No. 3: Mississippi State football quarterback Will Rogers:
Obviously, Will Rogers is going to be on this list. His potential for a true breakout season can be the difference in wins and losses for the Bulldogs in 2023. New offensive coordinator Kevin Barbay is bringing a more run-dependent look to the Mississippi State offense, and that may mean less overall reps and statistics for Rogers.
But in this new scheme, he has the chance to take advantage of the opportunities he gets to make bigger plays, longer throws down the field and smarter decisions. Instead of multiple check-downs at the line of scrimmage and four to five reads after the snap, Rogers will have fewer audibles and reads with a heavier emphasis on the run game, not to mention a greater emphasis on the implementation of the play-action.
If you remember in 2022, Rogers threw for a total of 3,974 passing yards with 34 touchdowns, also brandishing a 68% completion percentage. Those numbers were with Rogers running Mike Leach’s Air-Raid offense, a scheme with a high volume of shorter yardage passes and very sparactic straight run play calls.
How will Will Rogers perform in Mississippi State football’s new offense?
In 2023, Rogers might not have the same amount of yards and touchdowns, but his efficiency will be the key to Mississippi State being successful on the offensive side of the ball. I predict Rogers to still throw for 3,000 yards plus with approximately 25 touchdowns.
With the Bulldogs offense relying more on a dynamic running attack, Rogers will have less chances to sling the pigskin to his receivers. A breakout year for the Bulldog quarterback will have to show a significant increase in completion percentage, paired with an increase of yards per completion (6.5 in 2022).
If Rogers happens to still throw for a similar amount of yards to touchdowns that he did in his 2021 or 2022 campaign, it would be an exceptional season for the junior quarterback from Brandon, Mississippi.