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247Sports Ranks Nate Yarnell as Worst ACC Starting QB

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Pitt quarterback Nate Yarnell.

It’s safe to say that the national media will not favor Pitt favorably ahead of the season, including new starter Nate Yarnell.

Yarnell was ranked as the 17th-best quarterback in the ACC following the spring season, which ranks 17th out of 17th by 247Sports’ Brad Crawford.

Crawford wrote that Yarnell “survived” the entire spring as the Pitt starting quarterback, which he did. But he didn’t offer any rationale for the decision. It likely comes down to Yarnell’s inexperience in college football.

All five scholarship quarterbacks received reps in the spring game at Acrisure Stadium last month, but only Yarnell and Eli Holstein recorded double-digit passing attempts. Holstein will continue to push Yarnell, but Pat Narduzzi confirmed that Yarnell has earned that QB1 moniker.

“Yes, he will be (starting quarterback entering summer camp),” Narduzzi said following the scrimmage.

Yarnell was efficient — and effective — in just over a half of action, completing 12-of-16 pass attempts for 108 yards and a touchdown. His 34-yard touchdown strike to Lamar Seymore in the third quarterback, his only drive of the quarter, was a highlight.

It was probably the highlight of offensive play Saturday.

Yarnell put together a consistent spring. He’s emerged as a leader in the locker room, voted as the best teammate by his peers, and his play on the field Saturday only reinforced his standing amongst his peers. It’s remarkable to Narduzzi that this is the first season that Yarnell is receiving first-team reps.

“This is the first opportunity he’s had since he’s been here to get reps with the ones, and to me, that’s the most impressive thing,” Narduzzi said. “He just keeps learning. He’ll have this offense mastered by the end of summer camp.”

Yarnell — a 6-foot-6, 215-pound redshirt junior from Austin, Tx. — started two games last season. And in those two starts, against Boston College and Duke, he completed 36-of-54 pass attempts (66.7%) for 472 yards with four touchdowns (one rushing) and one interception.

Kade Bell sees potential and feels like he knows what to do to put Yarnell in the best position to succeed.

“To me, the reason we’re putting everything on Nate and putting everything on the quarterbacks is because, by the first game, I’m going to know what Nate’s good at,” Bell said in March. “With all the tips he’s had already in the first half of the spring, shoot, I’m gonna know who Nate is as a quarterback and I’m going to know what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are and then it’s my job after fall camp — Hey, this is what Nate does well, let’s put him in a position to be successful.”

Bell prides himself on his ability to scheme wide receivers open. Yarnell will have an opportunity to succeed if he can put his trust in Bell and continue to reach for the standard that Bell demands from his quarterbacks. He connected on 75% of his balls and hit his deep shot in live action Saturday. And there’s a lot of room for improvement.

“Coach Bell is asking a lot of me and that’s exactly what I want,” Yarnell said. “He’s expecting me to be able to process exactly what he wants, the way he wants it and we’re gonna get it done.”

Yarnell isn’t the best quarterback in the ACC, but if he’s able to build off of what he did to end last season, he certainly won’t be the worst either.

Full list:

  1. Cam Ward (Miami)
  2. DJ Uiagalelei (Florida State)
  3. Grayson McCall (North Carolina State)
  4. Haynes King (Georgia Tech)
  5. Kyron Drones (Virginia Tech)
  6. Preston Stone (SMU)
  7. Cade Klubnik (Clemson)
  8. Tyler Shough (Louisville)
  9. Kyle McCord (Syracuse)
  10. Thomas Castellanos (Boston College)
  11. Max Johnson (North Carolina)
  12. Fernando Mendoza (Cal)
  13. Maalik Murphy (Duke)
  14. Anthony Colandrea (Virginia)
  15. Ashton Daniels (Stanford)
  16. Hank Bachmeier (Wake Forest)
  17. Nate Yarnell (Pitt)

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Eli
Eli
12 days ago

Well, maybe he and the rest of the offense can use that as “Nobody believes in us!” motivation.

katuracassells@gmail.com
katuracassells@gmail.com
4 days ago
Reply to  Eli

They can, but I believe they are already motivated. Nate is a very hard working, intelligent and motivated person.

DirtyO
DirtyO
12 days ago

Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

Tim
Tim
12 days ago
Reply to  DirtyO

🙂👍

kevin
kevin
11 days ago

Well… Can’t be worse that last year’s starter! At least Nate can throw a spiral.
H2P!!!

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
11 days ago

sounds about right

Skip white
Skip white
11 days ago

You only watch the Big 10. How do you know?

Rob
Rob
9 days ago

Look, I don’t know if this ranking is justified because I don’t know who half of these guys are, but anybody who thought Yarnell would be any higher than 12th or 13th on ANY list is just seeing things solely through their Pitt goggles.

Rooster
Rooster
11 days ago

Opinions are like asses, everyone has one.

BfloPittFan
BfloPittFan
11 days ago

It only matters where he is ranked at the end of the season.

BigB
BigB
11 days ago

Some many household names on the list! Haha Go Nate…..

katuracassells@gmail.com
katuracassells@gmail.com
11 days ago

Two consistent facts about Nate are that he is always underrated, and he always proves that rating wrong. H2P.

Rob
Rob
9 days ago

Huh?

Jane
Jane
11 days ago

Well if he completes 66% of his passes this season two things are gonna happen one he’s not gonna be the worst quarterback in the ACC two not gonna be the worst team in the ACC that’s facts… And what was his completion rate in the two games that he started?🧐

Panther
Panther
10 days ago

This low rank is not a Yarnell rank. It is more about Cade Bell. There is reasonable doubt about his high school style run-and-shoot offense working at this level.
Hopefully Pitt proves all the outsiders wrong.

Skip White
Skip White
8 days ago
Reply to  Panther

High school style? Really? Wow.

Giovanni
Giovanni
10 days ago

There’s a 99% chance that Brad Crawford is wrong. Maybe Brad should get rated as the worst sports analyst against his peers. This prediction will turn out to be more accurate than his prediction of Nate finishing as the worst QB in the ACC. Looking forward to watching Nate make a fool out of Brad. Nate = Underrated (just as Nick Patti was, but only this time Pitt (finally) has an OC who will play the most talented).

Larue McKenzie
Larue McKenzie
8 days ago

…guess he’ll have to prove them wrong !!

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