The 2014 crop of quarterbacks is shaping up to be a very strong one as we ramp up towards the college football season. Watch lists for postseason awards have been released and a clear elite class has separated themselves among the quarterbacks, particularly in the race for the Heisman Trophy. While most of the attention has been focused on Marcus Mariota of the Oregon Ducks, Braxton Miller of the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the defending Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles, don’t count out Bryce Petty of the Baylor Bears to make a strong push this season.
Petty returns for his senior season as one of the most prolific passers in college football. He finished fourth in the country last season with 4,200 yards passing with 32 touchdown passes. More impressively, he racked up huge numbers in an incredibly efficient manner. Petty threw the ball all over the field last season and yet only threw three interceptions. And the three quarterbacks who amassed more yardage than him last season all did so with at least 200 more attempts. His 10.4 yards per attempt and quarterback rating of 174.29 ranked second in the country last season behind only Winston.
There’s little question that Petty is the most prolific passer in the Big 12 after leading the conference in 2013 by nearly 1,500 yards over the second leading passer. But this season, he’s got his sights set on becoming the most prolific passer in the entire nation. He’s helped by the return of Antwan Goodley on the outside and Shock Linwood out of the backfield, two playmakers who can score every time they touch the football. With experienced weapons at his disposal and an offense that puts up gaudy numbers, Petty is poised for a monster season.
If all that production turns into wins for Baylor and they make a run at a second straight Big 12 title in 2014, there’s no possible way that Petty can be left out of the conversation for the Heisman Trophy. He’s going to put up huge numbers this fall. Is there anyone who will be able to top him?