COMMENTARY: Transfer portal update: Quarterbacks

The college football offseason has officially begun with the start of transfer portal season

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HSING-HAN CHEN

WSU has acquired a quarterback from the transfer portal in each of the last two seasons, including 2018 starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II. This year the Cougars may be in the market for another transfer but will have to do so without the recruiting of former head coach Mike Leach.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen sports columnist

With the introduction of the transfer portal in 2019, college football now has one of the most interesting off seasons in all of sports. Players have always transferred for better opportunities but recently it has begun to change the landscape of college football.

In the 2019 college football season three of the four playoff teams had transfer starting quarterbacks. The last three Heisman trophy winners have been transfers as well.

WSU has had their fair share of success with the transfer portal. They landed a transfer quarterback in each of the last two seasons and one of them, Gardner Minshew, won Pac-12 offensive player of the year and finished fifth in the Heisman voting.

Despite being a week removed from the national championship game, the transfer portal has been in the news for weeks as some players have already announced their intentions to play for a new team.

Some of the early quarterbacks to transfer were former University of South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley going to University of Utah and former Wake Forest University quarterback Jamie Newman going to University of Georgia.

Now that the college football season is officially over and the offseason has begun, even more dominoes have started to fall as more quarterbacks are changing schools.

Two prolific quarterbacks announced their moves to new schools on Monday in moves that could shake up their respective conferences.

Former University of Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks announced that he would be transferring to the University of Arkansas with an Instagram post captioned “New Beginnings.”

WSU was a prospective landing spot for Franks as the Cougars were among his top three destinations. That was before former head coach Mike Leach left for Mississippi State, which may have ruined any chances of Franks coming to Pullman.

Former University of Houston quarterback D’Eriq king also announced Monday that he would be transferring to the University of Miami.

King had one of the most unique transfer processes. He played the first four games of the season before deciding to take a redshirt year. He had no reported intention to leave Houston until he tweeted during the national championship game on Jan. 13.

“I’ve entered the portal I think it’s best for me and my family!” King said via a tweet.

A week later King announced that he would be transferring to the University of Miami via a tweet of him in a Hurricanes uniform captioned “Story is still being written. . . LETS GO! #TheU.”

WSU was never a very serious contender to land King because he is more of a dual-threat quarterback, but his move does help the Cougars. WSU plays Houston for the second year in a row as part of their non-conference schedule.

This year they will not have to deal with the dynamic King who threw for 128 and a touchdown and rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s matchup.

There are still a handful of signal callers that have yet to announce their transfer destinations.

Most notably is former Stanford University quarterback KJ Costello who was among the 14 Cardinal players to enter the transfer portal.

Costello may be the most plausible choice for WSU if they want to pursue a graduate transfer quarterback for the third year in a row.

He has a familiarity with the conference after playing 29 games as a Cardinal. He has also showed his ability to throw the ball despite playing in Stanford’s run-oriented offense. He threw for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2018 when he was named to the all-Pac-12 second team.

Another option for Costello is Mississippi State and Mike Leach. If Leach was trying to convince Costello to join him in Pullman when he still had the job it is very possible that he could continue that recruiting now that he is in Starkville.

Former University of West Virginia quarterback Jack Allison is another player to watch as the transfer portal plays out. Allison has already transferred before. He left the University of Miami after signing there in 2016.

Allison was not able to beat out fellow quarterback Austin Kendall, a transfer from the University of Oklahoma, for the starting job for the Mountaineers.

He may want to stay in the Big 12 due to his familiarity with the spread style offenses typically run in that conference. Look for him to go to a school like the University of Kansas or TCU that may be in need of quarterback help. He also may look to play at a smaller school like a member of the C-USA or Sun Belt conference if they can guarantee him a starting spot.

Former Boston College University quarterback Anthony Brown is yet another player who has entered the transfer portal this offseason. Brown had been the starter for three years and his 2019 season ended when he tore his ACL six games in.

Brown announced his intent to transfer before Boston College had decided on its new head coach so there is a possibility that he returns.

The likelihood that Brown comes to WSU is very low. He does not seem to be an ideal fit for the new run and gun system the Cougars will use next season. He also carries the risk of coming off a very serious injury and may not want to travel to the exact opposite side of the country.

A player in the transfer portal that may be viewed as a sleeper is former Clemson University quarterback Chase Brice. He did not see the field much for the Tigers because he was stuck behind quarterbacks such as Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence.

Brice is most known for his game against Syracuse University where he came in as an injury replacement to lead the team to a close win and avoid the upset.

The most likely landing spot for Brice is the University of South Florida. They recently hired former Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott who has a familiarity with Brice.

Brice is unlikely to make his way to the Pac-12 and WSU. If he does not go to USF he will most likely choose a mid-tier school where he would have little competition for the starting job.