The 2020 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl is loaded at the quarterback spot. If that sounds familiar, that’s because this event always boasts NFL-caliber talent behind center — from Danny Etling in 2017 to Duck Hodges a year ago.
But, even having acknowledged that, Michael Quartey and his team have really out-done themselves this time.
Here’s a list of signal callers hoping to improve their stock in Daytona Beach, Fla., this week.
Alex Hornibrook, Florida State
Better known for three years spent as the starter at Wisconsin than his final collegiate season at Florida State, Hornibrook amassed 6,424 passing yards and 54 touchdowns in 40 career games spanning two proud programs.
The 2017 Orange Bowl MVP will be looking to show pro scouts a realization of the potential he flashed as a sophomore when he led the Badgers to a 13-1 season — the lone loss, a 27-21 heartbreaker to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship.
Justin McMillan, Tulane
McMillan arrived at Tulane by way of LSU after leading Cedar Hill (TX) to consecutive state championships in 2013 and 2014. And once he took the reigns of head coach Willie Fritz’s offense, there was no looking back.
McMillan won 10 of his first 12 starts with the Green Wave before a rough stretch run landed Tulane in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. It was on that stage, however, that McMillan exerted himself once more, leading Tulane to the bowl win with 215 passing yards and three touchdowns before being named the game’s most valuable player.
Tom Flacco, Towson
What else can we say about Tom Flacco at this point?
Flacco arrived at Towson by way of Rutgers and all he did was finish both seasons as a Walter Payton Award finalist. The 2018 CAA Offensive Player of the Year piled up 6,082 passing yards, 1,077 rushing yards and 56 touchdowns during his career as a Tiger.
Carter Stanley, Kansas
Stanley enjoyed an outstanding final season as a Jayhawk becoming just the fifth KU quarterback to throw for 5,000 or more yards in his career thanks to 2,661 passing yards in 2019 — not to mention 24 touchdowns against 11 picks.
The Tropical Bowl serves as something of a homecoming for Stanley, who starred at Vero Beach (FL) — 127 miles from Daytona Beach — before heading to Lawrence in 2015.
Jaylon Henderson, Boise State
Speaking of Kansas, Jaylon Henderson follows Montell Cozart as the second Boise State quarterback in three years to take part in the Tropical Bowl. Henderson is an intriguing prospect simply based on his impressive production over a short amount of time.
The Park (TX) product began his career at UTSA, but saw action in just four games in two years before spending the 2017 season at Trinity Valley. Once in Boise, he appeared in just three games in 2018 and played only sparingly this season, until Nov. 16 when he made his first start against New Mexico.
All he did from that point forward is amass 1,236 yards and 14 touchdowns over the final five weeks of the season — including 212 passing yards, 51 rushing yards, and three scores, en route to being named the MVP of the Mountain West Championship.
The 2020 Tropical Bowl will also feature Marshall’s Alex Thomson and IUP quarterback Quinton Maxwell, and you can check it out LIVE on FloFootball.