2015 Preseason All-American Projections: Quarterbacks

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2015 college football season WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises, and the stars of next fall could be the headlining players next May in the 2015 NFL Draft.

First-Team Quarterback: Starter for Ohio State

The Buckeyes are loaded with talent, so whoever is their starting quarterback should put up some huge numbers in 2015. Ohio State returns four of its starting offensive linemen from last year to go with with a receiving prospect in Michael Thomas and one of the best running backs in the nation, Ezekiel Elliott. Whether the staff chooses J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes figure to have a potent offense that will put up some huge numbers against a conference they should dominate.

NFL sources are hoping that Jones wins the job so they can evaluate him as he put on a serious display of NFL talent in his three starts to end the 2014 season. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Jones has a cannon for an arm plus athletic ability. During the 2014 regular season, J.T. Barrett (6-2, 225) was excellent as he completed 65 percent of his passes for 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Braxton Miller was productive during his run as the Ohio State starting quarterback from 2011-13, but he is playing wide receiver for 2015.

Whoever is named Ohio State’s starter should cruise over an easy Big Ten schedule and put up huge numbers. Playing for the defending National Champions will also bring lots of attention on the signal-caller. My pick for the First-Team quarterback is the winner of the Barrett/Jones competition.

Second-Team Quarterback: Trevone Boykin, TCU

Boykin may not be a top NFL prospect, but he led TCU to a huge 2014 season and was a consensus Second-Team All-American. I think he is a safe bet to repeated that performance. Boykin has talent coming back around him and plays in a conference that doesn’t feature many tough defenses. He should be massively productive again in 2015.

Boykin (6-2, 205) did a lot of damage with his arm and legs last season. He ran for 707 yards with eight touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes for 3,901 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Led by Boykin, TCU was a point-machine, and there is no reason to think that won’t be the case in 2015.

Third-Team Quarterback: Jared Goff, California

Goff hasn’t gotten a lot of attention during the past two seasons, but he has been racking up a lot of touchdown passes and yards for the Golden Bears. Goff threw 53 touchdowns over his first two years as a starter, including 35 in 2014 while completing 62 percent of his passes. The efficient signal-caller also threw only seven interceptions. Goff is a pocket passer who plays in a passing-driven offense. He looks poised to produce another massive season in 2015, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he is the First- or Second-Team All-American.

I believe that Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg are the most likely future franchise quarterbacks to be drafted high in the 2016 draft, but neither one is in a situation that yields itself to huge production and stats. Thus, I see others being more likely to receive All-American honors.

Honorable Mentions: Michigan State’s Connor Cook, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, Miami’s Brad Kaaya, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, USC’s Cody Kessler, Kentucky’s Patrick Towles, Cinncinati’s Gunner Kiel, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, N.C. State’s Jacoby Brissett, Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs and BYU’s Taysom Hill.

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