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Where do Alex Smith and Zach Wilson rank among the best college quarterbacks of the 2000s?

Utah’s Quarterback Alex Smith sets to make a pass in the first half of play in Logan Saturday September 18, 2004 against Utah State. Photo by Scott G. Winterton/Deseret Morning News September 18, 2004. (Submission date: 01/24/2005)
Former Utah Utes quarterback Alex Smith came in at No. 37 on ESPN’s Bill Connelly’s list of the top 60 college quarterbacks of the 2000s.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Utah’s Alex Smith and BYU’s Zach Wilson are two of the most accomplished college quarterbacks from their respective schools. How do the pair match up against some of the nation’s top signal callers of the past 20 years?

ESPN’s Bill Connelly took on the task of ranking the top 60 college quarterbacks since the turn of the century, and the two quarterbacks with Utah ties made the list.

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson (1) lobs the ball in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.
Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson came in at No. 58 on ESPN’s Bill Connelly’s list of the top 60 college quarterbacks of the 2000s.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Wilson, a former Corner Canyon High standout, is No. 58 on the list.

“The best BYU QB since Steve Sarkisian,” Connelly wrote. “He first made waves by going 18-for-18 for 317 yards in a bowl romp as a freshman, then he finished his career as a top-10 draft prospect after posting 3,692 yards and a 196.4 passer rating in 2020.”

Wilson, who played at BYU from 2018 through last season, is now one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2021 NFL draft class and expected to be a high first-round pick.

Smith, who played for the Utes from 2002-04, came in at No. 37.

“Smith was a steady, safe option for a defense-heavy Utah team in 2003, but in 2004 he became the perfect vessel for the Urban Meyer offense, leading the Utes to an unbeaten season, finishing fourth in the Heisman voting and flashing enough potential to go No. 1 in the 2005 draft,” Connelly wrote.

Smith recently completed his 16th pro season and earned AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors as he returned to the field less than two years after a devastating leg injury. Smith has played for three teams — San Francisco, Kansas City and Washington — in his pro career.