Monday Morning Quarterback
It is a no brainer on who the best quarterback in the ACC is, correct? Trevor Lawrence wins that title easily.
But who is the league’s second-best quarterback?
That’s the question I asked some of the media members in the press box at Memorial Stadium during last week’s spring game in Clemson. Like me, many of them were stumped and really did not have a clear answer.
So, who is the second-best quarterback in the ACC?
To answer that question, you have to first look at who isn’t coming back from last year.
NC State’s All-ACC quarterback Ryan Finley is gone, as is Syracuse’s Eric Dungey. Florida State’s Deondre Francois was dismissed from the Seminoles and Duke’s Daniel Jones decided to turn pro.
One could make an argument for Virginia’s Bryce Perkins. He finished third in the ACC in passing efficiency last year while leading the Cavaliers to an 8-5 record, including a 28-0 victory over South Carolina in the Belk Bowl.
Potentially, Miami’s Tate Martell could make an argument, but right now some are questioning if he is the best quarterback on Miami’s roster. This spring, a little bit of his shine came off while N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams outplayed him.
Boston College’s Anthony Brown could also make an argument. He did lead the Eagles to a 7-5 record last season. He finished sixth in the ACC in passing efficiency a year ago.
Who else do you got?
Maybe Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman or Sam Hartman? Florida State’s James Blackman, maybe?
How about this name? Clemson’s Chase Brice.
Lawrence told me after the Orange & White Game on April 6 that Brice could lead any team to a championship in his opinion.
Granted, we only have one game to play off, but look at what was at stake in that game and look at what Brice did when it mattered the most.
Brice came off the bench for an injured Lawrence and rallied Clemson past Syracuse with a last-minute touchdown drive, which included him making two of the drives biggest plays to set up Travis Etienne’s game-winning score with 41 seconds to play.
The biggest of those was a 20-yard completion to Tee Higgins on a fourth-and-six play from his own 48-yard line. Brice finished the year with a 156.1 passer rating, which was just hair behind Lawrence’s ACC best 157.6.
It’s an interesting debate. Right now, no one really knows who the second-best quarterback is in the ACC. The season will have to unfold to tell us. However, going into the new year, Clemson can make a strong argument it has the two quarterbacks in the ACC on its roster.