Amid all the giddiness that National Signing Day brings for college football fans, take a quick look at where some of the top-rated quarterbacks of the past few years are now.
RELATED: Live updates on National Signing Day
Last night, Jacob Eason, who was the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year in 2015 out of Lake Stevens, Wash., announced he would leave Georgia and transfer to Washington, bringing him closer to home.
Eason was Georgia’s starter at the beginning of the season, but when he went down to a knee injury in the Dawgs’ first game, Jake Fromm, an ALL-USA second-team player in 2016 from Houston County (Warner Robins, Ga.), stepped in. Eason, even after he recovered, wasn’t able to wrest the starting job back and Fromm led Georgia to the national championship game.
In 2016, the No. 2 quarterback in the class was considered to be Shea Patterson of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.). He didn’t disappoint, throwing for 3,139 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in two seasons at Mississippi before his season ended with a knee injury in late October. Then the Rebels were handed a two-year bowl ban by the NCAA for various infractions, and in mid-December Patterson transferred to Michigan.
In 2014, Kyler Murray was the ALL-USA Offensive Player of the Year after leading Allen, Texas, to a third consecutive state title. He started three games as a freshman at Texas A&M, then transferred to Oklahoma. After sitting out a redshirt year, he played in four games last season for the Sooners, none of them starts, but he is expected to be the team’s starting quarterback next season.
Max Browne, the ALL-USA Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 from Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.), has had the wildest ride of all. He sat behind Cody Kessler at Southern Cal for a few seasons before earning the starting nod as a redshirt junior. Three games into the 2016 season, though, he lost his job to Sam Darnold, who took the Trojans to the Rose Bowl. In December of 2016, Browne was a graduate transfer to Pitt. Last season, he split time at Pitt with Ben DiNucci until Browne’s season ended with a shoulder injury in October.
All this means is that quarterback is the most precarious job in college football, regardless of how impressive a high school career a player may have had. For every DeShaun Watson or Josh Rosen, there are as many or more who end their college careers far from where they began it.