Who Are the Most Talented Left-Handed Quarterbacks in College Football History?

    Left-handed quarterbacks aren't the norm in college football, but they've put together some of the most memorable seasons in the sport's history.

    When it comes to football, we’re used to seeing things a certain way. So when a left-handed quarterback stands out, it takes a while for us to adjust. Not because they’re not good, but because we’re not used to seeing someone throw with the other hand.

    We’ve seen some great southpaws in college football, three of which have won the Heisman Trophy. We take a look at the best at spinning it with their left hand, along with their accomplishments in their collegiate careers.

    Top Left-Handed QBs in College Football History

    Michael Penix Jr., Washington

    After multiple years with Indiana, Penix lit the world on fire when he transferred to Washington. We saw his potential during the 2020 season, a year that included one of the most iconic plays in Indiana’s history.

    He challenged the Huskies record books after transferring to Washington in the 2022 season. Penix finished in the top five in most statistical categories, including four of the top five single-game passing yard records. He also led the Huskies to a national championship appearance in the 2023 season.

    Michael Vick, Virginia Tech

    Michael Vick was a polarizing figure at the NFL level, but before that, he was lighting up the college football world. In just 2 seasons as a starter, he led Virginia Tech to a national championship game appearance and finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1999.

    While his legs were the topic of conversation coming out of college, his arm strength made him one of the most talented left-handed quarterbacks in college football. He was an explosive weapon for the Hokies on the ground and through the air.

    Tim Tebow, Florida

    To many, Tim Tebow is the greatest college football player ever. By default, that makes him one of the best left-handed quarterbacks we’ve seen at the college level.

    Tebow became an icon with the Gators during his time in Gainesville and was yet another polarizing figure in college and the NFL.

    MORE: Heisman Trophy Winners by Year

    He made some contributions to Florida’s offense as a backup in 2006, Florida’s first national title in his tenure, but that was just the beginning. His first year as a starter in 2007 saw him account for 55 touchdowns, a performance that helped him win the Heisman Trophy.

    In the following years, he broke multiple school and college football records and led the Gators to another national championship. His fierce, competitive nature stood out during his time, which helped him become one of the most successful players ever.

    Matt Leinart, USC

    Leinart took over one of the best dynasties we’ve seen in the sport and didn’t waste time keeping the momentum going.

    His first year as a starter saw the Trojans finish 11-1, with Leinart throwing 38 passing touchdowns. USC was loaded with talent, and their southpaw was the perfect man to run the offense.

    In 2004, USC won the BCS National Championship Game with a 55-19 win over Oklahoma. Leinart saw his production take a slight dip but still threw 33 touchdowns and over 3,300 yards. It was also good enough for Leinart to win the Heisman Trophy, just the 2nd left-handed quarterback to do so at the time.

    The Trojans returned to the title game to defend their crown but came short in arguably the greatest college football game of all time in a thrilling loss to Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns.

    Pat White, West Virginia

    West Virginia’s offense under Rich Rodriguez was built straight out of a video game. An electric quarterback combined with a couple of explosive running backs gave the Mountaineers everything they needed, and they put together some incredible performances.

    Pat White may not have been the best passer, but he was efficient. He finished his career with 6,049 yards and 56 touchdowns through the air. As a runner, he ran for 4,480 yards and 47 more scores. He finished sixth in the Heisman voting in 2007 and seventh in 2008.

    Kellen Moore, Boise State

    Kellen Moore holds a record that may never be broken, even in an era where guys play six or more seasons. The Boise State legend finished his career with 50 wins, and he did it in just four seasons with the Broncos.

    Moore also put up some big numbers for the Broncos, throwing for 14,667 yards and 142 touchdowns during his career. Under his leadership, Boise State also made all the way up to the 2nd best team in the country in 2010. The Broncos finished just 1 season outside the Top 10 with Moore on campus.

    Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

    Everyone remembers Tua Tagovailoa’s pass to DeVonta Smith in the 2017-18 national championship win over Georgia. However, that’s not his only accomplishment with the Tide.

    Tagovailoa also led the Tide to another championship appearance the next year, coming up short against Clemson in a classic game that year. He also finished 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting, coming 296 votes short of Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. He finished his career with 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns with the Tide.

    Jared Lorenzen, Kentucky

    One of the most underrated quarterbacks in college football history, Jared Lorenzen, stands out for many reasons. He was a 4-year starter for the Wildcats and threw for 10,354 yards with 78 touchdowns during his time in Lexington.

    While everyone talked about his size, the arm talent made him great. It was hard to miss him on the field, but not just because he was pushing 300 pounds. Lorenzen had the talent to make any throw on the field, and that arm talent was a huge reason why he broke multiple school records.

    David Greene, Georgia

    One of the best quarterbacks to play for the Georgia Bulldogs. Greene wasted little time making his name known to the SEC, winning Rookie of the Year in 2001 with 2,789 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2001.

    He broke the SEC record for career passing yards with 11,528 (a record that has since been broken) during his time in Athens. Before Kellen Moore, he also held the record for most wins by a college football quarterback with 42.

    Josh Heupel, Oklahoma

    While Heupel is making his name known in the coaching ranks, he was once an elite left-handed quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. He was the only Sooners quarterback to win a national championship under Bob Stoops.

    He only played 2 seasons in Norman but put up 6,852 yards and 50 touchdowns through the air. He also ran for another 12 touchdowns too and finished 2nd in the 200 Heisman Trophy voting.

    Honorable Mention: Chris Simms, Texas; Tyler Palko, Pitt; Cade McNown, UCLA; Dave Humm, Nebraska; Terry Baker, Oregon State; Steve Young, BYU; Holton Ahlers, ECU

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and 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