2021 Football Position Preview: Quarterbacks

Cornelious Brown IV warms up during the 2021 Spring Game. Photo: Jordan Crawford for THERSdayNight.com


POSITION COACH: Brad Glenn (third year at GSU, also offensive coordinator)

RETURNING STARTERS: Redshirt sophomore Cornelious “Quad” Brown* (58.6% completion percentage, 2,278 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 10 interceptions in 2020)

RETURNING CONTRIBUTORS: Redshirt freshman Mikele Colasurdo

NEW NAMES: Redshirt junior Darren Grainger (transfer from Furman)


* = projected starter


Quad Brown enters the 2021 season as the incumbent starter after leading the Panthers to a 6-4 record in 2020. That part isn’t new – every one of Georgia State’s starting quarterbacks since they’ve joined the FBS ranks have been two-year starters. The wrinkle here is that Quad is still a sophomore. That means that, unlike with the tenures of Nick Arbuckle, Conner Manning and Dan Ellington, this isn’t the final ride with #4 at the helm. He’s going to have two more years of eligibility in Atlanta after 2021. Still, potential won’t pay the bills in 2021, and Georgia State is going to need playmaking impact and clean performances every week from him to achieve the goals they want to achieve.

We saw both sides of the coin from Quad Brown his freshman campaign. As far as the playmaking impact, Quad finished the season averaging 227 passing yards per game – a number bolstered by the yardage he tallied in the final three games of the season against South Alabama (334 yards), Georgia Southern (372) and Western Kentucky (257). Additionally, he was the team’s third-leading rusher with 301 net rushing yards and he co-led the team with 7 rushing touchdowns. As the season went on and he became more comfortable in the offense and at the collegiate level more generally, you could see his confidence (and his performance level) grow. 

With regards to playing clean football, Quad struggled at times. The 10 interceptions he threw was the second-highest total among Sun Belt starters. On the passing front, this is far and away the biggest place for improvement. Especially later in 2020, the only thing stopping the Georgia State offense at times was the Georgia State offense, in the form of turnovers and unforced errors. As a runner his freshman season, Quad was an option for play-caller Brad Glenn but maybe not to the degree his immediate predecessor Dan Ellington was. Quad’s 301 yards rushing were just less than half than Dan’s 668 in the previous season. As a non-totally coincidental result, the 2020 Georgia State offense averaged 47 less on the ground per game (194 ypg) than the 2019 unit (241 ypg). This isn’t to put a concrete number of yards or touchdowns on what Quad’s impact on the ground has to be. But even if it’s just more instances where he makes the correct read on an option play, leading to less 2-yard losses and no-gains on the ground, that’s going to help his overall output and put the team in a better place to stay on the field and pour on the points.

Next up: The season! Thank you for following along for our positional previews.

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