Tier 1 is should be in New York in December for the Heisman ceremony. Tier 2 is the Heisman waiting room in case somebody in Tier 1 flops or gets hurt. Then there’s Tier 3, which is the next best 8 QBs. (Tier 2a is Stetson Bennett at Georgia, who is a weird case).
KJ Jefferson is in Tier 3.
Jacolby Criswell is in Tier 10, Gerry Bohanon in Tier 13, Layne Hatcher in Tier 16. And short-time Hog walk-on Austin Aune is in Tier 20.
The last tier, 25, is QBs who are in the portal and can’t get out.
“In his first three games vs. Power 5 foes in 2021, Jefferson completed a grand total of 29 passes, just two of which went for touchdowns. After that, however, he exploded. From Week 6 on, Jefferson caught fire, completing 71% of his throws with 15 TD passes and just two picks.”
That’s good recognition for KJ. It puts him in the top 15 in the country. Top 8 if you want to put him at the top of those 8.
I would argue a bit with the the way the author made his point about KJ’s playing just so-so in his first 3 Power 5 conference games. He cherry picked the “3 games” to include GA, the best defense in the country by far! Every QB that GA faced in their first 3 games would have had poor stats.
The author is correct that KJ picked it up and played better the last 7 games of the season. However, he also played well in his first 2 Power 5 games. TX and TX A&M, a top 15 and top 7 team respectively, when we played them. 62% completions, 2 TDs and rushed 18 times for 130 yds. Both double digit wins over top ranked teams.
Bennett is 17-2 as a starter with a natty, 39 TDs to 14 picks, and a 64.5 career completion percentage despite a shortage of targets. He’s already chased a couple of 5-star guys out of Athens because they couldn’t beat him out. Sometimes people just get it done without the size and the killer arm.
The stats he had in his article match the actual stats in the games with TX, A&M, and GA. I don’t know why he skipped OM or Auburn. He had great stats passing stats against OM. Maybe he wanted just the last half of the season to show that improvement?
Edit: He actually said he started his last set of stats for KJ in week 6. The GA game was in week 5, so he included all the remaining games, including OM and Auburn.
The getting it done for elite teams argument is why DMac missed out on a Heisman one year to an Ohio State QB.
A shortage of targets is pretty relative given Georgia’s recruiting, and also discounts Georgia’s ability to run a lot of play action stuff successfully, not to mention having a killer defense. Bennett’s not a bad QB, I just don’t think he’s as good as several other SEC QBs, including KJ.