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UCF Should Take a Quarterback from the Transfer Portal

With Dillon Gabriel leaving, UCF needs to find a good fit at quarterback from the transfer portal.

ORLANDO - The Knights must move on without quarterback Dillon Gabriel returning to the Bounce House again. There are multiple ways to improve the quarterback situation without Gabriel on the depth chart, including the transfer portal.

Of course the Knights return signal callers Mikey Keene, Parker Navarro and Joey Gatewood, plus incoming quarterback recruit Thomas Castellanos. There are no definite impact players for the 2022 season from that list, at least as the situation sits today there’s not.

Yes, Keene could grow exponentially in the next nine months and be very good in 2022. Same with the multi-talented Castellanos, just as two examples. They are young. UCF needs to build its quarterback depth chart to provide more assurance for success in 2022. That’s where the transfer portal comes into play.

Finding an experienced signal caller is a priority, and it needs to be one that can help the Knights next season.

Bringing in the Right Fit

There are candidates out there like Tennessee quarterback Harrison Bailey, a coveted signal caller out of Marietta, Ga. that was offered by a plethora of programs. He’s a pure pocket signal caller, however, and he’s not a fit for what most college football programs run nowadays.

That’s why UCF will not be his final destination. Assuming the Knights sign a player from the portal, he must be at least as mobile as current UCF quarterback Mikey Keene, and preferably a player that’s even more inclined to run the football.

The UCF Football program does not need the next Kyler Murray to be successful at the quarterback position, but the dynamic of a runner is one that Head Coach Gus Malzahn has been successful with at the quarterback position in the past. That’s likely to be the formula moving forward, too.

Possible Candidates to Come to Orlando

There’s no public option that’s known just yet. That will change very fast.

This list of transfer quarterbacks will probably explode in the next two to three weeks. The college football regular season came to a close on Saturday. Keep that in mind.

Now, there are quarterbacks that undoubtedly communicate with schools prior to actually entering the portal. The prime word here would be communicate.

So, who's communicating? Is it the player, his high school coach, or possibly a parent or guardian that’s talking with schools behind the current school’s back?

Probably at least one of those, if not a combination. Welcome to college football in 2021.

Once the NCAA opened up the chance for immediate eligibility for college football players, this was going to happen.

Who knows what UCF will do with a transfer signal caller, but one can be assured the UCF coaching staff is far more knowledgeable about the quarterback(s) about to enter the portal than just about everyone else.

Patience is Key

There could be a bit of a waiting period for UCF Football taking a transfer. It’s the most important position on the field. UCF needs to take a transfer, but it needs to be the best candidate available.

This process will play out in relative short order, but it’s not something that can be rushed just to relieve anxiety.

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Timeline

Nothing is certain right now, but it would be surprising if the Knights did not land a quarterback from the portal by no later than early-to-mid-January.

Final Thoughts

UCF needs to find additional help at the quarterback position. The transfer portal provides a viable option for the quarterback room to improve, and it’s one that could possibly help very quickly.

Expect more updates about UCF’s quarterback situation relatively soon.

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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