The college football season is coming at us fast. SEC media days are literally around the corner at this point and teams are deep in preparation for the 2017 season. Before you know if the schools will be opening up their fall camps and we will be just days from kickoff.
With that in mind, this series is going to look at some of the positional questions we have for the teams. This will not be a look at positional battles per se, instead, it will be focused on aspects of those positions from last year and question what we will see in 2017.
Here are three quarterback questions for the SEC East:
Can Malik Zaire save Florida?
There are two giant questions at quarterback regarding new recruits into a school in 2017. Malik Zaire at Florida is one and the other we will get to in out SEC West questions. Zaire is being hailed like he is the play that will turn Florida into a national title contender, but is that realistic given what was saw of Zaire in his time at Notre Dame?
It is easy to forget this, but Zaire is a graduate transfer who has played just 15 career games in college. At Notre Dame he was either injured – he missed all but two games in 2015 after a monstrous performance against Texas – or he was simply deemed not good enough to start.
Florida has obviously had quarterback issues ever since Tim Tebow left town, so the Gainesville public is hailing Zaire as the savior. It will be very interesting to see what happens if Zaire struggles during an early season slate that sees games against Michigan and Tennessee.
Is Kyle Shurmur the real deal at Vanderbilt?
Vanderbilt may not be the obvious choice for a list like this, but at the back end of the 2016 season, the Commodores were rolling on offense. Kyle Shurmur averaged almost 300 yards passing per game during that stint as Vandy went 2-2 while averaging over 435 yards of total offense.
In the pass happy world of college football today those numbers may not sound that impressive, but for Vanderbilt and Shurmur they were signs that the quarterback’s promise was finally being realized. Ignore the bowl game blowout at the hands of NC State – a game in which Shurmur was injured – and it is easy to see Vandy carrying momentum into this 2017 season if their quarterbacks play at the back end of the 2016 season was something he can replicate this fall.
Can Tennessee compete without Josh Dobbs?
Dobbs was a three-year starter at Tennessee, but it feels like the quarterback was there for at least twice that long. During his Vol career, he passed for over 7,100 yards, rushed for over 2,100 yards, and accounted for 9,360 yards of total offense. That is a lot to take away from a team.
Dobbs went 23-12 during that span as the Vols always seemed to hit injury problems at the wrong time and never quite went to the level that their quarterback probable deserved. Life after Dobbs though is going to be tough and there are massive question marks about the ability of his two potential replacements (Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano) to step in and replace a school legend.