FBS Independent QB Rankings 2023: Sam Hartman Historically Ends Regular Season At Notre Dame

    The FBS Independent QB rankings for 2023 are headlined by Notre Dame's Sam Hartman and his historic records he set this season.

    Our weekly iteration of our 2023 Independent QB Rankings is here, taking a look at where they stack up through 13 weeks of the season. With one more regular season game in the books, can Army’s Bryson Daily win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy and climb back into the middle tier of the rankings in the process?

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    2023 Independent QB Rankings

    As with all of our conference rankings and our national quarterback evaluations, the FBS Independent QB rankings below consider everything involved with quarterbacking at the major college football level.

    While statistics will be mentioned, they were not the lone deciding factor in ranking the athletes. The list below prefers programs with a solidified quarterback situation and one signal-caller who plays significant snaps against top-tier competition.

    Two-quarterback systems will always be looked down upon, especially in those cases where an answer has not yet been provided for the long term.

    Other factors in these rankings include but are not limited to game film, injury history, play-calling, offensive system knowledge and continuity, general quarterbacking mechanics, level of competition, the elevation of supporting casts, and several other influential factors.

    All QB Rankings: 1-133 | ACC | B1G | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC | AAC | C-USA | MAC | MWC | Sun Belt | FBS Ind. 

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    Tier 1: The Elite Independent QBs

    1) Sam Hartman | Notre Dame

    Last Week’s Ranking: 1st (no change)
    Yards: 2,689 | TDs: 24 | INT: 8 | Comp. %: 63.5% | YPA: 8.9

    It was a fitting end to an illustrious career when Notre Dame handled their business against Stanford in Week 13. Sam Hartman threw for two scores to reach 24 passing touchdowns on the season and a whopping 134 career passing touchdowns. He has now thrown for over 2,200 yards in four consecutive seasons and — with a bowl game to play — ranks fifth all-time in career passing yards.

    Hartman has 15,656 career passing yards and is just 127 yards shy of fourth place on the all-time list, behind only Graham Harrell, Landry Jones, Timmy Chang, and Case Keenum.

    He became the poster boy for veteran quarterbacks looking to prove themselves for one year before jumping to the NFL in 2023. Hartman set the road map for quarterbacks looking to break the mold of “system QB” at the college level by asserting himself as a viable passer and quick learner of a new offensive scheme.

    With the era of the transfer portal firmly entrenched in college football today, Hartman’s name should now be synonymous with veteran quarterbacks looking to bridge a gap at a program due to his success this season.

    Tier 2: Well-Above-Average Independent QBs

    2) Ta’Quan Roberson | UConn

    Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd (no change)
    Yards: 2,075 | TDs: 12 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 58.3% | YPA: 6.1

    In an Independent showdown, Ta’Quan Roberson and the UConn Huskies got the better of UMass to finish each team’s 2023 season. Roberson was solid throughout the contest from the pocket, but did have some ball security issues on the ground.

    Still, Roberson more than flashed the talent that — at one point — sent him to Penn State during the 2023 season with the Huskies. Roberson has a gifted arm and can play incredibly well from inside the structure of the offense.

    During the Sacred Heart game, he showed that he could dissect a defense and successfully spread the ball out to different receivers when given time in the pocket. He’s a dynamic athlete and certainly knows how to disperse the ball and break contain when necessary.

    It didn’t lead to too many victories during the year, but with clean pockets and solid protection up front, the Huskies’ offense looked vastly improved with Roberson at quarterback this season.

    Tier 3: Above-Average Independent QBs

    3) Taisun Phommachanh | UMass

    Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd (no change)
    Yards: 1,507 | TDs: 6 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 61.2% | YPA: 6.6

    Rewind the clocks back to Week 0 when Taisun Phommachanh and the Minutemen knocked off New Mexico State. Who knew that game would have meant so much as it does now with the Aggies heading to the Conference USA Championship?

    The pinnacle of success during their season it was that game where Phommanchanh showcased his potentially-elite arm talent. He hit each level of the field very well and spread the ball around to his pass catchers on each side.

    The war of attrition struck and he missed a handful of games in 2023, but when he was healthy and on his game, Phommanchanh looked every bit the part of a former Clemson and Georgia Tech quarterback.

    Though he had a bit of a gunslinger mentality, Phommanchanh had a great understanding of when and where to pick his shots with his arm talent. We’ll look back at this season, and likely his career, as a case of what could have been because he is incredibly gifted.

    4) Bryson Daily | Army

    Last Week’s Ranking: 4th (no change)
    Total Yards: 1,676 | Total TDs: 13 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 50.0% | YPA: 8.1

    This year’s Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy will come down to the winner of the Army-Navy Game as the Black Knights have a chance to knock the Midshipmen out of a potential bowl game and win the prestigious triangle trophy in 2023. That is, of course, thanks in large part to Bryson Daily and his grasp of their new offense.

    Daily took to the new scheme that limited outside option plays due to new cutback blocking rules and showcased some talent on inside reads, quarterback runs, and with his arm.

    It wasn’t a blockbuster season for Daily, but there certainly wasn’t any slacking. Daily and his Army team took it to Air Force when they were still undefeated, they toppled perennial Sun Belt power Coastal Carolina, defeated 6-1 in AAC play UTSA, and have a chance to get to six wins despite a ridiculously tough schedule.

    Though the season took a turn for the worse in the middle and Daily was a bit shaken up, he presents the best chance the Black Knights have for winning the prestigious CIC Trophy in Week 15. The eyes of the nation will be on Daily and Army against Navy.

    Tier 4: Average Independent QBs

    Without a major slip-up from the quarterbacks in the Indepdents, no situation resides in the average tier as we advance.

    Tier 5: Work-To-Be-Done Independent QBs

    And we’ll remain bullish that no quarterback slips down to this tier.

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