College Football Second Year Breakout Players

College Football Second-Year Breakout Players: Sleeper Quarterbacks

Each season, there’s a breakout QB or two who shoots up Heisman Trophy odds and leads his college football program to an unexpected season.

This year it seems all eyes are on Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams as that gunslinger due for a massive breakout, after a solid rookie campaign. But the chalk picks are no fun, so we’re going to dive deeper. Below, we break down four second-year breakout players at the quarterback position you should expect to have great seasons in 2022.


Sleeper QBs: NCAAF Second-Year Breakout Player

You can find many of the following names in our Heisman Trophy odds. If you’re looking for other ways to get in on college football betting this season, check out our updated national championship odds.

Tyler Buchner, Notre Dame

ESPN analyst Greg McElroy recently said he thinks Buchner will win the starting job over Drew Pyne at Notre Dame, and there’s reason to believe he’s right.

Then-coach Brian Kelly talked highly about Buchner last season and he was solid in limited appearances. In 35 passing attempts across 10 games (yes, a very small sample), the now-sophomore completed 60 percent of his passes, threw for three touchdowns and picked up 298 yards in the air.

He was also great in the run game when called upon. During his brief play in those 10 games, he had 48 rushing attempts for 336 yards and three touchdowns — including a 68-yard scamper against Georgia Tech.

Buchner has already proven he can make the plays on the ground, and now he’ll just have to develop into a starting-caliber passer.

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Ty Thompson, Oregon

Turning to another QB locked in a starting position battle, we think Ty Thompson will end the season throwing passes for the Ducks.

Thompson was Oregon’s top-ranked QB commit ever, at the time of his commitment, and has the potential to steal this job from Bo Nix and other QB option Jay Butterfield. He hasn’t really gotten game snaps before, but he clearly has the eye of the Ducks coaches.

Oregon offensive assistant Nate Costa recently admitted that Oregon’s coaching staff considered turning to Thompson multiple times last year, including almost giving him the ball during a bowl game against Oklahoma. With that confidence from the coaches and clear potential, we’ll bank on his upside shining this year for the Ducks. 


D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson

OK, so technically 2022 will be D.J.’s third season,  but it’s his second year as the Clemson starter so we’re considering him for this College Football Second-Year Breakout Players list.

It was a down year for Clemson last year, finishing 10-3 with a 6-2 record within the ACC. Much of that fell on the offense and Uiagalelei early in the season, with the Tigers QB completing fewer than 55 percent of his passes in four of the first seven games.

But in the back half of the season, Clemson figured out how to better use D.J. and the results started to come. Uiagalelei’s best three passing performances came in November and he showed up for Clemson in a bowl game victory over Iowa State.

If D.J. continues to grow into his new Clemson role, he’ll take a big step forward this year. He’s currently +3300 in Heisman Trophy odds but may be worth a bet at that value over at our college football sportsbook:


Anthony Richardson, Florida

Is it a breakout if everyone sees it coming?

Anthony Richardson has 66 career passing attempts but he’s seen as a potential first-round NFL draft choice who could go as high as first overall next year.

He’s a scout favorite with incredible physical traits, is a good passer and should have the keys to the Florida offense this season. If Richardson can keep the interceptions down, he should score a boatload of touchdowns in the air and on the ground. He’s another surging QB who could provide good value in Heisman odds, currently sitting at +2800.

How To Bet On College Football Second-Year Breakout Player

The best way to bet on these NCAAF second-year QB breakouts is at any of our top college football sportsbooks. You’ll find different props to wager on these QBs and teams.

If you’re new to the college football scene, check out our handy college football betting guide to help you get in the action. Also, keep an eye on our college football odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.

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