This is the first in a series examining the top players at each position for HBCU schools and conferences. Today we’re taking a look at the top returning quarterbacks in the Southern Athletic Intercollegiate Conference (SIAC). Tomorrow, we will take a look at the SWAC.
After an up-and-down freshman season, Nared took a step forward in 2012 and Tuskegee was better for it. The 6’2 sophomore completed 54 percent of his passes, throwing eight touchdowns to just five interceptions. It also didn’t hurt to have All-Everything running back Derrick Washington in the backfield with him. With Washington gone and another year under his belt, expect his numbers to improve as he will likely see his attempts per game increase from the 13.5 he attempted in 2013.
Chris Rini, Lane College
Despite intense competition, Rini won the starting role for Lane College heading into the 2012 season. He responded with a solid start, including a Week Four nod as SIAC Player of The Week. Injuries cut his season short, but he still finished second in the conference in pass efficiency, completing 64 percent of his passes and throwing 10 touchdowns to eight interceptions.
The classic dual-threat quarterback, Marbury started last season as Rini’s backup before his injuries forced him into a starting role. Marbury threw for seven touchdowns, ran for six and completed over 60 percent of his passes. Lane coach Derrick Burroughs told the Jackson Sun that Rini has the edge right now, but a playmaker like Marbury is hard to keep of the field. His talent is no secret to pro scouts, either.
Josh Straughan, Stillman College
Making the transition from high school to college can be tough for any quarterback, but Stillman College’s Josh Straughan added a degree of difficulty. The Colton, Wash native spent his high school career competing in an eight-on-eight league, yet quickly adapted to the 11-man game, leading Stillman to a come-from-behind win in his college debut. Straughan completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 1,849 yards while throwing 14 touchdown passes against 10 interceptions. The future looks bright in Tuscaloosa.
Donnay Ragland, Morehouse College
It was an up-and-down season for Morehouse College last year, and nobody exemplified that more than quarterback Donnay Ragland. The junior finished sixth in the conference in pass efficiency, but threw twice as many interceptions (14) as he did touchdowns (7). If Morehouse is to improve on its 3-7 record in 2013, Ragland will have to cut down on the turnovers and put more points on the board.
Who will be the best quarterback in 2013? Let us know what you think.