UPDATE: The Virginia Tech Hokies And Doing The Evolution is now up at the mothership. Two things: 1) Yes, I really did start talking about Pearl Jam's Yield in the intro, and 2) 109 profiles down, 11 to go.
No pressure, Logan Thomas. You've got some excellent skill position options around you, a solid line, a fantastic secondary, an improved front seven/eight, and one of the most manageable schedules of any top BCS team. Oh, and Phil Steele has named you a darkhorse Heisman candidate and Cam Newton clone. What could possibly go wrong, eh?
If Thomas is somewhere between competent and solid, look out for Tech. Here's their road slate: Georgia Tech (2011 proj. F/+ ranking: 50th), East Carolina (65th), Virginia (66th), Wake Forest (77th), Duke (79th) and Marshall (94th). Clemson, Miami, Boston College and North Carolina all come to Blacksburg. For a team that wins double-digit games against solid schedules, how many are they capable of winning against an easy one? Like Pearl Jam, Frank Beamer's Hokies have mastered the art of playing at an elite level while simultaneously disappearing from view; it might be difficult to avoid the trappings of pop superstardom this fall, at least as long as Thomas comes through. Again, no pressure.
Tyrod Taylor's career wrapped up last fall with back-to-back Top 10 finishes in terms of Off. F/+. He was one of many high-profile signees in the recruiting class of 2007. I thought it would be interesting to look back at the eight quarterbacks in the Rivals 100 and see how their careers progressed. Below are the players, their rankings in the Rivals 100, and the team rankings they helped produce in two categories: overall Off. F/+ and Passing S&P+.
|114th Off. F/+
|63rd Off. F/+
|12th Off. F/+
|55th Off. F/+
|6th Off. F/+
|5th Off. F/+
|40th Off F/+
|58th Off. F/+
|7th Off. F/+
|10th Off. F/+
|1st Off. F/+
|53rd Off. F/+
|72nd Off. F/+
|69th Off. F/+
|13th Off. F/+
- Ryan Mallett threw for just under 900 yards for Michigan in 2007 and only played a small role in the Wolverines' offensive rankings before transferring to Arkansas for 2009-10.
- Tyrod Taylor split time with Sean Glennon for each of his first two seasons in Blacksburg.
- Corp was named USC's starting QB in 2009, barely fending off true freshman Matt Barkley, but he played parts of just three games before succumbing to injury, losing his job to Barkley, and transferring. He was Richmond's starter this past fall before going down with a knee injury.
- Mike Paulus never sniffed out the starting gig at North Carolina and ended up the backup at William & Mary.
- Stephen Garcia threw for about 800 yards in 2008 and only played a small role in South Carolina's offensive rankings.
Taylor was the third-ranked quarterback overall in the 2007 class, and he played like it. Only, instead of performing at a level below Clausen and Mallett, he was below Mallett and Newton. His low wasn't as low as Clausen's, and he played at a high level for two seasons to Clausen's one (thanks to Clausen's decision to go pro after 2009). In the end, Taylor probably lived up to his recruiting hype and grew into not just a strong, athletic quarterback, but a solid passer as well.