The star quarterbacks in the Group of Five include a three-time conference player of the year and the top passing yards leader in the country last year. So the 2023 season for these conferences is bound to be high-flying.
Here’s a ranking of the best G5 quarterbacks.
Best G5 Quarterbacks, Ranked
|2||Grayson McCall||Coastal Carolina|
|3||Austin Reed||Western Kentucky|
|6||Chevan Cordeiro||San Jose State|
|7||Taylen Green||Boise State|
|10||Carter Bradley||South Alabama|
1. Frank Harris, UTSA
With UTSA moving to the American Athletic Conference, so does quarterback Frank Harris. The Conference USA MVP in 2022 was the catalyst for UTSA’s offense as the Roadrunners beat North Texas in the C-USA Championship.
Harris was second in Conference USA last season with 4,063 yards to go with 32 touchdowns while throwing just nine interceptions.
Harris is a true dual-threat passer, as he was tied for second in C-USA in 2022 with nine touchdowns on the ground. He ran for 602 yards, which was 13th in the conference.
Harris, a 6-foot, 205-pound redshirt senior, will have a chance to test himself in the AAC. But his past performances should indicate he’ll continue to thrive until the end of this college career.
2. Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
McCall is the only player to ever be named Sun Belt Player of the Year three consecutive times. He’s got a great shot to make it four in a row.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound redshirt senior has earned countless All-American and all-conference accolades and was on the watch list for several other awards this past season.
McCall owns Coastal Carolina’s record for 95 touchdowns responsible for and 78 passing touchdowns. Last season, he passed for 24 scores while throwing a mere two interceptions, completing 70% of his passes, and totaling 2,700 yards.
3. Austin Reed, Western Kentucky
Last season, Reed threw for 4,744 yards, which was first in the FBS. And his best single-game production of 497 yards was in Western Kentucky’s bowl game, the New Orleans Bowl, as he was named the contest’s MVP.
Reed, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound upcoming redshirt senior, completed 65% of his throws as he recorded 40 touchdowns and 11 interceptions through the air. He also added 224 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground en route to becoming Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year and taking all-conference second-team accolades.
4. Kurtis Rourke, Ohio
Rourke is the reigning MAC Offensive Player of the Year. In 2022, he completed 69% of his passes for 3,256 yards and 25 touchdowns, which were all the best marks in the league. He also ran for 234 yards and four touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions on his way to All-MAC first-team honors.
The 6-foot-5, 216-pound redshirt senior has started games since 2020. For his career, he’s thrown for 4,912 yards and completed 67% of his passes with a 35 to 11 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
5. Michael Pratt, Tulane
Among returning AAC quarterbacks, Pratt was the leader last year with 27 touchdown passes.
Pratt also totaled 3,010 yards while completing 64% of his passes and throwing just five picks, helping him earn All-AAC second-team honors. He helped Tulane win the AAC Championship over UCF and then beat Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and USC in the Cotton Bowl.
Pratt, at 6-3, 220 pounds, will be a junior this upcoming season. He led all true freshmen with 20 touchdown passes in 2020, and a year later, he made the All-AAC honorable mention list as he totaled 2,544 all-purpose yards and 26 touchdowns.
Pratt’s career clearly has an upward trajectory, so there’s plenty of reason to believe he’ll continue to be even better in 2023.
6. Chevan Cordeiro, San Jose State
Cordeiro was on the All-Mountain West second team in 2022 and is very familiar with the conference. He played at Hawaii for four seasons, making the 2020 All-Mountain West honorable mention list. He threw for 6,167 yards, 45 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions while completing 59% of his throws there.
Then he enjoyed a career year at SJSU. He led the league with 3,251 yards and 23 touchdowns to go with a 61% completion rate. He was outside of the top five in the conference with six picks. He also ran for nine touchdowns, which is the most in a single season by an SJSU quarterback in the modern era.
A 6-foot-1, 187-pound senior, Cordeiro has a good shot to become the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year in 2023.
7. Taylen Green, Boise State
Many regard Green as the top quarterback in the Mountain West. He certainly was impressive last year. Though he didn’t start until Week 5, he still earned the Mountain West Freshman of the Year award as he ranked fourth with 12 passing touchdowns and fifth with 157.3 passing yards per game among all freshmen in the country.
In a season in which he also earned Freshman All-American and all-conference honorable mention accolades, Green threw for 2,042 yards, fourth in the conference, on a 61% completion rate while throwing six picks. He also rushed for 437 yards and eight touchdowns.
Green, a 6-6, 220-pound sophomore, likely isn’t done earning awards and recognition at Boise State.
8. Dequan Finn, Toledo
Finn is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in any Group of Five conference. He was second in the MAC with 23 touchdown passes to go with 2,260 yards through the air. He also completed 60% of his passes while throwing 12 interceptions.
Finn was fourth in the conference with 240.9 yards per game of total offense as he was ninth among all players with 631 rushing yards – a school record for quarterbacks – and nine touchdowns. He was offensive MVP in the Boca Raton Bowl and MAC Championship.
For his career, Finn has recorded 4,417 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions through the air and 1,277 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. The 6-2, 210-pound junior might be even better in 2023.
9. Seth Henigan, Memphis
Henigan has continuously made great strides after playing significant time right away at Memphis. The 6-3, 210-pound upcoming junior was first among returning AAC quarterbacks with 3,571 passing yards, which was 16th in the nation. He added 22 touchdowns compared to just eight interceptions while completing 64% of his passes.
Henigan became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener at Memphis in 2021. He was 11th in the country with 302 passing yards per game and 12th in total offense with 315.4 yards per game, helping him earn Freshman All-American accolades.
With two years of experience now, Henigan should have a great 2023 season ahead of him.
10. Carter Bradley, South Alabama
Bradley made an immediate impact at South Alabama after transferring from Toledo. The 6-3, 216-pound senior might just threaten McCall’s run of winning Sun Belt Player of the Year.
In 2021, Bradley’s final season with Toledo, he threw for 972 yards and four touchdowns, helping him rank third in the MAC with a 164.1 pass efficiency rating and seventh with 212.3 passing yards per game.
Bradley led the Sun Belt with 28 touchdown passes and was second with 3,343 yards last season to go with a 65% completion rate and 12 picks. He helped South Alabama go 10-3 and 7-1 against Sun Belt teams.