Rocky Lombardi
NIU QB Rocky Lombardi could be one of the top signal-callers in the MAC in 2023 (PHOTO CREDIT: NIU Athletics)

MAC QB Rankings: Top 5 Includes Brother of Blaine Gabbert

The 2023 college football season is another day closer, and we at FanBuzz are continuing the countdown with our top 5 quarterback previews. This week, we take a look at the five best QBs from the Mid-American Conference.

Here are our rankings and predictions of its top 5 preseason starting signal-callers (in alphabetical order).

Dequan Finn, Toledo Rockets

Toledo Rockets quarterback Dequan Finn. (Photo credit: Toledo Athletics)

All he does is Finn, Finn, Finn, no matter what. At 6-foot-2 and 210-pounds, junior signal-caller Dequan Finn is a modern-day dual-threat quarterback. He can get the job done through the air, as Finn threw for 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2022.

The soaring quarterback also rushed for 631 yards while leading the Rockets to the 2022 MAC title. Everybody in the crowd raises their hands every time this Rocket steps onto the field.

Brett Gabbert, Miami (Ohio) RedHawks

Miami (Ohio) RedHawks quarterback Brett Gabbert. (Photo credit: Miami (Ohio) Athletics)

Yes, you heard it correctly. Brett Gabbert, the little brother of former Jacksonville Jaguars first-round 2011 pick Blaine Gabbert, is looking to carve his own path, but in the MAC with Miami (Ohio) instead of the Missouri Tigers as his big bro did.

The 6-foot, 210-pound lighting rod has a cannon for an arm and has mobility in and out of the pocket. He's very similar to his brother in that he has a solid body frame and is an accurate passer. Last season, Gabbert threw for 816 yards and four touchdowns despite suffering a long-term upper-body injury in Week 1 against in-state rival Kentucky.

D.J. Irons, Akron Zips

Akron Zips quarterback D.J. Irons. (Photo credit: Akron Athletics)

D.J. Irons is the most intriguing quarterback on this list, as he is playing for an Akron Zips team in its second year of a rebuild under head coach Joe Moorhead. After going 2-10 last year with an abundance of transfer portal players, the 6-foot-6, 205-pound junior will return as a preseason All-MAC selection.

He will look to build upon his success in 2022, as he passed for 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions while racking up 2,605 yards.

The Zips should improve this season. But the question is, by how much?

Rocky Lombardi, NIU Huskies

Rocky Lombardi is returning for his redshirt senior year after last year's season ended after four games due to injury. He only threw five touchdowns, but his injury did earn him a medical redshirt for this season, and he is ready to rumble.

Being a Power Five transfer from Michigan State, Lombardi will have two tough opponents to face in Boston College and Nebraska. With NIU'S non-conference schedule, it may help increase his draft status before MAC play.

Kurtis Rourke, Ohio Bobcats

Ohio Bobcats quarterback Kurtis Rourke. (Photo credit: Ohio Athletics)

This Ohio Bobcat quarterback has some claws. At 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds, Kurtis Rourke is a big, mobile quarterback who is tough to stop through the air and is huge to bring down on the run. He is already gaining notice from NFL scouts.

Last season, Rourke threw for 3,256 yards along with 25 touchdowns and four interceptions, earning a quarterback rating of 73.8. This year, Rourke will look to have a senior year like no other and hopefully get revenge in the MAC title game, as the Bobcats lost 17-7 to Toledo last year.