2024 Big Ten QB Rankings: Who Battles for No. 2 Behind Dillon Gabriel?

    Quarterback play wasn't the conference's strength last season, but transfers and the addition of four teams bolster the 2024 Big Ten QB Rankings.

    The Big Ten has had talented passers in years past, but in 2024, the potential is off the charts. Even at the bottom of the list, there are experienced passers, and in the middle of the pack lay young but budding signal-callers ready to prove their worth. Yet, No. 1 and 2 aren’t a surprise in the 2024 Big Ten QB Rankings.

    Big Ten 2024 QB Rankings

    18) Jack Lausch and Ryan Hilinski, Northwestern Wildcats

    After flashing in four starts last season, Brendan Sullivan entered the transfer portal, leaving the Wildcats with a major question mark under center. We know who sixth-year senior Ryan Hilinski is at this point, and junior Jack Lausch has attempted just 11 passes in his career.

    Northwestern isn’t going 8-5 with either of those QBs, and there isn’t exactly a savior in the transfer portal currently.

    17) Athan Kaliakmanis, Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    While Gavin Wimsatt didn’t light the Big Ten on fire in 2024, he showed significant growth and knew the offense. Greg Schiano believes Minnesota transfer Athan Kaliakmanis is the better QB, naming him the starter and effectively forcing Wimsatt into the portal.

    Sure, Kaliakmanis was more accurate last season, but he also had more talent around him and isn’t the same rushing threat Wimsatt is. Time will tell if the decision was the right one, but I’m betting it wasn’t.

    16) Cade McNamara, Iowa Hawkeyes

    Realistically, how much better would Iowa have been with Cade McNamara at the helm last season? Even in his best season at Michigan, he was a game manager who couldn’t maximize the talent around him. With the Hawkeyes’ best player off to the NFL (punter Tory Taylor), there will be even more pressure on McNamara to perform.

    15) Billy Edwards Jr. and MJ Morris, Maryland Terrapins

    It appears Billy Edwards Jr. is ahead of North Carolina State transfer MJ Morris on the depth chart, but nothing is finalized. Although Edwards has completed just 50% of his passes (76 attempts) behind Taulia Tagovailoa in the last two years, he did rush for seven scores last season.

    Morris is a year younger and has over 100 more reps under his belt, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he earns the starting job at some point this season.

    14) Max Brosmer, Minnesota Golden Gophers

    In his final season at New Hampshire, Max Brosmer threw for an FCS-leading 3,464 yards and 29 TDs. He’s clearly an accurate passer who gets the ball out quickly, but it’s telling that his worst game as a starter came against the only FBS competition he has faced in the last two years (Western Michigan).

    The jump to the Big Ten is massive, and he won’t have much of a transition period with defensive powerhouse Iowa coming to town in Week 4.

    13) Hudson Card, Purdue Boilermakers

    After transferring from Texas, Hudson Card proved he could be a starting QB at Purdue. However, a lack of receiving talent (outside of the now-transferred Deion Burks) proved too much to overcome, as the Boilermakers fell to 4-8. Card has to speed up his processing and keep the ball out of harm’s way, but the foundation has been laid.

    12) Ethan Garbers, UCLA Bruins

    Word out of Westwood is that the future is bright under new head coach DeShaun Foster. New OC Eric Bieniemy knows how to call an offense, but Ethan Garbers’ limitations will limit the offense.

    Nevertheless, while he isn’t a rushing threat and is averse to ripping it downfield, he’ll keep the offense on schedule and accurately place passes in the underneath to intermediate parts of the field.

    11) Luke Altmyer, Illinois Fighting Illini

    Some poor turnover luck hurt Luke Altmyer’s numbers (13 TDs to 10 INTs), but four of those came in his fourth career start against Penn State. His place above Card and Garbers in the 2024 Big Ten QB Rankings is predicated on expected growth based on his 2023 tape.

    Another offseason to work on his faults from last season (taking too many sacks, accuracy issues to the left side of the field, etc.) should result in a better performance in 2024.

    10) Dylan Raiola, Nebraksa Cornhuskers

    All aboard the Dylan Raiola hype train! Raiola is a five-star true freshman with all the physical gifts to operate Matt Rhule’s spread offense. He has already compiled a respectable highlight reel of practice throws, but we need to see it against real competition before placing him any higher.

    9) Alex Orji, Michigan Wolverines

    The same can be said of Alex Orji, but he doesn’t have to do too much in Michigan’s offense. All he has to do is follow the same game-management template J.J. McCarthy used to earn a top-10 selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. Orji has the size, arm strength, and athleticism to break defenses during the Wolverines’ title defense, yet he won’t have to that often.

    MORE: 2024 Big Ten Weekly Football Schedule

    As long as he keeps the offense on schedule and learns to vary his touch rather than always unleashing a fastball, Orji will maintain a top-10 spot in the 2024 Big Ten QB Rankings.

    8) Kurtis Rourke, Indiana Hoosiers

    The 2023 version of Kurtis Rourke looked like a shell of his 2022 self, and his lack of confidence in his repaired torn ACL was clear. Yet, now that he has been removed from the injury for another offseason, he should find his stride once again.

    Curt Cignetti knows how to build a successful program, and Rourke will help him return Indiana to winning ways following three straight seasons with four or fewer.

    7) Miller Moss and Jayden Maiava, USC Trojans

    Miller Moss is QB1 right now, but UNLV transfer Jayden Maiava has the talent to earn the spot if Moss falters. The incumbent torched Louisville for a Holiday Bowl-record six touchdowns and showed his potential behind Caleb Williams, but now it’s time to realize that potential.

    The Trojans have the offensive talent to make noise in the Big Ten, and Lincoln Riley hopes Moss (or Maiava) creates music with it.

    6) Aidan Chiles, Michigan State Spartans

    Jonathan Smith left Corvallis for East Lansing, bringing his OC and QB with him. Expectations are high for Aidan Chiles, but the 6’3″, 200-pound true sophomore has the physical attributes to supersede them.

    He completed 24 of 35 throws for 309 yards and four touchdowns and added three more scores on the ground in limited action last year. As Michael Jordan once said, “The roof is the ceiling.”

    5) Will Rogers, Washington Huskies

    Will Rogers committed to Kalen DeBoer at Washington but stuck around with Jedd Fisch after DeBoer took the Alabama job. In four seasons at Mississippi State, Rogers accumulated 12,315 passing yards and 94 touchdowns. The 2023 season was rough for the Bulldogs as a whole, and a change of scenery could be exactly what Rogers needs to end his career on a high note.

    4) Tyler Van Dyke, Wisconsin Badgers

    Wisconsin is starting a transfer QB for the second season in a row, but Tyler Van Dyke is a step above Tanner Mordecai. He has the talent to take the Badgers over the hump and showed vast improvement from 2022 to 2023. TVD could have a career renaissance in Phil Longo’s pass-heavy offense after his up-and-down time at Miami.

    3) Drew Allar, Penn State Nittany Lions

    Drew Allar’s production as a first-year starter in 2023 was impressive (2,631 yards, 25 TDs, and only two picks), but he struggled to complete passes against Ohio State, Michigan, and Ole Miss.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Big Ten Power Rankings

    New OC Andy Kotelnicki was brought in from Kansas and should elevate Allar’s play. Bringing in WR Julian Fleming is a plus, and having Nick Singleton and Kayron Allen in the backfield certainly alleviates pressure.

    2) Will Howard, Ohio State Buckeyes

    Is Will Howard a jaw-dropping passer? No, but he is productive (5,786 yards and 48 TDs at Kansas State) and meshes well with Chip Kelly’s offense. The Buckeyes are going to light up the scoreboard no matter who is running the show, but Howard has the arm and legs to stress defenses in multiple ways.

    1) Dillon Gabriel, Oregon Ducks

    Dante Moore is the future, but Dillon Gabriel is the present. There will be little — if any — drop-off from Bo Nix, and the Hawaii native’s 14,865 career yards and 125 TDs showcase a prolific collegiate passer.

    His deep ball should be hung in the Louvre, and with Evan Stewart and Tez Johnson on the outside, the Ducks are going to do just fine in the inaugural season in the Big Ten.

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