College football’s best spring quarterback competitions

Ready or not, spring practice is already here for a few college football teams, and so are some intriguing quarterback battles.

And while nothing is ever written in stone in the spring, it’s worth noting that five of the past six national champions have had first-year starters on the field at quarterback in the championship game. It’s also a new day in college football with the influx of transfers being eligible right away, and more than a few transfers could make big splashes in 2019.

Let’s take a look at some of the more compelling quarterback competitions this spring, keeping in mind that some of the participants may not arrive on campus until the summer.


The Tigers have had their share of success with transfer quarterbacks over the years. Cam Newton, Nick Marshall and, most recently, Jarrett Stidham all come to mind. But with Stidham headed to the NFL and Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant opting for Missouri over Auburn, the Tigers could be looking at the possibility of a true freshman starting in 2019. Bo Nix, the son of former Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix, is already on campus. His accuracy and athleticism give him a real chance to win the job. He finished with 12,497 yards of total offense during his high school career and accounted for 161 touchdowns, both Alabama high school state records. Rising junior Malik Willis has thrown just 14 passes over the past two seasons, but at least has some game experience at the collegiate level. Joey Gatewood is a 6-foot-5, 237-pound redshirt freshman who needs to develop as a passer, and the player with the most interesting backstory in the race is 24-year-old redshirt freshman Cord Sandberg, who was originally headed to Mississippi State out of high school, but played six seasons of minor league baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

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