College football QB battles to watch in spring: Michigan, Ohio State, USC among intriguing competitions

College football spring practices are in full swing, and while the schedule is staggered around spring breaks and different scrimmage dates on the schedule, the end of March is when we really start to focus on the big question marks for top teams in the sport. No spring practice storyline draws more intrigue than quarterback battles, and as we prepare for the 2024 season, there are some teams poised to be contenders that have yet to settle on their starter at the most important position. 

Coaches enjoy competition, and some even like to declare that “every position is up for grabs” in spring practice to encourage development. In reality, though, we can pencil in the QB1 in several spots, mostly where there is an incumbent starter returning but even in some cases where there’s turnover. 

Georgia’s Carson Beck, Texas’ Quinn Ewers, Penn State’s Drew Allar and Ole Miss’ Jaxson Dart are all going through spring ball handling their starting business for potential top-10 teams. While a coaching change and transfers have introduced competition, Jalen Milroe is expected to be the starter at Alabama until he either falters or is supplanted. Notre Dame’s acquisition of Riley Leonard in the transfer portal makes the QB2 battle in South Bend, Indiana, more interesting than QB1. And after two years of backing up Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, the buzz around LSU is that Garrett Nussmeier is ready to take control of the explosive Tigers offense. 

That leaves several top teams and other notable programs without any surefire answers at quarterback, however. We’ve highlighted seven below with a spotlight on the contenders and an outlook on how things might play out. It’s important to note that these competitions could get turned upside down next month…


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