By Matt Murschel
Orlando Sentinel (TNS)
It’s been a busy offseason with the newly-minted transfer portal becoming a revolving door of players looking to continue their college careers elsewhere. No position has garnered as much attention as at quarterback, where some high-profile players have moved around the country.
Here is a look at a few names to keep an eye on in 2019.
Former school: Clemson
New school: Missouri
The writing was on the wall for Bryant who lost his starting job at Clemson to wunderkind Trevor Lawrence four games into last season despite having led the Tigers to a spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals a season earlier. He joins a Missouri program that was one of the top passing offenses in the SEC the past two seasons.
Former school: Texas
New school: SMU
Buechele saw his playing time and eventually his starting job with the Longhorns disappear with the emergence of Sam Ehlinger. The decision to transfer to SMU allows the Texas native to remain close to home while filling a need for the Mustangs who lost Ben Hicks to transfer. Buechele’s career completion percentage (62.2) makes him an attractive option for Sonny Dykes’ offense.
Former school: Georgia
New school: Ohio State
Nobody is happier that Fields received a waiver from the NCAA making him instantly eligible to play this season than new Ohio State coach Ryan Day. The Buckeyes were searching for a suitable replacement for Dwayne Haskins and with Tate Martell’s departure, Fields presumably takes up the mantle as a starter. It’s a big risk considering the talented playmaker has zero college starts to his name while at Georgia.
Former school: SMU
New school: Arkansas
Arkansas desperately needed an experienced quarterback and it got one in Hicks, a graduate transfer from SMU who passed for over 3,500 yards and 33 touchdowns in coach Chad Morris’ final year with the Mustangs before moving on to coach the Razorbacks in 2018. Hicks thrived in the three seasons under Morris and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, giving this team a major boost in 2019.
Former school: Alabama
New school: Oklahoma
Perhaps the biggest offseason acquisition was Hurts, who joins a growing list of former transfers who’ve continued their careers with the Sooners including Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Hurts’ pedigree is unmatched thanks to his time at Alabama where he went 26-2 as a starter, leading the Tide to back-to-back National Championship Games in 2016 and 2017 with the team claiming a win in 2016. Now under Lincoln Riley, Hurts could become the third straight OU quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy.
Former school: Virginia Tech
New school: Maryland
Jackson burst onto the scene in 2017 when he set records at Virginia Tech for passing yards (2,991) by a freshman while also adding 20 touchdowns and a passer rating of 135.2 along the way. But an injury derailed his 2018 season and he lost the starting job to Ryan Willis. He joins new Terrapins coach Mike Locksley, who recently spent time as the offensive coordinator at Alabama, working with Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa.
Former school: Clemson
New school: Northwestern
Northwestern fans have been waiting a year to see what Johnson can bring to the Wildcats after sitting out all of last season per NCAA rules after transferring in from Clemson. The 5-star prospect was well on his way to being the Tigers next quarterback but that all changed with the arrival of Trevor Lawrence. Now, he should become the cornerstone of Pat Fitzgerald’s offense as the team looks to capitalize off the momentum from last season’s divisional title.
Former school: Oklahoma
New school: West Virginia
After patiently sitting behind Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, it appeared Kendall would get his shot in 2019 but Jalen Hurts’ arrival instead predicated a transfer by the 4-star prospect who instead looks to continue his career at West Virginia under new coach Neal Brown. In Kendall, Brown gets a quarterback with a high football IQ as well as an accurate sideline-to-sideline passer.
Former school: Ohio State
New school: Miami
Martell was another quarterback who was biding time on a depth chart stuck behind starters J.T. Barrett (2017) and Dwayne Haskins (2018). However, the retirement of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer led Martell to transfer to Miami, where he received an NCAA waiver making him immediately eligible. His skill set, including a strong arm as well as quick feet, makes him a valuable asset for the Hurricanes.
Former school: Notre Dame
New school: UCF
With starter McKenzie Milton sidelined as he continues to recover from a massive leg injury suffered last season, UCF was in need of both depth and experience at the quarterback position. The Knights get that in Wimbush, who arrives as a graduate transfer after starting 16 games for the Fighting Irish. He has a big-time arm as well as excellent mobility, making him well-suited for UCF’s type of offense.