Michael Penix Jr. isn’t the Tampa Bay area’s only starring quarterback

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. isn’t the only quarterback from the Tampa Bay area’s who’s starring on college football Saturdays. The Tampa Bay Tech alumnus is merely the headliner.

Here are five other notable prep quarterbacks from Pinellas, Hillsborough or Pasco who also have become key contributors:

James Madison’s Jordan McCloud (Sickles, Plant)

After starting 17 games at USF and two more at Arizona, McCloud is thriving at his third stop. He entered the weekend tied for fifth nationally in touchdown passes (26) and ranked sixth in passing efficiency (172.59). McCloud’s success helped bring ESPN’s “College GameDay” to No. 18 James Madison and made the 10-0 Dukes one of the nation’s best stories.

Iowa State’s Rocco Becht (Wiregrass Ranch)

He became the starter under less-than-ideal circumstances (incumbent Hunter Dekkers being sidelined for gambling). He already has led the Cyclones to bowl eligibility and entered Saturday needing only two touchdown passes to break Iowa State’s freshman record (16, set by Brock Purdy).

Virginia’s Anthony Colandrea (Lakewood)

A recent ESPN broadcast compared him to Johnny Manziel (with good reason). He has already broken school freshman records with 1,437 yards and eight touchdowns — despite only appearing in six games and beginning the year as Tony Muskett’s backup. In four starts, Colandrea is averaging 306.3 yards per game and threw a game-tying touchdown pass and two-point conversion in the final minute against North Carolina State.

Toledo’s Tucker Gleason (Plant)

He inherited a 24-14 deficit when he replaced injured starter Dequan Finn in the second half against Western Michigan. Gleason threw a pair of touchdown passes and led three other scoring drives in a 49-31 victory for the 10-1 MAC favorites — a win that kept their hopes of making a prestigious New Year’s Six bowl alive.

Florida State’s Deuce Spann (Lakewood)

He was a quarterback for the Spartans but has switched to receiver with the No. 4 Seminoles. And, more importantly, kick returner; his 99-yard touchdown was pivotal in FSU’s rally against Duke.

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