Spring practice is underway for the nation's top college football programs, and that can only mean one thing: competition. No position on the gridiron is scrutinized more than quarterback, where even one half of poor play from an All-American can land them on the bench - with an inbox full of Twitter mentions.
Here are three hotly contested QB battles at Power 5 schools that could have major implications on the 2022 season:
For most of the offseason, the battle over the starting quarterback role for LSU was a two-man race... Until now.
- Myles Brennan
Brennan, who will spend his sixth year with the Tigers, is a solid starter when healthy. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen too often; after last summer's season-ending injury, Brennan has played in just 11 of LSU's 36 games over the past three years.
- Garrett Nussmeier
Nussmeier is a former four-star quarterback entering his sophomore year. When given the chance to start last year, he wasn't particularly impressive, compiling 329 passing yards along with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
- Jayden Daniels
The most recent arrival in Baton Rouge is Jayden Daniels, a three-year starter at Arizona State. While with the Sun Devils, Daniels normally made his plays on the ground. In 2021, he ran for 791 rushing yards to go along with 2,381 passing yards.
Although there is room for improvement throwing the ball, new head coach Brian Kelly certainly saw enough from Daniels to offer him a scholarship this spring.
Last season aside, success in the passing game has been a Clemson staple for over a decade.
- D.J. Uiagalelei
Thought by most to be Trevor Lawrence's successor, Uiagalelei struggled mightily as a starter, tossing just nine touchdowns over 13 games. Still, it would be foolish to count a five-star quarterback out after such a small sample size.
- Cade Klubnik
What could force Dabo Swinney into making a change is Cade Klubnik, the top quarterback in the class of 2022. Swinney has described the freshman as a "German Shepard," i.e. someone who is always "ready to go."
With that kind of attitude combined with immense talent, Klubnik could force his way in as the starter even if Uiagalelei plays well in practice.
Texas A&M Aggies
- Haynes King
If injuries hadn't gotten in the way of Haynes King's freshman year, this might not be much of a competition. The third-year QB has talent and familiarity with Jimbo Fisher's offense, which values a quick release in the passing game.
- Max Johnson
However, Johnson has SEC experience as well, as he put together a solid season with LSU in 2021 (2,815 yards and 27 touchdowns in 12 games). It's hard to imagine Johnson would have transferred to College Station if he didn't believe he had a strong shot at the starting gig.
- Connor Weigman
Last is Weigman, a five-star freshman from A&M's historically loaded 2022 recruiting class. While it's doubtful Fisher hands him the keys to the offense this summer, a strong camp from Weigman could position him nicely for the top job should King and Johnson struggle or get injured midseason.