The offenses in the SEC continue to take center stage as the quarterbacks remain the face of the conference. The SEC has seen three offensive players finish the season as the Heisman Trophy winners in each of the last three seasons. Two of them were at the quarterback positions. The quarterbacks in the SEC have become the most explosive players as they have needed to overcome the efficient defenses created in the past. Last season, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young had one of the biggest single-season performances in College Football history as he won the Heisman Trophy. This 2022 season, the SEC has several impact quarterbacks that are candidates for the Heisman Trophy and has a great chance of leading their teams to the College Football Playoffs.
Best SEC Quarterbacks Returning for 2022
3. Georgia QB Stetson Bennett
This past season, no quarterback in the SEC had more hate than Bulldogs walk-on quarterback Stetson Bennett. Many Bulldog fans and College Football experts believed that only J.T. Daniels would be talented enough to lead the team to a national championship. Bennett showed his potential all season to lead an impossible title season for the Bulldogs in 2021. This past season, Bennett threw 185-of-287 completions for 2,862 yards, 29 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 176.6. In the National Championship game versus Alabama, Bennett threw for 17-of-26 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The pressure will be even higher for him this season despite Daniels transferring from Georgia. He will have a huge target on his back this upcoming season as a defending champion.
2. Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson
The SEC’s biggest surprise last season was the Arkansas Razorbacks, who had their first winning season since 2016. The Razorbacks finished third in the SEC West with an overall record of 9-4 in the second year of head coach Sam Pittman. Leading the Razorbacks to success was dual-threat KJ Jefferson. Last season, Jefferson had a huge breakout year in the SEC and the nation by leading the Razorbacks to big wins over #15 Texas and #7 Texas A&M. Jefferson completed 198-of-294 of his passes (67.3%) for 2,676 yards, 21 touchdowns, only four interceptions. He also had a passer rating of 164.7. He was also one of the team’s main rushers as he rushed for 664 yards and six touchdowns on 146 rushes. The expectations for Jefferson will be even higher now that he is experienced and the team has gotten their first taste of winning.
1. Alabama QB Bryce Young
There are several questions for the first-year starter in Bryce Young heading into the 2021 season. Within the first game, all of those questions were answered about his ability to lead Alabama’s high-caliber offense. Young was one of the most consistent and explosive playmakers throughout the entire season. Young threw for a completion ratio of 366-of-547 (66.9%) for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Finally, he finished the 2021 season as the Heisman Trophy winner, the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, the AP College Football Player of the Year, and a Consensus All-American. As Alabama looks to redeem themselves after losing to the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Championship Game, Young will be leading the team for their 19th potential national title in program history. Young should be a huge favorite to repeat as the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner.
Honorable Mention – Kentucky QB Will Levis
One of the biggest sensations off the field was Kentucky’s Will Levis. His antics of eating a banana with the peel earned him national attention. What he did on the field last season was just as impressive. Levis threw for 233-of-353 for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a QBR of 148.3. Levis is known for his tremendous arm strength, good accuracy, and solid mechanics. While he could improve his decision-making abilities, Levis already has the attention of NFL scouts and coaches for the 2023 NFL Draft. If Levis has another solid, but more consistent season in 2022, Levis could find himself rising tremendously in the NFL Draft boards.