Dick Harmon: Class of 2010 college football quarterbacks, including Jake Heaps, have enjoyed mixed success
5. Devin Gardner, Inkster High, Inkster, Mich., committed to Michigan. He played in two games as a freshman in 2010, and backed up Denard Robinson in 2011, playing in eight games. In 2012 he converted to wide receiver but became the starting QB when Robinson got injured in the eighth game. He led the Wolverines to wins over Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa. He started in 2013 with mixed results and fans were calling for his backup Shane Morris. But in game eight he got on a roll with eight TD passes and no picks. Gardner did not play due to a foot injury in a 31-14 loss to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. In his career, he has completed 208 of 345 passes for 2,960 yards, 21 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Michigan was 7-6 (3-5) this season.
Quarterbacks in that class who were not considered among the top 10 high school players in 2010 including the following interesting faces:
23. Sean Mannion, Foothill High, Pleasanton, Calif., committed to Oregon State. He teammed with WR Brandin Cooks to produce the most explosive passing combo in school history. He will likely set an OSU career percentage completion record. In 2013, he finished No. 2 in the NCAA in passing yards with 4,662.
25. Connor Halliday, Joel E. Ferris High, Spokane, Wash., committed to Washington State. Redshirted as a freshman. He played in four games as a redshirt freshman, nine as a sophomore, and in 2013 as a junior, he ranked No. 3 in the country in passing yards behind OSU’s Mannion with 4,597.
31. Connor Shaw, Flowery Branch, Flowery Branch, Fla., committed to South Carolina. He passed for 2,447 yards (No. 58 in NCAA) as a senior in 2013. He earned MVP honors in last week’s Capitol One Bowl and sealed his place as the greatest QB in school history with four touchdowns — three through the air and one on the ground — against Wisconsin. He is 27-5 as a starter for the Gamecocks.
35. Bryce Petty, Midlothian High, Midlothian, Texas, committed to Tennessee, which dropped him, and he signed at Baylor. NFL draft analyst Gil Brandt claims he is the No. 1 senior-to-be quarterback. He ranked No. 4 in the nation in passing yards with 4,200 in 2013 and earned Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American honors.
Not rated: Blake Bortles, Oviedo High, Oviedo, Fla., signed with Central Florida. He just led UCF to the biggest upset in BCS Bowl history with a 52-42 win over Baylor in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. UCF faithful say he has supplanted Daunte Culpepper as the greatest Knight player ever with a 12-win season. He is projected to be a first-round draft pick in the NFL this year.
Not Rated: Shane Carden, Episcopal High, Bellaire, Texas, signed with East Carolina. Redshirted as a freshman and played in one game as a redshirt freshman as a receiver and broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore. Ranked No. 6 in the NCAA in passing yards in 2013 with 4,139, just ahead of 2012 Hesiman winner Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M.
Other notables in that class include No. 50 Case McCoy, Graham High School, Graham, Texas, who signed with Texas; and No. 64 Tommy Rees, Lake Forest High, Lake Forest, Ill., who committed to Notre Dame.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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