College Sports

Spring brings QB competitions from Alabama to Notre Dame

USC isn’t the only school looking for a quarterback this spring:


For the third straight season, Alabama has no clear-cut starting quarterback. Cooper Bateman is the presumptive front-runner after he lost out to Jake Coker last year. Blake Barnett is the five-star future franchise QB. David Cornwell was a four-star recruit.


Sean Maguire ended last season as the Seminoles’ starter, but he will have serious competition. Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks coming out of high school in 2015, and five-star freshman Malik Henry enrolled early to take part in spring practice.


Among 2016 freshman quarterbacks, Georgia’s Jacob Eason would be voted most likely to start immediately. He is already enrolled, will take part in spring practice and new coach Kirby Smart’s other options are … limited. Brice Ramsey and Grayson Lambert return.


The Wolverines rode graduate transfer Jake Rudock to 10 wins in coach Jim Harbaugh’s surprisingly good first season in Ann Arbor. Next in line appears to be another transfer. John O'Korn came over from Houston, where he was the American Athletic Conference freshman of the year in 2013 and demoted to second string in 2014. Five-star recruit Shane Morris figures to be his main competition.


DeShone Kizer saved Notre Dame’s season after Malik Zaire broke his ankle in Week 2. Kizer passed for 2,884 yards and 21 touchdowns, ran for 10 TDs and threw 10 interceptions. Kizer, a sophomore, was so good it almost makes you forget that the junior Zaire was a clear No. 1 going into last season. Brian Kelly also has second-year man Brandon Wimbush, who could be the most talented quarterback on the roster.


Conventional wisdom is the job is Keller Chryst’s to lose. The son of former 49ers offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and nephew of Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst played sparingly as the No. 2 last year. Highly touted freshman K.J. Costello will join the competition in August, but for spring it will be Chryst and Burns taking just about all the reps.