The Five Types of College Quarterbacks


The Five Types of College Quarterbacks


Recruiting sites divide quarterbacks into two groups: Pro Style and Dual Threat. These groupings have worked well in older eras of college football. A dual threat QB would run the option offense while a pro style QB would be destined to the NFL. However, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray have proven that mobile QBs are now considered a valued part of the NFL. Using a cluster analysis with raw QB stats, we can get a better idea of the tiers of QBs.

The data used for this analysis is from sports-reference.com. A QB had to throw for 14 attempts per game to be included in their season leaders list. I used the same criteria for including a QB in the analysis. The 1998 season is the first season for the analysis. The start of the BCS era marks a distinct period in college football. Each cluster is named after a noteworthy QB close to the center of the cluster.

Roethlisberger Cluster

Roethlisberger Cluster
Comp
Att
Yards
TDs
Ints
Rush Att
Rush Yards
Rush TDs
Rating
Pct
25.669
39.759
322.031
2.557
0.932
5.736
6.589
0.282
149.133
64.56%

This cluster is your prototypical QB. These QBs average over 300 yards per game and 2.5 yards against fewer than 1 pick. Ben Roethlisberger’s 2003 season for Miami (OH) is the perfect example of a player for this cluster. High passing yard totals and accuracy are the hallmarks of a QB in this cluster.

Close fits: 2005 Brady Quinn; 2007 Matt Ryan; 2017, 2018 Will Grier
Distant Fits: 2017 Baker Mayfield; 1998 Daunte Culpepper; 2017 McKenzie Milton; 2018 Kyler Murray

Hurts Cluster

Hurts Cluster
Comp
Att
Yards
TDs
Ints
Rush Att
Rush Yards
Rush TDs
Rating
Pct
14.745
25.221
185.647
1.335
0.692
13.113
63.433
0.765
132.275
58.46%

Dual threat QBs have changed styles over the last 20 years. From the option stylings of Eric Crouch in 2001 to the spread offense weapon that was Jalen Hurts in 2016. 

Close Fits: 2018 Trace McSorely; 2009 Jeremiah Masoli
Distant Fits: 1999 Michael Vick; 2008, 2009 Tim Tebow; 2015, 2016, 2017 Lamar Jackson

Harrington Cluster

Harrington Cluster
Comp
Att
Yards
TDs
Ints
Rush Att
Rush Yards
Rush TDs
Rating
Pct
20.060
32.941
250.890
1.818
0.879
6.631
11.217
0.287
137.749
60.90%

The Harrington Cluster is marked with good but not great QBs. Its full of guys who may not single handedly win you a game, but you can also trust that they won’t cost you many games either. Several players in this cluster would go on to have break out seasons in the future.

Close Fits: 2018 Justin Herbert; 2014, 2015 Connor Cook
Distant Fits: 2003, 2004 Jason White; 2018 Tua Tagovailo; 2013 Marcus Mariota

Cook Cluster

Cook Cluster
Comp
Att
Yards
TDs
Ints
Rush Att
Rush Yards
Rush TDs
Rating
Pct
16.100
27.888
196.068
1.303
0.867
5.860
5.600
0.191
125.980
57.73%

The previous three clusters all are primarily guys who would be at least solid starters. Whether because of inexperience or limited talent, the last two clusters represent players who are less helpful to their team’s success. Connor Cook in 2013 falls into more of the former group as he makes the leap into the Harrington Cluster the next two seasons.

Close Fits: 2006 Rudy Carpenter; 2006 Colt McCoy; 1999 Tom Brady
Distant Fits: 2009 Tyrod Taylor; 2000 Rex Grossman; 2009 Greg Paulus

O’Toole Cluster

O'Toole Cluster
Comp
Att
Yards
TDs
Ints
Rush Att
Rush Yards
Rush TDs
Rating
Pct
11.893
21.706
139.166
0.855
0.770
6.764
13.310
0.221
114.556
54.79%

Fans of Faux Pelini may remember Riley O’Toole’s game against Nebraska. Those tweets may be the most memorable part of this cluster. With an average completion rate of just 54% and fewer than one TD throw per game, these quarterbacks would make little impact on the field.

Close Fits: 2006 Matt Stafford; 2006 Joe Dailey
Distant Fits: 2006, 2007, 2009 Juice Williams; 2007 Jimmy Clausen

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Ten Recruiting 2017-2020

Just How Special is the Huskers Returning Trio?

To Run or Not to Run: That is the Question on Third Down