These QBs find ways to win
There are quarterbacks who throw the ball through brick walls. There are quarterbacks who stand as tall as NBA small forwards. And then there are the undersized, the possessors of average arms, the guys who run first and throw second, the guys who don't play in the glamour conferences -- but they find ways to win. Those are my kind of college quarterbacks. Here are 10 from outside the NFL prototype and/or the big-conference spotlight who still get things done:
1. Kellen Moore, Boise State (6-foot, 187 pounds) Pros don't love his size or arm. But what's not to love about a 26-1 record, more than 7,000 passing yards, 64 touchdowns and 13 interceptions? He's the leading active FBS quarterback in career pass efficiency.
2. Case Keenum, Houston (6-1, 207 pounds) On track to become the FBS all-time passing yardage leader. Cougars have won 26 of 40 games Keenum has played, and last season he got them as high as No. 12 in the polls.
3. Nathan Enderle, Idaho (6-4, 232 pounds) How's this for a growth curve: 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions as a freshman; 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions as a sophomore; 22 TDs and nine picks as a junior -- which, not coincidentally, was Idaho's breakout season, going 8-5.
4. Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M (6-4, 238 pounds) Big, fast guy threw for more than 3,500 yards and ran for more than 500 last season, accounting for 38 touchdowns. If the Aggies' rebuilt offensive line holds up, he could really dazzle this year.
5. Ricky Dobbs, Navy (6-0, 200 pounds) Skilled and tough option operator ran for an incredible 27 touchdowns, threw for six more and guided the Midshipmen to 10 victories. He accounted for 46 percent of the Navy offense -- despite missing nearly two full games.
6. Josh Nesbitt, Georgia Tech (6-1, 218 pounds) See above. Nesbitt was the Dobbs of the ACC, throwing and rushing for more than 1,000 yards each, accounting for 28 touchdowns and leading his team to a league championship and double-digit victories.
7. Andy Dalton, TCU (6-2, 217 pounds) Improved from caretaker to playmaker last season in guiding the Horned Frogs to a top 10 finish. Dalton threw 23 touchdown passes and just eight interceptions, and ran for more than 500 yards. And he doesn't lose many games.
8. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech (6-1, 216 pounds) Made big strides as a passer last season and matured into a leader once the job was all his after two years of sharing it. And he's retained all of his considerable athleticism.
9. Greg McElroy, Alabama (6-2, 228 pounds) Impossible to argue with the bottom line: He's undefeated as a starting quarterback in high school and college. When as a first-year starter you run the table in the SEC, topped off with a brilliant league title game showing against mighty Florida, that's good work.
10. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada (6-6, 220 pounds) Spectacular runner for 6-6, gaining nearly 1,200 yards last year and averaging 7.3 yards per carry -- but he was largely hemmed in by best opponents Boise State, Missouri and Notre Dame. Passing yardage dipped last season as Nevada ran more, but he's by no means a one-dimensional threat.
Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Sources: Oklahoma St. limits QB Lunt's options
- For Irish, may be BCS or bust for bowl spot
- Saban: 'Devil' words 'terribly disappointing'
- Running back Richardson will leave Virginia
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2010 SEASON PREVIEW