College football quarterback tiers – Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence in a league of their own
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  • David M. HaleESPN Staff Writer

    • ACC reporter.
    • Joined ESPN in 2012.
    • Graduate of the University of Delaware.

Who’s better: Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence? It will be a debate in college football all season in 2020, but we’re not into picking favorites. Both quarterbacks are elite, top-tier guys. No need to pick just one.

Who’s the best sophomore QB? A mind-boggling 24 true freshmen started an FBS game last season, and a few already look prepped for greatness, while others looked utterly overwhelmed.

Which QB isn’t getting enough attention? Who’s being overhyped? Dig into our quarterback tiers and find a few names that might surprise you.

Tier 1: The can’t-miss superstars (two players)

Justin Fields, Ohio State

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

When their college careers end — almost certainly after this season — there’s a good chance Fields and Lawrence will go down as the best consensus top-two QB recruits from one class in the modern era. (The Matthew StaffordTim Tebow combo from 2006 would place right up there, if not for Mitch Mustain’s place in between them in the rankings). It’s no surprise that we also have Clemson and Ohio State atop our team tiers for 2020. These are two transcendent quarterbacks, and while there’s ample talent around the rest of the country, it’s hard to make the case anyone else belongs in this tier with them. Just how good were they last season? From Week 9 through the playoff, Lawrence and Fields combined for 41 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions, with a 91.2 QBR and nearly 4,500 total yards in 15 games. More impressive? Eight of their 15 opponents ranked in the top 20 in ESPN’s defensive efficiency.

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