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Ranking College Football's top quarterbacks for 2023

The landscape of college football is everchanging. One constant that never will change at any point is needing a quarterback to survive.

Looking around the Football Bowl Subdivision, there are plenty of high quality quarterbacks to choose from. There are many that are NFL caliber, some are collegiately elite and there are system quarterbacks. That's the beauty of College Football at the highest level. Everyone has to execute a system to be successful.

Drake Maye, Bo Nix, Caleb WIlliams, Quinn Ewers and quite a few more headline the upcoming season. Who is the best?

10. Devin Leary, Kentucky

The North Carolina State transfer comes in to Kentucky after a pectoral injury sidelined him after six games last season.

During his final 18 games guiding the Wolfpack, Leary completed 65% of his passes for 4,698 yards, 46 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

New Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen returns with a veteran QB under center. That alone should raise the ceiling for the Wildcats in 2023.

9. Jordan Travis, Florida State

Don't hate me for having the Seminoles starting QB ranked so low. I just don't see him taking Florida State to the next level. He did take a huge leap in decision making last year.

We'll definitely know if Travis deserves a top 10 ranking by Week Four when they take on Clemson in Death Valley. Florida State was one of the hotter teams to close the 2022 college football season finishing with six straight wins.

8. Jayden Daniels, LSU

The undoubted leader of the LSU offense could be on the verge of taking the Tigers to their first playoff appearance since 2019.

Daniels passed for 2,913 yards but only had 17 touchdown passes. That number needs to improve if second year head coach Brian Kelly wants to take the next step in his LSU tenure.

7. Michael Penix, Washington

Is anyone surprised by big Penix energy? You shouldn't be since he's the real deal. He led Washington to an 11-2 record overall and 7-2 in the Pac-12 last season.

The Huskies won their final seven games including a bowl win over No. 21 Texas. Penix passed for at least 295 yards in every game last season and threw a touchdown in every game except in a loss to Arizona State.

6. KJ Jefferson, Arkansas

The Arkansas signal caller goes into his third season as the starting quarterback. He's likely going to break six or so school records, too. The Mississippi native had an exciting 2021 season but was injured during three losses last year. Going to more of a pro-style offense this fall will help him stay upright and healthy for a successful 2023 season.

5. Bo Nix, Oregon

Who was this guy in 2022? It certainly wasn't the guy who played at Auburn. That was one of the worst program-quarterback marriages we've ever seen. Luckily for his sake, he transformed himself into a very capable QB with Oregon in 2022. Nix was sacked just five times last season on his way to passing for 3,500+ yards, 29 touchdowns and five interceptions. His confidence should be off the charts as the Ducks contend for the Pac-12 crown.

4. JJ McCarthy, Michigan

It's been a while since Michigan had a true dual-threat behind center. The former top 50 prospect in the 2021 class took over starting duties last season enroute to a College Football Playoff appearance. He'll be looked at to take the Wolverines offense to the next level this fall after throwing for 2,700+ yards, 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions last season.

3. Sam Hartman, Notre Dame

There wasn't much separation from the third spot to the top two. The Wake Forest transfer arrives as one of the most decorated passers in college football history. He'll look to close his collegiate career with one last season at Notre Dame.

During his career with the Demon Deacons, Hartman passed for over 12,000 yards and 110 touchdowns. The Irish have plenty of talent to make at a playoff berth and with this talented QB, this could be the year they make noise.

2. Caleb Williams, USC

The defending Heisman Trophy winner is second. Yes, you're seeing that correctly. Most of Williams' magnificent plays were made while improvising in the pocket. That doesn't always makes someone the best at their position, though.

He could finish his college career with a national title run but will have to tread through one of the toughest leagues in college football this season. The west coast boasts quite a few solid teams for the upcoming season. Along with USC, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State will all be tough outs this fall. Then, there's a wildcard in Colorado, too.

If Williams is able to navigate his Trojans through a tougher 2023 season and into the playoff, he can be the first back-to-back Heisman winner since Archie Griffin. Williams finished last season by throwing for 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also added 382 yards rushing and 10 rushing scores.

1. Drake Maye, North Carolina

May the greatness of one of the most historic last names in North Carolina continue. After throwing for 4,321 yards, 38 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, the true sophomore displayed incredible poise as a first year starting QB. He could be one of the top two picks in the 2024 draft with another exceptional season.

The rising junior just signed a huge NIL deal with The Rock's new energy drink this past week. Maye is talented and marketable which should make this selection of him being No. 1 a respectable one.

You can follow all of Jacob Davis' work at his Twitter account (@jacobscottdavis).

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