Below are the SEC’s top 5 quarterbacks heading into next year.
1) KJ Costello— Mississippi State
In the blink of an eye, the Bulldogs offense is trending upwards; as a savant, Mike Leach has a formidable weapon at quarterback in Costello. The Stanford transfer comes to Starkville, boasting a respectable 2019 campaign.
In Leach’s system, Costello is sure to shine. He threw for 1,038 yards and six touchdowns in his final season with the Cardinal. Look for Costello’s numbers to at least double with the weapons around him, including Kylin Hill, a pass-catching back with power, speed and agility. He will have a plethora of targets in the receiving game with the addition of former Alabama wideout Tyrell Shavers.
Costello stands 6-foot-5, 222 pounds. Leach will have him ready and utilized in a multitude of schemes. The Bulldogs went 6-7, 3-5 in conference play last year. Costello should change that.
2) Jamie Newman — Georgia
From Winston-Salem to Athens, Newman is due for a career year between the hedges at Sanford Stadium. Lethal as both a passer and runner, Newman will fit right into Georgia’s offense. In 2019 he passed for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns. He rushed for 574 yards and six scores off 180 attempts.
Expect Newman to jump out of the gate and take advantage of the SEC spotlight. His charisma and experience will be on full display. Following the departure of quarterback Jake Fromm, Georgia found a gem in Newman.
3) Kyle Trask — Florida
After a relatively inconsistent 2018 campaign, Trask became much more comfortable and put himself on the map last season. The Gators finished second, just behind rival Georgia in the SEC East. As Trask led Florida to a respectable 11-2 season, he grew as a leader and will be heavily relied upon by head coach Dan Mullen.
Trask threw for 2,941 yards and 25 touchdowns. At 6-foot-5, 239 pounds, he is a pure pocket passer. Do not be surprised if, due to Trask’s game, the Gators find themselves atop the SEC East.
4) Mac Jones — Alabama
Of the five quarterbacks mentioned, Jones is the wildcard. He showed flashes of promise during the previous season’s tail end, having passed for 1,503 yards with 14 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Though the Tide lost star wideouts Jerry Jeudy Henry Ruggs iii to the NFL, Jones will still have DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, two stars in the making, at his disposal.
As long as Nick Saban is the headman at Alabama, a successful season awaits. And under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, Jones, like former quarterback Tua Tagovailoa fits right in. He completed 16 of his 25 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s Citrus Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines. Look for performances as such come fall.
5) Kellen Mond — Texas A&M
Mond is an experienced dual-threat who has improved steadily throughout his career. He is a fearless leader who has become the Aggies driving force on offense. Texas A&M finished fourth in the SEC West. The Aggies went 8-5 overall, 4-4 in conference play.
In 2019 Mond threw for 2,897 yards and 20 touchdowns. In the running game, Mond accumulated 500 yards on the ground, having found the end zone eight times. Most notably, expect the Aggies to improve in wins due to Mond’s play in both the passing and running game.
As Costello is ranked first on this list, there is a reason why. The Bulldogs are in prime position to make a run with a quarterback who boasts the ideal combination of talent and experience—big things to come from Costello under Leach.