The year of the Transfer Quarterback

 The college football season ended less than a week ago and yet there’s already so much to look forward to next year. It’s not uncommon for a big-name quarterback to transfer, but for three, and a potential fourth, on the way, we’re in for an exciting few months ahead of us. During this time last year everyone was introduced to the name Tua Tagovailoa who ended up propelling Alabama to a National Championship. But not many people are still talking about the guy he replaced, Jalen Hurts. The 6-2 dual-threat gunslinger from Texas was given the keys to the offense heading into the 2016 season and over the course of the season Hurts put up 3,734 total yards and 36 total touchdowns. When the 2017 season started, Hurts won the QB battle over the young freshman totaling 2,936 yards and 25 TDs. All of this success for Hurts changed when he was benched coming out of halftime during the 2017 BCS National Championship. Fast forward to the beginning of this season and Tagovailoa was the one who walked with the starting job leaving Hurts with multiple options. He had the opportunity to sit out the season, saving his eligibility allowing him to play two seasons for another school. Instead Hurts decided to be a good teammate and leader by staying with the team. As the season has ended, however, we heard that Hurts would be on the move. Unlike the other two confirmed transfers I’ll talk about, this one is different because he hasn’t declared where he’ll be attending next season. My prediction on who wins the Hurts lottery is split between two teams, the Houston Cougars and the Maryland Terrapins. Houston may seem strange to many fans as it’s not known as a major football school but, there are multiple perks for Jalen Hurts. With Hurts being from Texas, playing for Houston gives his family the opportunity to watch him throw touchdowns every Saturday. The perk that might be most appealing to Hurts is their depth at quarterback which is practically none, besides upcoming sophomore Clayton True who struggled in his opportunity this year. This would give Hurts the opportunity to start right away on day one. Maryland the other option also has its perks, although their depth at quarterback is rather deep with four freshman, two sophomores and a junior. None of them have the experience Hurts has already in his career. The second perk being the conference in which they play in, the competition of the Big Ten may be something Hurts is looking for after dominating in the SEC he may be looking to see if he can do the same here. Wherever Hurts land I’ll be excited to see if he can bounce back after not starting this season, I’m not a huge fan of the Crimson Tide but I’m pulling for him on this one.

                 Kelly Bryant, a 6-4 dual threat QB from South Carolina, recently announced that he’ll be attending the University of Missouri after sitting out this season. Bryant decided to sit out this season after losing his starting job to freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence. During his one year as a starter, Bryant passed for 2800 yards and 13 TDs, while also chipping in 655 yards and 11 TDs on the ground. When he announced his decision to transfer, there were many different schools thrown into the conversation. He eventually decided upon Missouri, with their QB room opening up with the exit of Drew Lock who’s entering this year’s draft. Bryant will look to use his experience and dual-threat qualities to take over the helm and make the Tigers a force in the SEC. Bryant is transferring in hopes of improving his draft stock which wasn’t very high after just one season as a starter before being benched for the true freshman. I believe that although he’ll make himself at home next season, there are multiple schools that would be a better fit for Bryant. Missouri isn’t a team that is known for their quarterbacks to take off running, although Lock chipped in 6 TDs on the ground for the Tigers but primarily in goal line formation. My perfect fit for Kelly Bryant would’ve been UCLA out of the Pac-12, with two underclassmen QBs Bryant wouldn’t have to battle for the starting gig. Head coach Chip Kelly is known for his run, pass, option playbook and with his wheels and experience he could’ve made that offense his own.

               Justin Fields, most likely the most talked about transfer going into next season. The speedy, strong-arm freshman made the most of his limited snaps this year backing up Jake Fromm for the Georgia Bulldogs. In 39 attempts he was able throw for 328 yards 4 TDs and 0 INTs, while also adding 266 yards and 4 TDs running. After the season, Fields made the announcement everyone expected, he made his announcement that he would be leaving the Bulldogs. Fields decided upon Ohio State a legitimate powerhouse every year. As a fan of Ohio State, I have mixed emotions about this decision, although he’ll be an instant factor, I wish he would’ve chosen a different school. I know that sounds crazy not wanting a potential Heisman winner on my squad but I believe we already have a Heisman winner on the team and now he’s on the verge of leaving. Tate Martell a redshirt freshman has had the opportunity to watch multiple QBs run the offence and now it should be his opportunity to do the same. Martell had even fewer snaps this year than Fields this year, on 28 attempts he tossed for 269 yards and a touchdown while also adding 128 yards and 2 TDs on the ground. Martell announced recently that he would enter the transfer portal giving coaches the opportunity to pursue him. Ultimately, I believe Martell will stay this season and attempt to win the job but if he doesn’t, I believe we could be having this same conversation next season. This will be one of the most watched stories heading into next season and like many fans out there, I’ll be excited to see how it pans out.