In Monday's College Football National Championship Game, Georgia freshman Jake Fromm and Alabama freshman Tua Tagovailoa gave the rest of the nation a snapshot of what life will be like in the SEC for the next two to three years. That's not ignoring Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald and Auburn's Jarrett Stidham. It's just impossible to not look at the two who faced off on Monday and not envision a lot more head-to-head nail-biters in the coming years.
Who else though?
Here is the never-too-early Top-Five 2018 College Football Quarterback Preview.
Before getting to the list, one name needs to be mentioned whose future is uncertain due to coaching. Khalil Tate did not even get significant playing time until Arizona's fifth game. All he did in game five against Colorado was set a new FBS rushing record with 327 yards. Tate would rush for over 1,300 yards the rest of the season while throwing for 1,550 and a combined 26 touchdowns. Plus some highlights that would make Barry Sanders blush.
The problem is Arizona doesn't have a head coach right now, so there's no telling what will happen to Tate or the Wildcats. 2017 will be one — literally — for the record books.
When Grier announced he was coming back for his senior year, let's just say Morgantown was…excited.
The transfer from Florida completed 64.4 percent of his passes while throwing 34 touchdowns and 3,490 yards. He threw multiple touchdowns in every game he finished in 2017. Outside of an ugly injury in the Mountaineers game against Texas, Grier threw for over 300 yards in all but one game. He also ranked in the top 10 nationally in passing touchdowns, yards per attempt, pass efficiency and yards per game.
Head coach Nick Saban fought the media's assertion all preseason of a potential quarterback controversy. Once the season started, Jalen Hurts did his part and the Crimson Tide rolled into the National Championship Game. 2018 will be a new season and expect a more fevered attention to Hurts and Tagovailoa.
Saban is in a can't lose situation and Alabama's "problem" looks very similar to the issue that faced Ohio State a few years ago after Cardale Jones won the national championship. Whether Hurts moves positions like Braxton Miller did or resumes his starting roll, the leash will most certainly be short.
The world got a small glimpse of Tagovailoa's talent in the second half of the national championship game, and if that's any indication of what to expect in 2018, 'Bama's faithful will have a meltdown if Saban drags his feet. The quarterback from Hawaii was the top-quarterback in the 2017 class and has proved it on the sport's biggest stage. He also has some talents off the field as well.
@tuaaamann_ putting on a Christmas concert for the coaches after practice!! pic.twitter.com/XjWJGrkxcH
— Coach Brent Key (@CoachBrentKey) December 22, 2017
Bryant had the unenviable position of following in Deshaun Watson, the winningest quarterback in the school's history. Bryant, behind the best defense in college football finished the season with Clemson atop the rankings, but fell to Alabama in the College Football Playoffs. With a season under his belt, Bryant will surely improve upon his 2,678 passing yards and 24 total touchdowns. Leaving many Clemson fans to fell optimistic about 2018.
You cannot fill the shoes of a Heisman Trophy winner, you can only hope to continue to win. Murray said recently he has prepared his whole life for this so it's anyone's guess what that really means. What is known is Murray is an uber-talented dual-threat quarterback who should give defenses fits making plays with his legs and arm. There's some talk that he's even more talented than Baker Mayfield.
Mckenzie Milton 2018 performance will weigh on how new UCF head coach Josh Heuppel incorporates his offense. In 2017, Milton led the highest scoring offense in FBS while throwing for 3,795 yards and 35 touchdowns. Milton also rushed for 497 yards and seven touchdowns. The Knights also return playmakers Otis Anderson Jr., Adrian Killins and Gabe Davis. If Heuppel is able to keep the Knights momentum from 2017, Milton might be a dark horse Heisman candidate.