Kyle McCord, Dillon Gabriel headline a loaded crop of transfer portal QBs

College football’s transfer portal is already stuffed with high-quality quarterbacks ready to make their marks with new teams.

Some are young signal-callers who’ve yet to find their footing as full-time starters, while others have exemplary résumés at the collegiate level and are eager to continue their dominance elsewhere.

[2023-24 Transfer Portal: Tracking all the moves]

It’s worth mentioning that the three quarterbacks who are finalists for the Heisman Trophy — Oregon’s Bo Nix, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. — all rose to greatness after transferring from their original schools.

The portal matters.

FOX Sports’ RJ Young evaluated the games of several of these young men, detailing their strengths and weaknesses, and offered up a few crystal ball predictions as to where some of them might end up.

He split the QBs into two tiers — experienced winners and potentially great — breaking down exactly why each fell into their respective category.

Here’s how his rankings shake-up.

Transfer Portal QB Tiers: Dillon Gabriel, Kyle McCord lead the way


Duke QB Riley Leonard

Key stats: 1,102 passing yards in seven games, 57.6% completion percentage, three TDs, three INTs

Notable: “He’s not gonna be the guy that has lit up a stat sheet when it comes to throwing the football. … However, I look at him and I’m going ‘dog, I wish you would’ve been along when we were looking at that space of Urban Meyer and that spread option.’ I don’t know if that offense is en vogue right now, but that would be where I would want to put him.”

Oregon State QB DJ Uiagelelei

Key stats: 2,368 passing yards, 57.1% completion percentage, 21 TDs, seven INTs

Notable: “I think DJ can affect winning at any Power 5 level at any school. We got to see this when he was at Clemson, coming on in relief of Trevor Lawrence and going for four bills against Notre Dame. He has the goods.”

Ohio State QB Kyle McCord

Key stats: 3,170 passing yards, 65.5% completion percentage, 24 TDs, six INTs

Notable: “He’s only just 12-1 as a starter, guys. …  I think Kyle McCord, being a five-star quarterback himself, has shown the goods to be a Power 5 starter anywhere else. As a matter of fact, when this first happened … I was like ‘well that dude just needs to go to Notre Dame’, because I think he could make them that much better. … I think he could make wide receivers great.”

Kansas State QB Will Howard

Key stats: 2,643 passing yards, 61.3% completion percentage, 24 TDs, 10 INTs

Notable: “He damn near beat Texas on the road, and came off the bench last year to lead Kansas State to a Big 12 championship in a year when Texas Christian was undefeated and played in the National Championship game. That’s not too shabby.”

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel

Key stats: 3,660 passing yards, 69.3% completion percentage, 30 TDs, six INTs

Notable: “He’s a grad transfer who started a ton of games and beat Texas. Who else beat Texas this season? I submit to you: Nobody. Nobody beat Texas except Dillon Gabriel and Oklahoma, and that was very much a Dillon Gabriel game. He led the Sooners down the field for the decisive score to knock off a previously undefeated Texas team.”


Temple QB E. J. Warner

Key stats: 3,076 passing yards, 57.5% completion percentage, 23 TDs, 12 INTs

Notable: “EJ is a dude that has absolutely shown he can sling it. I think that EJ is probably looking for a Power 5 offer, but I think that a Power 5 offer is closer to being in the Big 12 or ACC than it is the SEC or Big Ten.”

James Madison QB Jordan McCloud

Key stats: 3,400 passing yards, 68.9% completion percentage, 32 TDs, nine INTs

Notable: “Awesome, awesome year for the Dukes, led by one Jordan McCloud, and his head coach is now at Indiana … so maybe that’s where Jordan McCloud ends up.”

UCLA QB Dante Moore

Key stats: 1,610 passing yards, 53.5% completion percentage, 11 TDs, nine INTs

Notable: “I really like the dude’s game. … You can see that Dante Moore’s got all the talent in the world. You just want to see his maturity. … You wanted to see him react better to being benched. … The thing I’ve struggled with is where does he go [next]?”

Washington State QB Cam Ward

Key stats: 3,767 passing yards, 66.6% completion percentage, 25 TDs, seven INTs

Notable: “I tend to think of Cam Ward as a guy who can turn a fringe national championship program into a bona fide national championship contender. This is why I think his name and Ohio State seem to go hand-in-hand.”

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2023-12-07 02:42:38
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