Ranking SEC quarterbacks entering 2021 season: Is Ole Miss’ Matt Corral really No. 1? – Tuscaloosa Magazine

USA TODAY Sports Network  |  The Tuscaloosa News

Matt Corral is the best quarterback in the SEC going into the 2021 season, according to a poll of sports journalists who cover the league.

The Ole Miss football starter garnered 10 of a possible 17 first-place votes to head a list of the top 10 SEC quarterbacks as determined by those who cover the conference for the USA TODAY Sports Network.

A total of 14 quarterbacks from 13 schools received votes in the poll: Kentucky was the only school without a quarterback to get at least one vote. Ten points were awarded for a first-place vote down to one point for a 10th-place vote. Four quarterbacks received at least one first-place vote.

PREDICTIONS: Alabama, Georgia stand alone atop preseason magazine SEC football projections for 2021

TOPPMEYER: What Lane Kiffin must do to elevate Ole Miss football from glitzy sideshow 

HURT: Will 2021 be a transition year for Alabama football? If so, could the Tide win another title anyway?

The USA TODAY Sports Network is counting down to SEC Media Days, scheduled for July 19-22 in Hoover, Alabama, by revealing its top players at each position grouping.

Here is a look at the top 10 quarterbacks:

1. Matt Corral

Ole Miss, junior (158 total points, 10 first-place votes)

Corral led the nation in total offense last year with a 384.3-yard average. He threw for 3,337 yards and 29 touchdowns and ran for 506 yards and four touchdowns, passing for at least 300 yards in seven out of 10 games.

Nick Suss

2. JT Daniels

Georgia, junior (148 points, 5 first-place votes)

Daniels quickly settled an unstable quarterback situation last season and went 4-0 as a starter. He gave the Bulldogs an explosive vertical passing game, throwing for 10 touchdowns and an average of 307.8 yards. 

Marc Weiszer

3. Bryce Young

Alabama, sophomore (126 points, 1 first-place vote)

Young will present problems for defenses despite minimal playing time so far. The former five-star recruit will likely make some of his biggest plays on the move as he replaces Mac Jones.

Nick Kelly

4. Connor Bazelak

Missouri, sophomore (109 points)

Bazelak is a returning co-SEC freshman of the year after showing a pocket presence beyond his years. He had seven touchdowns and six interceptions last year but completed 67% of his attempts with 2,366 passing yards. 

Eric Blum

5. Bo Nix

Auburn, junior (103 points, 1 first-place vote)

Nix hasn’t quite lived up to his five-star billing, but he’s a third-year starter who ranked fourth in the SEC with 2,415 passing yards last season. And Nos. 1 and 2 on that list (Mac Jones and Kyle Trask) are now in the NFL.

Josh Vitale

6. Emory Jones

Florida, junior (77 points)

Jones is a dual-threat quarterback who averaged 6.8 yards per carry last season. He becomes a starter this fall after being groomed by Dan Mullen for three years. 

Zach Abolverdi

7. Will Rogers

Mississippi State, sophomore (50 points)

Rogers started six games as a true freshman. He completed 69.1% of his passes for 1,976 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Tyler Horka

8. (tie) KJ Jefferson

Arkansas, sophomore (42 points)

Jefferson looked like a stud in his lone start of 2020, completing 18 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He now holds the keys to Arkansas’ offense. 

Will Backus

8. (tie) Ken Seals

Vanderbilt, sophomore (42 points)

Seals passed for 1,928 yards, breaking Vanderbilt’s freshman record held by career passing leader Kyle Shurmur. He’s an accurate passer (64.6%) with some solid receivers returning, so he should produce. 

Adam Sparks

10. Myles Brennan

LSU, senior (34 points)

Brennan was the heir apparent to Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow before his season-ending injury. He threw for 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns in just three games. 

Zach Abolverdi

Voting panel: Zach Abolverdi, Gainesville Sun; John Adams, Knoxville News Sentinel; Will Backus, Knoxville News Sentinel; Eric Blum, Columbia Daily Tribune; James Fletcher, The Tuscaloosa News; Gentry Estes, The Tennessean; Aria Gerson, The Tennessean; Glenn Guilbeau, The Daily Advertiser; Jon Hale, The Courier Journal; Cecil Hurt, The Tuscaloosa News; Nick Kelly, The Tuscaloosa News; Adam Sparks, The Tennessean; Nick Suss, The Clarion-Ledger; Blake Toppmeyer, Knoxville News Sentinel; Josh Vitale, Montgomery Advertiser; Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald; Mike Wilson, Knoxville News Sentinel.