Replacing a quarterback who led the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes each of the last two seasons is not an easy task.
Brian Brohm knows this. The new quarterbacks coach at Western Kentucky, however, has four candidates with which to work as the Hilltoppers seek to fill the considerable vacancy left by Brandon Doughty, who led WKU to the C-USA championship last season. Doughty also led FBS with 5,055 yards and 48 touchdowns passing.
At Bowling Green, first-year head coach Mike Jinks must find a replacement for Matt Johnson, the second-leading pass in FBS last season with 4,946 yards and 46 touchdowns passing.
Whoever wins those starting jobs will be among the quarterbacks to watch in 2016. Some others:
- Chase Litton, Marshall: Passed for 2,605 yards and 23 touchdowns last year as a freshman, completing 60% of his passes in the Thundering Herd's last five games.
- Nick Mullens, Southern Miss: Conference USA's top returning passer (4,476 yards and 38 touchdowns passing last season) makes the Golden Eagles C-USA's team to beat.
- Cooper Rush, Central Michigan: The MAC's top returning passer (3,848 yards, 25 TDs last season) led Chippewas to 6-2 record in West Division.
- Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee: Passed for 4,005 yards, 30 TDs last season and Set FBS record by a freshman with 327 completions last season.
- Zach Terrell, Western Michigan: Terrell (3,510 yards, 29 TDs lkast season) should battle Rush for MAC quarterback honors while their teams battle for the division championship.
- Dominique Allen, The Citadel: Triggered the Bulldogs' triple-option attack that topped South Carolina, and he is one of three returning players who rushed for 750 yards or more last season.
- Steve Cluely, William & Mary: With four of his five offensive linemen, top running back (Kendell Anderson) and top receiver (DeVonte Dedmon) returning, CAA Football's second-leading leading passer last season (2,768 yards, 16 TDs) is set up for a big season.
- KD Humphries, Murray State: Despite the Racers' 3-8 record last season, he paced FCS with 3,778 yards passing. He also had 22 TDs with only seven interceptions and completed 62% of 532 attempts, also tops in FCS.
- Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville State: All-American led Gamecocks to FCS championship, but this year he's without Troymaine Pope, who set the Ohio Valley's single-season rushing record last season (1,788).
- Kyle Lauletta, Richmond: CAA Football's top returning passer (3,598 yards, 19 TDs last season) finished No. 2 in FCS passing yards (3,598) as a sophomore last year and looks for more with top wide receiver Brian Brown returning.
Above: Quarterback Nick Mullens make Southern Miss the team to beat this season in Conference USA. (Courtesy Southern Miss Athletics)