[MEDIA:33888]<BR>Who is the best quarterback in the SEC? To me, that's an easy answer... <B>Rex Grosmman</B>. So who falls 2-12? It is a very talented bunch. Lets take a look <B>"Inside the Numbers"</B>.
The SEC is loaded with top flight quarterbacks. Last season, a sophomore almost won the Heisman Trophy. Rex Grossman had a brilliant 2nd season at Florida. David Greene was a freshman All-American at UGA. Eli Manning came into his own in Oxford. Jared Lorenzen was ordered to the bench in favor of Shane Boyd. But the big lefty responded with a super late season run. Speaking of run, Arkansas QB Matt Jones was brilliant at times using his running ability. Speaking of ability, Casey Clausen showed a lot last season. As the season progressed, so did the Tennessee field general. Tyler Watts, Matt Mauck, and Kevin Fant may not quite have the physical tools the others have, but some how, some way, they get the job done when called upon. Then there is Jason Campbell, who may be more physically gifted than every single signal caller in the conference.
And consider this, of the quarterbacks mentioned above, only Watts is a senior. That means the future is bright and full of potential stars at football's glamour position in the SEC. Lets also not forget about young ones pushing the incumbents for playing time - DJ Shockey at UGA, Shane Boyd at Kentucky, Dondrial Pinkins at USC, and Brodie Croyle at Alabama.
Lets take a took Inside the Numbers at the great Arms Race in the SEC.
||#1 Rex Grossman, Florida Grossman
had a Heisman like sophomore season, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 38
TD passes. He is the college game's best passer. But Steve
Spurrier and the Fun 'N Gun are gone as are Caldwell and Gaffney.
Grossman still has Jacobs and Graham and a slew of talented receivers that
have the ability to step up. Enter new Offensive Coordinator Ed
Zaunbrecher and his offensive scheme. This will be a different
offense, although it will still be wide open. How will Grossman
adjust to the new offense? If spring is any indication then he
shouldn't miss a beat.
||#2 Eli Manning, Ole Miss The
Rebels will have an explosive offense this season led by Manning.
Four OLs return and they have quality depth. Collins has emerged as
one of the conference's top big play receivers. Add some young
upstarts like Biddle and Espy with possession types like Fryfogle and
Flowers, and you have a very talented and versatile receiver corps.
The X-factor is Ronald McClendon, who will play running back and
slot. All of a sudden, Manning has weapons everywhere.
||#3 Casey Clausen, Tennessee Clausen
had a very good sophomore campaign. You could see him get better and
more confident each week. Tennessee, like Florida, needs some
receivers to step up this season. Washington will be one of the
nation's finest wide-outs but who will emerge besides him? Whitten
is a super tight end. Clausen's numbers will suffer because the Vols
love to pound the ball with a physical, smash-mouth running game.
This season, three true sophomores will get the call - Jabari Davis,
Derrick Tinsley, and Cedrick Houston. Munoz and Respert
return to the offensive line.
||#4 David Greene, Georgia Greene
had a very good freshman season, although he tailed off at the end.
But the future is extremely bright at Georgia. He will be pushed
hard by freshman Shockley. Shockley will see time early in the season
regardless. The key in 2002 is for Greene to get off to a quick
start. Mark Richt has has great success developing
quarterbacks (see Ward, Weinke, Johnson, etc.) . UGA has
a good tight end in Watson and a super receiving corps led by
Gibson, Edwards and Gary. A veteran OL unit returns. The
key is RB Smith staying healthy and UGA developing consistent
||#5 Jared Lorenzen, Kentucky The
big quarterback from Lexington is sure fun to watch. Lorenzen was
showed the bench early last season in favor of the young and talented
Boyd. That seemed to light a fire in him. Lorenzen played
well. He has always had the ability to make the big play. The
knock on Lorenzen is making the bad play as well. Coach Guy Morris
wanted to see more consistency with him and for him to eliminate the silly
mistakes. Kentucky is in good shape with both quarterbacks.
They just need to surround these two with talent around them.
||#6 Tyler Watts, Alabama Alabama
Head Coach Dennis Franchione has a tough call. Do you play the
veteran Watts or go with the talented but inexperienced Croyle?
Watts will give the Tide the best chance to win this season so look for
the 5th year senior to be the starter. But Croyle should see
significant playing time because of his ability to throw the ball
downfield. In 2001, Watts showed his makeup... a tough, field
general that would do whatever it takes. He played well. Bama
has a young and very talented offensive line.
||#7 Matt Jones, Arkansas He was
supposed to be a receiver but Jones made enough big plays last season to
winning the starting quarterback duties. At times, he was brilliant,
especially with his legs running the ball. He rushed for 74 yards
per game. If Jones can improve his passing skills, he will become a
dangerous two-way threat for Head Coach Houston Nutt. But he can not
do it alone. The offensive line must continue to develop and the
running back situation has to get better.