These two words have set the college football ablaze the past week or so: transfer portal. Don’t know what it is? It’s fine. I didn’t either until these last few weeks. Under the new NCAA rules (starting October 15, 2018), student athletes are able to enter their name into this magical little database and “legally” be contacted by other schools, while still being enrolled at their current school. Doing so does not jeopardize a player’s eligibility going forward. However, when a player enters their name into the portal, they can lose their scholarship and potentially lose their current roster spot if their program so chooses. If the player has already graduated, they will not be required to sit out a year once at their new school. If the player has not graduated, there is still a waiver process that can take place to prevent them from being forced to sit out. 247 Sports does a pretty good job explaining this voodoo, so I suggest giving it a read for full clarity, because Lord knows I’m not doing it justice.
So now that that shit is out of the way, let’s go over the biggest transfers to date. I’m going to focus specifically on the biggest quarterback news, only because it’s the juiciest.
This is perhaps the biggest transfer news of the day. Jalen Hurts, the man who led Alabama to two straight national championship appearances only to be dethroned by Tua Tagovailoa, has confirmed that he is transferring to Oklahoma. I believe this is a great fit. Lincoln Riley has proven he can build an offense around any talented quarterback he gets his hands on, and Jalen Hurts will be no different. He will start right away, especially now that Austin Kendall is transferring to WVU (more on that later). While I think it’s a bit early for Heisman talk (even though he’ll be playing against piss-poor Big 12 defenses), you can’t help but imagine what three consecutive Oklahoma Heisman winning quarterbacks would look like. It would be an unbelievable run, something we’ve never seen before. What a move. Plus, just think about Jalen playing Alabama in next year’s playoff, which is a very real possibility. Three words: Must. Watch. Television.
Another crazy move that occurred last week was the Justin Fields transfer to Ohio State. This one confused me a little, given that Tate Martell was already on the roster. Fields and Martell were the #1 and #2 (respectively) dual-threat quarterbacks coming out of high school. With Martell already heavily entrenched in the offense as a backup, I initially didn’t understand this move. But now that Martell has also transferred, it looks like Fields will have the starting job wrapped up after struggling to make an impact behind Jake Fromm at Georgia. The Buckeyes also signed no quarterbacks in their 2019 recruiting class, so this looks like a done deal as long as he beats out a few preferred walk-ons. This all comes with a big IF though: he can only play if the NCAA rules him eligible. Academically, he’s squared away. Georgia most likely won’t block his transfer. But he needs to prove to the NCAA that his move to Columbus is better for his “health, safety and well-being”. Sheesh. This will be a story worth checking in on.
Either way, as a Penn State fan, this move makes me very nervous, especially considering newly promoted head coach Ryan Day had a huge hand in making Dwayne Haskins great. Justin Fields being eligible is nightmare fuel for Nittany Lion fans.
I’m going to make this one pretty short. If you haven’t watched season 1 of “QB1” on Netflix, please do. Only then will you understand why this kid sucks so much. I’m not sure what’s worse, this kid’s attitude or his dad’s soul patch.
Sorry, I hope this isn’t coming across as mean. Martell is actually quite good. But I guess he’s not confident enough in his own skills to stay and win the starting job over Justin Fields. Even after his tweet that oh-so-subtly called out Fields for leaving Georgia.
Yikes. That did not age well. Either way, he’s now going to Miami to replace Malik Rosier. Like they always say, THE U IS BACK (but probably not).
This transfer story is the best of them all. This man Austin Kendall was a 4-star pro-style quarterback coming out of high school, and ended up signing at Oklahoma. After sitting behind two Heisman winners, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, he thought he was finally going to be the big swinging dick in Norman, Oklahoma. But alas, it was not his time after all. Oklahoma seemed to be heading in a new direction following Murray’s departure, so Kendall took the hint and entered the transfer portal last week. As discussed above, Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma, leaving poor Austin with no option but to transfer if he wanted to see any time on the field. He decided today that he would be taking his talents to the Mountaineers of West Virginia. It was an interesting move, but transfer quarterbacks seem to thrive in Morgantown (cc: Will Grier) and Neal Brown would now have a quality passer to start his tenure. And since Kendall was a graduate transfer, he could play right away.
But the Sooners had other ideas.
Oklahoma initially blocked his transfer request to West Virginia. Why? No clue. The only (kinda) plausible reason I’ve seen is that the Sooners didn’t want him to go to another Big 12 school. The irony is stunning. After having two TRANSFER quarterbacks lead your program to two consecutive CFP appearances, you’re really going to deny this kid an opportunity to play somewhere else? I audibly laughed when I read this. Thankfully, those petty bastards in Norman eventually granted his transfer request.
Other Honorable Mentions
After losing his starting job to Ian Book at Notre Dame, Brandon Wimbush is transferring to UCF as a graduate transfer. I guess he just wants to showcase his abilities in a great offense, despite knowing there’s zero chance he will play for a national title. If his end goal is to play in the NFL, then I guess I get it.
Kelly Bryant transferred from Clemson to Missouri earlier this past season after losing his starting job to Sunshine himself, Trevor Lawrence. I’m very interested to see how he does on a squad that only went 8-5 this past year.
Boy do I love this new transfer portal thing. I’m so giddy I probably sound like my man Lou…