The college football transfer portal window officially opened up on Monday and we’ve already seen several top quarterbacks from around the country make the jump. Transfer QB’s have made significant impacts for their new teams in recent years and we saw it this year with the likes of Caleb Williams, Bo Nix, and Hendon Hooker all have their teams in the College Football Playoff mix late into the year.
Here we’ll keep tabs on the top gunslingers in the sport and where they could potentially land when the smoke clears:
College football quarterback transfers
Previous team: Wake Forest
Destination: Notre Dame
Hartman was a Heisman contender last season as Wake Forest had one of its best years in school history, but dropped off a bit this season. He will head to Notre Dame and replace Drew Pyne, who went to Arizona State in the offseason.
Previous team: Coastal Carolina
Possible destinations: Liberty, NC State
After a legendary run at Coastal Carolina, McCall will take his talents elsewhere by entering the transfer portal. The Indian Trail, NC, native was a three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year winner, accumulating 7,326 passing yards, 1,016 rushing yards, and 86 total touchdowns throughout his career with the Chanticleers.
One would imagine Liberty being a possible destination with former Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell heading there following the season. If McCall did aim for a Power Five program nearby, NC State will be looking for a quarterback with the departure of Devin Leary.
Previous teams: USC, Pitt
December 26 update - The Scottsdale, AZ, native is heading back out west and will join BYU as they transition into the Big 12 next season.
Slovis had two solid years at USC before going 4-5 as a junior starter and transferring to Pittsburgh to replace Kenny Pickett. One of the most-watched moves of last year’s offseason, the transfer didn’t quite live up to expectations as he went 7-4 as a starter — not bad, but not the follow up to an 11-2 season and ACC Championship title that you want to see. Slovis is on the move again, and rumors are placing him in Mizzou.
Previous teams: OK State
Possible destinations: North Texas, Penn State
Sanders was a four-year starter for Oklahoma State, going 31-13 in his time there and leading his team to a Big 12 Championship Game berth in 2021. Sanders has a remaining year of eligibility thanks to the COVID year rule, and will bring plenty of experience and poise in big-game situations. He threw 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2022 with the Cowboys.
Previous teams: NC State
Update - Leary is headed to Lexington to join Mark Stoops and the Wildcats in the SEC. With Will Levis set to go to the draft, Leary is going to immediately be in line for the starting gig with Kentucky. This program has quietly emerged as a force under Stoops and now will have one of the top quarterbacks in the country leading the offense. Watch out for Kentucky in 2023.
Leary entered the season as the leader of an NC State team that had seemingly limitless potential, but a season-ending injury to his pectoral muscle in October stopped the Wolfpack short. Leary’s 2020 season was also cut short due to a broken leg, and with a single year of eligibility left, he might just be the most sought-after quarterback in the transfer portal. Since 2020, he is 17-5 as a starter. His options range across the country from a UCLA opening to heading home to Rutgers — and might Alabama be looking for someone with his experience for next season?
Previous teams: Notre Dame
Destination: Arizona State
December 19 update - Pyne is set to transfer to Arizona State. He’ll join new head coach Kenny Dillingham in the desert and have three years of eligibility for the Sun Devils.
Pyne entered the 2022 season as a backup, and was thrust into the spotlight when Notre Dame’s starter suffered a season-ending injury. Despite a shaky start, Pyne ended up going 8-2 as a starter with a statement win over Clemson, throwing 22 touchdowns and six interceptions throughout the season. His three years of remaining eligibility may have him in high demand at certain programs.
Previous teams: Notre Dame, Boston College
Jurkovec left Notre Dame when it became clear he wouldn’t be starting anytime soon, and while his time at Boston College started strong, he struggled to find his footing over the past two seasons, failing to reach a 60% completion percentage in 2021 and 2022, struggles made worse by injuries that kept him off the field. He confirmed that he is transferring to Pittsburgh.
Previous teams: Texas A&M, Auburn
Possible destinations: Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Buffalo
After leaving Texas A&M, Calzada lost the starting job at Auburn to TJ Finley and missed the entire season after a shoulder surgery. If he’s able to get a medical redshirt approved, Calzada will still have two years of eligibility left. He has plenty of experience as a starter at A&M, and went 6-4 as a starter with wins over Alabama and Auburn in 2021. Having been through several quarterback battles, he may want to land somewhere he’s guaranteed to start, and Georgia Tech could end up being the perfect match for Calzada.
Previous teams: Clemson
Destination: Oregon State
December 26 update - Uiagalelei is heading back west and will transfer to Oregon State. We’ll see how he does with lower expectations than he had at Clemson.
Once the heir to the Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence eras at Clemson, Uiagalelei was never quite able to gel to Clemson’s offensive scheme, and was benched for a freshman backup several times this season. However, this isn’t to say he’s untalented — he passed for over 2,500 yards in 2022, adding 22 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns to just seven interceptions, a marked improvement from his 2021 performance. He will almost certainly be a target for a mid-to-high profile Power 5 school.
Previous teams: Wisconsin
December 26 - In a bit of a surprise, Mertz announced that he was heading to Florida. It’s an unexpected pairing and we’ll see where this leads for the Gators.
After serving as the Wisconsin starter for three seasons, Mertz is on the move and into the portal. Once a prized recruit for the Badgers, Mertz never broke out as the star QB many expected in Madison and once head coach Paul Chryst was fired midseason, the writing was on the wall that he’d be on his way out too. Programs like Louisville and Cincinnati would be interesting landing spots for the veteran QB. He also carried a high school offer from Wisconsin’s Paul Bunyan Axe rival Minnesota and with Tanner Morgan graduating, you never know.
Previous teams: Texas
December 26 update - Card is heading to Purdue to link up with new Boilermakers head coach Ryan Walters.
This portal entry was a no-brainer as Card would’ve found himself firmly behind Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning on the depth chart next season. As a four-star prospect coming out of high school, he carried numerous offers and a number of schools could reach out to bring them to their campus. He has already been linked to Notre Dame as a potential replacement for Drew Pyne, so we’ll see if that connection comes to fruition.
Previous teams: Georgia Tech
December 26 update- Sims has landed in the Big Ten and is heading to Nebraska. He’ll join new head coach Matt Rhule and will try to compete for the starting job in Lincoln, NE.
Sims entered the portal before the end of a tumultuous season at Tech, highlighted by head coach getting fired midseason. Power Five programs like Indiana and Virginia Tech could give him a call, while he could always link back by with Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, who recruited him while at Florida State. Then there’s always the possibility of the Jacksonville, FL, native to go back to his home state and programs like FAU or even Florida could be in line for his services.
Previous teams: Vanderbilt
Possible destinations: Louisville, Georgia State
Wright split time with freshman quarterback AJ Swan during Vandy’s improved 5-7 season and ultimately decided to enter the transfer portal on Monday. A number of Power Five teams like Louisville could reach out to him but the Atlanta area native could always decide to go back home and play for Georgia State.
Previous teams: UVA
Possible destinations: Minnesota, Cincinnati
Virginia had an extremely rocky year under first-year head coach Tony Elliott and the offense took a nose dive. So did the numbers of the senior Brennan Armstrong and he’ll look for a fresh start somewhere else to revive some of his lost NFL Draft stock. He carried an offer from Minnesota coming out of high school while going closer to home at Cincinnati would also be an option for the Shelby, OH, native.
Previous teams: USC, Georgia, WVU
December 26 update - Just before the Christmas holiday, it was announced that Daniels will be heading to Rice as they transition to the AAC. A very interesting list of stops for this former five-star quarterback.
Daniels will once again enter the transfer portal and look for a new team after his failed season with the Mountaineers. Things started off somewhat promising before unraveling for the offense as the season progressed. WVU finished 5-7 and Daniels was benched late in the season in favor of QB Garrett Greene. Daniels threw for just over 2,000 yards with 13 TDs and 9 INTs in 10 appearances for the Mountaineers.