Spring practice is a time for guessing what the coming season has in store. Here is a list of predictions for 2015:
1. Notre Dame will choose Everett Golson as quarterback. Despite almost being traded, losing out on the job to Malik Zaire in last season’s game against Louisiana State University, and the fact that ND has a new offensive coordinator.
2. We won’t know who Ohio State chooses as quarterback until September. There is serious competition for the role between Braxton Miller, two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year; J.T. Barrett, a high scorer in 2014 Heisman Trophy balloting; and Cardale Jones. Because injuries will prevent the first two from practicing, Jones has become a favorite.
3. Texas Christian University will be ranked in the top three of both polls at the start of next season. This will garner plenty of expectations and media attention, only increased by the fact that quarterback Trevone Boykin is a leading Heisman Trophy candidate.
4. Quarterback competition at Oklahoma will be fascinating. Unlike Ohio State, which will choose from among stars, Oklahoma’s pick involves suspense and risk. Coach Bob Stoops and the new offensive coordinator, Lincoln Riley, must both prove themselves, albeit for different reasons. Competition between incumbent starter, Trevor Knight, transfer Baker Mayfield, and wild card Cody Thomas.
5. It will be unclear who will replace quarterbacks Jameis Winston at Florida State and Marcus Mariota at Oregon, both Heisman winners – until August. Neither team will announce a starter until they are closing in on their respective season openers. At Oregon, Vernon Adams is a favorite but sitting out practice in the meantime. At FSU, rumors focus on Sean Maguire, freshman J.J. Cosentino and De’Andre Johnson.
6. Jerry Neuheisel could still surprise as UCLA starting quarterback. Despite the popularity of Josh Rosen, there’s more to being a starting quarterback than physical talent.
7. Unlike years ago, when freshman quarterbacks were rare, the trend will only increase this year. While coaches tend to go with the safer bet of an experienced player, younger players have more competitions out there to rank them, more experience than ever before, and hold the promise of a long team shelf life.