5. San Jose State – Chevan Cordeiro
After battling through injuries last season, will Cordeiro be able to take a step forward after transferring from Hawaii? Through the course of his career with the Warriors, his completion rate rose and fell from year to year but his yards per attempt has remained more or less constant. With a number of weapons at his disposal in San Jose, there won’t be a lot of excuses for him to be unable to make hay.
4. Air Force – Haaziq Daniels
Daniels has only gotten better in his two years operating the Falcons offense and, arguably, no one would know this better than the Aggies. Between 2020 and 2021, he ran for 7.5 yards per carry and threw for 309 yards, accounting for four total touchdowns while helping Air Force score 80 combined points in all.
3. BYU – Jaren Hall
Hall actually missed last year’s game against Utah State, but the rest of his season provided a lot of proof that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the Group of 5. In ten games, he threw for 2,583 yards (8.7 yards per attempt) and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions on 296 attempts. He also chipped in to the Cougars ground game, too, with 307 rushing yards and three touchdowns; if he can stay healthy, watch out.
2. Boise State – Hank Bachmeier
Bachmeier has bedeviled the Aggies in his career, throwing for more yards (554) and touchdowns (five) against USU than anyone else. While it remains to be seen how the Broncos will create big passing plays with Khalil Shakir now in the NFL, but “Hurricane Hank” will be ready one way or another.
1. Alabama – Bryce Young
Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner earned the honor with some clutch performances down the stretch, but there’s little doubt he was one of the country’s top signal-callers after posting a 66.9% completion rate, 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. Slowing him and the Tide offense down might be the single most difficult task any Mountain West team will have to do this year.