Disclaimer: This is an impossible task. The ACC has five, 3,000-yard passers returning -- the most in league history. The quarterback position will finally be a strength of the conference. The players are experienced, they have matured, and they are legitimately good. This season will reveal which one is the best, but here’s a preseason ranking of the group:
1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: At 6-foot-6, 254 pounds, Thomas has drawn comparisons to Cam Newton. Physically, his coaches have agreed, and several ACC defenders could attest to how tough Thomas is to bring down. Now that he has had a full season of starting experience, Thomas’ knowledge of the game will only make him more difficult to defend.
2. Mike Glennon, NC State: He’ll have four returning starters on the offensive line, and his height (6-foot-6) and his accuracy make him one of the top returning players at his position.
3. Tajh Boyd, Clemson: Boyd worked his way into the Heisman conversation after last season’s 8-0 start, and he could do it again.
4. Sean Renfree, Duke: Coach David Cutcliffe is convinced Renfree has pro potential, but said his quarterback has to stop thinking so much and use what comes to him naturally.
5. Bryn Renner, North Carolina: He should be even more effective now that he’s not playing with a bone spur in his foot, and he should have one of the ACC’s best offensive lines to work behind.
6. EJ Manuel, Florida State: We haven’t seen Manuel reach his peak yet, because he was injured for part of last season, but he’s one of the most efficient passers in the country.
7. Tanner Price, Wake Forest: He enters 2012 having thrown 173 passes without an interception. He is invaluable to his team, as evidenced by the Deacs’ collapse last season against Syracuse after Price was injured.
8. Tevin Washington, Georgia Tech: He led the nation’s No. 2 rushing offense last season, and accounted for 986 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.
9. Michael Rocco, Virginia: He led the Cavaliers to an 8-5 record and a bowl game last season, his first as a starter.
10. Stephen Morris, Miami: We’re still not even sure if Morris will win the starting job, as he will compete with transfer Ryan Williams this summer, but Morris’ game experience in Jedd Fisch’s system will be tough to beat.
11. Chase Rettig, Boston College: His development might have been slowed by the turnover at the offensive coordinator position, but first-year coordinator Doug Martin said he and Rettig had a good spring together.
12. C.J. Brown, Maryland: He replaced Danny O’Brien as starter, and ran for more than 100 yards three times last season.