Dillon Gabriel, Quinn Ewers Listed as Top Returning Big 12 Quarterbacks
In a recent article from College Football Network, a recent poll ranked the top returning quarterbacks in the Big 12 conference.
Headlining the list is Oklahoma QB Dillion Gabriel who returns to Oklahoma in a rare space. Gabriel is just 800 yards away from becoming the 31st quarterback in college football history to throw for more than 12,000 passing yards. Gabriel is joined in the top two by Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers.
The list takes an interesting choice in ranking the third-best returning quarterback in the conference as Jalon Daniels over Big 12 champion, Will Howard.
Daniels was getting legitimate Heisman odds during his spectacular start to the 2022-23 season before getting sidelined with an injury. Returning for one more year as the leader of Lance Leipold’s offense, Daniels should get some more looks from national media as this program continues to grow.
Will Howard checks in as the fourth-best returning quarterback after going 5-1 in his time as a starter for the Wildcats in relief of Adrian Martinez, with his only loss of the season coming at the hands of Nick Saban and Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Howard is the sole starter for K-State heading into the fall and should definitely deserve some looks following a spectacular season that ended with his team sitting atop the Big 12 conference as champions.
Baylor’s Blake Shapen sits in the fifth spot followed by UCF’s John Rhys Plumlee and Iowa State’s Hunter Dekkers. Shapen had some big plays during the 2022 season and is hoping to take another step forward with his game in the fall. UCF, one of the four new Big 12 teams is the highest-ranking addition on the list as John Rhys Plumlee led the Knights to a 9-5 record last season. Iowa State offensively didn’t have much to write home about last season but with another year in Matt Campbell’s system, Hunter Dekkers could become a big riser in conference play.
Kendon Slovis from BYU takes the eighth spot on the list followed by former Red Raider turned Cougar, Donovan Smith. Behren Morton/Tyler Shough, who split time with Smith at TTU in the 2022 season rank as the tenth-best returning quarterback in the conference, followed by Emory Jones/Evan Prater at the eleventh from Cincinnati.
The last few quarterbacks to grace the list starts with Garrett Greene/Nicco Marchiol from West Virginia, then a three-way quarterback competition in Alan Bowman, Garret Rangel, and Gunnar Gundy for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Bringing up the rear is the national champion runner-up TCU Horned Frogs with a combination of Chandler Morris and Josh Hoover.
the Big 12 features a mix of spectacular athletes, pocket passers, and dual-threat playmakers all looking to be named the best quarterback in the conference. With the football season only eight months away, I can see why fans are so excited to get things underway.