In 2024, there will be multiple quarterbacks who will get their first crack at becoming full-time starters for their respective teams. In this case, we're looking at four specific sophomores who look to be the next greats to hold the position at their programs. These four are Tennessee's Nico Iamaleava, Kansas State's Avery Johnson, Oklahoma's Jackson Arnold, and Michigan State's Aidan Chiles.

Nico Iamaleava – Tennessee Volunteers

If you've been anywhere around Knoxville or the Tennessee football program over the last year or more, you've likely heard the loud roars of “Nico” surface throughout campus and at games. For the class of 2023, Iamaleava came to the Vols as one of the highest-ranked recruits in the history of the program. He was rated as a consensus five-star, the No. 2 ranked player in the country, No. 2 quarterback, and No. 1 in the state of California, per 247sports.

Vols fans got just a small sample of Iamaleava during his freshman season last year. He got playing time in five games, completing 25-of-45 pass attempts for 314 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. But with Iamaleava, you can't forget about his dual-threat abilities, as he also rushed for 71 yards on 20 attempts and three scores.

Most of Iamaleava's playing time came in the Vols' bowl game against Iowa in place of Joe Milton III, who opted out. The former five-star went 12-for-19 for 151 yards and one touchdown, with another 27 yards on the ground and three more touchdowns, not to mention winning the Citrus MVP award. No sophomore college football quarterback in the country will have more hype on him than Iamaleava in 2024.

Avery Johnson – Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State sophomore quarterback, Avery Johnson

There was a reason Will Howard transferred to Ohio State, and that reason was Avery Johnson. Johnson was more or less nipping at Howard's heels most of last season, getting fairly meaningful playing time. But similar to Nico Iamaleava, Johnson didn't receive his first start at quarterback for the Wildcats until the bowl game.

Johnson was able to help cap off a successful 9-4 season for K-State with a win over NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl. He earned the game's MVP award mostly thanks to leading the Wildcats on a 15-play, 72-yard touchdown game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. The long-haired quarterback went 14-for-31 for 178 yards passing and two touchdowns but rushed for another 71 yards and another score during that game.

Overall, Johnson finished his freshman season going 37-for-66 for 479 yards passing, 73 yards rushing, and six total scores with no interceptions. Johnson kept making believers out of many in Manhattan last season. In 2024, he'll get a chance to prove it in every game.

Jackson Arnold – Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Jackson Arnold

It seemed a bit puzzling when Dillon Gabriel suddenly entered the transfer portal for a second time, then landed at the doorsteps of the University of Oregon. Gabriel had a successful season in Norman last year, even beating rival Texas in the Red River Rivalry Game. But Sooners coaches didn't seem too worried with Gabriel's departure knowing that Jackson Arnold was waiting in the wings to take the reins as the next Sooners quarterback.

Like Nico Iamaleava, Arnold was a consensus five-star in the 2023 class, ranked as the No. 10 player in the country, No. 4 quarterback, and No. 1 player in the state of Texas.

The plan all along by head coach Brent Venables and then-offensive coordinator Jeff Leby was to prepare Arnold throughout the season last year. They would give him meaningful reps throughout the season in blowout games but also here or there in other games.

His path to becoming the starting quarterback is much like Iamaleava's and Johnson's, where he earned his first official start in the past year's bowl game. Before the bowl game against Arizona, the most we had seen of Arnold was his 7-for-13 for 88 yards and touchdown as a passer. In the Alamo Bowl, Jackson was more or less let loose. He went 26-of-45 for 361 yards with two touchdowns to three interceptions.

He'll obviously need to cut down on the turnovers and that ended playing pivotal to Arizona earning the bowl game victory. But all things considered, there's plenty of reason to get excited about Arnold if you're a Sooners fan.

Aidan Chiles – Michigan State

Michigan State football quarterback Aidan Chiles

There's only one transfer on this list, and that's Michigan State sophomore quarterback Aidan Chiles. Chiles, of course, is following his former Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith who decided to accept the Spartan's job after the regular season ended last year.

There's likely little doubt that Chiles won't be the starter for the Spartans in 2024, given that the Michigan State offense was beyond horrible last season, scoring just 13.3 points per game.

Chiles originally came to Oregon State as a four-star prospect, ranked as the No. 7 quarterback in the country, No. 7 player in the state of California, and No. 58 player overall. As a transfer, he was the No. 2 quarterback in the portal and No. 7 overall player.

In his nine games worth of playing time last season, where he would sub-in for Clemson transfer DJ Uiagalelei on drives, Chiles looked the part, gaining much-needed gametime action as a freshman. He concluded his 2023 season going 24-for-35 for 309 yards with four passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns with another 79 yards. Smith will have his work cut out for him cleaning up the Michigan State program, but at least Chiles should help in rebuilding the offense.