Auburn Quarterbacks: A Trend that Needs Change

     Auburn has rightfully earned the nickname "Runningback U". Our strength at that position is as consistent as NCAA inquiries to that school to the North and West of here. Our list of talented backs runs deep: Bo Jackson(Heisman Trophy winner), Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Carl tewart, Kenny Irons, and Brandon Jacobs (though briefly). And those are just recent examples of a long line of great athletes at that position.

     If you are to look at our quarterbacks, however, the list is a bit shorter and less glamorous. Pat Sullivan obviously comes to mind as well as Jason Campbell for his terrific Senior season in 2004; while others include Dameyune Craig and Patrick Nix. With this in mind I've compiled a list of the past 13 seasons' passing stats and also the past 13 Davey O'Brien award winners to show how our Tigers have compared to the best at the quarterback position. I've also boldened some of the better seasons our on-field generals have had. (Sorry in advance for the awkward spacing.)


1996: Dameyune Craig - 2296 yards for 208.7 per game, 169/310 for 54.5%, 16 touchdowns, 10 interceptions


         Danny Wuerffel(Florida) - 3625 yards, 207/360 for 57.5%, 39 touchdowns, 13 interceptions

1997: Dameyune Craig - 3277 yards for 273.1 per game, 216/403 for 53.6%, 18 touchdowns, 13 interceptions


         Peyton Manning(Tennessee) - 3953 yards, 37 touchdowns

1998: Gabe Gross - 1222 yards for 135.8 per game, 88/197 for 44.7%, 7 touchdowns, 12 interceptions

         Ben Leard - 703 yards for 117.2 per game, 54/114 for 47.5%, 4 touchdowns, 7 interceptions

         Michael Bishop(Kansas State) - 2844 yards, 23 touchdowns, 4 interceptions

1999: Jeff Klein - 1038 yards for 129.8 per game, 85/169 for 50.3%, 6 touchdowns, 9 interceptions

         Ben Leard - 1423 yards for 203.3 per game, 111/157 for 70.7%, 12 touchdowns, 1 interception


         Joe Hamilton(Georgia Tech) - 3060 yards, 29 touchdowns

2000: Ben Leard - 2552 yards for 196.3 per game, 221/356 for 62.1%, 15 touchdowns, 12 interceptions

         Chris Weinke(FLorida State) - 4441 yards, 33 touchdowns

2001: Daniel Cobb - 1236 yards for 154.5 per game, 95/168 for 56.5%, 8 touchdowns, 8 interceptions

         Jason Campbell - 1191 yards for 119.1 per game, 101/160 for 63.1%, 4 touchdowns, 5 interceptions

         Eric Crouch(Nebraska) - 1510 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 1129 yards rushing

2002: Daniel Cobb - 1175 yards for 146.9 per game, 80/150 for 53.3%, 7 touchdowns, 5 interceptions

         Jason Campbell - 1215 yards for 93.5 per game, 94/149 for 63.1%, 11 touchdowns, 5 interceptions


         Brad Banks(Iowa) - 2573 yards, 26 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, completed 170 of 294 passes

2003: Jason Campbell - 2267 yards for 174.4 per game, 181/293 for 61.8%, 10 touchdowns, 8 interceptions

         Josh Sullivan - 213 yards for 53.2 per game, 20/28 for 71.4%, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception

         Jason White(Oklahoma) - 3846 yards, 40 touchdowns

2004: Jason Campbell - 2700 yards for 207.7 per game, 188/270 for 69.6%, 20 touchdowns, 7 interceptions

         Brandon Cox - 357 yards for 51 per game, 22/34 for 64.7%, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions

         Jason White(Oklahoma) - 3205 yards, 35 touchdowns

2005: Brandon Cox - 2324 yards for 211.3 per game, 177/306 for 57.8%, 15 touchdowns, 8 interceptions

         Blake Field - 237 yards for 47.4 per game, 17/31 for 54.8%, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

         Vince Young(Texas) - 3036 yards passing, 26 touchowns passing, 1050 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns rushing

2006: Brandon Cox - 2198 yards for 169.1 per game, 163/271 for 60.1%, 14 touchdowns, 9 interceptions

         Blake Field - 47 yards for 9.4 per game, 8/9 for 88.9%, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception

         Troy Smith(Ohio State) - 2542 yards, 30 touchdowns

2007: Brandon Cox - 2080 yards for 160 per game, 188/316 for 59.5%, 9 touchdowns, 13 interceptions

         Kodi Burns - 145 yards for 14.5 per game, 10/26 for 38.5%, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception

         Blake Field - 92 yards for 11.5 per game, 6/11 for 54.5%, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions

         Tim Tebow(Florida) - 3286 yards passing, 32 touchdowns passing, 23 touchdowns rushing

2008: Kodi Burns - 1050 yards for 105 per game, 94/179 for 52.5%, 2 touchdowns, 7 interceptions

         Chris Todd - 903 yards for 129 per game, 86/156 for 55.1%, 5 touchdowns, 6 interceptions

         Neil Caudle - 32 yards for 16 per game, 4/5 for 80%, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

         Sam Bradford(Oklahoma) - 4721 yards, 50 touchdowns, 8 interceptions

     As you can see from the numbers, we haven't been in this discussion; not even close. Looking back on these stats frustrated me. I know we've had top notch backs toting the ball for us and doing a very good job at it. But I firmly believe we need a playmaker at this position. Will Kodi Burns deliver on potential that has been touted for the last 2-3 years? Will Caudle bring consistency and top-notch execution to the plains? Or will we have to wait on Tyrik Rollison and beyond to have a signal caller that can lead us to the promised land?

     I would like to hear the Auburn Nation's voice on this. This is an issue that has long gotten the better of me. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why we haven't had better recruiting at this position. This is not to down the quarterbacks we've had. I'm a huge Jason Campbell fan, I'm normally the only one in my "group" defending Brandon Cox, I remember as a kid pretending to be Patrick Nix in my backyard throwing touchdowns to the corner of the endzone. I have a lot of respect and admiration for the guys that have taken the snaps for us. But I often find myself wondering we can't get the Tim Tebows, Jason Whites, or Vince Youngs.


Thank You for reading, War Eagle

We're all just trying to have a good time here. Don't be a jerk, and we won't have a problem with you. War Eagle!

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