1. Malcolm Bell, North Carolina Central
North Carolina Central entered last season with a new head coach in Jerry Mack and no one was sure how it would turn out. Bell didn’t start the season as the man, but he definitely ended it that way. Bell completed just under 62 percent of his passes on the season, throwing 15 touchdowns to just five interceptions while leading NCCU to a share of the MEAC title in his first season as a starter. With another year under his belt and another year in Mack’s offense, look for him to improve on those numbers.
|(Baltimore Sun photo)|
2. Moses Skillon, Morgan State
With all due respect to NCCU, Morgan State was probably the biggest surprise of last season in the MEAC. Once one of the dominant teams of black college football, Morgan hadn’t won a conference title since 1979 until its breakthrough season in 2014.
While much of that has to do with the running of Herb Walker Jr., quarterback Moses Skillon was a big part as well. The 6’5 senior is a dual-threat quarterback, who came up with 17 touchdowns (11 in the air and six on the ground), taking some of the heat off Walker.
His best game came near the end of the season when he helped lift Morgan State to an upset at South Carolina State as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for the game-winning one to keep Morgan State in contention for the MEAC crown.
3. David Watford, Hampton
Watford left Hampton a couple of years ago for Charlotteville, signing with UVA as part of its 2011 signing class. Fast forward to 2015, Watford has decided to spend his last season of eligibility with the hometown team.
His career stats at UVA weren’t that impressive, but he has two things going for him. One, the MEAC isn’t the ACC. Secondly, his new new coach, Connell Maynor, is perhaps one of the best quarterback molders not currently on the BCS level. He turned Kam Smith from a Navy wide receiver to an All-American at Winston-Salem State and last season found a jewel in Jerrell Antoine, who will helped Hampton upset Bethune-Cookman last year.
4. Jerrell Antoine, Hampton
When the quarterback competition started last season, Antoine was an afterthought. In fact, Antoine didn’t get his chance until the season was halfway over. By the end of the season, freshman from Orlando managed to hold on to the starting job and was playing well.
His best game by far came against Bethune-Cookman, when he sliced the highly-regarded defense for 249 yards and five touchdowns on national TV.
Maynor has said the starting quarterback job is Watford’s to lose, but Maynor has shown he has no problem switching quarterbacks in the past, so don’t count him out.
5. Quentin Williams, Bethune-Cookman
This is our third year ranking MEAC quarterbacks, and Williams is the only player to make that list three times. However, his play hasn’t necessarily improved since he first made this list as a rising sophomore.
Williams failed to throw for touchdowns in five of his 11 starts. He had just as many games with multiple interceptions as he did with multiple touchdowns. In fact, he threw for just four touchdowns after September. And then he’s got this guy breathing down his neck….
Honorable Mention: Larry Brihm, Bethune-Cookman
Rated as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the state of Florida for the 2013 class, he was solid in limited action last year. Brihm spent most of the season on the sidelines, as veteran Quentin Williams got the majority of the snaps , but he showcased big-play ability in his lone start against Savannah State. His biggest moment, though, came when he scored a game-winning two-point conversion against FAMU in the Florids Classic.
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Eagles and Bears square up in O'Kelly Riddick Stadium.