Is it height, weight, athleticism? Does a strong arm make the difference, knowledge of the team’s offense, practicing the fundamentals? Perhaps it’s the offensive line, or the running backs and receivers.
What makes a successful quarterback? I can offer one answer from the collegiate careers of a former college quarterback, Ryan Dinwiddie and current college quarterback Kellen Moore.
I chose these two quarterbacks because I am familiar with their careers.
Ryan Dinwiddie’s college career was from 2001 through 2003.
He was 6’1 weighing in at 187lbs.
Dinwiddie finished his collegiate career in 2003 by completing 257 of 411 passes for 4,031 yards. Setting school records in passes, completions, and attempts and he was also set the record for most total yards in a season at 4,074. This includes 28 touchdown passes and only 5 interceptions. That season he also set an NCAA Division 1 FBS career passing efficiency record of 168.9 making him the most prolific passer in D1 history until Colt Brennan broke the record in 2007 with an efficiency rating of 169.25
Kellen Moore’s collegiate career is in its infancy, he is a redshirt freshman with 4 games to his credit.
He stands 6’0 and weighs 187 lbs.
Kellen’s first big test and road game was his 3rd game of the season against the 17th nationally ranked Oregon Ducks in Autzen Stadium. Facing on of this seasons most heralded secondaries, Moore passed the test completing 24 of 36 passes for 386 yards, averaging 10.7 yards per pass for 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.
As of today Scout.com ranks Kellen Moore 6th amongst division 1 quarterbacks, completing 77 of 107 attempts for 1165 yards and a completion percent of 72. Averaging 10.9 yards per completion, Moore has 7 touchdowns two interceptions and current QB rating of 181.27.
Both are undersized, neither possessing the size and athleticism of a Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow or the raw power and speed of a Jake Locker to run past and through would be tacklers.
What made Dinwiddie so good and has freshman quarterback Kellen Moore’s star rising? Both had good coaching, supporting casts and average arm strength. What separated them from the rest? The ability to read the defense.
That is why each quarterback is/was successful at putting up the numbers while shredding defenses. They knew/know what they are looking at and how attack the D.
Both are students of the game and each pays special attention to the defense ( Dinwiddie is currently playing Canadian Football) studying game film, learning the defense inside and out.
In conclusion quarterbacks that want a successful career, know how to read the defense. They study game film, defensive training videos and have the ability to read what is in front of them, helping them make fewer mistakes, making better decisions and lighting up the opposing defense.