|Rudy Johnson is among the national leaders in pass efficiency. (Garrett Garms/WSSU photo)|
1. Rudy Johnson, Winston-Salem State
When we did our preseason Top Five lists, Johnson was no where to be found. In fact, he didn’t even take a snap in Winston-Salem State’s season opener. But since he took over as starter in the second game against Virginia University of Lynchburg, no quarterback in HBCU football has been as hot as Rudy Johnson. Johnson has accounted for at least touchdowns in all of the Rams past four games, despite not playing in most fourth quarters and some second halves. So far, the junior from San Diego has completed 64.5 percent of his passes, 13 of them for touchdowns, while throwing just one interception so far. He’s also gotten it done on the ground, rushing for six touchdowns in five games.
|Keahn Wallace is tied for the CIAA lead in passing touchdowns. (Charlotte Observer photo)|
2. Keahn Wallace, Johnson C. Smith
Wallace topped our preseason CIAA quarterback rating list, and despite ranking below Johnson, he’s lived up to expectations so far. After sitting out the first game of the season with a suspension, Wallace was impressive in back-to-back wins over Bowie State and Davidson, as well as a blowout against Lincoln. His stats took a dive against the CIAA’s top defenses, Virginia State and Winston-Salem State, and JCSU came away with losses in both those games. He currently leads the CIAA in passing with 1,571 yards and is tied with Johnson for the lead in touchdown passes while throwing just two interceptions.
|Chris Rini has completed 69 percent of his passes in 2013. (Jackson Sun photo)|
3. Chris Rini, Lane
Rini was off to a great start in 2012 before injuries prematurely ended his season. He’s picked up right where he left off in 2013, completing a sizzling 69 percent of his passes, and throwing 13 touchdowns to four interceptions as the Dragons currently sit at 4-2.
|Josh Straughn was having a brilliant season before injuries ended it prematurely. (Stillman News Photo)|
4. Josh Straughn, Stillman
Coming into the season we ranked Straughan fourth in the SIAC, and not it’s pretty obvious that was too low. Straughn put up big numbers in the season’s first five games, highlighted by a four touchdown performance against Kentucky State. Unfortunately for Stillman, the talented sophomore from Washington had his season cut short with a leg injury. Still, through five games he completed 62 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Still, through five games he completed 62 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
|Justin Thorpe has led Virginia State to a 5-1 record in 2013. (Jowers photo)|
5. Justin Thorpe, Virginia State
Numbers wise, Thorpe doesn’t stack up to the rest of the guys on this list. But the number that sticks out with Thorpe is 5-1, Virginia State’s record with him as starting quarterback. Thorpe isn’t asked to go out and be a gunslinger, just to distribute the ball through the air and move his legs when necessary. So far, it looks like a solid formula for a CIAA Northern Division Championship.