If you're looking for a quarterback to lead your college football program, you could do worse than catching a Southwest flight to the Lone Star State. For years now Texas has been supplying the college football universe with gifted gunslingers. You need look no further than the top 50 passers through five weeks to see Texas' influence across the country. Fourteen of the top 50 passers in terms of yardage come from Texas. So who are these guys and where did they come from?
Start at the top, the first three guys, sure, why not. Davis Webb, Kenny Hill, and Patrick Mahomes all recruited by Kliff Kingsbury, all elite level passer, all Texans. Webb played at Prosper before signing with Tech and starting as a true freshman. Webb's freshman starting gig sent ripples through college football as well, Michael Brewer, Tech's incumbent transferred to Virginia Tech to finish his career. Webb would, of course, lose his starting job to another hot shot freshman in Patrick Mahomes and transfer to Sonny Dykes' Cal program last spring. Those three guys are the known commodities, but if you look further down the top 50 you'll uncover some hidden Texas gems.
Scroll down to number 20, Ryan Higgins, a redshirt Senior at Louisiana Tech from Hutto. Hutto of course the home of Hippos, one of the greatest mascots in the state, along with the Hamlin Pied Pipers, the Mason Punchers and the Cameron Yoe High School Yoemen. Higgins has thrown for 354 yards a game at a 63% completion clip with 12 touchdowns and just 2 picks. He helped carve up UTEP on Saturday night. Don't feel too bad Miners, he put up 311 yards and three touchdowns in a fourteen point loss at Texas Tech. When Higgins chose to head to Ruston he held offers from Texas State, Memphis, and Houston.
Eight spots later, after Seth Russell and Greg Ward Jr., at number 28, you'll run into Richard Lagow of Indiana. Lagow is the ultimate journeyman, he signed with UConn of all places out of Plano High. He left UConn and walked on at Oklahoma State before heading to Cisco Junior College. From Cisco Lagow signed with the Hoosiers. At Cisco Lagow threw for 4,506 yards and 38 touchdowns. At 6'6, 237 pounds Lagow has more than ideal size for the position. He's thrown for 320 yards a game in Bloomington, including 276 yards in a win over Michigan State on Saturday night. Laggow was a three star recruit out of Plano with all of one offer, that of course being from UConn.
West Virginia's Skyler Howard checks in at number 29. Howard played high school ball at Fort Worth Brewer. At Brewer, Howard threw for over 4,000 yards in his career and 32 touchdowns. All that earned Howard a walk-on offer from Stephen F. Austin. He couldn't even land a scholarship in the Southland. Howard took a circuitous route to the Big 12 with a stop at Riverside City College in California after leaving SFA. Howard's led the Mountaineers to a 4-0 mark with 1,200 passing yards through five games.
Scan down a few more spots, past A&M's Trevor Knight, and Oregon's Dakota Prukop checks in at number 37. Even Prokup had a journey to land with the Ducks. Prukop was the first scholarship athlete from Austin Vandergrift. Prukop's offers were from Lamar, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas A&M Kingsville, and Montana State. He landed at Montana State. All he did at Montana State was finish his career with the fourth most yards in school history and 70 total touchdowns. Prukop followed the lead of Vernon Adams in transferring to Eugene and starting for the Ducks.
Right after Prukop, you'll find Fresno State's Chason Virgil. Virgil was actually a highly recruited quarterback out of West Mesquite who committed to Mississippi State and was a mere 16 days from graduating early and enrolling early when Dan Mullen pulled his offer. West Mesquite's Jeff Neill and the rest of the Texas high school coaching community were rightfully pissed off. Mullen hasn't found Texas a welcoming place since. Virgil wound up at Fresno where he started three games his freshman year before a clavicle injury sidelined him for the remainder of 2015. He's rebounded with a strong 2016.
Two spots later, another highly recruited former Texas prep player, Tommy Armstrong, resides. Armstrong went to Nebraska out of Cibolo Steele high school north of San Antonio. Armstrong's had an up and down career in Lincoln, though this year could be his breakout for the undefeated Cornhuskers. Armstrong's hit career highs in completion percentage, yards per attempt and quarterback rating so far in 2016. Armstrong's nine touchdowns and just two interceptions are his career best in terms of ratio.
A few places later, you'll find Utah State's Kent Myers out of Sachse high school near Rowlett. As a senior at Sachse, Myers threw for 3,522 yards and 42 touchdowns as well as 559 yards rushing and 10 more touchdowns. Myers was a three star recruit out of high school and in spite of his numbers only held offers from Utah State, Air Force, Navy, and New Mexico. Not a single in-state offer. Myers who is undersized at 6'0 is a classic dual threat option for the Aggies. For the past two years Myers has been stuck behind Utah State's Chuckie Keeton on the depth chart, seeing action only when Keeton was injured. He's 12-6 as starter at Utah State and was named Honorable Mention All Mountain West last season after starting eight games.
David Blough from Purdue by way of Carrollton Creekview high school comes in at number 48, one spot in front of Texas State's Tyler Jones. Blough was another lightly recruited three star recruit had three offers out of high school, Purdue, New Mexico State, and Memphis. Baylor, SMU, and A&M all showed some interest but never offered. Blough redshirted in 2014 then took over as starter for the Boilermakers a few games into his freshman season. It's comforting to know that when Indiana and Purdue fight for the Old Oaken Bucket on November 26, two Texans will probably be leading the charge.
Foreign entities have long invaded the state to find talent, heck Oklahoma regularly pillages our high school ranks. Perhaps if some of our local institutions would look a bit closer at Texas' homegrown talent, they'd be better off. Until then, Texas will continue to perform a valuable service, supplying the country with top flight talent.