The quarterback is the cornerstone of the recruiting class. Getting that top QB recruit is critical.
Not only do quarterbacks commit early, they are courted even earlier (and pressured) to become an extension of the coaching staff and corral their future teammates to rally the class. They set up communications with all of the current commitments, and they act as a "welcome wagon" representative when somebody new decides to come on board.
In other words, they're leaders. Shocking, right?
G5 National Top 15 QBs: Which G5 programs have landed the top guys so far?
So it's critical to get a good one, and a solid majority of the Group of Five ranks have their signal-caller in the fold for the class of 2024. We at FanBuzz decided to rank the top current QB commitments to G5 schools. We worked in conjunction with our partners at Rivals.com to rank them — though our ranking method is slightly different from the recruiting network's criteria.
The No. 1 quarterback in the country hails from Vero Beach, Florida — a powerhouse program on the Atlantic Coast. Yes, this is the quiet town where the Dodgers had spring training for nearly 60 years.
Tyler Aronson is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound signal-caller who committed early on to Southern Methodist University, a program that is rapidly building itself into a monster in preparation for its move to the Atlantic Coast Conference. One year ago, he was rated a four-star prospect and a Top 250 recruit overall by the services. But when you choose a G5 school, it's funny how your recruiting stock goes down; he's now a three-star with some services (still four-star with Rivals). Yet that doesn't really matter now that he's locked into a school. He doesn't care that he held scholarship offers from in-state Florida State and Miami along with more than a dozen other programs.
Aronson likes SMU, he likes head coach Rhett Lashlee and his staff, and he likes Dallas.
"I knew at the beginning ever since I met Coach Lashlee that he was someone I wanted to play for no matter where he was," Aronson told FanBuzz. "SMU does everything at a high level, and now they're joining the ACC, which I think will open up a lot of eyes for people. SMU's going to get a lot more attention now because of that. That will be a bigger boost in being able to get bigger recruits and players in the portal. I know what I'm capable of, and I know Coach Lashlee knows what we need to do to win at a really high level."
Aronson is well aware of the storied history of SMU football — the ups and the downs. He knows about Eric Dickerson and Doak Walker of the old Southwest Conference days, and the three claimed national championships. He also knows about the tough times. He wants the heydays of the 1930s-40s and early 1980s to be joined by the next few years.
"I know they're the only team that got the death penalty, and I know about the national championships," Aronson said. "There is a lot of support in this program. There's a ton of support from alumni and people around the Dallas area. I'm super excited to play around Dallas. The atmosphere there is crazy. I think it's a place I'm going to be happy to live in; and, obviously, we'll have a really good support system, and I'm looking forward to it for sure. I wouldn't want to play football anywhere else."
Going from the Atlantic Coast of Florida to the middle of the country may seem exciting for Aronson, but what about his parents?
"I was talking about that with my dad, and he asked if I was nervous about going away," Aronson said. "But he feels the same way about the staff as I do, that they will put me into a good position. I don't think (parents) are too worried — they have a ton of trust in the coaches. I'm not being put into a bad situation. Everything there I think fits the player I am."
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.