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Jack Follman’s 2023 Pac-12 Quarterback Rankings

This might be the strongest and deepest class of signal-callers in the history of the Conference

Posted on May 16, 2023

  By Jack Follman, SuperWest Sports

Pac-12What might be the strongest season for Pac-12 QBs in the history of the conference may have arrived.

The transfer portal has enriched the Pac-12 QB stable, with almost every starter in the conference having started out at another school.

Defending Heisman winner, Caleb Williams, obviously has the top spot. The debate begins after No. 1 in a stacked field.

1. Caleb Williams, Junior, USC
Caleb Williams | Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News
No question here, even though Penix and Nix are major stars.

Williams joined elite conference company by winning the Heisman in 2022.

The big question here is if he can do it again.

2. Michael Penix Jr., Senior, Washington
UW QB Michael Penix Jr. | Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
Penix was absolutely lights out for Washington in 2022, leading the nation in passing, but most importantly, stepping up in big moments to lead them to an 11-2 record.

Another year in Kalen DeBoer’s offense with almost all of his offensive playmakers coming back around him, and he’s a legit 2023 Heisman contender.

3. Bo Nix, Senior, Oregon
Oregon QB Bo Nix | Rick Scuteri/AP
Nix found new life in Eugene and turned into one of the scariest QBs in the country in 2022 as he was nearly unstoppable at times with his ability to make plays with his arm and feet.

He has another lap in college football and his ability to tuck and run makes him a nightmare for just about every defense in the Pac-12.

4. Cam Rising, Senior, Utah
Utah QB Cam Rising | Chris Gardner/Getty Images
Rising has led Utah to back-to-back conference titles and now has the best experience of any QB in the conference.

He still has room to grow as a playmaker, and he could be an all-time great Ute quarterback if he does, especially if he gets them a third-straight conference title.

5. Cam Ward, Junior, Washington State
WSU quarterback Cameron Ward | Young Kwak/Associated Press
Ward flashed quite a bit in his first season of FBS football.

He wasn’t really a star but it feels like he could take the next step in 2023 and turn into a big time difference-maker for the Cougars every week.

6. Jayden de Laura, Junior, Arizona
Arizona QB Jayden de Laura | Godofredo A. Vasquez/AP
When de Laura is on and feeling it he’s one of the scariest QBs in the country—see him against UCLA and Washington last year.

He’s fast, slippery, and can throw downfield.

And if he puts it together for a full season, Arizona should go to a bowl game.

7. DJ Uiagalelei, Junior, Oregon State
Oregon State QB DJ Uiagalelei | Getty Images via
DJU has just been fine at Clemson.

Can he take the next step ala Bo Nix in 2022 at a new school that desperately needs better play at QB?

I think he will be at least solid.

8. Collin Schlee, Senior, UCLA
UCL QB Collin Schlee | Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
Tough call here between Schlee and five-star freshman Dante Moore.

I’m going with Schlee at least at the start of the season and he looked good enough at Kent State to be a decent Pac-12 QB who is hard to stop with his mobility and quick release.

9. Shedeur Sanders, Junior, Colorado
Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders | David Zalubowski/AP
Sanders comes in from Jackson State with a lot of heat.

He hasn’t played a down in FBS though, let alone a Power conference so it will be interesting to see how he can translate, especially early on.

Right now I’ll put him at the top of the guys who haven’t truly played in big-time college football yet.

10. Drew Pyne, Junior, Arizona State
Arizona State QB Drew Pyne | Erin Hjerpe / Inferno Intel
Pyne started for Notre Dame in 2022 and was solid.

I give him the inside track over blue-chip freshman Jaden Rashada for now.

11. Sam Jackson V, Sophomore, Cal
Cal QB Sam Jackson V | Jackson Moore/247Sports
Jackson brings a lot of talent and potential with him from TCU.

He assuredly will have to get adjusted as a starter, though, in the Pac-12.

12. Ari Patu, Junior, Stanford
Stanford QB Ari Patu | Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports
How crazy is this?

Patu is the only non-transfer in the conference and is a complete unknown.

—More from Jack Follman—