College Football QB Newsletter - December 11, 2023
CFB Quarterback Transfer Portal, Recruiting, Depth Chart, Injury & NFL Draft News of the Day
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We’re down to single-digit days before the Early Signing Period for the 2024 recruiting class with plenty of programs looking for last-minute flips especially at the quarterback position.
Unlike any other spot on the field, QBs switch schools more than most in large part because of how quickly they commit. There are already 40 quarterbacks that committed to an FBS program in the 2025 class, according to our latest update, despite not being able to sign for more than a year. Two are already committed to teams in the 2026 class.
Today’s College Football QB Newsletter hits on plenty of recruiting updates in addition to notes on quarterback rooms set to participate in bowl games, which start this weekend. Of course, we’ll also hit on the latest news inside the transfer portal, which now consists of 119 FBS quarterbacks and nine committed.
Mississippi State received a commitment from 2024 4-star QB Michael Van Buren (MD), he told On3’s Hayes Fawcett. He made an official visit to see the Bulldogs over the weekend one week after decommitting from Oregon. Head coach Jeff Lebby should be good news for the Bulldogs landing quality quarterbacks, and they may not be done yet in this class as they look to flip in-state 4-star QB Anthony Maddox, who is currently committed to Texas A&M.
Ole Miss had Texas A&M 2024 4-star QB commit Anthony Maddox on campus this weekend, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. Maddox committed to the old Aggies coaching staff in February and picked up an offer from the Rebels. He has since received predictions from 247Sports and On3 to land with Ole Miss as it looks to get a late flip without a 2024 quarterback currently committed. Texas A&M has another QB commitment from 4-star Miles O’Neill (NJ) in the class.
NC State 2024 4-star QB Cedrick Bailey Jr. (FL) announced he’s locked in to the Wolfpack despite increased interest from Miami. Bailey has been committed to NC State since March and landed an offer from the in-state Hurricanes last month. The Wolfpack have held on to him thus far with a week and a half before they can seal the deal. Miami’s lone quarterback commitment in the class is 3-star Judd Anderson (GA).
Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
Coming off a visit to in-state Indiana on Friday night, 2024 4-star QB Tyler Cherry was expected to see Michigan State on Saturday, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. Cherry has been committed to Duke since May, and all three programs underwent a coaching change. The Hoosiers and Spartans recently lost commitments from 2024 quarterbacks as we get closer to the Early Signing Period.
Indiana received two predictions from Rivals to land 2024 3-star QB Alberto Mendoza (FL), who was committed to the Hoosiers’ new staff when they were at James Madison. Mendoza decommitted from the Dukes last week and picked up a Hoosiers offer and visited over the weekend.
Ball State 2024 3-star QB commit Alessio Milivojevic (IL) received three 247Sports crystal ball predictions to land at Michigan State. He has been committed to the Cardinals since June but picked up a Spartans offer last week and will make a visit this weekend, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. Michigan State is currently without a quarterback commitment in the class after losing 3-star Henry Hasselbeck (MA) recently.
San Diego State received 247Sports crystal ball picks to add 2024 3-star QB Danny O’Neil, who recently decommitted from Colorado. He committed to the Buffaloes at a time when Sean Lewis was their offensive coordinator, and he has since been hired as the head coach for the Aztecs. O’Neil was recently offered by San Diego State and was on campus this weekend, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. The Aztecs do not currently have a quarterback committed to their 2024 class.
2024 3-star QB Deyon Batiste (TX) announced he reopened his recruitment after committing to Iowa State in June. The Cyclones already have a quarterback in the class with in-state 3-star Connor Moberly, who has been committed since April.
2025 3-star QB Quentin Murphy (AR) released a top eight that included Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Louisville. Of those programs, the Bulldogs, Crimson Tide, Volunteers and Spartans are without a quarterback committed in their 2025 class more than a year away before they can sign.
2024 3-star QB Jared Hollins has been committed to in-state South Alabama since June. Hollins has been listed as an athlete by recruiting ranking sites but ultimately appears to be playing quarterback at the next level.
2024 3-star QB Neko Fann (GA) committed to Middle Tennessee last month as the Blue Raiders landed their quarterback for the class. Fann committed to the previous coaching staff and has been receiving FCS offers over the last few weeks.
2025 3-star QB Kolton Matson (WA) has been in contact with in-state schools Washington, Washington State and Eastern Washington, according to 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman. Matson visited each of those programs for games this fall and is uncommitted.
2024 3-star QB Cru Newman (OR) has been in contact with in-state programs Oregon and Oregon State, in addition to Fresno State, Boise State and Eastern Washington, according to 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman.
2024 3-star QB Jack Stanton (GA) committed to Houston Christian in late October and is coming off a recent official visit ahead of the Early Signing Period.
DEPTH CHART & INJURY REPORT
Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman said he will let players make their announcements when asked about potential opt outs for the Sun Bowl against Oregon State on Dec. 29. It’s unclear whether Sam Hartman (Stats) will play in one final game but if he does not, Steve Angeli (Stats) is next up on the depth chart.
LSU will likely go with Garrett Nussmeier (Stats) as the starter in the 2024 season, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel. The Tigers need to replace Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels (Stats), who’s out of eligibility after this season. LSU has come up plenty of times in transfer QB rumors, but it may decide to give Nussmeier his first shot at the starting role next season. Daniels has not announced whether he will play in the ReliaQuest Bowl on New Year’s Day against Wisconsin, so we may see the Nussmeier era start early.
Miami QB Jacurri Brown (Stats) will start the Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers on Dec. 28 in what will be his season debut. Brown made sure to use this as a redshirt season and still has three years of eligibility remaining following the bowl game. The Hurricanes need a new starter in 2024 with Tyler Van Dyke (Stats) in the transfer portal. True freshman Emory Williams (Stats) took over as the starter before suffering a season-ending injury. Williams and Brown are the top two candidates on the roster to start in 2024, though the Hurricanes have been active in the transfer QB market.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said he expects QB Bryson Barnes (Stats) to be available for the Las Vegas Bowl against Northwestern on Dec. 23. Barnes is currently in the transfer portal but will stick with the Utes through the bowl game. He took over as the starter this season but missed the regular season finale with an illness and injury but is expected to be the guy one final time. Cam Rising (Stats) will return in 2024 after missing the entire season due to a torn ACL, MCL, MPFL and meniscus in the 2022 Rose Bowl.
Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire said he would be shocked if QB Behren Morton (Stats) is not 100% for Saturday’s Independence Bowl against Cal. Morton has been playing through an injury to his AC joint, but there does not seem to be any reason to think he will not be available for the bowl game. Morton added he will not undergo surgery in the offseason and is expected to be the full-time starter for the first time heading into 2024.
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said Devin Leary (Stats) is excited for one more opportunity to play for the Wildcats when they play Clemson in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 29. He is out of eligibility after the bowl game, and Kentucky just added former 5-star prospect Brock Vandagriff (Stats), who transferred from Georgia and is the favorite to start in 2024.
Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck named QB Cole Kramer (Stats) the starter for the Quick Lane Bowl against Bowling Green on Dec. 26. Kramer operated as the backup this season and will take over with Athan Kaliakmanis (Stats) in the transfer portal. Kramer appeared briefly in two games this season with true freshman walk-on Max Shikenjanski (Stats) as the only other QB on the roster. The Gophers landed New Hampshire transfer Max Brosmer, who is expected to be the starter in 2024.
Oklahoma State QB Alan Bowman (Stats) said it’s a possibility he will apply for a medical redshirt waiver to get an extra year of eligibility. Bowman ultimately won the three-man quarterback competition during the regular season and will be the guy in the Texas Bowl against Texas A&M on Dec. 27. If Bowman is not on the roster in 2024, Garret Rangel (Stats) and Zane Flores (Stats) would be the top two options on the roster to start.
Maryland head coach Mike Locksley said Taulia Tagovailoa (Stats) will play in the Music City Bowl against Auburn on Dec. 30. Tagovailoa was the full-time starter in each of the last three years with the Terps and is out of eligibility following the bowl game. Billy Edwards Jr. (Stats) is the backup and set to return next season, but Maryland has been active in the transfer portal QB market.
Oregon State interim head coach Kefense Hynson said QB Ben Gulbranson (Stats) will start the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame on Dec. 29. This is a pretty obvious development after the Beavers lost DJ Uiagalelei (Stats) and Aidan Chiles (Stats) to the transfer portal since the regular season ended, and Gulbranson has far more experience than the others on the roster. Gulbranson played in just one game this season but made eight starts in 2022 and appeared in 10 games for Oregon State. At this point, he’s the favorite to start in 2024, though the Beavers have work to do in the transfer portal in rebuilding the QB room.
USF starting quarterback Byrum Brown (Stats) confirmed he will be back with the program in 2024 after starting every game this season. He is clearly the guy next season after his first full season as the starter and still has three years of eligibility remaining following the Boca Raton Bowl against Syracuse on Dec. 21.
Utah State QB Cooper Legas (Stats) announced he will return for his final year of eligibility. Legas split time as a starter with McCae Hillstead (Stats) this season, and Levi Williams (Stats) started the regular season finale with both out with injuries. It’s unclear whether Legas or Hillstead will be available for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Georgia State on Dec. 23. Williams could get his final start before entering Navy SEAL training in the bowl game with Legas and Hillstead as the top two quarterback options looking ahead to 2024.
Appalachian State QB Joey Aguilar (Stats) announced he will be back for his final year of eligibility next season after putting up big numbers in Year 1 with the Mountaineers. He took over for Ryan Burger (Stats), who suffered a finger injury in the season opener, and I have not found much info on Burger since that happened. Regardless, Aguilar will close out the season as the starter for the Cure Bowl against Miami (OH) on Dec. 16 and should be the favorite to start in 2024.
New Mexico State head coach Jerry Kill said he expects starting quarterback Diego Pavia (Stats) to play in Saturday’s New Mexico Bowl against Fresno State. Pavia left the conference title game with a shoulder injury and was replaced by true freshman Blaze Berlowitz (Stats), who was listed behind Eli Stowers (Stats) on the depth chart. Stowers has been making his impact in a pass-catching role, and Kill added he’s back to full health, though Berlowitz has not been fully healthy.
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun said QB Zac Larrier (Stats) will practice soon and added Larrier will not play unless he can cut it loose in the Armed Forces Bowl against James Madison on Dec. 23. Larrier did not play in the regular season finale with an injury, and Jensen Jones (Stats) did not play despite being listed as the starter on the depth chart. Ben Brittain (Stats) started but left with an injury with John Busha (Stats) taking over.
Navy QB Xavier Arline (Stats) started again on Saturday’s 17-11 loss to Army, though Tai Lavatai (Stats) replaced him for the majority of the game after missing four consecutive contests with a calf issue. Both are out of eligibility with Blake Horvath (Stats) and Braxton Woodson (Stats) as the likely top two quarterback options looking ahead to 2024.
TCU QB Luke Pardee (Stats) announced the end of his college football career despite having two years of eligibility remaining. Pardee appeared in one game this season and was not in the mix for playing time.
TRANSFER PORTAL REPORT
Nebraska will host Ohio State transfer quarterback Kyle McCord (Stats) this week, according to Inside Nebraska’s Zack Carpenter. Former Buckeyes’ 5-star wide receiver Julian Fleming will join him on the trip. The Cornhuskers have been incredibly active in looking for a transfer quarterback over the last few weeks, and McCord has one year of eligibility remaining.
Oregon quarterback Ty Thompson (Stats) intends to enter the transfer portal, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel. This was certainly the expected outcome after Thompson posted a cryptic tweet immediately after news of the Ducks landing Dillon Gabriel (Stats). Thompson is a former 5-star prospect and played in 17 games for Oregon over the last three seasons with two years of eligibility remaining. Bo Nix (Stats) will start the bowl game before giving way to Gabriel in 2024.
Arkansas had Boise State transfer QB Taylen Green (Stats) on campus this weekend, according to Hawg Sports’ Danny West. He has received interest from Cal, LSU, Baylor, Miami, Michigan State and others. Razorbacks starter KJ Jefferson (Stats) has yet to make a decision for what he wants to do with his final year of eligibility looking ahead to 2024, and Green has two years of eligibility remaining.
Marshall QB Chase Harrison (Stats) announced he is entering the transfer portal with three years of eligibility remaining. Harrison played in one game over two years with the Thundering Herd. Cole Pennington (Stats) will likely start in the Frisco Bowl against UTSA on Dec. 19 with starter Cam Fancher (Stats) in the transfer portal.
NFL DRAFT REPORT
UPCOMING KEY DATES
A look at what’s ahead over the next 30 days.
Dec. 16 - Bowl season starts
Dec. 20 - 2024 recruiting early signing period starts
Dec. 20 - 2024 Juco midyear transfer signing period starts
Dec. 22 - 2024 recruiting early signing period ends
Jan. 1 - Bowl season ends
Jan. 1 - College Football Playoff semifinals
Jan. 2 - Transfer portal window closes
Jan. 6 - All-American Bowl
Jan. 8 - National Championship
Tomorrow’s College Football QB Newsletter will be an updated depth chart & injury notebook for teams in the postseason with a 2024 QB room update for programs already in the offseason. Adjust your lives accordingly.
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