DII football is lucky to have more than its fair share of exciting quarterbacks in 2018. While some are still the traditional gunslingers able to get things done through the air, there are quite a few who can beat you with both their legs and arm.
Let’s take a look at the dual-threat quarterbacks that cause the most trouble for opposing DII football defenses.
Jayru Campbell, Ferris State
Jayru Campbell gives Ferris St. it’s first lead of the night. 14-10 Bulldogs with 3:53 left before half pic.twitter.com/jXloW5uWgX— Ryan Compeau (@Ry_Compeau) October 14, 2018
Campbell, the Bulldogs junior quarterback, is shining in Ferris State’s undefeated season. His 1,642 yards passing places him in the top 30 in DII football, but he’s deadlier on the ground. Campbell has four 100-yard rushing performances in seven games, with 96- and 98-yard games also on his game log. Not only does he lead all DII quarterbacks with 707 yards rushing, he’s No. 19 in all of DII football. The junior is responsible for 28 touchdowns in 2018 (16 passing, 11 rushing, and one receiving... yes, he's caught a touchdown) while turning the ball over a whole three times (two interceptions, one fumble). The Bulldogs go as Campbell does, and right now, there’s no one showing they can slow him down.
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Amir Hall, Bowie State
Amir Hall’s has only TD throw of the night came with 1:14 left. Bowie State wins 20-17 over WSSU. pic.twitter.com/G2b6Uhq7GR— John Dell (@johndellWSJ) September 30, 2018
Bowie State senior Amir Hall has arguably been the most unheralded quarterback in DII football the past two seasons. Hall is leading DII in passing through seven weeks with 2,316 yards after finishing in the top five last season. He opened the season with three straight 350-yard games and has yet to relent.
Hall is running less than he has in the past (he’s averaged 336 yards and 8.5 touchdowns the last two seasons) but can still move when he has to, piling up 181 yards and two touchdowns so far in 2018. His nickname is Showtime, and watching him in action is all you need to do to understand why.
A.J. Long, West Chester
The Golden Rams junior quarterback has West Chester off to a 6-0 start. Long also leads the team in both rushing and passing. He finds a way to get it done, throwing for 1,434 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season. That includes a couple of 300-yard performances and four straight games throwing three touchdowns. Long opened the season scoring on the ground in three consecutive weeks but hasn’t found the end zone since. Still, his 400 yards and 66.7 yards per game top all WCU backs.
Roland Rivers, Slippery Rock
FB: Jermaine Wynn now with two touchdown catches on the day after this 29-yard score from Roland Rivers! Rock leads Edinboro 31-14 with 8:39 left in the first half. pic.twitter.com/dpf4s9cwKm— Rock Athletics (@Rock_Athletics) October 13, 2018
The Rock started the season 1-1. Then Rivers stepped in as starting quarterback and Slippery Rock has been rolling. The junior transfer from Valdosta State has five straight wins as a starter and has The Rock out in front of the PSAC West division. Rivers is averaging 288.6 yards passing per game over his five starts, coming off an impressive 403-yard day. He’s also adding nearly 50 yards rushing per game, with two 80-yard performances thus far. In just five starts he has produced 22 touchdowns and has scored through the air and on the ground in every game he’s played.
Eystin Salum, Colorado Mesa
Rounding out the awards is your 2018 #RMACfb Preseason Offensive POTY, Eystin Salum of @CMUMavericks! Salum finished last season with the highest pass efficiency in the RMAC, completing 137-of-245 of his pass attempts, and 20 were for TD. pic.twitter.com/KZnhjYHSMq— RMAC Sports (@RMAC_SPORTS) July 26, 2018
The Mavericks senior quarterback saw his streak of 17 straight starts come to an end this past Saturday when he was forced to sit with an injury. That doesn’t change the fact that the 2017 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year is an absolute menace of a matchup for opposing defenses.
Last season, Salum ran for 919 yards and 13 touchdowns and while he is a little off that pace in 2018, he still has 387 yards and three scores on the ground. Salum can also chuck it, averaging 223.8 yards per game. Win or lose, Salum is one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the division.
Cordelral Cook, Virginia State
Last season, Cook teamed with Trojans running back Trenton Cannon to rush for 35 combined touchdowns in one of the more dangerous backfields in DII. He also showed he could get it done through the air when he had to, and that hasn’t changed in his junior season. Cook leads the Trojans in rushing with 373 yards and seven touchdowns, recording a season-high 182 yards in a near-upset of FCS foe Robert Morris in Week 2. He’s shown a nice arm as well, throwing for 357 yards and no interceptions in Week 4 and has thrown for 200 yards or more in his last four games.
Lenny Williams, Indiana (Pa.)
@iam_mwxix scores his first career touchdown on an 8-yard pass from Lenny Williams. IUP leads Millersville 41-0. pic.twitter.com/2U2EhK6d4T— Matt Burglund (@MattBurglund) September 6, 2018
Williams has had to rush less and less since his 2015 freshman campaign when he ran for 1,229 yards, including a streak of five 100-yard rushing games in a row. That isn't because he can't, however. The Crimson Hawks have simply stocked up their backfield, but Williams has still rushed for 1,286 yards over the past two-and-a-half seasons while throwing for 5,871 yards over the same span.
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Up and coming:
Braden Wright, Northwest Missouri State: The redshirt-freshman has 1,600 yards passing and 360 yards rushing with 16 total touchdowns in his first year under center.
John Larson, Minnesota Duluth: The Bulldogs sophomore is vastly improved from last season, averaging 213.0 yards passing and 71.7 yards rushing per game, a combined 101 more yards per game than he averaged as a freshman.
Rogan Wells, Valdosta State: Wells is having no problem as a gunslinger in the Blazers top-ranked scoring offense, already with four 4-touchdown performances this season. While he hasn't had to be running much, he's showed he can when he has to, with 97-yard and 120-yard days to his name this season.
Four Touchdowns in Five Plays 🔥🔥🔥 #blazernation pic.twitter.com/7oymCEb15T— VSU Athletics (@BlazerAthletics) October 1, 2018
Best of the rest
Reilly Hennessy, Central Washington; Willie Candler, West Georgia; Jules St. Ge, Kentucky State; Jaden Barr, Truman; Cade Brister, Lindenwood; Detric Hawthorn, Mississippi College; Bryce Witt, Chowan.
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