The State of Virginia: Cradle of ACC QBs

The ACC is perceived as a North Carolina-based conference, but in the 2012 football season, half the conference’s starting quarterbacks will hail from the state of Virginia.

The ACC should benefit from a windfall of quarterback experience this fall, with ten of the conference’s twelve starters from 2011 returning to head up their offenses again this year. Miami’s Jacory Harris is the only 2011 starter who finished out his eligibility. Maryland’s Danny O’Brien did his best Russell Wilson impersonation, transferring out to Wisconsin. The other ten will return.

Of the twelve projected starting QBs, six of them were produced by the state of Virginia. Here’s the full rundown:

  • Boston College: Chase Rettig, California
  • Clemson: Tajh Boyd, Virginia
  • Duke: Sean Renfree, Arizona
  • Florida State: E.J. Manuel, Virginia
  • Georgia Tech: Tevin Washington, Alabama
  • Maryland: C.J. Brown, Pennsylvania
  • Miami: Stephen Morris, Florida
  • North Carolina: Bryn Renner, Virginia
  • NC State: Mike Glennon, Virginia
  • Virginia: Michael Rocco, Virginia
  • Virginia Tech: Logan Thomas, Virginia
  • Wake Forest: Tanner Price, Texas

That boils down to seven states overall, and only one state — Virginia — is represented more than once: Virginia (6), joined by California, Arizona, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas. Talk about covering the whole country …

Some interesting nuggets as you peruse that list:

  • Only three schools have a QB from their home state: Miami, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
  • Of the non-Virginia QBs, only one — Miami’s Morris — comes from a state in the ACC’s footprint. That’ll change a year from now when Pittsburgh enters the league, bringing C.J. Brown’s state of PA into the footprint.
  • No starters come from the state of North Carolina. Two NC schools (UNC and NC State) got their starters from Virginia.
  • Miami’s Stephen Morris didn’t just come from his home state; he came from his hometown. Morris is a product of Monsignor Pace High School in Miami.
  • By contrast, BC’s Chase Rettig wins the Frequent Flyer Mileage Award. It’s 2,992 miles from his hometown of Sierra Madre, CA to Chestnut Hill, MA (per Google Maps).
  • Lynchburg, Virginia is represented twice on that list. Logan Thomas (Brookville HS) and Michael Rocco (Liberty Christian Academy) both come from the Hill City.
  • Two of the QBs on the list had relatives that played at Virginia Tech: NC State’s Mike Glennon (brother Sean, 2004-2008) and UNC’s Bryn Renner (father Bill, 1979-1982).

It’s not just that half the ACC’s starting QBs come from Virginia; it’s that the ACC’s best QBs come from the state of Virginia. All six of them finished in the top eight in passing efficiency in the ACC last year, and they are six of the top seven returning passers:

2011 ACC Pass Efficiency Ratings

1. Bryn Renner – UNC,159.4

2. EJ Manuel – FSU, 151.2

3. Jacory Harris – Miami, 150.6

4. Tajh Boyd – Clemson,141.2

5. Mike Glennon – NC State, 136.4

6. Logan Thomas – VT, 135.5

7. Tanner Price – Wake Forest, 132.8

8. Michael Rocco – Virginia, 127.1

So, impress your friends with this knowledge this fall. When someone asks, “Where’s [insert QB’s name] from?” just blurt out “Virginia!” and there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll be right. Better yet, just memorize the states of origin of the other six guys. Then you’ll know all twelve and be really impressive.

Related Poll: Who’s the ACC’s Best QB?


This article is original material produced by, a new addition to the SportsWar network, covering Atlantic Coast Conference athletics. Follow Inside the ACC on Twitter at @InsideTheACC.  Get your ACC links at ITA’s NewsLink Twitter feed at @ITA_NewsLink.

7 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. As in getting better, each and every game out, I’ll take Logan Thomas all day long, over the
    rest of the Virginia produced QBs. He has the God-Given gifts to be scary good, if things work out. Huge, with Speed, a Huge Arm, and a 90% on 4th and 1, even a 4th and 2. We aint never had that. Strock was a Big Boy, but slow as dirt, not a Runner at all. Ditto for Sean Glennon. Logan was also a Track Star in High School, he’s quick. I still want us to get a Fullback, a real one like Mickey Fitzgerald, who can bust through when everyone knows that LT is gonna go for it. They are out there. Kill Ga. Tech!

    1. Ah, Mickey Fitzgerald. Yes, the best FB to ever lace ’em up at Lane. Did you know he was the first (ONLY?) running back to score 3 running touchdowns in consecutive games at Lane. The second was Lane’s equivalent of the GB “Ice Bowl”—final game of the 1977 season.Colder than a witch’s ____.

      A RB like him who could run and block would allow LT to do things that would fill a Sports Center Highlights reel.

      Mick is one special Hokie and a good friend.

  2. This is like asking the Greeks who is God. Logan Zeus Thomas wins. I would vote a 4-way tie between Taj Boyd, E.J. Manuel, Mike Glennon, and Bryn Renner, Virginians all!

      1. Yeaaaahhhh … we’re reaching the VT and UVa audiences right now, since SportsWar has VT and UVa sites, but the other fan bases need to come along. 🙂

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