Transfer Tracker: Ranking QB transfers for 2019-2020 cycle
The transfer portal has changed the college football landscape for good, altering recruiting strategies and allowing schools to plug in transfers at positions of need. With that in mind, Rivals.com will rank the transfers at every position for each transfer cycle. The rankings will be updated as new players enter the transfer portal and announce their destinations. The rankings cover any player that has transferred during the 2019-2020 cycle (Aug. 1 2019 to July 31, 2020).
First up on the list is the quarterback position.
1. Jamie Newman - Wake Forest to Georgia
As a recruit: NC State, North Carolina and West Virginia were all involved early in Newman's recruitment, but a spring visit to Wake Forest, combined with the opportunity to compete for playing time early, ended up leading to a spring commitment to the Demon Deacons.
At Wake Forest: Newman didn't get the chance to jump right into the lineup as he might have hoped, instead redshirting his first year and then barely seeing the field in 2017. Newman's career started to take off in 2018 after an injury to Sam Hartman led to him finishing the year as the school's starter. After leading the team to a 3-1 finish to close the season he won the starting job heading into 2019 and didn't disappoint when given the opportunity. Newman had a record-setting season, throwing for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdown passes while also rushing for 574 yards and six touchdowns. After the season he decided to transfer and quickly made the decision to head to Georgia following Jake Fromm's decision to enter the NFL Draft.
Farrell's Take: "Newman is a big kid who always had a live arm and could hurt you throwing on the run. The Georgia offense will likely change a bit to accommodate his skills, and RPOs could be in order. But make no mistake: He’s a Power Five talent. The job he did at Wake Forest was impressive."
Impact rating: 9.2 out of 10.
2. KJ Costello - Stanford to Mississippi State
As a recruit: One of the top quarterbacks in the nation, Costello had his share of options before committing to Stanford during the spring of his junior year.
At Stanford: Costello redshirted his first year on campus before eventually taking the job from Keller Chryst midway through the year in 2017. As the full-time starter in 2018, Costello had a career year while being named the second team All-Pac-12 quarterback. But injuries derailed his 2019 campaign and he was in and out of the lineup all year.
With former five-star Davis Mills impressing as his replacement, Costello elected to transfer for his final year of eligibility. In his career, Costello is 494-of-790 passing for 6,141 yards, 49 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He landed at Mississippi State with a familiar face from the Pac-12, former Washington State head coach Mike Leach.
Farrell's Take: "Costello was a terrific quarterback in high school with poise and accuracy and he’s going from a pro-style offense to an Air Raid offense under Leach. But trust me, he has the skill set to flourish and he gets the ball out quickly. He could put up some monster numbers. I liked what I saw from Costello many times at Stanford."
Impact rating: 9.1 out of 10
3. D'Eriq King - Houston to Miami
As a recruit: King initially committed to TCU as an athlete, but then changed his mind because of his desire to play quarterback full time at the college level. Houston immediately became a favorite, with then-coach Tom Herman making him a priority. Soon after, in late December, he committed to the Cougars.
At Houston: Despite coming to Houston because he wanted to play quarterback, King actually started his career at wide receiver. He caught 29 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown during his freshman season before moving to quarterback full time late in the season. During his sophomore year, he split time between both positions again, starting three games at wide receiver before finishing the year as the Cougars' full-time starter.
In 2018, he had one of the best years in program history, setting a conference record with 50 touchdowns despite missing two games. That season he threw for nearly 3,000 yards while rushing for 674 more. He entered 2019 as a dark horse Heisman contender, but played only four games before electing to sit out the rest of the year and preserve a year of eligibility. Despite saying at the time he had no plans to transfer, King did enter the portal following the season and quickly landed at Miami for his final year of eligibility.
Farrell's Take: "King had an amazing season at Houston a few years ago, and he can really drive defenses crazy with his ability to extend the play. He should take the Miami offense to the next level and will make the Hurricanes much more dangerous because of what he can do on the run."
Impact rating: 9.1 out of 10
4. J.T. Daniels -- USC to Georgia
As a recruit: Daniels had his list of offers from coast-to-coast and committed to USC over Michigan, Stanford, and Washington. Daniels was the No. 1 overall player in the Class of 2019, only to reclassify following his junior season, mainly because of the Trojans need for a quarterback.He again won the starting job last August and completed 25 of 34 passes for 215 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in the opener last season against Fresno State before sustaining a season-ending torn ACL and meniscus in his knee.
At USC: Daniels won the starting job as a freshman and stepped right into the lineup, having an up-and-down freshman year finishing with 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. With a new offense in place for the 2019 season, Daniels was expected to have a breakout year, but was injured Week 1 and missed the rest of the season. He was replaced by Kedon Slovis, who had a terrific season. After initially looking he would return and compete with Slovis for the starting job, Daniels reversed course and entered the portal.
Farrell's Take: "Daniels was a five star out of high school for a reason and ranked third behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields in his class even though he accelerated a grade. He throws one of the best deep balls you’ll see and has amazing touch on his passes. But he can also zip it in tight windows when needed as well. He showed flashes of excellent at USC and lost his job to injury so this transfer has little to do with talent. He’s a high impact player, one of the highest in recent transfer memory, but the problem is he’s headed to Georgia where a guy named Jamie Newman from Wake Forest is also going. If Daniels has to wait a year that’s okay, his impact is still very high but less so at Georgia in comparison to other places where he would be the man from day one."
Impact rating: 8.8 out of 10
5. Peyton Ramsey - Indiana to Northwestern
As a recruit: An Ohio native, Ramsey collected a few Power Five offers but elected to end his recruitment during the spring of his junior year and commit to Indiana.
At Indiana: After a redshirt season in 2016, Ramsey worked his way into the lineup in 2017, playing in eight games and starting four. He took over as the full-time starter in 2018, throwing for 2,875 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 starts.
He lost the starting job to Michael Penix heading into 2019, but was thrust back into the lineup after Penix suffered a season-ending injury. He didn't disappoint, leading the team to an eight-win season. But with Penix returning, Ramsey elected to finish his career elsewhere and landed within the Big Ten at nearby Northwestern.
Ramsey threw for 6,581 yards, 42 touchdowns and 23 interceptions while completing 66.5 percent of his passes at Indiana. He also rushed for 832 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Farrell's Take: "Ramsey was very solid at Indiana and brings a lot to the table when it comes to poise and accuracy, and I think he’ll be the guy right away at Northwestern. The Wildcats have more issues than quarterback, but he will help the offense stay on the field and avoid turnovers. He was very effective at Indiana under pressure."
Impact rating: 8.5 out of 10
6. Jake Bentley - South Carolina to Utah
As a recruit: Bentley was initially a member of the class of 2017, but reclassified to the class of 2016 shortly after committing to South Carolina.
At South Carolina: Despite being a late arrival in Columbia while finishing up his high school academic work, Bentley quickly turned heads with the Gamecocks. After the team sputtered out of the gates in the 2016 season, Bentley was inserted into the lineup and quickly impressed. He finished his freshman season with 1,420 yards and nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
Over the next two seasons, Bentley would have plenty of highs and lows, including leading the Gamecocks to a 9-4 record as a sophomore. He dealt with injuries and regressed some as a junior, but came into 2019 looking to lead the Gamecocks back to contention in the SEC East. That goal ended quickly as Bentley suffered a season-ending injury on the last play of the school’s season-opening loss to North Carolina.
Farrell's Take: "Bentley has smarts and a solid arm and as a coach's son he can read defenses well. His time at South Carolina was up and down, but he’s a good fit for Utah because he won’t be asked to win games, just manage the offense."
Impact rating: 8.4 out of 10
7. Chase Brice - Clemson to Duke
As a recruit: Brice's recruitment included a number of schools, including Michigan State and Oregon, but he surprised many when he elected to pull the trigger and commit to Clemson shortly after his junior season. Brice committed just two days after five-star quarterback Hunter Johnson, which surprised many, considering how many options Brice had.
At Clemson: Brice redshirted his first year on campus behind Kelly Bryant and Johnson, and was likely headed for very limited playing time in 2018 as well, even after the transfer of Johnson. The arrival of five-star Trevor Lawrence seemed to further the point that Brice was buried on the bench, but after Bryant left the team after four games and Lawrence went down with an injury, Brice was thrust into the lineup against Syracuse. He ended up leading the Tigers to victory on a game-winning drive, helping the team secure an undefeated season en route the national championship.
He was a backup again in 2019 and after graduating early he elected to move on as a grad transfer. Brice has two seasons of eligibility remaining heading to his new home at Duke. Brice threw for 1,023 yards with nine touchdowns in four interceptions during his time with the Tigers. He also rushed for 187 yards and a score.
Farrell's Take: "Duke has done a good job developing quarterbacks and Brice makes up for a lack of athleticism with smarts and accuracy. He’s also a great leader, and David Cutcliffe will get the best out of him. Brice is the ultimate team player and he won’t make many mistakes. He didn’t get to show much at Clemson, but when he did come in when the team needed him, he delivered."
Impact rating: 8.3 out of 10
8. Joey Gatewood - Auburn to Kentucky
As a recruit: Gatewood emerged during his freshman season as a name to know in the recruiting world and despite a lack of playing time on Friday nights he still garnered interest from all over the country. Despite being an early lean to Florida State, Gatewood ended up committing to Auburn as a sophomore, following in the steps of his idol Cam Newton.
At Auburn: Gatewood redshirted as a freshman in 2018 and then battled Bo Nix for the starting job heading into the 2019 season. Gatewood ended up losing the job, but still played in seven games for the Tigers, mostly in short-yardage and reserve duty, and scored five touchdowns this past season.
After being rumored to transfer for a while, Gatewood finally made the move late in the fall. He landed at Kentucky, where he's already enrolled and hoping to be granted eligibility in 2020. Even if he's not eligible to play this season, he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining in 2021 and 2022.
Farrell's Take: "Gatewood is an immense talent and a huge kid who can run. Accuracy has been an issue for him, but when he gets in a rhythm he can be hard to stop. He’ll be an excellent dual threat in the Kentucky offense, which will run RPOs and he will play that poor man’s Cam Newton role that was expected at Auburn."
Impact rating: 8.1 out of 10
9. Taulia Tagovailoa -- Alabama to Maryland
As a recruit: Tagovailoa garnered a number of offers but it was clear from the early going that he would join his older brother Tua at Alabama, and he committed to the Tide during the spring of his junior year.
At Alabama: Tagovailoa appeared in five games as a true freshman while backing up his brother and Mac Jones in 2019, playing a total of 61 snaps according to Pro Football Focus. He completed 9-of-12 passes for 100 yards a touchdown. With Jones and incoming five-star Bryce Young both ahead of him on the depth chart, Tagovailoa made the decision to enter the portal. He will have three years of eligibility at his next school.
Farrell's Take: ""Tua’s brother as he’s known to most has some talent of his own as a strong armed quarterback with the ability to zip the football into tight spaces. He doesn’t have the touch his brother had or the same fluidity in footwork but this kid can plant and throw. He’s a tad shorter and thicker than his brother but might have a stronger arm. He redshirted last year so he has many years left but he’s hard to read as far as impact. But Mike Locksley knows him well and the Terps are a good fit as he can be a multi-year starter.""
Impact Rating: 7.4 out of 10
10. Keytaon Thompson -- Mississippi State to Virginia
At Mississippi State: Thompson saw spot playing time as a freshman, appearing in 10 games and throwing for 388 yards and rushing for another 446 yards. He started Week 1 of the 2018 season with then-starter Nick Fitzgerald suspended and tied a school record with seven total touchdowns. While he seemed destined to take over the reins this fall, things changed when graduate transfer Tommy Stevens joined the program after the spring and won the job. Thompson entered the portal briefly in August, only to withdraw his name and return to the Bulldogs. Even when Stevens went down with an injury, it was freshman Garrett Shrader that saw playing time instead of Thompson. He finished his Mississippi State career with 846 yards passing with eight touchdowns and three interceptions as well as 672 yards rushing and 10 scores. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
Farrell's Take: "Thompson has always had a live arm and athletic ability so he has potential at Virginia where Bryce Perkins flourished. His size, the experience he has against SEC teams and his overall skill set will allow him to push as a starter in the ACC. I this is a good fit as the Virginia offense suits his skill set and he won’t be asked to take over games. Bronco Mendenhall does a solid job with quarterbacks with Robert Anae bringing them along."
Impact Rating: 7.1 out of 10
11. Feleipe Franks - Florida to Arkansas
As a recruit: An early target for several programs, Franks surprised some when he committed to LSU as an underclassman. But as his recruitment went along and things changed, he made a late flip to Florida in 2015.
At Florida: Franks redshirted his first year on campus and won the job heading into the 2017 season. But his first start got off on the wrong foot against Michigan and he was pulled after a half of play. He moved in and out of the lineup for Florida and finished the year with 1,438 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Franks got a fresh start under coach Dan Mullen in 2018 and made the most of his opportunities, leading the team to a 10-3 record and throwing for 2,457 yards with 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He came into 2019 looking to improve even more, but his season was cut short after just three games when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury. After being replaced by Kyle Trask, who played well in his absence, Franks made the decision to transfer. He landed at Arkansas for his final year of eligibility.
Farrell's Take: "Franks has a cannon of an arm and he plays with a ton of passion and toughness, so he’s a good fit for Sam Pittman at Arkansas. He will be up against it in the SEC West after being up and down at Florida, but his physical skills have to have Arkansas fans excited."
Impact rating: 7.0 out of 10
12. Kevin Thomson -- Sacramento State to Washington
As a recruit: Thomson had mostly FCS offers, but an offer from UNLV midway through his senior season changed things and led to him committing to the Rebels in Dec. 2013.
At UNLV/Sacramento State: Thomson spent two years with the Rebels but didn't appear in a game before a coaching change led to him leaving the program. He eventually landed at FCS program Sacramento State, where he started a combined 15 games between 2017 and 2018. Thomson's breakout season came in 2019, when he threw for 3,216 yards and 27 touchdowns while also rushing 619 yards and 12 touchdowns. Because he missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons after having Tommy John surgery, Thomson was awarded the very rare seventh season of eligibility, which he will use at Washington.
Farrell's Take: "Thomson was a tall, skinny but athletic quarterback coming out of high school way back in 2014 who was overlooked mostly because he played for a new school that wasn’t recruited heavily in the state of Washington. In his two biggest games last season he had solid efforts against Fresno State and Arizona State compiling nearly 500 yards and 4 TDs with one pick. He’s a mobile kid and has some upside although the level of competition in the PAC-12 is a huge game to game leap."
Impact rating: 6.9 out of 10
13. Anthony Brown -- Boston College to Oregon
As a recruit: Brown garnered his fair share of offers as a recruit but it really came down to a battle between Syracuse and Boston College. In the end, the Eagles won out, landing his commitment during the spring of his junior year.
At Boston College: After redshirting his first season on campus in 2016, Brown surprised many when he took control of the starting job out of camp in 2017. From that point on he was the Eagles starter, with only injuries keeping him out of the lineup. He ended up starting 28 total games from 2017-19, but injuries limited him to just six games in 2019. Over his career he has 4,738 yards passing with 40 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He also has 423 career rushing yards. Brown entered the portal following the 2019 season and committed to Oregon for his final year of eligibility in April.
Farrell's Take: "Brown has a strong arm and has some mobility and when he gets into a passing rhythm he can be tough to stop. He wasn’t utilized that well in a run-happy Boston College offense and bigger things are expected of him at Oregon. He was raw and limited out of high school and is still a hot and cold passer as far as accuracy goes but his upside is excellent."
Impact rating: 6.6 out of 10
14. Austin Burton -- UCLA to Purdue
As a recruit: Burton started his career in the Northeast and initially made a commitment to nearby Boston College during the summer following his junior year. But that pledge didn't last for long as he flipped to UCLA a little more than a month later. Burton finished up his high school career in Florida, playing his senior season in the Orlando area.
At UCLA: Burton spent his first two seasons with the Bruins as a backup and didn't appear in a game. That changed in 2019, when he saw time in six games, including a start against Oregon State. Burton was effective as a replacement for Dorian Thompson-Robinson, throwing for 365 yards and a touchdown while also completing nearly 69 percent of his passes. He also rushed 23 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Farrell's Take: "Jeff Brohm does a really good job with quarterbacks and Purdue has a passer-friendly offense so Burton can use the experience he gained in the UCLA offense and make a run at putting some big numbers up in the Big 10. He’s a smart quarterback and can read defenses well so this is a good fit with a former quarterback as his head coach."
Impact rating: 6.2 out of 10.
29. Michael Johnson -- Penn State to undecided -- Impact rating: 4.9
39. Grant Loy -- Bowling Green to Auburn -- Impact rating: 3.5
45. Chris Ferguson -- Maine to Liberty -- Impact rating: 2.0
IMPACT METER EXPLAINED
The Transfer Portal continues to change the way college football programs recruit and mange their rosters, so we here at Rivals.com continue to evolve our coverage. Each time a player of note enters the portal we will examine their potential impact on the college football landscape and assign an impact rating, both when they enter the portal and when they choose a destination. The scale is from 1 to 10 and the description below explains the scoring scale.
1.1-4.0 — Not a big impact expected. Likely a non-starter and down-the-bench depth player.
4.1- 6.0 — A solid impact can be expected in the right scenario, and has the potential to battle for a starting job.
6.1-9.0. — A high-impact player who won’t change a program but will certainly be a very good contributor and starter.
9.1- 9.9 — A very-high impact player who should start the moment he steps on the field and will change the outlook of a program immediately.
10 — A franchise transfer who has a chance to be an All American and one of the elite players in college football.