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Top Five Quarterback Signees For 2010

Quarterbacks can make or break a signing class.

Florida’s 2006 class had plenty of talent, including wide receiver Percy Harvin and linebacker Brandon Spikes, but the class became special because of the success of quarterback Tim Tebow.

At the same time, Tennessee struggled to succeed in the SEC because highly-touted quarterback Jonathan Crompton fell short of the high expectations the accompanied him in 2005.

Here is a look at the top five quarterback signees in the SEC for 2010.

1. Cameron Newton – Auburn – He’s already secured the starting position at Auburn heading into the summer. Newton, who played at Florida from 2007-08 before attending junior college last year, could be a perfect fit in Gus Malzahn’s spread offense at Auburn. Newton has the size (6-6, 245) and athleticism to make plays in the SEC, and his arm would impress NFL scouts. Newton showed his ability in mop-up duty at Florida in 2007. Newton will need to make sure he takes care of business during the summer and prepares well enough for the fall. Auburn’s success will ride on Newton’s ability to lead the Tigers’ offense.

2. Phillip Sims – Alabama – Many believe he will be the quarterback at Alabama after Greg McElroy departs following the 2010 season. Sims enrolled at Alabama for the spring semester so that he could get a head start on his career. He struggled in Alabama’s spring game, completing only 1 of 7 passes for 12 yards. Still, Sims has plenty of upside with a strong arm and legs to make plays on the run. Sims will challenge A.J. McCarron for the starting position in 2011, which should be one of the most discussed quarterback battles in the country.

3. Tyler Bray – Tennessee – Like Sims, Bray decided to begin his college career early when he enrolled at Tennessee in January. Bray wasn’t highly rated when the recruiting season began for 2010, but a strong showing on the summer camp circuit last year help him climb the rankings. Bray is UT’s quarterback of the future. He needs to add weight to his frame, which is the case for all freshmen, but he has good size and should develop nicely in the future for the Vols. Bray will challenge junior college transfer Matt Simms this fall. Bray might not start this year, but he will at some point.

4. Trey Burton – Florida – Expect to see him on the field for Florida this year. Yes, John Brantley is assured of being the starter for the Gators this year, but Coach Urban Meyer has said he will play a second quarterback, and that man is Burton. He enrolled in the spring semester at Florida and impressed coaches with his playmaking ability. Burton rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries in Florida’s spring game, which caused many to make Tim Tebow comparisons. That is premature and unfair to Burton, but it shows what kind of ability he possesses. Burton should be able to help Florida in short yardage situations this fall when the Gators need a runner to take Brantley’s place.

5. Matt Simms – Tennessee – I have Simms ranked below Bray, but Simms will likely be the starter when UT opens against Tennessee-Martin this fall. Simms, who began his career at Louisville before playing in junior college last fall, brings experience and leadership to UT’s offense. The Vols will have to replace all five offensive linemen this fall, which makes a veteran like Simms more valuable. Bray has more upside and could eventually beat out Simms, but Simms will have the advantage as the fall arrives.

 


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