Top 5 QBs in Husky History
*Note: The original list included Tom Flick at #3, but I revised it based upon further research and reflection.
Today marks the beginning of a series counting down to the start of the Husky football season and the opening of the new Husky Stadium. Throughout the summer, check back here for the top 5 position players in Husky history. We start with the QBs because it is 1) the most important position on the field, 2) I wanted to get your attention and 3) there are some surprises.
In considering the top five quarterbacks in the history of Washington football, I took into account multiple factors. One of the determinants of who made the list is overall record (W-L) and bowl games. Joe Montana doesn’t have the numbers of a Dan Marino, but he has the rings baby. At the same time, winning doesn’t cure all. Mark Brunell did not make the list despite their National Championship. They needed better stats. I considered not only stats overall, but looked at them in reference to the time period. For example, Bob Schloredt threw for 733 yards in 1959 while Cody Pickett threw for 455 yards in ONE GAME in 2001. Thus the stats must be considered in context so I looked at each player’s stats within the ranks of the conference at the time. Lastly, I looked at national honors, conference honors and national ranks for statistics in determining the top five. Without further ado:
5. Bob Schloredt (1959-60)
The first shocker, considering Don Heinrich, Warren Moon, Mark Brunell, Brock and Damon Huard, Chris Chandler, Hugh Millen, and Steve Pelleur did not make the list. Yet Schloredt was a stud in his time. Conflicted with only one eye that worked (really?!?), Schloredt as a two-time Rose Bowl MVP. He ranked 2nd in the AAWU (Athletic Association of Western Universities) in passing yards, 3rd in completions and 4th in passing touchdowns, while leading UW to a 10-1 record and a 44-8 victory in the Rose Bowl. Washington finished the season ranked 8th in the coaches poll and 7th in the AP. After injuries derailed his 1960 season, Schloredt still returned to finish 4th in passing touchdowns and win the Rose Bowl MVP again with a huge 17-7 victory over then #1 Minnesota. The Huskies were 10-1 again and finished ranked 6th, although the university recognizes this as a national championship due to some obscure other poll that ranked them #1 overall. With 20 wins, two MVPs, two top-10 rankings, what more could Schloredt do? Well, he also intercepted seven passes in 1959 as a DB, finished the year as an All-American and is in the College Football Hall of Fame. Boom.
4. Cody Pickett (2001-03)
A three year starter for UW, Cody Pickett holds almost every Husky passing record. His 2002 season stands alone as the best Husky passing season by far as he finished 1st in the Pac-10 in passing yards, completions, and 2nd in touchdowns and completion percentage. Pickett was also 3rd nationally in yards, 2nd in completions and 6th in touchdowns. He followed up that ridiculous 2002 season with top four ranks in completions, yards and completion percentage in the Pac-10 in 2003. Despite going 6-6 in his final two seasons, Pickett’s body of work is enough to keep him fourth overall. He ranks first in career passing yards, 1st and 3rd in single season passing yards, 1st in career passing TDs, and the top three seasons in passing yards per game.
3. Billy Joe Hobert (1990-92)
Maybe not a fan favorite for most Huskies as he took part in the ultimate downfall of both the program and Head Coach Don James. Yet Hobert’s success in undeniable. In the remarkable 1991 championship season while splitting time with Mark Brunell, Hobert threw for 2463 yards with 24 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. The other two years of Hobert’s time at UW were not as statistically impressive and thus cases can be made for Don Heinrich, Steve Pelleur and Warren Moon in this spot. But Hobert wins because he wins. The Washington Huskies were 27-0 in games that Billy Joe Hobert played. That is ridiculous.
2. Keith Price (2011-present)
Originally I had considered a variety of other Husky QBs for the #2 spot including Steve Pelleur (who didn’t even make the top 5 despite two 10 win seasons and a great 1983 season) and Brock Huard (who also didn’t make it but had a fantastic 1997 season), but then you look at the lists. Every Husky QB list includes the name “Keith Price” all over it. Amazingly, we forget how good he has been in two years despite feeling so disappointed in 2012. Price finished the 2011 season among the national leaders (ranking 7th in efficiency and 8th in passing TDs). The only thing that makes me hesitate to include Price is the lack of winning, but he has gone to two straight bowl games after the program hit rock bottom. Due to the back-to-back 7-6 campaigns, I tried to keep Price off the list. Then you look at the stats. Fourth in career passing yards, first in career passing efficiency, third in career completions/game, second in touchdowns (only one behind Pickett) and the second lowest interception percentage in Husky history. And he has one more year.
1. Marques Tuiasosopo (1997-00)
In 1999, Marques Tuiasosopo posted the best completion percentage in the Pac-10, fourth best efficiency, fourth best passing TDs, fourth most completions, and third most yards. And that wasn’t the year the Dawgs went 11-1. And that wasn’t the season Tuiasosopo finished 8th in the Heisman voting. Tui was one of the greatest dual threat quarterbacks in college football history, rushing for 1374 yards in his career. His signature moment was the 300-200 game vs. Stanford, making him the only player in NCAA history to pass for over 300 yards and rush for over 200. Just ridiculous. He dominated the big moments. The 2001 Rose Bowl MVP. He lived for winning more than anything, but still has the career Husky mark for total yards on offense. Tui also won the 2000 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. He stands alone at the top among a fantastic group.