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Sports: SEC quarterback outlooks for 2022: Georgia picture clears, Florida, Texas A&M have spring battles

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Check your SEC media guides for the quarterbacks heading into 2022.

LSU's quarterback transferred to Texas A&M. Texas A&M's starting quarterback transferred to Auburn. Auburn's starting quarterback transferred to Oregon. And that's just the beginning.

The returning Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama's Bryce Young, is the top returner heading into the 2022 season. Georgias QB Stetson Bennett, who beat Young in the national title game, is also back.

What do those quarterback rooms in the SEC look like? Sporting News will sort out the returners and transfers, with the promise that there is more to come this offseason.

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Today we breakdown the SEC. Let's go alphabetical by division:

SEC East

Florida (6-7, 2-6)

2021 recap: Emory Jones led the Gators with 2,733 yards, 19 TDs and 13 interceptions, and he held off Anthony Richardson as the starter for most of the season. Richardson, a 6-4, 236-pound redshirt freshman, battled through injuries but showed flashes of brilliance. He needs to develop more consistency in the passing game.

2021-22 offseason: Dan Mullen is out, and Billy Napier is in as head coach. Jones reportedly entered the transfer portal, but that was refuted and according to ON3Sports, is enrolled in classes at Florida and attended a team meeting. Richardson is also still on the roster, and the Gators added Ohio State's Jack Miller via the transfer portal. Miller was a four-star quarterback in the 2020 class.

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What to look for in spring: The three-way competition is on in spring football, and it's on Richardson, who struggled in SEC play, to take the job from Jones. Miller is a wild card who should be watched closely with new offensive coordinator Rob Sale.

Georgia (13-1, 8-0)

2021 recap: JT Daniels opened the season as the starter before suffering an injury. Former walk-on Stetson Bennett IV took over and never looked back. He led the Bulldogs to their first national championship since 1980. Bennett finished with 2,682 yards, 28 TDs and seven interceptions. Bennett made the clutch throws to beat Alabama 33-18 in the CFP championship game.

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2021-22 offseason: Bennett returned and will be the starter. Daniels, who has played in nine games the last two seasons, entered the transfer portal. Carson Beck, five-star freshman, Brock Vandagriff and incoming five-star freshman Gunner Stockton all are on the roster, and depending on who stays or goes there could be an addition via the transfer portal. Remember, Georgia was in the mix for Oklahoma's Caleb Williams during the recruiting process. Is that still a thing?

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What to look for in spring: Offensive coordinator Todd Monken also could leave for the NFL, which would mean all of those quarterbacks might have a new coordinator. Decisions have to be made, but Bennett will be the starter in the spring.

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Kentucky (10-3, 5-3)

2021 recap: Penn State transfer Will Levis took hold of the starting job with 2,826 yards, 24 TDs and 13 interceptions and led Kentucky to a 10-win season. He is returning for his senior season.

2021-22 offseason: That's good news for Kentucky. Coach Mark Stoops also retained offensive coordinator Liam Coen. That continuity should help Levis, who should be that much better next season.

What to look for in the spring: Who is the backup quarterback? Beau Allen played that role in 2021, and Iowa transfer Deuce Hogan is the new addition for 2022. There is stability if Levis stays healthy.

Missouri (6-7, 3-5)

2021 recap: Connor Bazelak passed for 2,540 yards, 16 TDs and 11 interceptions in Eli Drinkwitz's second season. Brady Cook was the primary backup.

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2021-22 offseason: Bazelak opted for the transfer portal and will play for Indiana next season. Cook, redshirt freshman Tyler Macon and four-star quarterback Sam Horn, a top-10 quarterback in the 2022 recruiting class, will battle for the job.

What to look for in the spring: The competition will come down to which young quarterback can make strides in an offense that averaged 29.1 points per game last season. The focus will be on whether Horn is ready in fall camp.

South Carolina (7-6, 3-5)

2021 recap: Luke Doty, Zeb Noland and Jason Brown all saw time at quarterback for the Gamecocks in Shane Beamer's first season. They combined for 20 TDs and 10 interceptions in a winning season.

2021-22 offseason: Doty returns, but the shakeup came when Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler, who was the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy last season, transferred to South Carolina. The Gamecocks also have depth with incoming freshmen Braden Davis and Tanner Bailey.

What to look for in the spring: Rattler will be the focus. He struggled with turnovers last season at Oklahoma. He will be fully expected to take control in the spring.

Tennessee (7-6, 4-4)

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2021 recap: Tennessee opened last season with a four-QB race, and that was eventually settled with Hendon Hooker finishing for 2,945 yards, 31 TDs and three interceptions under first-year coach Josh Heupel. Michigan transfer Joe Milton is the primary backup.

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2021-22 offseason: Hooker announced he is returning for his senior season, and as a result Harrison Bailey transferred to UNLV. Navy Shuler, the son of former Tennessee quarterback Heath Shuler, transferred in from Appalachian State. Four-star recruit Tayven Jackson also is on board.

What to look for in the spring: There might be more movement in the portal, but Hooker gives the Vols a bona fide starter heading into 2022. The battle for the backup job will be the focus in the spring.

Vanderbilt (2-10, 0-8)

2021 recap: Sophomores Ken Seals and Michael Wright split time for the Commodores. Seals is more of a pocket passer and Wright has dual-threat abilities. They combined for 2,223 passing yards, 13 TDs and 14 interceptions under first-year coach Clark Lea. Wright was the starter in the regular-season finale.

2021-22 offseason: Third-string quarterback Jeremy Moussa transferred to Florida A&M. There is some excitement around three-star quarterback A.J Swann, a Georgia high school product who flipped from Maryland and played in the UnderArmour All-American Bowl.

What to look for in spring: Seals and Wright will take that battle in the spring, but if there isn't much separation, then the calls for Swann will begin early in the 2022 season. He is a talented passer who will step in when ready.

SEC West

Alabama (13-2, 7-1)

2021 recap: Bryce Young replaced Mac Jones and became the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy. Young passed for 4,872 yards, 47 TDs and seven interceptions and led the Crimson Tide to the CFP championship game.

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2021-22 offseason: Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien could be back for a second season, and that relationship with Young should produce more prolific results. Backup quarterbacks Stone Hollenbach and Paul Tyson transferred to Western Michigan and Arizona State, respectively.

What to look for in the spring: Young is the no-doubt starter, but some focus will turn toward five-star quarterback Ty Simpson, who will have a year to learn behind Young. Simpson and Jalen Milroe will battle for that coveted backup spot.

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Arkansas (9-4, 4-4)

2021 recap: KJ Jefferson emerged as a breakout performer for the Razorbacks. He finished with 2,676 yards, 21 TDs and four interceptions. He added 664 rushing yards and six TDs and led Arkansas to a 24-10 victory against Penn State in the Outback Bowl.

2021-22 offseason: Jefferson is returning as the starter, but offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is a name to watch over the next few weeks. Will Briles leave Arkansas for the same spot at another school?

What to look for in the spring: Jefferson will be the starter, and Malik Hornsby remains the best bet to be a backup. Arkansas also added South Florida's Cade Fortin via the transfer portal.

Auburn (6-7, 3-5)

2021 recap: Bo Nix started the season under first-year coach Bryan Harsin, but was pulled for T.J. Finley early in the season against Georgia State. Nix led Auburn to a win at LSU the next week and started until he fractured his ankle against Mississippi State in Auburn's 10th game. Finley closed out the season as the starting quarterback. They combined for 3,121 yards, 17 TDs and four interceptions.

2021-22 offseason: Nix transferred to Oregon. Austin Davis replaces Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator. Finley is back. Texas A&M starter Zach Calzada, who led the Aggies to a 41-38 win over Alabama, transfered in, along with Oregon reserve Robby Ashford. Four-star quarterback Holden Geriner was the lone QB in the 2022 recruiting class.

What to look for in the spring: That sounds like a four-way quarterback derby heading into spring practice. Harsin is a long way from naming a starter at this point.

Ole Miss (10-3, 6-2)

2021 recap: Matt Corral led the Rebels to a 10-win season and the Sugar Bowl. He finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. Corral passed for 3,343 yards, 20 TDs and five interceptions. Corral exited the Sugar Bowl with an ankle injury and was replaced with freshman Luke Altmyer, who was uneven in relief the Rebels' 21-7 loss to Baylor. He finished 15-for-28 for 174 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

2021-22 offseason: There were some changes. Corral is leaving for the NFL, John Rhys Plumlee transferred to UCF and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby left for Oklahoma. Lebby was replaced with Charlie Weis Jr. The Rebels did not add a quarterback in the 2022 recruiting class.

What to look for in the spring: Altmyer's development will be the focus in the spring and how he meshes with a new offensive coordinator. Kinkead Dent and Alex Grado are the only other QBs on the roster for now.

Mississippi State (7-6, 4-4)

2021 recap: Will Rogers passed for 4,449 yards in 2021 and settled in as Mike Leach's go-to starter. He finished with 36 TDs and nine interceptions and led the Bulldogs to a postseason appearance.

2021-22 offseason: Rogers returns as a junior, and that should lead to more production with another season with Leach. The offensive philosophy won't change.

What to look for in the spring: The Bulldogs had seven quarterbacks on the roster last season, but there has not been movement in the transfer portal. Three-star quarterback Braedyn Locke joins the mix, and the focus will be finding the right backup for Rogers.

LSU (6-7, 3-5)

2021 recap: Max Johnson passed for 2,814 yards, 27 TDs and six interceptions at LSU this season. Myles Brennan, who suffered a season-ending injury in 2020, did not take a snap.

2021-22 offseason: Johnson transferred to Texas A&M. Ed Orgeron is out, and Brian Kelly is in as coach for the Tigers. Brennan is back, and Kelly has a tendency to trust veteran quarterbacks. Mike Denbrock was hired as LSU's offensive coordinator. Five-star quarterback Walker Howard also will be in the mix for the starting job.

What to look for in the spring: How ready does Howard look? That's going to be a question. Brennan and Garrett Nussmeier likely will be in the first battle at spring practice. Brennan, who is a sixth-year senior, will get one more chance. If it does not look great, LSU could be in the mix for a transfer before fall camp.

Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4)

2021 recap: Haynes King was the Week 1 starter for the Aggies, but his season ended with a fractured ankle. Calzada passed for 2,185 yards, 17 TDs and nine interceptions in King's place. Calzada did lead the upset against Alabama, but he also struggled with consistency.

2021-22 offseason: Jimbo Fisher has options. King will return. Max Johnson, who passed for 2,814 yards, 27 TDs and six interceptions at LSU this season, transferred to Texas A&M. Five-star quarterback Conner Weigman, the No. 2 ranked QB in the class in 2022, also is in the mix.

What to look for in the spring: This is arguably the most-interesting battle in the SEC West, and all three QBs will have a case for the job. King has been at Texas A&M the longest (though he's only thrown 39 passes in two years), Johnson has the longest track record and Weigman will have the most hype. That is a spring game worth watching.

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