August 16, 2007

Better or Not: Quarterbacks

Recruits can do no wrong, at least not in the eyes of the fans.

When a blue-chip prospect signs with your team, he instantly becomes a superstar - a player who can become the best to ever suit up at his position. As quickly as we learn his name we instantly forget the guy he's replacing, even if the latter is an all-time great.

But realistically, will your new star freshman be better than his predecessor over the span of their careers? That's what "Better or Not" is here to answer. We start with the quarterbacks from the class of 2007.

Better or Not: Quarterbacks
Jimmy Clausen – Notre Dame
Clausen HS video
As the nation's No. 1 recruit, this should be a no-brainer. The best player in the country has to be better than the guy he's replacing because he has unlimited potential. But let's not forget a guy named Brady Quinn at Notre Dame. Quinn put up some pretty impressive numbers in his last two years with the Fighting Irish. Quinn threw for 69 touchdowns and had only 14 interceptions. Clearly he set the bar high for Clausen. However, with a more polished game coming out of high school and more years under Charlie Weis, Clausen will be an upgrade as long as early arm trouble isn't serious.
Verdict: Better

  • Vote: Jimmy Clausen at Notre Dame - Better or Not?
  • Ryan Mallett – Michigan
    Mallett HS video
    This is tougher than the Clausen-Quinn situation because Chad Henne isn't done at Michigan. The senior starter is expected to have his best year yet under center for the Maize & Blue. Mallett is expected to be the heir apparent to Henne, and those are some big cleats to fill. In his first three years at Michigan, Henne has thrown 70 touchdown passes, 28 interceptions and has a 60 percent completion rate. Mallett has a cannon for an arm and tremendous credentials, but he's not as mobile as Henne - who has been sacked 70 times in 37 games. Henne should leave Ann Arbor with most of the career passing records. That's a tough act to follow.
    Verdict: Not

  • Vote: Ryan Mallet at Michigan - Better or Not?
  • Tyrod Taylor – Virginia Tech
    Taylor HS video
    This one is easy. Taylor will be a major upgrade over junior Sean Glennon, who has a tenuous hold on the starting job with the Hokies. Taylor's ability to scramble and run the option if needed makes him much more dangerous than the current lot in Blacksburg. Glennon's 11 interceptions last season are a major concern. If Taylor were replacing one of the Vick brothers or Bryan Randall, this would be very tough. But Glennon?
    Verdict: Better

  • Vote: Tyrod Taylor at Virginia Tech - Better or Not?
  • Cameron Newton – Florida
    Newton HS video
    Chris Leak is gone, and everyone expects Tim Tebow to be the guy under center for the next few years. However, Newton might have something to say about that. But Tebow isn't the guy who has set the bar here, it's Leak. Newton has great size and he has tremendous upside, but he'd have to throw for more than 88 touchdowns and more than 11,000 yards – plus win a national title - to surpass Leak. Can Newton be better than Tebow? Maybe. Will he be better than last year's national championship quarterback? Doubtful.
    Verdict: Not

  • Vote: Cameron Newton at Florida - Better or Not?
  • Aaron Corp – USC
    Corp HS video
    John David Booty's numbers so far are impressive – 3,647 yards, 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 62 percent completion rate. But Booty lacks what Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer had in the past, the ability to see the whole field and make quick decisions. Booty locks in on his primary target too much, and that's hard to correct. Corp is more athletic than Booty and can do more things in the USC offense, but he is very raw. He also needs to beat out Mark Sanchez, who could be better than Corp and Booty. Also, don't forget the next blue-chip quarterback heading to USC, whoever he might be. Booty has another year to make his legacy, and there's too much competition to say that Corp will do better.
    Verdict: Not

  • Vote: Aaron Corp at USC - Better or Not?

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