Transfer Portal: An early look at the 2021 quarterbacks

transfer portal

Every year, more and more college football teams turn to the transfer portal to find their starting quarterback. Guys like Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, and Justin Fields have all found success transferring to programs that gave them an opportunity to elevate themselves on the national stage. This year Florida State has gotten a head start on the competition landing former UCF signal caller McKenzie Milton, but he will not be the only one putting on a new jersey in 2021. Here is a look at five other guys that will likely be making an impact for a new team next season.

Charlie Brewer, QB - Transferring from Baylor

Potential Destinations: Tennessee, Mississippi State, SMU, UNLV, Arkansas

Pedigree: After winning a state championship in high school, Brewer took his talents to Baylor where he started nearly 40 games and led the Bears to the Big12 title game in 2019. A bit undersized, Brewer has amassed 9,700 passing yards and over 1,000 rushing yards in his career. His dual threat capabilities and arm talent make him one of the top quarterbacks available on the transfer market. Brewer should not have a problem finding a new home in 2021.

Best Fit: Arkansas

Arkansas has found success with a transfer portal pickup in Feleipe Franks this year and might look to strike again without a clear successor behind Franks. Heading to the SEC would give Brewer the opportunity to showcase himself for NFL teams and he would benefit from a stronger supporting cast of skilled players than what he had at Baylor This past year. With Auburn starting over at head coach and LSU struggling, Arkansas would be wise to build on this seasons momentum and bring in a veteran signal caller like Brewer to try and vault them back into competition in the SEC West division.

Dylan McCaffrey, QB - Transferring from Michigan

Potential Destinations: Colorado, Tennessee, Penn State, Mississippi State, UNLV

Pedigree: Dylan is the younger brother of Christian McCaffrey and son of Ed McCaffrey so suffice it to say football runs in his family. A former Elite 11 prospect, McCaffrey was a four-star recruit out of high school. Although he was listed as a pro-style quarterback, he has demonstrated mobility and enough speed to be a dual-threat option in the quarterback run game. As a thrower he has shown excellent mechanics in the pocket and arm strength to attack all three levels of the field in limited action during his time at Michigan.

Best Fit: Tennessee

The pressure is on Jeremy Pruitt, who will be entering his fourth season at Tennessee, to get the Vols back into contention for SEC titles. Anyone who has watched Tennessee knows quarterback play has really curtailed its 2020 season and ultimately remains one of the greatest weaknesses of the team. McCaffrey would energize the fanbase and be a steadying presence to the position, plus bring the added element of mobility and the quarterback run game. Tennessee meanwhile would provide McCaffrey the opportunity to consistently play in spotlight and nationally televised games where he could rebuild his stock as a potential NFL Draft pick.

Quincy Patterson, QB - Transferring from Virginia Tech

Potential Destinations: Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Penn State, Colorado

Pedigree: Another former Elite 11 prospect and four-star recruit, Quincy Patterson is a talented dual threat signal caller that was just stuck in a deep quarterback room for Virginia Tech. In limited action, Patterson showed a big-time arm and the ability to be an impactful runner with the ball in his hands. Built more like a tight-end, Patterson has great measurables and will excel in a scheme that allows him to use his legs and physicality in designed runs.

Best Fit: Penn State

Penn State offered Patterson out of high school and now could get a second shot at the Chicago native. The Nittany Lions have struggled at quarterback since Trace McSorley left Happy Valley and need to inject some energy into their offense. Patterson’s dual threat ability would certainly do that for Penn State and open the running game up for a talented but inexperience group of rushers coming into 2021. His arm talent is also better than anyone Penn State currently has on the roster and would allow offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca to attack the field vertically more often. James Franklin has had a recent run of players transfer out of his program, maybe this year is the time he brings someone in to light a fire.

Anthony Russo, QB - Transferring from Temple

Potential Destinations: Rutgers, Northwestern, Penn State, Mississippi State, Colorado,

Pedigree: Russo is another former Elite 11 quarterback out of high school. He has started over 25 college games for Temple, throwing for 44 TDs and over 6,000 yards in his career. He is a pro-style passer with a gunslinger attitude and has requisite arm strength needed to make throws to all parts of the field. He is not an overly athletic player but shows toughness and strength as a runner. Overall, Russo is an experience signal caller who will be able to provide leadership and steady play under center.

Best Fit: Rutgers

Rutgers might not be the hot pick for transfer quarterbacks, but Greg Schiano has brought life into a program that has been a bottom dweller in the Big Ten since it joined. Russo would be a significant upgrade at the quarterback position from anyone the Scarlet Knights currently have and would benefit from a skilled position group that is made up mostly of underclassmen set to return next season. Playing against Big Ten defenses on an up-and-coming team could help vault Russo into the NFL draft conversation come 2021.

Chase Brice, QB - Transferring from Duke

Potential Destinations: Michigan State, Colorado, Northwestern, SMU, Rutgers

Pedigree: The former backup for Trevor Lawrence at Clemson, Brice transferred to Duke for the 2020 season but has once again decided to find a new home. He has a nice deep ball and does well reading the field from the pocket and coaches at Clemson raved about his character and leadership skills. Now with a full year of starting experience and two years of eligibility remaining, Brice is in a unique position to come into a program and continue to develop while also providing a veteran presence in the locker room.

Best Fit: Michigan State

The Spartans did not look good at all on offense in 2020 and even though Rocky Lombardi has more eligibility remaining, it could make sense to bring in a veteran guy while Mel Tucker rebuilds the depth in the program. Brice would likely face a quarterback competition, but his intangibles and experience will likely give him a leg up no matter where he goes. Long time quarterback coach and offensive coordinator for Michigan State Jay Johnson could help Brice iron out some of his throwing mechanics and develop into an NFL prospect if he plays well against Big Ten defenses.