These Sunshine State players are likely to have the most impact on the fate of their teams this season.
Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami
The Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year in 2021 was thrust into action prematurely and didn't disappoint. Tyler Van Dyke was particularly impressive down the stretch, throwing for three or more touchdowns in his final six games with only three interceptions during that same span. He finished the year throwing for 2,931 yards with 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Now that Emory Jones has transferred to Arizona State, Anthony Richardson is the clear No. 1 entering the first season of the Billy Napier era at Florida. The Gators are counting on him to turn their fortunes after last season's 6-7 record. Richardson, who was born and raised in Gainesville, started four games a season ago and saw limited action as a true freshman in 2020, but he's only thrown for 556 yards and seven touchdowns – plus six picks – in two seasons. The expectation is that he'll flourish under Napier's tutelage and help make his entire team better.
Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State
The fate of Florida State's season is dependent upon the health of Benjamin School alumnus Jordan Travis. Although he's been somewhat typecast as a run-first quarterback, Travis has made great strides as a passer. His accuracy improved from 55.0% in 2020 to 62.9% last fall. For the first time in his Florida State career, Travis is the definitive starter to begin a season. If he can stay healthy and stay on the field, Travis should give the Seminoles a chance to win more often than they have lately.
N'Kosi Perry, QB, Florida Atlantic
N'Kosi Perry started all 12 games for Florida Atlantic last season after transferring from Miami, throwing for 2,766 yards and 20 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He was also the team's fourth-leading rusher with 160 yards on the ground and four more scores. Perry was a key contributor to FAU's 5-3 start last season, but the Owls fell apart in their final four games, missing a bowl game for the first time since 2018. Perry will benefit from the return of the team's leading receiver in LaJohntay Wester, who had 65 catches for 702 yards and four touchdowns. Perry will need to continue to show improvement if FAU wants to get back to a bowl in its final season of Conference USA competition.
Mikey Keene, QB, Central Florida
Central Florida is poised to challenge for the American Athletic Conference title in Gus Malzahn's second year. A big reason for that is the return of quarterback Mikey Keene, who took over for an injured Dillon Gabriel last season and started the final 10 games as a freshman, completing 63.6% of his passes for 1,730 yards and 17 touchdowns against six interceptions – none in his last five games. In fact, Keene enters the season with 145 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.