Without much star power, SEC QBs have plenty to prove in 2014

Jacob Coker could be the next starting quarterback at Alabama. (AP photo)

Jacob Coker could be the next starting quarterback at Alabama. (AP photo)

The SEC overflowed with QBs last year.

There was Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray, AJ McCarron, Zach Mettenberger, James Franklin (when healthy) and Connor Shaw.

But they’re all gone. In fact seven of the SEC’s top eight quarterbacks (from 2013 passing stats) are no longer around, leaving a league-wide void at the most important position.

Auburn’s Nick Marshall, who was a first-year starter in 2013, was selected preseason All-SEC at the conference media days, but he won’t start the opener against Arkansas after an offseason misdemeanor drug charge. More on that misdemeanor on http://www.drugguardians.com, a site bent on helping the community deal and educate on the this sensitive subject.

Still, he’ll likely be the SEC’s top QB this year.

That leaves Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace as the SEC’s other most talented and experienced QBs, but both have been plagued by inconsistency.

The next star might be Missouri’s Maty Mauk, who was poised and impressive as a freshman while leading the Tigers to three wins in his four starts. And there’s Tennessee’s Justin Worley, who played well before a thumb injury ended the season, but he’s in competition with Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman.

If not them, who will emerge as the SEC’s next outstanding QB?

Great things are expected from Alabama’s Jacob Coker, who sat behind Jameis Winston last year at FSU.

Georgia’s Hutson Mason was Murray’s backup for an eternity and now gets his chance.

Dylan Thompson watched Shaw excel while seeing glimpses of action, including starting a win over Clemson in 2012.

Will Florida’s Jeff Driskel bounce back from a broken leg and maximize his potential?

Freshmen could start at LSU, Texas A&M and Kentucky, and Steven Rivers, a former LSU QB, could be the man at Vanderbilt.

Of course, nobody knew how Marshall would do in his first year as a college QB.

Will there be another scenario like that this season?

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