Who are the top graduate transfer quarterbacks going into the 2019 season? Where are they transferring to, and who’s going to make the biggest impact?
22. Chance Thrasher, Coastal Carolina to East Tennessee State
From one of his tweets, the former Chanticleer was interested in going to an FBS team to play in a bowl, but his home is at East Tennessee State. The 6-2, 220-pounder didn’t get a whole lot of work in his first two seasons, completing just 7-of-12 passes for 69 yards.
21. Christian Alexander, FIU to Wagner
The guy just wants to play. The 6-3, 225-pounder was the backup behind James Morgan last year, but when the main man was hurt, Alexander was able to step in and shine in the bowl game win over Toledo. Morgan is back for one more year, and while Alexander is good enough to play somewhere in the FBS, he’s going to Wagner.
20. Chris Oladokun, USF to Samford
Oladokun could never grab the gig at USF with Quinton Flowers the man and then Blake Barnett stepping in. He had a few opportunities, but he only completed 23-of-45 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns with a pick in his few chances. With Barnett the entrenched starter, Oladokun is off to Samford.
19. Jackson Tyner, Rice to UNDECIDED
The 6-5, 240-pounder has the arm, but he doesn’t fit the current Rice offensive system. He completed just 47% of his passes for 1,048 yards and four touchdowns and seven picks in his three years with the Owls. Sophomore Wiley Green or Harvard transfer Tom Stewart are the options for Rice for now, making Tyner an interesting prospect out there. The tools are there, but they might be better suited to baseball – it’s a terrific pitcher.
18. John Kolar, Oklahoma State to Iowa State
The 6-6 bomber was a strong get for Oklahoma State back in 2015, but it didn’t work out – he only threw two career passes for the Cowboys. He’s not going to get the starting job at Iowa State with Brock Purdy firmly entrenched, but his brother – tight end, Charlie Kolar – is a Cyclone.
17. Tom Stewart, Harvard to Rice
How healthy is he? He got his chance to show what he could do last season, and the 6-3, 215-pounder came up with a decent year, completing 53% of his passes for 1,614 yards and 14 touchdowns with two picks. However, he suffered a hip injury against Yale, but he’s expected to be fine. Wiley Green should be the guy for the Owls, but they need a veteran to push for time.
16. Mike Beaudrey, West Florida to UConn
The move isn’t going to get a whole lot of headlines, but it could be a big deal for a UConn program that’s trying to find something to build on. The 6-5, 240-pound D-II star was out for most of last year with a foot injury, but he led the Argonauts to a fantastic 2017 season with 3,215 yards, 29 touchdowns and 13 picks. He can run a little, too.
15. Brett Kean, USF to Charlotte
Former Bull Chris Oladokun left for the same reason – USF’s quarterback situation is settled with Blake Barnett the starter. Kean got in a little work in 2018, completing 15-of-34 passes for 140 yards and a score. He’s not that big, but he’s a pro-style passer from Ohio with the skills to step in and fit right away if he can beat out Chris Reynolds.
14. Alex Delton, Kansas State to TCU
Kansas State rotated their quarterbacks for the last few seasons, but it’s almost certainly Skyler Thompson’s gig going forward. Delton chose to follow former K-State assistant Dana Dimel to UTEP … and then he pivoted. Just when it looked like the Miners had their guy, Delton chose to transfer to TCU.
The 6-0, 205-pound Delton is a veteran who knows the Big 12, running for 868 yards and 11 scores for the Wildcats, and completing 56% of his passes for 1,202 yards and five scores with four picks.
13. Riley Neal, Ball State to Vanderbilt
It’s an interesting move that flew under the radar, but it could be a big deal for the Commodores. Kyle Shurmur is gone, but former Syracuse transfer Mo Hasan has a little bit of experience and will be deep in the hunt for the opening.
Neal is a 6-6, 225-pound passer who was fine for the Cardinals – completing 60% of his throws for 7,393 yards and 46 touchdowns with 25 picks – but injuries were an issue.
12. Quinten Dormady, Tennessee to Central Michigan
There’s a shot this becomes a statistical superstar transfer moment. New head man Jim McElwain needs a triggerman to challenge Tony Poljan, and the well-travelled Dormady might be it.
The 6-7 Poljan completed just 52% of his throws for 625 yards and two scores with five picks. The 6-4, 222-pound Dormady started out his career at Tennessee and threw for almost 1,300 yards with seven scores in his 13 games. He transferred to Houston where he didn’t see the light of day, completing just 2-of 5 passes for eight yards.
11. Ty Storey, Arkansas to WKU
The Hilltoppers have a few quarterbacks in place, but Storey should be the instant No. 1 for new head coach Tyson Helton. Storey threw for 1,584 yards and 11 touchdowns with ten picks last year for the Hogs, but Chad Morris is looking for more from the position and brought in two grad transfers of his own.
10. Ben Hicks, SMU to Arkansas
Chad Morris needs to get his passing game going. Ty Storey was okay, but he struggled, and now he’s transferring to WKU. Cole Kelley was supposed to be the guy, but he transferred to SE Louisiana. Hicks was supposed to come in as the guy who could take over the Hog O and shine right away, but … Nick Starkel from Texas A&M is the better prospect.
Hicks only completed 57% of his passes in his three years at SMU, but he threw for 9,081 yards with 71 touchdowns and 34 picks, including 33 touchdown passes with Morris in 2017.
9. Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame to UCF
Wimbush is hardly a lock to take the job, but he’s taking a chance on greatness.
Darriel Mack might not be the most accurate of passers, but he ran well, led the team to the American Athletic title after McKenzie Milton got hurt, and showed enough upside to give a shot at the starting gig.
If he can get the job, it’ll be up to Wimbush to be Milton-like and keep the offense cranking. He completed just half of his passes for the Irish for 2,606 yards and 20 scores with 12 touchdowns, but he’s a veteran who has been through the battles, and he can run, taking off for 1,156 yards and 16 touchdowns.
8. Shane Buechele, Texas to SMU
He won a slew of games, put up a ton of yards, and he did a whole slew of big things as the Texas quarterback. But Buechele wasn’t Sam Ehlinger, he was going to be the clear backup going into the 2019 season.
The 6-1, 210-pounder completed 62% of his passes for 4,636 yards and 30 touchdowns with 16 picks and four rushing scores, but he wants to play in his final season. After originally being a part of the recruiting mix for SMU before picking Texas, he’s now a Mustang.
7. Nick Starkel, Texas A&M to Arkansas
Ben Hicks is good. Starkel is better. Arkansas brought on Hicks from SMU – reuniting with former head coach Chad Morris to take over the quarterback gig – but Starkel turned out to be a fantastic late addition to push for the job.
The 6-3, 215-pounder completed 60% of his passes for 1,793 yards and 14 touchdowns with six picks in 2017, but Kellen Mond turned out to be the main man last season.
6. Gage Gubrud, Eastern Washington to Washington State
He still has to win the starting gig, but he’s the grad transfer who can step right in at Washington State and become the next big passing star.
The problem? The Cougars already have two decent options to replace Gardner Minshew in Trey Tinsley and Anthony Gordon, and Cammon Cooper is the likely superstar of the near future. However, Gubrud – coming off a toe injury that cost him most of last year – is ready-made to roll.
In 2016, Gubrud threw for 5,160 yards and 48 touchdowns for EWU, and followed it up with a 3,326-yard, 26-score season, He threw 13 touchdowns last season before getting hurt. As long as he’s okay, the 6-2, 205-pounder should be outstanding.