College Football QB Report - November 29, 2023
Welcome to the transfer portal, Riley Leonard
Photo courtesy of North Carolina Athletics
I missed this during the offseason, but the NCAA passed a rule where postseason college football games (conference championships, bowl games, College Football Playoff) do not count when it comes to games played for those looking to redshirt. Players can appear in up to four regular season games and use it as a redshirt year if they have one available, but everyone can play in the postseason without needing to worry about that.
Now, let’s get to the long list of quarterbacks that entered the transfer portal over the last 24 hours.
🏈 Seconds before I was about to hit publish, it was reported that Duke quarterback Riley Leonard has entered the transfer portal, and he could be the No. 1 QB on the market at this point. In other quarterback news in the state, the first transfer QB commitment has been made with Max Johnson becoming the newest member of the North Carolina Tar Heels.
🏈 Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson provided an update following a report of him expected to enter the transfer portal. This was the first of two starting QBs to deny transfer portal entry reports today.
🏈 South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler became the first quarterback to declare for the NFL Draft today as he puts an end to his college football career.
TRANSFER PORTAL REPORT
Duke quarterback Riley Leonard (Stats) entered the transfer poral, according to On3. Leonard’s future plans have been one of the biggest question marks over the last few weeks, and he’ll have plenty of big-name programs going after him hard. He’ll look to improve his NFL Draft stock in his final year of eligibility at a new school after battling through multiple injuries this fall. True freshman Grayson Loftis (Stats) was unable to use a redshirt thanks to Leonard and Henry Belin IV (Stats) getting hurt. Loftis and Belin are the Blue Devils’ top two options looking ahead to 2024, but the Blue Devils will likely go to the portal themselves with a bowl game still to play.
North Carolina landed a commitment from Texas A&M transfer quarterback Max Johnson (Stats), who announced the news on Twitter. This as a pretty quick turnaround after announcing on Sunday that he’ll enter the transfer portal, but Johnson has two years of eligibility remaining after playing two with the Aggies and two at LSU. but the Tar Heels have their replacement for Drake Maye (Stats), who has not yet declared for the NFL Draft but this news combined with him projected to be a top-two picks makes it pretty obvious what his plans are. North Carolina still has a bowl game, though it’s unclear if Maye will be participating.
Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson (Stats) posted “I haven’t made my decision yet!!” on his Instagram Story following a report from 247Sports’ Chris Hummer that said he’s expected to enter the transfer portal. Jefferson has been the Razorbacks’ starting quarterback for the last three seasons but prior to their regular season finale against Missouri, Jefferson posted “Last One” on his IG Story. After the game, head coach Sam Pittman said, “In all honesty if he put it out there, it probably means he’s had all of the college or all of the Arkansas he wants.” It’s unclear what the hire of offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino means for Jefferson, who has one year of eligibility remaining and could even decide to declare for the NFL Draft.
Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall (Stats) announced he entered the transfer portal with one year of eligibility remaining. The three-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year missed the final month of the season after suffering a scary Week 8 head injury that ended with McCall leaving the stadium in an ambulance. McCall entered the transfer portal last year and appeared to be a real option to land at Auburn, though he withdrew from the portal due to an academic issue. McCall will have a ton of opportunities in his final season of college football. This news comes a day after backup Jarrett Guest (Stats) announcing he’ll enter the transfer portal, and Ethan Vasko (Stats) will likely get another start in the bowl game.
Florida quarterback Max Brown (Stats) will enter the transfer portal, according to On3’s Hayes Fawcett. Brown made his first college football start last week against Florida State and will have three years of eligibility remaining at his next stop. Brown took over the backup role this season behind Graham Mertz (Stats), who will likely be back in 2024 with 5-star DJ Lagway expected to join the quarterback room.
A few hours after Minnesota starting quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis (Stats) announced he will enter the transfer portal, Gophers’ true freshman QB Drew Viotto (Stats) revealed he will do the same. The 2023 3-star prospect did not play a snap this fall and will be able to use this as a redshirt season with four years of eligibility remaining. Minnesota has been said to be in the mix for New Hampshire transfer Max Brosmer, who announced an offer from the Gophers a few days ago. Cole Kramer (Stats) will likely start in the bowl game with walk-on true freshman Max Shikenjanski (Stats) as the only other quarterback on the roster.
Stanford quarterback Ari Patu (Stats) entered the transfer portal, according to On3. He lost out on a three-man preseason QB competition with Ashton Daniels (Stats) and Justin Lamson (Stats), both of whom played plenty of snaps this fall. Lamson and Daniels both have multiple years of eligibility remaining heading into 2024, and true freshman Myles Jackson (Stats) could work his way into the mix with a good offseason. Patu played in seven games in three years with the Cardinal but did not make his 2023 season debut till the final regular season contest of the year.
USF quarterback Gerry Bohanon (Stats) announced he will enter the transfer portal after not playing in a game this season. It was difficult to find much information on Bohanon this season, who was never listed on the Bulls depth chart with Byrum Brown (Stats) starting every game. He suffered as season-ending labrum injury on Oct. 15, 2022, and his recovery from that issue may have been the reason we did not see him play a second season for the Bulls. Bohanon entered the 2023 season with one year of eligibility remaining, so either he has already been granted or will get a medical redshirt waiver for another year. He spent his first four college football seasons at Baylor. Brown will get another start in the bowl game and will likely be the guy again in 2024.
Cal quarterback Ben Finley (Stats) announced he will enter the transfer portal after spending one season with the Golden Bears. Finley split starts with Sam Jackson V (Stats) over the first few weeks of the year before Fernando Mendoza (Stats) took over the starting role midway through the season. Finley played his first three college football seasons at NC State with two years of eligibility remaining at his next stop. As for Cal, Mendoza is the top option looking toward 2024, but it could certainly upgrade the quarterback position through the portal this offseason.
Hawaii head coach Timmy Chang tweeted that quarterback Brayden Schager (Stats) called him and said, “I’m throwing bombs in Manoa next year.” This was following a since-deleted tweet from On3’s Pete Nakos that said Schager is expected to enter the transfer portal. Schager started every game this season and appears likely to be returning to the Rainbow Warriors for his final year of eligibility in 2024.
Temple starting quarterback EJ Warner (Stats) announced he will enter the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining. He has been the Owls’ starter for the last two seasons and has a redshirt year available if needed at his next stop. With Warner on the move and Quincy Patterson (Stats) out of eligibility, the next two options on the roster are Forrest Brock (Stats) and Tyler Douglas (Stats) looking ahead to 2024 with very little FBS experience.
Clemson backup quarterback Hunter Helms (Stats) announced he will enter the transfer portal after four years with the Tigers. Helms was the No. 2 option behind Cade Klubnik (Stats) this fall and appeared in four games in 2023. Paul Tyson (Stats) will move into the backup role for the bowl game unless the Tigers decide to elevate true freshman Christopher Vizzina (Stats). Helms has two years of eligibility left, and Klubnik will be the Clemson starter in 2024.
Fresno State backup quarterback Logan Fife (Stats) announced he will enter the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining. He lost the offseason quarterback battle to Mikey Keene (Stats), who will also have two years left. Fife appeared in 18 games for the Bulldogs over the last four years with Joshua Wood (Stats) or Jayden Mandal (Stats) as the two candidates to be the backup for the bowl game and probably for the 2024 season.
FIU quarterback Grayson James (Stats) announced he will enter the transfer portal after redshirting this season with two years of eligibility remaining. Keyone Jenkins (Stats) took over the starting role early in his true freshman season this fall, and it was clear James was looking to not play in more than four games. Unless the Panthers go into the transfer portal for a starter, expect Jenkins to be the guy in 2024 with Haden Carlson (Stats) elevated to the No. 2 role. James started 10 games for the Panthers as a sophomore in 2022.
Kent State quarterbacks Michael Alaimo (Stats) and Griffin Brewster (Stats) announced they will enter the transfer portal. Alaimo started the first eight games this fall after spending three seasons at Purdue with two years of eligibility remaining. Brewster appeared in one game with the Golden Flashes over the last four years with two seasons left to play. Tommy Ulatowski (Stats) took over the starting role late in the season and may be the top option on the roster looking to next season with Devin Kargman (Stats) and Dru DeShields (Stats) potentially getting in the mix.
GAST - Dexter Williams II (Stats) | Tweet
UTSA - Dexter Williams II (Stats) | Tweet
ALST - Ty Keyes (Stats) | Tweet
CHSO - Carlos Davis (Stats) | Tweet
MER - Dexter Williams II (Stats) | Tweet
SAM - Dexter Williams II (Stats) | Tweet
UPIKE - Tavion Faulk (Stats) | Tweet
DEPTH CHART & INJURY REPORT
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (Stats) revealed he underwent a successful surgery yesterday after suffering a season-ending leg injury on Nov. 18. It’s unclear what the timetable is for a return as he gets ready for the NFL Draft where he could potentially be a Day 3 pick. Tate Rodemaker (Stats) will get another start for the undefeated Seminoles’ ACC Championship matchup with Louisville. Rodemaker exited for a few snaps after taking a big hit against Florida and was replaced by Brock Glenn (Stats) before being cleared to return.
Appalachian State quarterback Ryan Burger (Stats) is not listed on the depth chart for Saturday’s Sun Belt title game against Troy. He has not been listed on the depth chart since starting the season opener when he suffered a finger injury. It’s been hard to find any updates since then, and Joey Aguilar (Stats) has been the guy ever since.
Boise State true freshman quarterback CJ Tiller (Stats) remains listed as the backup on the depth chart heading into Saturday’s Mountain West Championship against UNLV. Colt Fulton (Stats) entered ahead of Tiller in both of the last two weeks, so it’s unclear who would be the guy if Taylen Green (Stats) goes down this weekend.
NFL DRAFT REPORT
South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler (Stats) announced he will be declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft after two seasons with the Gamecocks. Rattler has plenty of college football experience as a starter without much to gain with one more season considering he was also a full-time starting quarterback at Oklahoma. This is a fairly deep draft class, and Rattler appears to be projected as a mid-round pick this spring. Luke Doty (Stats) has been listed as the backup all season, though he played plenty of wide receiver and is expected to return. LaNorris Sellers (Stats) will be heavily in the mix to be the starter in 2024 after redshirting as a true freshman.
UPCOMING KEY DATES
A look at what’s ahead over the next 30 days. All times p.m. EST unless noted otherwise.
Dec. 1-2 - Conference championships
Dec. 3 - Selection Sunday
Dec. 4 - Transfer portal window opens
Dec. 9 - Army-Navy Game
Dec. 9 - Heisman Trophy Ceremony
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
Tomorrow’s College Football QB Report will feature…you guessed it — more news on the transfer quarterback front. Adjust your lives accordingly.
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