Kelly Bryant, Jalen Hurts, Tate Martell, Brandon Wimbush, Justin Fields, Austin Kendall and Shane Buechele. These names all have one word in common: transfer.
Each of these notable quarterbacks have entered the transfer portal and are using the college football free agency off-season to their advantage.
Bryant, a one-year starter for the Clemson Tigers, led the team to the CFB playoffs in his first year as a starter before losing to Alabama 24-6. In the next year, freshman Trevor Lawrence beat him for the starting position. Kelly shortly announced his intentions to transfer after the fourth game of the season. Bryant left the Clemson program mid-way through the season and transferred to Missouri.
Hurts has a 26-2 record as the starting QB for Alabama. His only losses came against Clemson and Auburn. In both years, he made the national championship. Like Bryant, Hurts also lost his starting role as QB the following year. Tua Tagovailoa took over for Hurts in the second half of the 2017-2018 national championship.
In the 2018 Southeastern Conference championship, Tagovailoa sprained his ankle and Hurts entered the game. Hurts led a 14-point comeback against the Georgia Bulldogs and cement his legacy in Alabama fans across the nation.
Most of these QB’s are transferring due to losing their position to a better, younger and more talented QB. Most notably Brandon Wimbush, a Notre Dame QB, lost his job to Ian Book after the first game of the season. Wimbush has announced he is transferring to University of Central Florida. Shane Buechele, a Texas QB, lost his position to Sam Ehlinger. He has not made his final decision on where he will transfer.
Others left in the first place, such as Justin Fields, a Georgia five-star backup QB to second year starter Jake Fromm. Tate Martell sat behind Dwayne Haskins as a highly touted four-star QB. Austin Kendall sat behind Heisman winner Kyler Murray for a season, Kendall was ranked in top eight for Heisman voting.
The move for Hurts and Fields cost Kendall and Martell their jobs. Head Coach Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma told Kendall he was not accepting transfer QB’s, that changed as Hurts made his decision final to go to Oklahoma.
Fields’ move to Ohio State had Martell leaving before he got there as Martell transferred to Miami, with Hurt’s decision, Kendall was on the move to the West Virginia program.
If so, it would mean players could move freely throughout off-seasons without reprimands for leaving a program. The typical movement for an undergraduate is to lose a year of eligibility of play. Should that be the bottom-line for a undergraduate to transfer? With first-year players such as Martell and Fields are on the move. Should they be allowed to play or have to sit?
Does the NCAA let them transfer freely or make each one sit out for at least one year?