Transfer quarterbacks rule the offseason, and getting the right one can put your team in the College Football Playoff conversation. LSU learned that when Joe Burrow joined the roster and took them to new heights. This year’s group won’t be around as long as Burrow, but they can make an impact in the one year that they’re on campus.
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10. Joey Gatewood (Auburn to Kentucky)
Gatewood lost the battle to Bo Nix at Auburn and decided to transfer. The Wildcats could use him, but the quarterback room’s almost more crowded in Lexington. At 6’4″, 242 pounds, he gives Kentucky a threat as a runner at the least.
9. Chase Brice (Clemson to Duke)
Brice gave Clemson a solid backup in case Trevor Lawrence went down (which happened a couple times), and wanted to get a shot at a starting spot. Blue Devils have talent spread around the offense, and Brice could elevate them to a new level in 2020.
8. Jake Bentley (South Carolina to Utah)
Utah found themselves in need of the transfer quarterbacks available, and they landed a good one. Bentley brings over 7,500 yards and 55 touchdowns to the Utes offense. Tyler Huntley’s departure left an opening at a key spot, and Bentley gives them an experienced option. He has a gunslinger mentality and isn’t afraid to make any throw, regardless of how crowded it might be. With the Utes needing the offense to carry the team to begin the year, Bentley’ presence will steady the ship until he defense catches up.
7. Peyton Ramsey (Indiana to Northwestern)
Ramsey has the potential to elevate an offense, and joins a Wildcats offense that struggled mightily last year. Pat Fitzgerald wasted little time addressing that concern by adding a quarterback to the offense. Indiana expected a big year from Ramsey in 2019. Even though that didn’t happen, he still produced over 2,400 yards and 13 touchdowns. That’s still more than Wildcats quarterbacks combined last year, so it’s an upgrade. Talent surrounding him will be something to watch, but Ramsey’s presence alone gives Northwestern an improvement on that side of the ball.
6. Anthony Brown (Boston College to Oregon)
Losing a talent like Justin Herbert puts a dent in any team’s offense. Mario Cristobal didn’t wait to see what his options would be in the fall, as he brought Brown to Eugene. The former Eagles quarterback only played in six games last year, but he was on the rise in the two previous seasons. He’ll have to compete with other players to win the spot and four new offensive linemen are needed, but he can give the offense some stability.
5. KJ Costello (Stanford to Mississippi State)
Costello and Mike Leach join forces, and the question followed in abundance. Can Costello thrive in that kind of system? Will he bounce back? An Air Raid offense isn’t exactly what you’d picture for a former Cardinal quarterback, but Costello’s arm talent seems to put him in a good position to succeed. Stanford did its best Air Raid impersonation in 2018, and Costello threw 29 touchdown passes. Put him in an offense with more opportunities and we’ll see what that produces. He has a future in the NFL, and a change of scenery could be just what he needs to improve his stock.
4. Feleipe Franks (Florida to Arkansas)
An injury ended his 2019 campaign, but Franks was off to a hot start completing 76.1% of his passes. Franks’ arm strength jumps out on film, and there’s not a single throw he can’t make. At times he can be overconfident in his arm talent, but he’ll put the Razorbacks in better position to improve because he can put the ball where previous quarterbacks couldn’t throw. Trey Knox gives him a big target to utilize downfield, and they could become one of the best duos in the country.
3. JT Daniels (USC to Georgia)
Daniels’ transfer to Georgia elevates the competition in the quarterback room, as long as he’s eligible. His injury in the first game put a damper on what many thought would be a career season with the Trojans, and he chose to transfer with Kedon Slovis thriving. The combination of Daniels and the Bulldogs has potential for the future, even if he doesn’t beat out Jamie Newman, but there are also some questions about how high his ceiling will be when he hits the field again.
2. Jamie Newman (Wake Forest to Georgia)
Newman can throw gas, and that’s good news for an offense that features one of the best wide receivers in the country in George Pickens. Transfer quarterbacks like Newman can elevate an offense, especially when you see what he did with Wake Forest. Questions about his performances in big games will remain an issue until further notice, but both sides benefit from his arrival. Will that result in a College Football Playoff appearance? That’s the expectation for the 2020 season, and there’s a lot of pressure on Newman’s shoulders to produce. Luckily, there’s talent around to help him out.
1. D’Eriq King (Houston to Miami)
Miami needed stability at the quarterback position, and Manny Diaz went right to work addressing that need. Throw in an offensive line that struggled to protect the quarterback, and the Canes were in serious trouble heading into 2020. King made headlines when he decided to sit out after four games to preserve his redshirt, and decided to find a new home in Coral Gables. In 2018, he accounted for 50 touchdowns for Houston, and he gives Miami a dual threat that can mask some of the concerns up front. With the talent surrounding him, the Canes could be a team to watch in the ACC.