Enter the Portal: The Rivals100 QB transfers from the last four cycles
The transfer portal has been kicked into high gear and many top quarterbacks are looking for different programs. In the past four recruiting classes, 13 of the 36 Rivals100 QBs have transferred or are looking to transfer (4 of 16 pro-style, 9 of 20 dual-threat). Here is a look at those players what their future might hold:
MAKING THE CASE: Which 2019 QBs should finish as five-star prospects?
Among the four pro-style quarterbacks in the 2018 class in the Rivals100, all of them remain at their schools with Clemson's Trevor Lawrence just winning a national championship, JT Daniels the starter at USC, Matt Corral in contention to be the starter at Ole Miss and Stanford’s Tanner McKee serving a Mormon mission.
Among dual-threat quarterbacks, top-ranked Justin Fields has left Georgia after one season. The other six - UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Auburn’s Joey Gatewood, TCU's Justin Rogers, Notre Dame’s Phil Jurkovec, Florida’s Emory Jones and Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez - remain at their schools.
Performance: Serving as Jake Fromm’s backup, Fields completed 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. Used more as a Wildcat quarterback, the former five-star also rushed for 266 yards and four scores.
Farrell’s take: Fields has decided to take his talents to Ohio State, where he will follow Dwayne Haskins and play under Ryan Day. He was an outstanding talent out of high school with a strong arm, good accuracy and excellent mobility, so he’ll have success in Columbus where he will be used properly.
The 2017 class quarterbacks in the Rivals100 has had its fair share of transfers, with Hunter Johnson leaving Clemson for Northwestern and Chris Robison out of Oklahoma already. Top recruit Davis Mills remains at Stanford, Jake Fromm is the entrenched starter at Georgia and Kasim Hill remains at Maryland.
In the dual-threat ranks, Tate Martell has recently entered his name in the transfer portal but the three others in the Rivals100 - Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Mississippi State’s Keytaon Thompson - remain at their original spots.
The notable transfers from the 2017 Rivals100 quarterback class are listed below:
Recruiting: In December of his junior season, Johnson flipped his commitment from Tennessee to Clemson after a visit to the school. That same day, five-star DT Dexter Lawrence committed to the Tigers.
Performance: In June, Johnson announced his transfer to Northwestern. Purdue was the other front-runner for the former five-star from Brownsburg, Ind. He sat out this season and should compete for the Wildcats’ starting job next season.
Farrell’s take: Johnson was run out of town by Trevor Lawrence early before Lawrence became the star he is now. He was an excellent pocket passer with good field vision, size and a strong arm. He also had underrated mobility as a guy who could shift around the pocket and bide some time. He should be very successful at Northwestern.
Performance: An early enrollee at Oklahoma, Robison announced his transfer to Florida Atlantic in August. He was dismissed from the Sooners for a violation of team rules. In March it was reported FAU coach Lane Kiffin suspended Robison for another violation of team rules. This season Robison played in 12 games and threw for 2,540 yards with 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for three scores.
Farrell’s take: Robinson didn’t have great size but he was big enough, could move around and throw on the run and had a good feel for the game. Oklahoma would have been the best fit but he would have had to wait his turn clearly. He’s been up and down at FAU.
Recruiting: In June before his senior season, Martell committed to Ohio State. He had been committed to Washington entering 8th grade, backed off that pledge and then picked Texas A&M before reopening his recruitment and picking the Buckeyes.
Performance: As Dwayne Haskins’ backup this season, Martell played in six games completing 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 128 yards and two TDs. Last week, Martell entered the transfer portal following Justin Fields’ announcement he would transfer to Ohio State.
Farrell’s take: Martell doesn’t have a lot of size, but he has a ton of talent and he will have success wherever he lands. It’s a shame we won’t get to see him work under Day because I think that would have been a great combination at Ohio State. Martell is dynamic with his feet and can make all the throws and just missed being a five-star because of his lack of size.
Five quarterbacks made up the pro-style rankings in 2016 for the Rivals100 and there was a high-profile transfer at the top in Jacob Eason, who went to Georgia before leaving for Washington. Oklahoma’s Austin Kendall also added his name to the transfer portal in recent days. Stanford’s K.J. Costello, Florida’s Feleipe Franks and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins stayed. Haskins has declared for the NFL Draft.
Two of the three dual-threat QBs that recruiting cycle have moved on to other schools with Shea Patterson going from Ole Miss to Michigan and Malik Henry leaving Florida State, landing in junior college and then ending up at Nevada. Only Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano stayed at his original school.
The notable transfers from the 2016 Rivals100 quarterback class are listed below:
Recruiting: Eason committed to Georgia,but then seriously considered many other options, including Florida, after then-coach Mark Richt was fired. Kirby Smart made Eason a priority and he ended up sticking with the Bulldogs.
Performance: As a true freshman at Georgia, Eason started 12 of 13 games and finished the season with 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight picks. He was injured in the first game of his sophomore year, lost the starting job to Jake Fromm and decided to transfer to Washington, where he will be eligible next season.
Farrell’s take: Eason was a big kid coming out with a live arm and a good feel in the pocket so he will have success in the balanced offense that Washington likes to run. He can get the ball out quickly and make good decisions and showed a flash of his five-star talent in his freshman year at Georgia.
Recruiting: Less than a month after decommitting from Tennessee, Kendall made his pledge to Oklahoma in the spring before his senior season. Auburn, Kentucky and others were also involved.
Performance: As Kyler Murray’s backup this season, Kendall played in six games this season completing 12 of 17 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. On Friday, reports surfaced that Kendall had entered the transfer portal.
Farrell’s take: Kendall had a lot of talent coming out and was well suited for the Oklahoma offense but he got stuck behind Heisman winners. He has a live arm and can get the ball out quick and accurately so he’ll have success at his next stop.
Recruiting: An early commitment to Arizona, Patterson backed off that pledge and picked Ole Miss over LSU and USC. He left Ole Miss after the Hugh Freeze scandal and transferred to Michigan, where he’s now the starter.
Performance: In his first season with the Wolverines, Patterson finished with 2,600 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for two scores. In 10 games during his Ole Miss career, he threw for 23 TDs and 12 interceptions. In late December, Patterson announced he would return to Michigan next season.
Farrell’s take: Patterson was a dynamic talent in high school who would extend the play, lead his team from behind and make big plays when needed. Now at Michigan he has been solid and is expected to take the next step next season where he might get a bit more freedom to freelance which is his strength.
Recruiting: Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA were the four finalists for Henry, who seemed to be most focused on the Seminoles and the Irish before making his commitment to Florida State in November of his junior season.
Performance: Henry never played in a game at Florida State and dealt with at least one suspension before transferring to Independence (Kan.) C.C., the home of the Netflix show, Last Chance U. Last week, Nevada coach Jay Norvell announced Henry would join the team as a walk-on.
Farrell’s take: It’s not a shocker that Henry has struggled. He had a lot of talent and threw a great long ball but his off the field issues were evident in high school and have held him back. I don’t expect him to have any long term success until he can get his focus on football.
In the pro-style rankings, Josh Rosen stayed at UCLA for three years before becoming a first-round NFL Draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals. Washington’s Jake Browning just finished his senior season with the Huskies where he threw for 12,028 yards with 93 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.
There were six dual-threat quarterbacks in the Rivals100 that recruiting cycle and five of them have transferred. Blake Barnett originally signed with Alabama; Travis Waller (Jonsen) picked Oregon; Brandon Wimbush was at Notre Dame; Kyler Murray signed with Texas A&M; and Jarrett Stidham went to Baylor. The only dual-threat to stay at the same school has been Florida State’s Deondre Francois.
The notable transfers from the 2015 Rivals100 quarterback class are listed below:
Performance: White redshirted in 2016 and then injured his foot in 2016 before transferring to Memphis. He started for the Tigers this season throwing for 3,296 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Farrell’s take: White was a skinny but accurate quarterback out of high school who was set to excel in a spread. He had a great year at Memphis which is the perfect offense for him and I expect him to continue that success.
Recruiting: Barnett originally committed to Notre Dame during his junior year but later backed off his pledge to the Irish and seemed bound for Oregon. A late visit to Alabama changed everything and he picked the Crimson Tide in the summer before his senior season.
Performance: Barnett redshirted at Alabama in 2015 and then became the Crimson Tide starter before being replaced early in the season by Jalen Hurts. He appeared in four games at Arizona State before transferring to USF. Barnett was the starter this season where he threw for 2,710 yards with 12 TDs and 11 picks. He also rushed for 301 yards and eight touchdowns.
Farrell’s take: Barnett gave up at Alabama too soon and has bounced around quite a bit. Out of high school he was a tall, skinny kid with great mobility and a live arm but accuracy was an issue. He was once a five-star for us but fell to a four-star because of that accuracy problem and he still struggles with it.
Recruiting: In July before his senior season, Waller (who later changed his last name to Jonsen) committed to Oregon over Notre Dame, Alabama, Northwestern and others. He had a good relationship with then-assistant coach Scott Frost.
Performance: Jonsen never played at Oregon and then transferred to Riverside (Calif.) C.C. before landing at Montana State. He played in 12 games this season for the Bobcats where he threw for 43 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 199 yards and five scores.
Farrell’s take: Jonsen was a very talented kid who could do damage with his arm and his legs. He was raw as a passer but his upside was excellent so it’s surprising to see he hasn’t been able to find success.
Recruiting: In October of his senior season, Wimbush flipped his commitment from Penn State to Notre Dame. On social media, the four-star quarterback called it a “life decision.”
Performance: Wimbush played in six games this season throwing for 719 yards with four touchdowns and six picks. He also rushed for 256 yards and a touchdown but was replaced as the starter in late September by Ian Book.
Farrell’s take: Wimbush had a cannon of an arm coming out of high school but some accuracy issues and those issues never went away. He could always run around and extend the play and can still do that for some team, but expectations are much lower know that they were.
Recruiting: A legacy to Texas A&M, Murray committed to the Aggies despite a late push from Oregon and others in May of his junior year.
Performance: In one season as a starter at Texas A&M, Murray threw for 686 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 335 yards and a score. After one year, Murray transferred to Oklahoma. This past season Murray threw for 4,361 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven picks. He was second on the Sooners with 1,001 rushing yards and 12 TDs en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. Murray is now deciding whether to play pro baseball after being drafted by the Oakland A’s or to enter the NFL Draft.
Farrell’s take: Murray was a legend in high school and a guy we held back from a fifth star because of his lack of size but he played like a five-star this past season and now he could easily be a first rounder. His speed was never questioned nor was his accuracy, it was all about size.
Recruiting: In mid-December of his senior season, Stidham decommitted from Texas Tech and picked Baylor over Oregon and others nine days later. Kentucky, Oklahoma, Alabama and others were involved early on.
Performance: After playing one season at Baylor, Stidham transferred in the wake of the sexual assault scandal that hit the school. He spent one semester at Waco (Texas) McLennan C.C. where he did not play football before transferring to Auburn. This past season, Stidham threw for 2,794 yards with 18 touchdowns and five picks.
Farrell’s take: Stidham was a talented high school prospect who was up and down in camp settings and in our evaluations but who put up great numbers. I thought he would be great at Baylor under Art Briles but obviously that never happened. He wasn’t as successful at Auburn as I expected as he had the tendency to hold onto the ball too long and lock on receivers.