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2021 is a Unique Year for Transfer Portal Quarterbacks

There is a lot to be decided for many quarterbacks across college football, and the transfer portal will be very interesting this year.

With the transfer portal being all the rage in an effort to win immediately in college football, there’s going to be some heated recruiting battles for top signal callers looking to change college football programs.

It’s also a year where there’s a lot of uncertainty because of underclassmen that could turn pro a year early. There is also the possibility of schools just wanting to add a new quarterback to the roster that could compete for the starting quarterback position amongst a depth chart that does not have a clear No. 1 signal caller.

Here’s a look at five different categories that need to play out with the transfer portal and how it could make a difference with which schools end up seeking a new quarterback or not.

Which Schools Lose Their Quarterbacks?

The discussion starts with the “Covid-19” year of eligibility that players could use courtesy of the NCAA. Every college football player that played in 2020 gets that year back. Therefore, some players might come back that have already played four seasons.

With that in mind, here are a few programs to think about that are or could lose their starting quarterback because he’s in at least his fourth year of college football.

Cincinnati - Desmond Ridder - Four year starter.

Florida - Emory Jones - Back depending on the next head coach?

Florida State - Jordan Travis - He's come on late this season. Back next year?

Georgia - Stetson Bennett - Probably replaced by backup JT Daniels.

Iowa - Spencer Petras - Most likely back in Iowa City next season.

Iowa State - Brock Purdy - Should be drafted into the NFL.

Louisville - Malik Cunningham - One of the hardest to figure out what will happen.

Minnesota - Tanner Morgan - Did not have a great year. Back for one more?

Nebraska - Adrian Martinez - Not ready for the NFL. Stays? Transfers?

Notre Dame - Jack Coan - Not expected back and should test the NFL.

Penn State - Sean Clifford - Seems to be a good bet to come back to Happy Valley.

Pittsburgh - Kenny Pickett - Will be in the NFL next season.

Purdue - Aidan O’Connell - Big arm. Could be a player that does well at the combine.

Tennessee - Hendon Hooker - Could come back, or head to the NFL?

UCF - Dillon Gabriel - Entering transfer portal. Knights will be seeking a quarterback.

Virginia - Brennan Armstrong - Talented lefty probably headed to NFL.

Virginia Tech - Braxton Burmeister - Let's see who's hired in Blackburg.

Wake Forest - Sam Hartman - Not great size for NFL, but he's played four years.

Teams Not Likely Looking for a Transfer

The 2021 season is one with a plethora of starting quarterbacks with eligibility to play one more if not two more seasons of college football.

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For instance, there’s Bryce Young (sophomore) at Alabama, Max Johnson (sophomore) at LSU, CJ Stroud (redshirt freshman) at Ohio State, and Tyler Van Dyke (redshirt freshman) at Miami just to name four.

The SEC West might not lose anyone other than Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral. In fact, that’s likely. The ACC could also see really good underclassmen signal callers return next season.

If Corral enters the NFL Draft, Ole Miss Head Coach Lane Kiffin will probably want a quarterback from the transfer portal

If Corral enters the NFL Draft, Ole Miss Head Coach Lane Kiffin will probably want a quarterback from the transfer portal

Players like North Carolina State’s Devin Leary (redshirt sophomore), and Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei (sophomore), should be back for their respective schools.

Players Expected to Transfer?

This quarterback list is very premature, but one has to believe that Oklahoma junior Spencer Rattler is leaving Norman, Okla. with Caleb Williams now the starter behind center.

There will be other names that hit the portal soon, as the college football regular season just concluded.

Who Tests the NFL Waters Early?

Just as an example of a player that could probably use another year but might be on the fence about testing the NFL waters, look no further than in Los Angeles.

What about Dorian Thompson-Robinson for UCLA? The senior could come back for a fifth-year, but he did pass for 2,409 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions, plus 609 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

If he does not come back to the Bruins, that’s yet another program that’s possibly seeking a quarterback.

Across town, there’s Kedon Slovis at Southern California. He’s a junior with a good arm and he’s played in a passing offense that’s quite popular in the NFL right now. Slovis threw for 2,153 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season, and he missed the final two games while being banged up.

Of course there’s North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell. He’s a definite first round draft pick possibility after he’s thrown for 2,851 yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Howell also rushed for 826 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

There will be other quarterbacks that leave early as well, and it’s a list that will quickly grow from this week moving forward.

Which Teams Simply Need a Quarterback?

Right here in Florida, it’s possible that Florida State goes the transfer portal route. It’s not a lock that it will happen, but it’s certainly something that could come about whether or not Travis returns to Tallahassee. There are certainly teams in a similar situation like Texas A&M that’s not seen consistent quarterback play from Zach Calzada.

Syracuse certainly needs a quarterback, and there’s a program like South Carolina that’s in dire need of consistency at the quarterback position. The list is long.

Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota and Stanford are a few more programs that did not finish this season inside the top 80 in passing. Any one of them could seek a quarterback transfer.

For UCF coverage and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. For more college football, UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as my YouTube Channel and Instagram page. Like and Subscribe!

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