Patience with late-round QBs is like brewing fine wine; the wait can yield extraordinary results.

CFF Wiseman


Grayson McCall (NCST)

I love the fit. Current NC State OC Robert Anae is a quarterback whisper, and the Wolfpack have WRs to boot now (unlike last year). I think 2023 was a transition period; year two should be smoother sailing for this offense. Unfortunately, the quarterback is still new, and he’ll be in his first year of learning the system, so that could cause some static. McCall had a strong spring game.

Conner Weigman (A&M) 

Courtesy of Associated Press

The former five-star’s season was cut short in 2023, but he was off to a pretty good start, scoring 31, 26, and 25 points (four-point passing formats) in his first three games before getting injured in the fourth. The new staff introduces uncertainty, but at the same time could be a plus. Mike Elko had Riley Leonard at Duke, and new OC Colin Klein had Will Howard and Adrian Martinez at KSU. All three of those names were strong CFF assets at one point or another.

Blake Shapen (MISST)

I love the fit here for Shapen under Jeff Lebby (formerly OU’s OC) at Mississippi State. Shapen showed a lot of promise while at Baylor, scoring 30, 26, and 27 vs. TXST, UCF, and HOU, respectively, in what was a fairly draconian offense. Now he’s got a QB whisperer in his ear, so individually he should show improvement. The bad news? He’ll be playing in the SEC now, and that increase in competition is going to knock some of the glitter off of Shapen’s profile.

Logan Smothers (JAX)

When former Nebraska Cornhusker Logan Smothers got his chance to start, he had some big games in 2023 (25, 25, 29). Those three performances also happen to be the only three games where he started, and QB1 Zion Webb didn’t attempt more than four passes. His rushing upside is very high, as — despite only starting in four games (really only three) — he scored seven rushing TDs. That’s a great ratio, and Smothers is a fantastic potential hidden gem this offseason. I’m assuming he wins the job, but given that that hasn’t officially been settled yet, I am discounting Smothers slightly.

Jase Bauer (SMHU)

Bauer is like Smothers in that he shared his backfield with another QB last year—well, to start the season at least. Bert Emanuel kicked CMU’s season off as the starter, but it was Bauer who took over in week three vs. Notre Dame. He scored only about 12 points in that one. However, he demonstrated a huge upside in games vs. SoAl (43 points) and NIU (32 points). On the year, he scored eight rushing TDs in his nine starts. A change of scenery could be a boon here.

Ashton Daniels (STAN)

Courtesy of Getty Images

The 6’2, 215-pound signal caller from Buford, GA, showed his potential last season with two monster performances vs. Colorado and UW, scoring 39 points in each. Unfortunately, he would only score more than 20 points once outside of those two games, which is not great considering he played in twelve games. To be fair, in two of those twelve, he wasn’t really used much (seven passes attempted in each). Stanford plays in the ACC now. I’m still getting used to that, and maybe it’ll take the Cardinal some time as well. Nonetheless, the competition shouldn’t be too different from what they dealt with in the PAC12, so no red flag there.

Brenden Sorsby (CINC)

Sorsby transferred to Cincinnati from Indiana and is the presumed starter. However, that has yet to be decided. There are other intriguing names in the room, so I’m not comfortable rating Sorsby much higher than this. I love his rushing upside in this system, which historically has been kind to dual threat QBs (e.g., Malik Cunningham a few years ago).

Dylan Raiola (NEB)

It’s worth a shot, right? Without knowing who will win this starting QB job, Raiola feels like the most likely candidate ahead of time, just judging by everything we know about his recruitment, etc. Matt Rhule has run some productive offenses in the past (most notably at Temple and Baylor), so DR could sneak his way into CFF relevancy. He looked good in the spring game.

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