We are in a new era of college football. The transfer portal has flipped everything on its head and has quarterbacks transferring all over the country. With all of the new opportunities, which transfer QB has the most pressure going into the 2019 season?
5. Austin Kendall – WVU
Kendall is leaving Oklahoma and headed off to West Virginia. He will be stepping in to replace Will Grier. Grier had a great career during his time in West Virginia and that will put some pressure on Kendall to succeed. But he also has the deck stacked against because of the offseason the Mountaineers had. Grier, Jennings and Sills V are off to the NFL. Dana Holgorson is in Houston and Kendall is in the thick of it with former Troy coach Neal Brown. Morgantown will want to see the success continue but to expect it quickly would be unfair to the program. There is still talent but this transfer QB will be fighting an uphill battle in West Virginia.
4. Brandon Wimbush – UCF
Brandon Wimbush had quite the career at Notre Dame. With a 12-3 record as a starter and some incredible athleticism, Wimbush can make an immediate impact as a transfer QB.
Wimbush had his faults and they were glaring at times. He struggles passing the ball and being a QB, that can be a bit of a problem. But playing on a talented team against lower competition could be just what he needs to finish off his college career. He was only around a 50% passer but was one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the country. Anytime you take over for a recent National Champion* it brings on a fair deal of pressure. Fortunately for Wimbush he has seen some of the brightest lights in college football.
3. Tate Martell
Martell left Ohio State after the news that Justin Fields would be coming to to Columbus from Georgia. When Miami announced that Martell would be coming to the Hurricanes, they dropped a practice highlight tape. So that tells you what the college football world has gotten to witness from Martell. But he was a four star QB and the number two dual threat QB in his class according to 247 Sports. Martell is like Kendall in that he has to take over a program with a new head coach.
This is different than West Virginia because Manny Diaz was in the Miami program. Diaz seems like he can be the right fit to bring Miami back to prominence and Martell will be a key piece in that rebuild. Putting a blue blood on your back is a tall task but seeing how they are in a rebuild is why he only gets the third spot on this transfer QB list.
2. Jalen Hurts
He was supposed to be the biggest transfer QB name to be on the move. While Justin Fields stole some of his thunder, Jalen Hurts still made some serious noise before deciding to pick Oklahoma. He is a Brandon Wimbush on steroids and that is why he has so much fanfare with his transfer. After being on top of the college football World at Alabama, he was benched in place of Tua who was a rising star. That wasn’t the end of his story as he now heads to Oklahoma that has had the last two Heisman Trophy winners. Lincoln Riley is clearly one of the best offensive minds in football and can make Hurts into Heisman winner number three. But Hurts will need to carry a poor defense this time around and doesn’t have a luxury of all the talent of Alabama.
This transfer QB will also be trying to get over the playoff hump, Something Mayfield and Murray could never do. While Hurts is an unbelievable runner and seemed to grow as a passer, winning a playoff game is the goal. More importantly, a rematch for the title against his former team could become a very real possibility next season for this transfer QB.
1. Justin Fields
Even with Urban Meyer stepping down and Ryan Day taking over, it still feels like National Championship or bust in Columbus. Fields is the third highest rated QB in the modern recruiting era according to 247 Sports. With Fields able to play immediately, Ohio State is looking for another playoff run. Factoring in that Ohio State has a weak schedule in 2019 and another top 15 recruiting class, it isn’t out of the question. The real question falls on Coach Day and his ability to run a team as the leader. Urban Meyer is one of the greatest coaches in college football and even his team faltered in his tenure. Upset losses would happen almost yearly under Meyer and it is something Day needs to obviously avoid. But Fields also needs to do something Haskins couldn’t. Haskins is vastly underrated so that will be no easy feat.