Jack Follman’s 2022 Pac-12 Spring QB Room Rankings

The transfer portal has made it difficult to break down each school's quarterback battle

Posted on March 12, 2022


  By Jack Follman, SportsPac12

Since I’ve been described as a shitty Jon Wilner, I have no shame in producing my own version of an article rating the Pac-12 QB situations at the start of Spring Football in 2022.

The transfer portal has made things so wild at so many programs that it’s really hard to break down each school’s QB battle because almost every program is having one this Spring and I wouldn’t call it power rankings because it’s also such a big question mark.

This is more of taking stock of how well I feel about the 12 Pac-12 quarterback situations at the moment overall.

1. Utah

The Utes might be the only team in the entire conference who have a perfectly clear quarterback situation with Cameron Rising emerging as an All-Pac-12 player and leading them to a Conference Championship.

He stepped up beyond just being a guy who can win you a game and showed a lot of playmaker abilities in 2021, particularly in their huge wins over Oregon.

His ability to make plays with his feet also sets him apart from a lot of QBs.

usc logo
2. USC

Caleb Williams following Lincoln Riley to USC turned what was a good USC QB room into one that is now going to get Heisman buzz.

Williams’ talent and potential is so high it makes guys like JT Daniels, Kedon Slovis, and Jaxson Dart into instant afterthoughts.

If Williams is at least as good as he was last year as a true freshman starter at Oklahoma, this is probably as low as the Trojans could be in these rankings barring a sudden star turn by another Pac-12 QB.

3. UCLA

It’s been a crazy QB offseason for the Bruins. It looked like they were going to get Spencer Rattler and now they’re sticking with Dorian Thompson-Robinson, which isn’t bad.

He’s a proven solid starter in the Pac-12 at this point and can do some nice things. Depth QB Chase Griffin looked good when he started for DTR in 2020 as well and Ethan Garbers got time in 2021 while DTR was hurt.

4. Oregon State

There’s a drop-off here though that doesn’t mean the Beavers aren’t in good hands.

Chance Nolan was one of the more reliable quarterbacks in the Pac-12 in 2021, and also having Tristan Gebbia gives Jonathan Smith really good depth.

Former Trojan and Georgia Bulldog JT Daniels visited Corvallis this past week and if he were to commit to the Beavers, that would change the equation.

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12
5. Oregon

People have trashed Bo Nix, but the reality is he’s a decent QB with three years of experience starting in the SEC. He at worst is probably better than Anthony Brown, who Oregon won the North with in 2021.

He’s also good insurance because if blue-chip recruit and redshirt freshman Ty Thompson beats him out, it means he’s probably ready for prime time.

Washington football pac-12
6. Washington

The Huskies have a similar situation to Oregon. Indiana grad transfer Michael Penix Jr. is a good and proven commodity who knows Kalen Deboer’s system.

Only problem is he’s been so injured it’s unknown if he can stay healthy and how much he can be his old self.

Five-star redshirt freshman Sam Huard will compete with him, and if he can beat out Penix, it bodes well for him.

7. Stanford

The Cardinal have a lot of flexibility here. Tanner McKee has experience and is super-talented. He could easily be another Davis Mills who quietly becomes a really good quarterback and NFL prospect.

He still has to step up and do that, though, and I don’t love their depth.

8. Washington State

The Cougars have a super-interesting QB situation as two-year starter Jayden de Laura left for Arizona after showing promise in two seasons and Incarnate Word transfer Cameron Ward, who was a star at the FCS level, comes in as the new starter and a guy to really watch out for.

Could he be like Vernon Adams when he jumped to Oregon?

Arizona football Pac-12
9. Arizona

Jayden de Laura is now in Tucson and that’s a good thing for the Wildcats. It’s the first time they’ve had a proven Pac-12 QB in quite some time.

They have a lot of depth behind him too. I’m tempted to put them a ways higher but I’m slightly concerned that de Laura left WSU, and I’m wondering if that means it was assumed he would be beaten out by Ward.

10. Cal

The Bears have a major rebuild at QB with multi-year starter and stalwart Chase Garbers off to the NFL.

Purdue transfer Jack Plummer is a great pick-up, but he will have to show that he can excel in the Pac-12 first before I trust their QB situation more.

11. Arizona State

The ASU QB room suddenly became a mess.

Three-year starter and borderline All-Pac-12 guy Jayden Daniels transferred out late after saying he was coming back and potentially blocking Oklahoma transfer and Phoenix native Spencer Rattler from transferring in.

Now the Sun Devils have to start from scratch and Alabama transfer Paul Tyson could be the guy, but watch for ASU to bring in another transfer during the offseason.

12, Colorado

Sophomore Brendon Lewis started in 2021 but was anything but solid.

The job should still be up for grabs in practice, though I expect him to pull through as the starter in a group of unknown commodities.




—More from Jack Follman—