Not much of a surprise here (at least IMO), but still worth looking at. While Josh Nesbitt and Christian Ponder are arguably more important to the success of their teams in 2010, Wilson is an extremely talented player who has room for improvement. Nesbitt is limited somewhat by the offense he plays in and Ponder will likely be apart of an offense in 2010 which runs the ball more.
Looking beyond the top three, this list is pretty impressive. One through six (Wilson, Ponder, Nesbitt, Taylor, Harris and Parker) can all play.
The ACC might have the best collection of quarterbacks in the country with runners like Georgia Tech’s Josh Nesbitt and Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor, to playmakers like NC State’s Russell Wilson and Florida State’s Christian Ponder. Check out the CFN Preview 2010 ranking of the ACC quarterbacks.
1. Russell Wilson, Jr. NC State
The Wolfpack didn’t have the services of junior Wilson in the spring, but all the program cares about is whether or not he’s available in the fall. One of the ACC’s premier quarterbacks, he’s also a talented second baseman, which has some concerned he might make baseball a full-time gig. That would hurt since he’s spent the last two seasons shredding defenses with his arm and legs. While only 5-11 and 201 pounds, he’s already in the top five in most school passing records. An accurate passer and overall terrific athlete, he carried the offense on his back, rushing for 260 yards and four touchdowns, going 224-of-378 for 3,027 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 11 picks through the air. He is the franchise in Raleigh.
2. Christian Ponder, Jr. Florida State
Ponder was enjoying a tremendous second season as a starter when an injury to his throwing shoulder sidelined him in the ninth game. Now he enters 2010 looking to pick up where he left off. The 6-3, 217-pound future NFL Draft choice wound up completing 227-of-330 passes for 2,717 yards, 14 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, adding 179 yards and two scores on the ground. He looked fantastic in the spring, showing up in great shape, throwing with extra zip on his passes, and moving very well outside the pocket. Best of all, he’s a terrific leader for this offense and a player on the verge of introducing himself to the entire nation.
3. Josh Nesbitt, Sr. Georgia Tech
After two seasons of running the spread option, 6-1, 218-pound Nesbitt is set to contend for honors beyond just the ACC. The league’s first-team sll-star quarterback, he ran for 1,037 yards and 18 touchdowns on 279 carries, while going 75-of-162 for 1,701 yards, 10 touchdowns and five picks through the air. A tough and physical runner, he has a knack for bouncing off tacklers and is constantly getting better with his pitches and decision-making. More of a big-play passer than an accurate one, he might not be the same threat through the air now that WR Demaryius Thomas has left school.
While no NC State running backs made the top 12, Jarvis Williams (6th) and Owen Spencer (11) made the top 12 list. George Bryan topped the list of tight ends and Josh Czajkowski checked in at No. 6 on the list of kickers.
1. George Bryan, Jr. NC State
Bryan has been a revelation since arriving without a firm position three years ago. In his first full season as the starter, he parlayed 40 catches for 422 yards and six touchdowns into a spot on the All-ACC first team. At 6-5 and 265 pounds, he possesses the outstanding balance, agility, and hands to ponder early entry to the NFL at the conclusion of the regular season. He has developed that quickly in Raleigh.