger arm. At 6'4, 225 today it is easy to see him playing in the 235-240 range next season.
In the grand scheme of things, Florida State is in great shape here. This is what the college game is all about and teams need to constantly be finding new starters. Manuel has a ton of experience for someone who has sat behind a three year starter and has shown some elite qualities. He is a great runner and that will be a big part of the offense that HE runs.
He'll take the first team reps in the Spring and Seminole nation should be cautiously optimistic with him at the helm for the next two years.
Clint Trickett appears to have passed Secord, even though he redshirted this year. Trickett brings elite mental ability and a strong, accurate arm to the table. He is not the biggest nor strongest QB, nor is he going to make a lot of yards with his feet, but Clint is a winner and he knows how to make plays. He needs to continue adding weight, particularly in the lower body. His future is bright.
Secord is a year older and will have a big Spring in front on him. He will need to beat out Trickett if he hopes to play at FSU in the future. He has yet to see any game action.
Florida State has a verbal commitment from Mobile's Jacob Coker and is considered the leader for Dwyer QB Jacoby Brissett. Both are big, strong signal callers with a lot of upside. Brissett has really improved as a QB his senior year and is considered a top QB nationally at this time.