2024 ACC QB Rankings: Which Former Pac-12 QB Takes the Top Spot, Cam Ward or DJ Uiagalelei?

    Four of the conference's top QBs are gone, but the 2024 ACC QB Rankings were bolstered by several transfers and expansion programs.

    Drake Maye, Jordan Travis, Tyler Van Dyke, and Riley Leonard have left the conference via the NFL Draft and the transfer portal, leaving the QB pool in need of a talent infusion. With the additions of Cal, Stanford, and SMU, plus a couple of top-tier transfers, it got it. Yet, who leads the 2024 ACC QB Rankings?

    ACC 2024 QB Rankings

    17) Fernando Mendoza, Cal Bears

    Fernando Mendoza appears to have held off North Texas transfer Chandler Rogers, but if he doesn’t show significant growth from last season, Cal should hand the reigns to Rogers. While Mendoza got the ball out quickly and did a solid job of avoiding sacks, he struggled to push the ball 10+ yards downfield.

    16) Anthony Colandrea, Virginia Cavaliers

    Anthony Colandrea is a gritty competitor in a tough situation. Virginia isn’t expected to challenge for an ACC Championship, but they did use the transfer portal to bolster their WR corps. Although Colandrea lacks the physical traits teams covet under center, he flashed at times last season, and he has the moxie locker rooms rally around.

    15) Ashton Daniels, Stanford Cardinal

    The incumbent starter from last season, Ashton Daniels is the frontrunner for Stanford’s QB1 job. The cupboard is relatively bare outside of Elic Ayomanor, but the 6’2″, 210-pound WR proved he could carry an offense last year. If Daniels can get the ball out quicker and down on the ill-advised decisions, he could rise up the 2024 ACC QB Rankings.

    14) Maalik Murphy, Duke Blue Devils

    Maalik Murphy is a giant question mark under center. Tools-wise, he is one of the top QBs in the conference. However, he is a relative unknown on the field, and what we did see from him at Texas last season wasn’t all that impressive, particularly against Kansas State. New OC Jonathan Brewer, who comes over from SMU, should put Murphy in a position to prove himself early on. If he doesn’t, expect a short leash.

    13) Nate Yarnell, Pittsburgh Panthers

    At 6’6″, Nate Yarnell has the prototypical build and live arm of a pocket passer. He impressed in his two games with meaningful snaps last season (against Boston College and Duke) and isn’t afraid of turning down his first read and looking for an open man. We are projecting off two games (three if counting his tape against Western Michigan in 2022), but Yarnell could surprise many in 2024.

    12) Hank Bachmeier, Wake Forest Demon Deacons

    We are now entering the arena of veteran college signal-callers. Hank “The Tank” Bachmeier is now three years removed from his eye-opening 2021 campaign at Boise State. Nevertheless, he remains poised under pressure and will rip it to all levels of the field. Anything is better than what Mitch Griffis did in 2023, but it’s difficult to imagine Bachmeier turning back the clock in his sixth collegiate season.

    11) Tyler Shough, Louisville Cardinals

    Entering his sixth season, there is more than enough film to make an educated opinion of Tyler Shough as a collegiate passer: He has a strong arm and won’t derail the game plan, but he won’t save it either. Yet, that’s exactly what the Cardinals wanted after Jack Plummer led the program to the ACC title game last year.

    10) Max Johnson or Conner Harrell, North Carolina Tar Heels

    Max Johnson is a solid enough passer. However, the whiplash UNC fans will feel after having Drake Maye for the last two years will be massive. Johnson isn’t a creator, and he’s on his third team as a fifth-year senior.

    If the Tar Heels want to go with the upside play, Conner Harrell is the guy. The redshirt sophomore is a true dual-threat but has thrown less than 35 passes across his first two collegiate seasons.

    9) Thomas Castellanos, Boston College Eagles

    Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Thomas Castellanos has game-altering athleticism and is a legitimate rushing threat behind center. Now, for the actual quarterbacking. He isn’t an accurate passer and, despite his physical gifts, turns pressures into sacks at a high rate.

    MORE: 2024 ACC Regular-Season Projected Wins

    New head coach Bill O’Brien has to play to his QB’s strengths this season, meaning a lot of RPOs, option runs, and play actions. Castellanos will never be a straight dropback QB, but he shouldn’t be asked to be.

    8) Cade Klubnik, Clemson Tigers

    6.3. That’s how many yards Cade Klubnik averaged per pass attempt last fall, the fewest in the ACC. Clemson opted for a horizontal and short-average depth-of-target offense last year, likely because of a lack of trust in Klubnik and a lack of playmakers on the outside. With OC Garrett Riley and several starters returning, we should see more out of the former five-star recruit in 2024, but that doesn’t mean we will.

    7) Kyle McCord, Syracuse Orange

    Ohio State decided to move on from Kyle McCord; that doesn’t mean he is a bad quarterback. He isn’t the athlete Garrett Shrader was, but Shrader wasn’t the passer McCord is. Paired with WR Oronde Gadsden II and OC Jeff Nixon, who helped Matt Rhule turn Baylor from 1-11 to 11-3 in three years, McCord is primed to prove the doubters wrong this season.

    6) Kyron Drones, Virginia Tech Hokies

    Kyron Drones took the ACC by storm after transferring in from Baylor last season. After Grant Wells went down with an injury in September, Drones generated 22 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 total yards. He worked out with Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders and Miami’s Cam Ward this offseason, which will be needed as teams will no longer be surprised by his skill set.

    5) Grayson McCall, North Carolina State Wolfpack

    Welcome to the ACC, Coastal Carolina great Grayson McCall! Although three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year didn’t live up to expectations last year, there’s a reason he has over 10,000 total yards and nearly 90 passing TDs on his résumé: He can ball. With McCall now suiting up for Dave Doeren’s squad, the Wolfpack will vie for their first bowl win since 2017.

    4) Haynes King, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    In head coach Brent Key’s first full season at the helm, Georgia Tech put up its first winning season since 2018. A large reason for the success was Texas A&M transfer Haynes King. His 16 INTs weren’t great, but he also had some tough turnover luck.

    Plus, he showcased an aspect of his game he hadn’t seen much of before: his rushing ability (737 yards and 10 TDs). With a full year of starts under his belt and time to control his arm arrogance, King should enjoy another standout performance in 2024.

    3) Preston Stone, SMU Mustangs

    Will Preston Stone undergo some growing pains in moving to the ACC? Yes, but he’s also easily one of the conference’s best throwers. He tossed 3,197 yards and 28 to just six INTs in Rhett Lashlee’s offense last season, and with most of the team’s production returning in 2024, Stone’s in line for an encore outing.

    2) DJ Uiagalelei, Florida State Seminoles

    DJ Uiagalelei has a chance at ACC redemption with the Seminoles after stalling out with Clemson two years ago. Following a strong season at Oregon State, he’ll aim to limit the drop-off from Jordan Travis at FSU. HC Mike Norvell and OC Alex Atkins have a lot to work with in DJU, from his rocket arm to his mobile 6’4″ and 252-pound frame. It’s up to him to take advantage of the run-heavy and rhythm-based scheme.

    1) Cam Ward, Miami Hurricanes

    After lighting up the FCS at Incarnate Ward in 2021, Cam Ward had a bit of an up-and-down tenure at Washington State. Now at Miami, he’ll fit perfectly into Shannon Dawson’s system. Reigning in his gunslinger mentality will be Dawson’s biggest offseason hurdle, but Ward has the arm strength and accuracy to dot up the field.

    KEEP READING: Could North Carolina Crumble the ACC? What’s Next for the Tar Heels and the Conference?

    With Houston transfer Sam Brown joining a receiving corps returning its top two playmakers in slot savant Xavier Restrepo and YAC threat Jacolby George and bringing in four-star freshman Ny Carr, Ward has the weapons to hold his No. 1 spot on the 2024 ACC QB Rankings throughout the season.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles