Hawaii Football: Ranking 2022’s Opposing Quarterbacks
The Warriors will mix it up with a number of talented QBs this season.
Who are the top quarterbacks on the docket?
13. New Mexico State – Diego Pavia or Dino Maldonado
The Aggies are starting a new era under new head coach Jerry Kill and one of the biggest questions he’ll face immediately is whether to turn to Maldonado, the incumbent with previous FBS experience, or Pavia, who starred in-state at the New Mexico Military Institute. Whoever gets the nod won’t have a terribly high bar to clear: Last year’s starter, Jonah Johnson, only averaged 6.2 yards per attempt and had just ten touchdowns compared to eight interceptions in 439 attempts.
12. Vanderbilt – Mike Wright or Ken Seals
The Commodores have a quarterback competition on their hands, but it remains to be seen whether Wright or Seals will be able to win the competition going away and, perhaps more importantly, hang on to the job. As a tandem, they completed 55.1% of their passes last year for 2,223 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions, meaning that there is plenty of work left for head coach Clark Lea to do.
11. Duquesne – Darius Perrantes
Perrantes played sparingly in three games at FCS Rhode Island back in 2019, but his full freshman campaign in 2021 provided plenty of hope for the Dukes. He played in nine games and made eight starts, throwing for 1,620 yards and 17 touchdowns and demonstrating plenty of upside as the quarterback of the present and future.
10. Nevada – Nate Cox or Shane Illingworth
Who will take over for Carson Strong, after all? Cox got his first chance in an unenviable situation against Western Michigan in December’s Quick Lane Bowl, but Illingworth could push him after flashing potential in the past two seasons at Oklahoma State. He also won all three starts that he made in Stillwater, so the situation is not as dire as it might have appeared six months ago.
9. Wyoming – Andrew Peasley
After both Sean Chambers and Levi Williams left the program through the transfer portal, the Cowboys went there themselves to import Peasley from Utah State. Is he the post-Josh Allen answer the program has sought for years now? That he averaged 7.5 yards per attempt in spot duty for the Aggies last year is a good sign; that he’s only completed 53.8% of his throws over the past four years is less so.
8. San Diego State – Braxton Burmeister
With a stout offensive line in front of him and at least a couple of established playmakers at his disposal, Burmeister may not have to light the Mountain West on fire to give the Aztecs a serious shot in the arm. His spotty health record may have fans holding their breath throughout the fall, but he averaged 7.8 yards per attempt in 16 games at Virginia Tech over the last two years and also ran for over 700 yards. If he stays on his feet, that’ll play.
7. UNLV – Cameron Friel or Doug Brumfield or Harrison Bailey
If you’re Rebels head coach Marcus Arroyo, who do you choose as your QB1 to start 2022? Do you go with Friel, last year’s Mountain West freshman of the year who set a program record for completion percentage by a freshman? Do you turn to Brumfield, who got the first chance to replace Justin Rogers last year but was hampered by injury? Is now the time to try a wild card like Bailey, who didn’t see the field much in 2021 but played well against Florida, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M the year before? Just be glad the decision isn’t yours to make.
6. Colorado State – Clay Millen
The Warriors won’t be the only team in the Mountain West turning to a mostly unproven athlete at quarterback, but Rams fans have been enthusiastic about Millen since showing off a big arm throughout the spring. He’ll have some high expectations to meet after following head coach Jay Norvell from Reno to Fort Collins, but the former four-star recruit was projected to succeed Carson Strong at Nevada and may not have to do too much to help people forget Todd Centeio.