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Quarterback Week: Former UCF star Blake Bortles leads the way for small colleges

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They pass in other places, too.

Florida is a quarterback’s state, what with eight Heisman Trophy winners leading championship teams. But all of the quarterbacks have not just been at Florida, FSU and Miami. There have been quality quarterbacks at the other state schools, too.

For instance, you have had two No. 1 draft choices. You have had other NFL players. Quarterbacks have led the way for UCF, for USF, for FAU and for FIU.

Here then, in Quarterback Week at the SaintPetersblog, are the top 10 quarterbacks from Florida’s smaller programs:

10. Ryan Schneider, UCF (2000-2003): Threw for 82 touchdowns. Career ended prematurely when dismissed for academics.

9. Alex McGough, FIU (2014-2015): Just completed his career at FIU. Holds the season record for passing yards.

8. JaJuan Seider, Florida A&M (1997-1999): Seidler was a sixth-round pick by the Chargers.

7. B.J. Daniels, USF (2008-2012): In his first start, Daniels led the Bulls to an upset over FSU. Saw spot duty in the NFL.

6. Josh Padrick, FIU (2003-2006): The career leader for FIU with more than 9,000 yards passing.

5. Matt Grothe, USF (2006-2009): Led the Bulls to the No. 2 ranking in the country. Threw 52 touchdown passes.

4. Rusty Smith, FAU (2006-2009): Smith threw for 86 touchdowns and was a sixth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans.

3. Quinton Flowers (2012-present): Threw for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for 991 to lead USF to a good year last season.

2. Daunte Culpepper, UCF (1996-1998): Culpepper was the 11th pick in the draft by Minnesota. Made three Pro Bowls. He was sixth in 1998 Heisman voting.

1. Blake Bortles, UCF (2011-2013): After his UCF career, he was the third overall pick by the Jacksonville Jags. Has throwin for 46 touchdowns in two years.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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