Coaches, players say Big 12 is still a quarterback conference

Big-name quarterbacks like Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Todd Reesing and Zac Robinson are gone. But talented signal callers like Jerrod Johnson and Blaine Gabbert are evidence that this could still be a quarterback league.
By Jake Trotter, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: July 27, 2010 at 7:34 pm •  Published: July 27, 2010
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IRVING, Texas — Gone is Sam Bradford.

So too are Colt McCoy, Todd Reesing and Zac Robinson.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the Big 12's status as a quarterback league has gone with them.

Even if the name recognition of Big 12's individual quarterbacks has.

"Those quarterbacks that left were great quarterbacks," said Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman. "But there's some great quarterbacks ready to take over.

"It's now time for them to step forward, and I'm sure that they will."

Whether the Big 12 preserves its reputation as the best quarterback conference in college football will depend heavily on the performance of Sherman's signal-caller, Jerrod Johnson.

Coming off a breakout season in which he threw for almost 3,600 yards and 30 TDs as a junior, Johnson was named the preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

But even Johnson didn't receive the attention at Big 12 Media Days this week that some of his predecessors like Bradford, McCoy and Robinson did last year, or Chase Daniel and Josh Freeman did the year before.

And Johnson knows why.

"I think the reason those guys had so much notoriety and success is that they won football games," said Johnson, whose Aggies finished 6-7 last season. "Those guys were proven winners. That's why they had so much preseason hype.

"There's a lot of good quarterbacks in this league, but you get your notoriety from winning games. So I think if we win games, we'll get the attention, too."

Johnson won't have to carry the banner of Big 12 quarterbacks alone.

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