Transfer portal talk has been a big part of the college football conversation for the past two years, and some of the biggest portal news has been made by quarterbacks. Thus, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that almost half the 131 opening-game starting quarterbacks in the FBS ranks were transfers.
With one game left in Week One, we looked at the opening-game starters at quarterback for each of the 131 FBS schools. (Monday night’s Clemson-Georgia Tech game will not feature transfer starters.) Almost half of the starters – 61, to be exact – are transfers. That’s 46.6 percent. Last season, it was 37.7 percent. We’re not counting junior college transfers; this is strictly transfers from four-year schools.
+ Forty-six of the 61 – 75.4 percent – are Power 5 transfers, with 27 of those starting at other Power 5 schools. The Pac-12 leads with seven P5 transfer starters, with the SEC at six, the Big Ten and Big 12 at five each and the ACC with four.
+ Five transfer starters are former On3 Consensus five-star recruits: J.T. Daniels, Quinn Ewers, Bo Nix, Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams. There were 13 total five-star quarterbacks in the 2018 through 2021 recruiting classes, which means that 38.5 percent of them transferred.
+ Twelve of the 61 starters are former Group of 5 quarterbacks, with two FCS transfers and one from the Division II ranks. Two former G5 quarterbacks start at a Power 5 (at Virginia Tech and Oklahoma), while there is one former FCS quarterback at a Power 5 (at Washington State).
+ Eleven former SEC quarterbacks are transfer starters, including two from Georgia. Every league school except Kentucky, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Vanderbilt has a former quarterback starting elsewhere.
+ There are 10 former Big 12 quarterbacks, including four from Oklahoma, the most of any school. The ex-Sooners starting elsewhere are at South Carolina, SMU, TCU and USC.
+ The ACC has nine former quarterbacks starting elsewhere, while the Big Ten has eight, the Pac-12 seven and Notre Dame one.
+ Schools other than Oklahoma with multiple former quarterbacks are Arkansas State, Duke, Georgia, Penn State, Texas, USC and Virginia Tech, with two each.
Here’s a breakdown of transfer quarterbacks by league, with the Power 5 conferences first. In addition, further down in the story, we looked at the home states of each of the 131 starting quarterbacks. Hey, what better way to enjoy Labor Day than to read all about quarterbacks.
Players denoted with an asterisk transferred this offseason.
Overview: Five teams have transfers who start, including two who transferred this offseason. Four of the transfers are from Power 5 schools; one is from a Group of 5 school.
Boston College: Phil Jurkovec (from Notre Dame)
Florida State: Jordan Travis (from Louisville)
Pitt: *Kedon Slovis (from USC)
Syracuse: Garrett Shrader (from Mississippi State)
Virginia Tech: *Grant Wells (from Marshall)
Overview: Five teams have transfers who start, including three who transferred this offseason. All five transfers are from Power 5 schools.
Indiana: *Connor Bazelak (from Missouri)
Illinois: *Tommy DeVito (from Syracuse)
Maryland: Taulia Tagovailoa (from Alabama)
Nebraska: *Casey Thompson (from Texas)
Northwestern: Ryan Hilinski (from South Carolina)
Overview: Six teams have transfers who start, including four who transferred this offseason. Five are from Power 5 schools, and the other is from a Group of 5 program.
Kansas State: *Adrian Martinez (from Nebraska)
Oklahoma: *Dillon Gabriel (from UCF)
Texas: *Quinn Ewers (from Ohio State)
TCU: Chandler Morris (from Oklahoma)
Texas TCU: Tech: Tyler Shough (from Oregon)
West Virginia: *J.T. Daniels (from Georgia)
Note: Daniels is on his third school – USC first, then Georgia and now WVU.
Overview: Ahh, the Pac-12, the land of the transfer portal quarterback. Eight teams have transfers who start, including seven who transferred this offseason. Seven are from Power 5 schools; the other is from an FCS program.
Arizona: *Jayden de Laura (from Washington State)
Arizona State: *Emory Jones (from Florida)
Cal: *Jack Plummer (from Purdue)
Oregon: *Bo Nix (from Auburn)
USC: *Caleb Williams (from Oklahoma)
Utah: Cameron Rising (from Texas)
Washington: *Michael Penix Jr. (from Indiana)
Washington State: *Cam Ward (from Incarnate Word)
Overview: Six teams have transfers who start, including three who transferred this offseason. All six are from Power 5 programs.
Auburn: T.J. Finley (from LSU)
Kentucky: Will Levis (from Penn State)
LSU: *Jayden Daniels (from Arizona State)
Ole Miss: *Jaxson Dart (from USC)
South Carolina: *Spencer Rattler (from Oklahoma)
Tennessee: Hendon Hooker (from Virginia Tech)
Notes: The Auburn quarterback room is a sort of “Transfer Portal Central.” Finley beat out Zach Calzada (transferred from Texas A&M) and fellow newcomer Robby Ashford (Oregon transfer) for Auburn’s starting job. … At Texas A&M, Haynes King beat out Max Johnson (LSU transfer) for the starting job.
Overview: Five teams have transfers who start, including three who transferred this offseason. Four are from P5 schools, and the other is from a G5 program.
Cincinnati: *Ben Bryant (from Eastern Michigan)
SMU: Tanner Mordecai (from Oklahoma)
Temple: D’Wan Mathis (from Georgia)
UCF: *John Rhys Plumlee (from Ole Miss)
USF: *Gerry Bohanon (from Baylor)
Note: Bryant transferred back to Cincinnati this offseason. He began his career as a Bearcat, transferred to EMU last season and now has returned.
Overview: Five teams have transfers who start, including three who transferred this offseason. Four are from Power 5 programs, with the other a Division II transfer.
FAU: N’Kosi Perry (from Miami)
FIU: *Gunnar Holmberg (from Duke)
Louisiana Tech: *Matthew Downing (from TCU)
North Texas: Austin Aune (from Arkansas)
Western Kentucky: * Austin Reed (from West Florida)
Notes: Downing is on his third school. He walked-on at Georgia, transferred to TCU and now is at Louisiana Tech. He beat out fellow transfer Parker McNeil (Texas Tech) for the starting job. McNeil is on his third school as well. He signed with Troy out of junior college, transferred to Texas Tech and then moved on to LaTech. … Aune turns 29 during the season. He signed with TCU out of high school but decided to play pro baseball instead after he was drafted in the second round. After six years in the minors, he retired from baseball and signed with Arkansas. He later transferred to UNT. … Reed made the rare jump from Division II to the FBS ranks. He also is on his third school: He signed with FCS Southern Illinois out of high school, then moved on to West Florida. Reed guided the Argonauts to the 2019 Division II national title.
Overview: Two teams have transfers who start; both transferred from Power 5 schools this offseason.
Note: Brewer is on his third school; he began at Baylor before moving on to Utah and now Liberty.
Overview: Four teams have transfers who start, including two who transferred this offseason. Three are from P5 programs; the other is from a Group of 5 school.
Notes: Powell is on his third school. He began his college career at Missouri, then transferred to Troy and now is at EMU.
Overview: Seven teams have transfers who start, including five who transferred this offseason. There are four Group of 5 transfers, including three intra-conference moves, and three Power 5 transfers.
Colorado State: *Clay Millen (from Nevada)
Fresno State: Jake Haener (from Washington)
New Mexico: *Miles Kendrick (from Kansas)
San Diego State: *Braxton Burmeister (from Virginia Tech)
San Jose State: *Chevan Cordeiro (from Hawaii)
Utah State: Logan Bonner (from Arkansas State)
Wyoming: *Andrew Peasley (from Utah State)
Note: Burmeister, a San Diego-area native, is on his third school. He signed with Oregon out of high school, transferred to Virginia Tech and now is at San Diego State. … Peasley had been the backup at Wyoming. Coincidentally, Utah State’s backup this season will be Levi Williams, Wyoming’s starter last season who transferred. Thus, Peasley and Williams switched roles.
Overview: Eight teams have transfers who start, including five who transferred this offseason. Three are from Power 5 programs, four from G5 schools and one from an FCS school.
Appalachian State: Chase Brice (from Duke)
Arkansas State: James Blackman (from Florida State)
Georgia Southern: *Kyle Vantrease (from Buffalo)
Georgia State: Darren Grainger (from Furman)
James Madison: *Todd Centeio (from Colorado State)
Marshall: *Henry Colombi (from Texas Tech)
South Alabama: *Carter Bradley (from Toledo)
Texas State: *Layne Hatcher (from Arkansas State)
Note: Some of the transfers in this league have a lot of transfer portal knowledge. Brice is on his third school. He began his career at Clemson, transferred to Duke, then moved on to App State. Centeio also is on his third school: He has gone from Temple to Colorado State to James Madison (the Dukes are in their first season in the FBS ranks). And Hatcher is on his third school, too. He walked-on at Alabama out of high school, transferred to Arkansas State and now is at Texas State.
Quarterback geography lesson
Here’s a look at the home states of each of the 131 starting FBS quarterbacks. The listing includes the home state of each starting quarterback, the university he starts for and the high school he attended.
+ The state of California has produced the most starters, with 19. Texas is second with 17 and Florida third with 14. That means those three states produced 38 percent of all the FBS starters.
+ California also had the most Power 5 starters, with 13. Texas was second with six, while Alabama, Arizona and Florida had four each. And all four Arizona natives are transfer starters.
+ Of the Power 5 starters from California, only one plays college ball in the state (Stanford’s Tanner McKee). Three play in the Big Ten and three more are in the Big 12.
+ Five high schools have produced two starters: Santa Ana Mater Dei in California (West Virginia’s J.T. Daniels and Alabama’s Bryce Young), Loganville Grayson in Georgia (Appalachian State’s Chase Brice and Akron’s D.J. Irons), Honolulu St. Louis in Hawaii (San Jose State’s Chevan Cordeiro and Arizona’s Jayden de Laura) and two in Texas: Dallas Lake Highland (TCU’s Chandler Morris and Hawaii’s Brayden Schager) and Denton Ryan (Memphis’ Seth Henigan and Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders). Contrast that with talent-rich Miami-Dade County: The entire county has one (Central Michigan’s Daniel Richardson from Miami Carol City).
Malik Cunningham, Louisville, from Montgomery Park Crossing
Riley Leonard, Duke, from Fairhope High
Bo Nix, Oregon, from Pinson Pinson Valley (Auburn transfer)
Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland, from Alabaster Thompson (Alabama transfer)
Jack Plummer, California, from Gilbert High (Purdue transfer)
Spencer Rattler, South Carolina, from Phoenix Pinnacle (Oklahoma transfer)
Tyler Shough, Texas Tech, from Chandler Hamilton (Oregon transfer)
Kedon Slovis, Pitt, from Scottsdale Desert Mountain (USC transfer)
Gerry Bohannon, USF, from Earle High (Baylor transfer)
Layne Hatcher, Texas State, from Little Rock Pulaski Academy (Arkansas State transfer)
Taylor Powell, Eastern Michigan, from Fayetteville High (Missouri and Troy transfer)
Hank Bachmeier, Boise State, from Murrieta Murrieta Valley
Doug Brumfield, UNLV, from Gardena Junipero Serra
Tyler Buchner, Notre Dame, from La Mesa Helix
Braxton Burmeister, San Diego State, from La Jolla Country Day (Oregon and Virginia Tech transfer)
Jalon Daniels, Kansas, from Lawndale High
Jayden Daniels, LSU, from San Bernardino Cajon (Arizona State transfer)
J.T. Daniels, West Virginia, from Santa Ana Mater Dei (USC and Georgia transfer)
Jake Haener, Fresno State, from Danville Monte Vista (Washington transfer)
Ryan Hilinski, Northwestern, from Orange Lutheran (South Carolina transfer)
Miles Kendrick, New Mexico, from Morgan Hills Valley Christian (Kansas transfer)
Adrian Martinez, Kansas State, from Fresno Clovis West (Nebraska transfer)
Matt McDonald, Bowling Green, from Mission Viejo High (Boston College transfer)
Tanner McKee, Stanford, from Corona Centennial
Chance Nolan, Oregon State, from Menifee Paloma Valley
Spencer Petras, Iowa, from San Rafael Marin Catholic
Cameron Rising, Utah, from Newbury Park High (Texas transfer)
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, from Rancho Cucamonga High
D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson, from Bellflower St. John Bosco
Bryce Young, Alabama, from Santa Ana Mater Dei
Will Levis, Kentucky, from Middletown Xavier (Penn State transfer)
Tyler Van Dyke, Miami, from Suffield Academy
James Blackman, Arkansas State, from Belle Glade Glades Central (Florida State transfer)
Carter Bradley, South Alabama, from Jacksonville Providence School (Toledo transfer)
Todd Centeio, James Madison, from Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer (Temple and Colorado State transfer)
Henry Colombi, Marshall, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna (Utah State and Texas Tech transfer)
Tai Lavatai, Navy, from St. Johns Creekside
Michael Penix Jr., Washington, from Tampa Bay Tech (Indiana transfer)
N’Kosi Perry, FAU, from Ocala Vanguard (Miami transfer)
Michael Pratt, Tulane, from Deerfield Beach High
Austin Reed, Western Kentucky, St. Augustine High (West Florida transfer)
Anthony Richardson, Florida, from Gainesville Eastside
Daniel Richardson, Central Michigan, from Miami Carol City
Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech, from Jacksonville Sandalwood
Jordan Travis, Florida State, from North Palm Beach Benjamin (Louisville transfer)
Hayden Wolff, Old Dominion, from Venice High
Stetson Bennett, Georgia, from Blackshear Pierce County
Chase Brice, Appalachian State, from Loganville Grayson (Clemson and Duke transfer)
Matthew Downing, Louisiana Tech, from Alpharetta High (TCU transfer)
D.J. Irons, Akron, from Loganville Grayson
Emory Jones, Arizona State, from Franklin Heard County (Florida transfer)
Gunnar Watson, Troy, from Butler Taylor County
Mike Wright, Vanderbilt, from Atlanta Woodward Academy
Chevan Cordeiro, San Jose State, from Honolulu St. Louis (Hawaii transfer)
Jayden de Laura, Arizona, from Honolulu St. Louis (Washington State transfer)
Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma, from Mililani High (UCF transfer)
Hunter Dekkers, Iowa State, from Hawarden West Sioux
Rocky Lombardi, Northern Illinois, from West Des Moines Valley (Michigan State transfer)
Graham Mertz, Wisconsin, from Overland Park Blue Valley North
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota, from Union Ryle
Nate Cox, Nevada, from Lafayette St. Thomas More
Chandler Fields, Louisiana, Metairie Archbishop Rummel
T.J. Finley, Auburn, from Ponchatoula High (LSU transfer)
Blake Shapen, Baylor, from Shreveport Evangel Christian
Collin Schlee, Kent State, from Ijamsville Oakdale
Brady Olson, UMass, from Milford High
K.J. Jefferson, Arkansas, from Sardis North Panola
Ty Keyes, Southern Miss, from Taylorsville High
John Rhys Plumlee, UCF, from Hattiesburg Oak Grove (Ole Miss transfer)
Will Rogers, Mississippi State, from Brandon High
New Jersey (4)
Haaziq Daniels, Air Force, from Holmdel St. John Vianney
Tommy DeVito, Illinois, from Ramsey Don Bosco Prep (Syracuse transfer)
Devin Leary, NC State, from Sicklerville Timber Creek
Ta’Quan Roberson, UConn, from Wayne DePaul Catholic (Penn State transfer)
NOTE: Roberson started UConn’s opener but was injured and is out indefinitely
New Mexico (2)
New York (1)
Cole Snyder, Buffalo, from Jamestown Southwestern (Rutgers transfer)
North Carolina (7)
Holton Ahlers, East Carolina, from Greenville Conley
Gunnar Holmberg, FIU, Wake Forest Heritage (Duke transfer)
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee, from Greensboro Dudley (Virginia Tech transfer)
Drake Maye, North Carolina, Charlotte Myers Park
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina, from Indian Trail Porter Ridge
Chris Reynolds, Charlotte, from Mocksville Davie County
Garrett Shrader, Syracuse, from Charlotte Christian (Mississippi State transfer)
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia, from Shelby High
Connor Bazelak, Indiana, from Dayton Archbishop Alter (Missouri transfer)
Sean Clifford, Penn State, from Cincinnati St. Xavier
Kyle Vantrease, Georgia Southern, from Stow-Munroe Falls (Buffalo transfer)
Casey Thompson, Nebraska, from Oklahoma City Newcastle (Texas transfer)
Andrew Peasley, Wyoming, La Grande High (Utah State transfer)
South Carolina (1)
Darren Grainger, Georgia State, Conway High (Furman transfer)
Chase Cunningham, Middle Tennessee State, from Knoxville Catholic
Dylan Hopkins, UAB, from Maryville High
Austin Aune, North Texas, Argyle High (Arkansas transfer)
Logan Bonner, Utah State, from Rowlett High (Arkansas State transfer)
Charlie Brewer, Liberty, from Austin Lake Travis (Baylor and Utah transfer)
Davis Brin, Tulsa, from Boerne Champion
Quinn Ewers, Texas, from Southlake Carroll (Ohio State transfer)
Wiley Green, Rice, from Plano Prestonwood Christian
Frank Harris, UTSA, from Schertz Clemens
Seth Henigan, Memphis, from Denton Ryan
Haynes King, Texas A&M, from Longview High
Brendon Lewis, Colorado, from Melissa High
Tanner Mordecai, SMU, from Waco Midway (Oklahoma transfer)
Chandler Morris, TCU, from Dallas Highland Park (Oklahoma transfer)
Chandler Rogers, ULM, from Mansfield Lake Ridge
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State, from Denton Ryan
Brayden Schager, Hawaii, from Dallas Highland Park
Clayton Tune, Houston, from Carrollton Hebron
Cameron Ward, Washington State, from Columbia High (Incarnate Word transfer)
Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss, from Draper Corner Canyon (USC transfer)
Jaren Hall, BYU, from Spanish Fork Maple Mountain
Clay Millen, Colorado State, from Snoqualmi Mount Si (Nevada transfer)
Washington, D.C. (1)
Caleb Williams, USC, Gonzaga College Prep (Oklahoma transfer)
West Virginia (1)
Grant Wells, Virginia Tech, from Charleston George Washington (Marshall transfer)
Kurtis Rourke, Ohio U., from Oakville (Ontario) Holy Trinity