A system quarterback is an American football quarterback who flourishes under a particular offensive system, specifically one that focuses on passing. The term is often seen as a pejorative, for it implicitly downplays a quarterback's talent or skill by implying that a successful offense is due to a particular scheme or that a quarterback is successful due to his employment under specific circumstances. Russ Lande of Sporting News traced the term's etymology, or at least currency, to the early 1990s, when two University of Houston quarterbacks failed to carry college success into their professional careers.  First, Andre Ware, in head coach Jack Pardee and offensive coordinator John Jenkins's run and shoot offense, had a record-setting 1989 season that culminated in a Heisman Trophy. He was the seventh overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, but did not have success in either the National Football League or the Canadian Football League.  David Klingler took over for Ware at UH and was the sixth overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. He too, failed to find exceptional success in the NFL. 
Recently, the appellation was commonly applied to Texas Tech quarterbacks that operated under former head coach Mike Leach and offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen's spread offense. In the 2000s, the school had several different quarterbacks that threw in excess of 4,000 yards in a season. According to some pundits, this demonstrated that the quarterback had simply been an interchangeable part in a prolific passing offense. Some Texas Tech quarterbacks, with their college tenure in parentheses, described as such include:
The label is not restricted to Texas Tech, however, and pundits and coaches have referred to players from several other schools as benefiting from systems. In 2007, then Hawaii head coach and offensive coordinator June Jones infamously defended his own alleged system quarterback, Colt Brennan, by making the counter-accusation against Tim Tebow of Florida.  Players from schools other than Texas Tech that were described as system quarterbacks include:
Andre Trevor Ware is an American sports analyst and commentator and a former American football player. He was the 1989 Heisman Trophy winner as a quarterback for the University of Houston. He was the first African American quarterback to receive this honor. In the 1990 NFL Draft, Ware was the first round selection of the Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
Gino Louis Torretta is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons. He played college football at the University of Miami, won the Heisman Trophy in 1992, and was a member of the Miami Hurricanes' national championship teams of 1989 and 1991. A seventh-round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, he was a member of several NFL teams, but never became a regular starter as a pro. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Kliff Timothy Kingsbury is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He was previously a collegiate football coach from 2008 to 2018, where he achieved recognition for his development of quarterback prospects. During his collegiate career, Kingsbury served as the offensive quality control coach for two-time Sammy Baugh Trophy winner Case Keenum at Houston, the offensive coordinator for Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, and the head coach for Sammy Baugh Trophy winner and future NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech. Kingsbury was named the head coach of the Cardinals in 2019, whom he led to the playoffs during the 2021 season.
John Jenkins is an American football coach and former player. He served as the head football coach the University of Houston from 1990 to 1992, compiling a record of 18–15. A proponent of the run and shoot offense, Jenkins also coached professional football in the United States Football League (USFL), the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL). He served as the head coach of the CFL's Ottawa Renegades in 2006, the FXFL's Blacktips in 2014 and the Hudson Valley Fort for part of 2015. During his career as a coach, Jenkins has mentored a number of notable quarterbacks such as Andre Ware, David Klingler, Jim Kelly, Eric Crouch, Kliff Kingsbury, Anthony Calvillo and Doug Flutie.
Sonny Jack Cumbie is an American football coach and former quarterback who is currently the head coach at Louisiana Tech University. He previously served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas Tech University and was the interim head coach after the departure of Matt Wells in 2021. He also previously served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas Christian University (TCU). Cumbie played college football at Texas Tech and was their starting quarterback during the 2004 season, when he led the nation in passing and total offense, a guided the Red Raiders to win in the 2004 Holiday Bowl, earning MVP honors for the game. Cumbie played professionally in the Arena Football League, the Indoor Football League, and briefly in the National Football League (NFL).
Daniel "Colt" McCoy is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Texas, where he won several awards and honors as a senior in 2009. McCoy is second all-time to Boise State's Kellen Moore in games won by an NCAA Division I FBS quarterback. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He has also been a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, and New York Giants, mostly serving as backup quarterback.
Brian Jeffrey "B. J." Symons is a former American football quarterback. Symons played professionally for the Houston Texans and the Chicago Bears of the NFL, the Frankfurt Galaxy and Berlin Thunder in NFL Europe, and the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League. He was originally drafted by the Texans in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football for Texas Tech where he was a record setting passer. Symons never played in a regular-season NFL game.
David Ryan Klingler is an associate professor of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary and a former American football quarterback.
The 2006 Hawaii Warriors football team represented the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Warriors tied the school record for most victories in a season with 11, with their only losses coming against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, an undefeated Boise State team that went on to participate in the Bowl Championship Series and Oregon State, which won ten games and finished the season nationally ranked. The Warriors finished in second place in the Western Athletic Conference behind Boise State and returned to the Hawaii Bowl after missing out on postseason play in 2005 due to a losing record. The Warriors defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils in the bowl game by a score of 41–24 to round out one of the school's most successful football seasons ever.
Darrel "Mouse" Davis is a retired American football coach and former player. A veteran coach at the high school, college, and professional levels, he last coached with Jerry Glanville at Portland State and with June Jones at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Davis served as the head football coach at Portland State University from 1975 to 1980, compiling a record of 42–24. He has also been a head coach with the Denver Gold of the United States Football League (1985), the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football (1991–1992), and the Detroit Fury of the Arena Football League (2001–2002) and the San Diego Riptide (2003) of AF2. A native of Washington, Davis grew up in Oregon, where he started his coaching career as a high school football coach. Davis is now widely regarded as the 'godfather' of the run and shoot offense.
Cody Hodges is a philanthropist, motivational speaker, and former professional American football player, playing in the National Football League, Arena Football League, and the Arena League 2. Hodges is best known for his one season as the starting quarterback for the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the 2005 season. As a fifth year Senior, he led the nation in passing and total offense and an appearance in the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic and a 9–3 overall record. He was the 3rd straight fifth year senior to start for Mike Leach and Texas Tech and was also the second of 4 West Texas natives to take the quarterback reins in the Leach era, along with predecessor Sonny Cumbie and successors Taylor Potts and Seth Doege.
Graham Stanton Harrell is an American football coach and former quarterback who is currently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at West Virginia University. He previously served in the same role at the University of Southern California (USC). He had previously been an assistant for the Washington State Cougars and the North Texas Mean Green. He had also worked for Oklahoma State in a quality control position. He played college football at Texas Tech University, where he was an All-American quarterback, Heisman Trophy finalist in 2008, and set school, conference and national records for passing yards, attempts, completions, and touchdown passes. Harrell was signed into the National Football League in 2010 by the Green Bay Packers. He was a part of the Super Bowl XLV win with the Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was also a member the New York Jets. Prior to his time in the NFL, he was signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2009 as an undrafted free agent in the Canadian Football League.
The 2008 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season, the 114th season of Sooner football. The team was led by two-time Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award winner, Bob Stoops, in his 10th season as head coach. They played their homes games at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. They were a charter member of the Big 12 Conference
Casey Austin Keenum is an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Houston, where he became the NCAA's all-time leader in total passing yards, touchdowns, and completions. In the 2008 college football season, Keenum ranked first nationally in total offense and second in total passing yards.
The 1989 Houston Cougars football team, also known as the Houston Cougars, Houston, or UH, represented the University of Houston in the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the 44th year of season play for Houston. The team was coached by third-year head coach Jack Pardee. Serving as offensive coordinator was John Jenkins, who succeeded Pardee as head coach following the season. The team played its games off-campus at the Astrodome, which had recently received upgrades to seat 62,439 spectators. The Cougars finished the season ranked as No. 14 by the AP Poll. Houston quarterback Andre Ware won the Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award following the conclusion of the season. Under probation by the NCAA from rules violated in prior seasons, Houston was disallowed from participating in a bowl game, television appearances, and the Coaches Poll.
Eric Morris is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the offensive coordinator at Washington State. He was previously the head football coach at the University of the Incarnate Word.
In American football the air raid offense refers to an offensive scheme popularized by such coaches as Mike Leach, Hal Mumme, Sonny Dykes, and Tony Franklin during their tenures at Iowa Wesleyan University, Valdosta State, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Louisiana Tech, and Washington State.
The run and shoot offense is an offensive system for American football which emphasizes receiver motion and on-the-fly adjustments of receivers' routes in response to different defenses. It was conceived by former high school coach Glenn "Tiger" Ellison and refined and popularized by former Portland State offensive coordinator Mouse Davis.
Baker Reagan Mayfield is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). Following a stint with Texas Tech, Mayfield played college football at Oklahoma, where he won the Heisman Trophy as a senior. He was selected first overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft.
William Grier is an American football quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida and West Virginia, and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round in the 2019 NFL Draft.