Big 12 football: Texas' Sam Ehlinger, Iowa State's Brock Purdy top rankings of quarterbacks
Quarterback talent across the Big 12 will be on display even more with just three of the Power 5 conferences beginning play this fall. Though there are ongoing competitions for starting spots at West Virginia and Kansas, here are The Oklahoman’s rankings for this season’s Big 12 quarterbacks:
1. Sam Ehlinger, Sr., Texas
The All-Big 12 Preseason quarterback selection has become a top-five quarterback in the country, starting 33 of 36 games the first three seasons. He’s also establishing himself in Texas’ record book. Last season, he accounted for 4,326 yards of total offense, which was second in school history. His 39 total touchdowns were also third in program history. As a passer, he three for 3,663 yards and 32 TDs, while rushing for seven more scores.
2. Brock Purdy, Jr., Iowa State
Purdy established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the country the past two seasons. Last season, he set 18 Iowa State records, including passing yardage, passing touchdowns, completions, total offense and 300-yard passing games. He led the Big 12 with 3,982 passing yards and threw 27 TDs. He was also the Big 12 Player of the Week twice.
3. Spencer Rattler, R-Fr., Oklahoma
A five-star recruit, Rattler is already high on Heisman Trophy watch lists having played in just three games as a true freshman. He completed seven of 11 passes for 81 yards and a TD. But the dual-threat quarterback fits Lincoln Riley’s system and is capable of quickly climbing up this list and continuing the Sooners’ trend of Heisman quarterbacks.
4. Charlie Brewer, Sr., Baylor
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Brewer is a mainstay at Baylor. He is the Bears’ first four-year starter since JJ Joe, who led the way from 1990-93. Brewer has started 30 of 31 games, including all 14 last season. He threw for 3,161 yards and 21 TDs and just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 11 TDs. in the Sugar Bowl, he accounted for two TDs.
5. Spencer Sanders, R-So., Oklahoma State
Sanders’ first season as a starter was a bit of a rollercoaster. He struggled with turnovers, but then found a big-time rhythm. Then, a thumb injury cost him the final two regular season games. He returned in the Texas Bowl, but did not attempt a pass. Still, he was named the Big 12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year. He also set OSU’s freshman record by passing for 2,065 yards.
6. Alan Bowman, R-So., Texas Tech
Bowman exploded onto the scene in 2018 as a true freshman, but injuries have been an issue since. He twice dealt with a collapsed lung in 2018. Last season, he started the first three games before a broken collarbone ended his season. At the time, he was leading the Big 12 in passing with 1,020 yards, six TDs and 33.7 completions a game.
7. Skylar Thompson, R-Sr., Kansas State
There often isn’t much that’s flashy about Thompson, but he’s a steady leader. He took a strong step forward last season, throwing for 2,315 yards, 12 TDs and just five interceptions while rushing for 11 TDs. He enters the season as the fourth quarterback in program history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000. He could become the first to reach 6,000-1,000.
8. Jarret Doege, R-Jr., West Virginia
Doege is locked in a battle with former OU quarterback Austin Kendall. But Doege could have a slight edge after he finished last season strong, leading the Mountaineers to an upset of Kansas State and a win against TCU. Kendall, meanwhile, was up and down starting the first nine games. He completed 61.5% of his passes for 1,989 yards and 12 TDs, but also threw 10 interceptions.
9. Thomas MacVittie, R-Sr., Kansas
The Jayhawks’ quarterback battle remains open with MacVittie and junior Miles Kendrick. MacVittie, a junior college transfer, nearly won the job last season. Instead, he attempted one pass — on a trick play as a receiver — that was intercepted at OSU. Kendrick played in four games in 2018, but did not appear in a game last season.
10. Matthew Downing, R-So., TCU
The Horned Frogs lost starter Max Duggan indefinitely after COVID-19 testing revealed a heart condition that required surgery. That led veteran coach Gary Patterson to Downing, who has yet to play a game at TCU. Downing did play in four games at Georgia as a walk-on in 2018, completing eight of 10 passes for 88 yards.
Jacob Unruh, Staff writer