Though it doesn’t have total relevance to this topic, we’re seeing a lot more playing time for rookie quarterbacks in the NFL. This year you had the can’t-miss duo in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. But we’ve also seen extensive playing time from Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson and Brandon Weeden, and now Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins.
Iowa is going to break in a new QB next season, be it a freshman or a junior college transfer. We’re not used to seeing freshmen quarterback the Hawkeyes, but if it is one (C.J. Beathard is a candidate, there is all sorts of recent precedent for rookies who have done well at the position.
You really need look no further than red-shirt freshman Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, the Heisman Trophy winner.
Ohio State’s Braxton Miller made a nice splash as a frosh last year. Nebraska junior Taylor Martinez, who had a fine season this year, threw 196 passes as a freshman in 2010.
Freshmen J.W. Walsh of Oklahoma State and Marcus Mariota of Oregon are fifth and sixth, respectively, in FBS passing efficiency. Mariota has thrown 30 touchdown passes and just six interceptions.
UCLA has gotten terrific quarterback play this season from freshman Brett Hundley (26 TDs, 11 interceptions).
But now that I look at the top 100 in passing efficiency, I see only seven freshman.
Well, maybe Iowa will go with the juco transfer, Cody Sokol. Or maybe third-year sophomore Jake Rudock will be the guy. He hasn’t taken a Division I snap, either.