History's Most Talented Left-Handed QBs in College Football (2024)

When it comes to football, we’re used to seeing things a certain way. So when a left-handed quarterback stands out, it takes a while for us to adjust. Not because they’re not good, but because we’re not used to seeing someone throw with the other hand.

We’ve seen some great southpaws in college football, three of which have won the Heisman Trophy. We take a look at the best at spinning it with their left hand, along with their accomplishments in their collegiate careers.

History's Most Talented Left-Handed QBs in College Football (1)

Top Left-Handed QBs in College Football History

Michael Penix Jr., Washington

After multiple years with Indiana, Penix lit the world on fire when he transferred to Washington. We saw his potential during the 2020 season, a year that included one of the most iconic plays in Indiana’s history.

He challenged the Huskies record books after transferring to Washington in the 2022 season. Penix finished in the top five in most statistical categories, including four of the top five single-game passing yard records. He also led the Huskies to a national championship appearance in the 2023 season.

Michael Vick, Virginia Tech

Michael Vick was a polarizing figure at the NFL level, but before that, he was lighting up the college football world. In just 2 seasons as a starter, he led Virginia Tech to a national championship game appearance and finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1999.

While his legs were the topic of conversation coming out of college, his arm strength made him one of the most talented left-handed quarterbacks in college football. He was an explosive weapon for the Hokies on the ground and through the air.

Tim Tebow, Florida

To many, Tim Tebow is the greatest college football player ever. By default, that makes him one of the best left-handed quarterbacks we’ve seen at the college level.

Tebow became an icon with the Gators during his time in Gainesville and was yet another polarizing figure in college and the NFL.

MORE: Heisman Trophy Winners by Year

He made some contributions to Florida’s offense as a backup in 2006, Florida’s first national title in his tenure, but that was just the beginning. His first year as a starter in 2007 saw him account for 55 touchdowns, a performance that helped him win the Heisman Trophy.

In the following years, he broke multiple school and college football records and led the Gators to another national championship. His fierce, competitive nature stood out during his time, which helped him become one of the most successful players ever.

Matt Leinart, USC

Leinart took over one of the best dynasties we’ve seen in the sport and didn’t waste time keeping the momentum going.

His first year as a starter saw the Trojans finish 11-1, with Leinart throwing 38 passing touchdowns. USC was loaded with talent, and their southpaw was the perfect man to run the offense.

In 2004, USC won the BCS National Championship Game with a 55-19 win over Oklahoma. Leinart saw his production take a slight dip but still threw 33 touchdowns and over 3,300 yards. It was also good enough for Leinart to win the Heisman Trophy, just the 2nd left-handed quarterback to do so at the time.

The Trojans returned to the title game to defend their crown but came short in arguably the greatest college football game of all time in a thrilling loss to Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns.

Pat White, West Virginia

West Virginia’s offense under Rich Rodriguez was built straight out of a video game. An electric quarterback combined with a couple of explosive running backs gave the Mountaineers everything they needed, and they put together some incredible performances.

Pat White may not have been the best passer, but he was efficient. He finished his career with 6,049 yards and 56 touchdowns through the air. As a runner, he ran for 4,480 yards and 47 more scores. He finished sixth in the Heisman voting in 2007 and seventh in 2008.

Kellen Moore, Boise State

Kellen Moore holds a record that may never be broken, even in an era where guys play six or more seasons. The Boise State legend finished his career with 50 wins, and he did it in just four seasons with the Broncos.

Moore also put up some big numbers for the Broncos, throwing for 14,667 yards and 142 touchdowns during his career. Under his leadership, Boise State also made all the way up to the 2nd best team in the country in 2010. The Broncos finished just 1 season outside the Top 10 with Moore on campus.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Everyone remembers Tua Tagovailoa’s pass to DeVonta Smith in the 2017-18 national championship win over Georgia. However, that’s not his only accomplishment with the Tide.

Tagovailoa also led the Tide to another championship appearance the next year, coming up short against Clemson in a classic game that year. He also finished 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting, coming 296 votes short of Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. He finished his career with 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns with the Tide.

Jared Lorenzen, Kentucky

One of the most underrated quarterbacks in college football history, Jared Lorenzen, stands out for many reasons. He was a 4-year starter for the Wildcats and threw for 10,354 yards with 78 touchdowns during his time in Lexington.

While everyone talked about his size, the arm talent made him great. It was hard to miss him on the field, but not just because he was pushing 300 pounds. Lorenzen had the talent to make any throw on the field, and that arm talent was a huge reason why he broke multiple school records.

David Greene, Georgia

One of the best quarterbacks to play for the Georgia Bulldogs. Greene wasted little time making his name known to the SEC, winning Rookie of the Year in 2001 with 2,789 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2001.

He broke the SEC record for career passing yards with 11,528 (a record that has since been broken) during his time in Athens. Before Kellen Moore, he also held the record for most wins by a college football quarterback with 42.

Josh Heupel, Oklahoma

While Heupel is making his name known in the coaching ranks, he was once an elite left-handed quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. He was the only Sooners quarterback to win a national championship under Bob Stoops.

He only played 2 seasons in Norman but put up 6,852 yards and 50 touchdowns through the air. He also ran for another 12 touchdowns too and finished 2nd in the 200 Heisman Trophy voting.

Honorable Mention:Chris Simms, Texas;Tyler Palko, Pitt;Cade McNown, UCLA;Dave Humm, Nebraska; Terry Baker, Oregon State;Steve Young, BYU; Holton Ahlers, ECU

Miss any action from thetop college QB Rankingsduring the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with thecollege football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

History's Most Talented Left-Handed QBs in College Football (2024)


Who is the greatest left-handed quarterback of all time? ›

The Top 10 Greatest Left Handed QBs in NFL History
  1. Steve Young. Source:Getty. Years played: 1985-1999. ...
  2. Boomer Esiason. Source:Getty. Years played: 1984-1997. ...
  3. Ken Stabler. Source:Getty. ...
  4. Mark Brunell. Source:Getty. ...
  5. Michael Vick. Source:Getty. ...
  6. Jim Zorn. Source:Getty. ...
  7. Frankie Albert. Source:Getty. ...
  8. Scottie Mitchell. Source:n/a.
Mar 4, 2024

Are there any left-handed quarterbacks in college football? ›

There have been some fantastic left-handed quarterbacks over the years: Young, Ken Stabler, and Michael Vick among them. A couple—Tagovailoa, at Alabama, and Tim Tebow of Florida—have even won national titles in college this century.

Has a left-handed QB ever won a Super Bowl? ›

who have had some semi recent success. But there have only been 3. left handed quarterbacks to ever make a Super Bowl, with those 3 being Boomer A Sizing, Kenny Stabler, and Steve Young. Stabler was the first lefty to win the big game.

Who is the only left-handed QB? ›

Tua Tagovailoa is the lone active left-handed QB in the NFL

He completed 69.3% of his passes for 4,624 yards, 29 touchdowns to 14 interceptions and a 101.7 QB rating in an electric Miami offense.

Who are the only left-handed QBs to win the Heisman Trophy? ›

Tim Tebow and Matt Leinart won Heismans. Steve Young, Ken Stabler, Mark Brunell and Boomer Esiason went on to successful NFL careers.

Who was the big left-handed quarterback? ›

this guy right here was a quarterback legend. aka hefty Lefty. aka Pillsbury throwboy AKA vomitable Throwman. Jerry Lorenzen is his name.

What is the most passing yards by a left-handed quarterback? ›

Steve Young

He completed 2,667 of 4,149 passes for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns for a passer rating of 96.8 during his career in the NFL.

How many Heisman Trophy winners were left-handed? ›

College Football on FOX - Only three lefty QBs in college football history have won the Heisman 🏆🙌 | Facebook.

How many left-handed QBs are in the Hall of Fame? ›

Out of the 36 quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in contrast, only two are left-handed: Steve Young and Ken Stabler, 5.5%.

Which left-handed QB threw the most touchdowns? ›

1. Steve Young: The BYU star played 15 seasons in the NFL and threw for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns and rushed for 4,239 yards and 43 touchdowns before being enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

What famous QB never won a Super Bowl? ›

Donovan McNabb

McNabb gets a lot of criticism for failing to win the Super Bowl, but his nine playoff victories are tied for the most by a quarterback that's never won a Super Bowl. McNabb actually has as many playoff wins as Drew Brees and more than Dan Marino (eight).

How rare are left-handed quarterbacks? ›

In gridiron football, quarterbacks have been predominantly right-handed; only 33 left-handed quarterbacks have appeared in the National Football League (NFL); whilst twelve others were drafted but never played in the NFL.

Is Tim Tebow a left-handed quarterback? ›

To many, Tim Tebow is the greatest college football player ever. By default, that makes him one of the best left-handed quarterbacks we've seen at the college level. Tebow became an icon with the Gators during his time in Gainesville and was yet another polarizing figure in college and the NFL.

When was the last NFL MVP not a QB? ›

In the 21st century, there have been just four non-quarterback MVP winners, with top runners Marshall Faulk (2000), Shaun Alexander (2005), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006) and Adrian Peterson (2012) claiming the award.

Is there a left-handed quarterback in the Hof? ›

The most successful have been Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Steve Young and Ken Stabler, 1988 Most Valuable Player Boomer Esiason, and Pro Bowl selections Frankie Albert, Mark Brunell, and Michael Vick. Tua Tagovailoa, who was drafted in 2020, is currently the NFL's only left-handed quarterback.

Who is the all time leading left-handed scorer in the NBA? ›

James Harden holds the record for most points by a left handed NBA player at 24,693.


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