Oklahoma, USC and UCLA have lost superstar starting quarterbacks, each of whom made a mark on their program. Replacing them will not be easy, as each will be a first-round NFL draft choice.
Nonetheless, this is college football and four years is the max you will get out of any player; thus, coaches have to adapt and move forward. That is exactly what will happen to high-profile programs like Oklahoma, USC, and UCLA. What does each have under center for 2018 and how might a new signal-caller impact their team this coming season? Time to explore the possibilities.Replacing Heisman Trophy Winner at Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield might not have always done the right thing, but he leaves Norman as a Heisman Trophy-winning legend. Filling his shoes will not be easy, but there is talent available. Former touted recruit Kyler Murray started his college career at Texas A&M before transferring to OU, and he was the backup last year to Mayfield and performed admirably when called upon. He will battle Kendall Austin, who was Mayfield's backup in 2016 but lost the second-string position to Murray last year and redshirted. Freshman four-star dual-threat Tanner Mordecai will enter the picture, but he's considered a long shot. Murray is the favorite and is the expected starter on Sept. 1 for Oklahoma's opener.
USC Has to Hope It Has Right Guy
Though we saw Sam Darnold quite a bit the past two years, he actually only started 21 games and more than one scout would have liked another year of seasoning for him at the collegiate level. But that did not happen and coach Clay Helton has to move on. The early favorite is Matt Fink, who was Darnold's backup last year but tossed only nine passes. Coaches want Fink to bulk up from his listed 190 pounds, being 6-foot-3. Behind him is redshirt freshman Jack Sears, who lost the job to Fink last year. Possibly the most intriguing player is JT Daniels, who is considered a 5-star recruit, but he is arriving on campus after just three years of high school. Fink and Sears should be a battle.
New UCLA Coach Chip Kelly Must Decide on QB
Kelly knew Josh Rosen was gone, but the cupboard is not empty for players to replace Rosen. The current front-runner is sophomore Devon Modster, who showed well in fill-in duty last year. With Rosen out, Modster played well in the Cactus Bowl against Kansas State, as he passed for nearly 300 yards with two touchdowns and was mobile when needed. He's the favorite going in. Washington grad transfer K.J. Carta-Samuels will get a look, but how much will Kelly want to invest in a one-year playerr? Freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the type of dual-threat Kelly likes and will have his chance in fall camp.