Former LSU Tigers quarterback Stephen Rivers is ready to take the next step in his career.
Over three years in Baton Rouge, the Athens, Ala., native has only attempted a total of two passes. With that being said, it came as no surprise when he announced his decision to transfer at the end of the semester, per The Times-Picayune’s Ron Higgins.
“It’s hard, but it’s a good thing at the same time,” Rivers said, via Higgins’ report. “I want to get on the field and play, which I haven’t done much since high school except for a few snaps here and there.”
Although he’s mostly known for being the younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, Stephen is a very solid quarterback himself.
A former 3-star prospect coming out of high school, Rivers led Alabama to a 24-17 win during the 2010 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, winning the MVP award in the process. Set to graduate in the spring, he will be eligible to play immediately due to special NCAA transfer rules.
Now, it’s just a matter of narrowing down Rivers’ list of potential suitors.
North Carolina State
Given that this is the alma mater of his older brother, this seems to be the most obvious landing spot for Rivers.
It also helps that the Wolfpack seem to be in a bind in terms of their starting quarterback heading into 2014.
Expected starter Pete Thomas already transferred earlier this month, and the only other quarterback with significant playing experience—Brandon Mitchell—is graduating. That leaves North Carolina State having to rely on the inexperienced Jacoby Brissett.
This could prove to be the perfect opportunity for Rivers to slide right in and snag the starting job.
A redshirt sophomore, Rivers has two years of eligibility remaining. In comparison, Brissett is going to be a senior next season.
It would make a whole lot more sense for the Wolfpack coaching staff to entrust the quarterback position to someone with more than one year of eligibility left.
The Vols were one of the schools that pursued Rivers heavily during his recruiting period. Heading into 2014, it seems the team might once again be interested in Rivers’ services.
Following another abysmal performance from its passing attack—No. 111 in the nation—Tennessee has made it public knowledge that the quarterback battle is wide open:
Neither junior Justin Worley nor freshman Joshua Dobbs made a strong case last season. Both completed less than 60 percent of their passes and registered passer ratings below 120.0.
With redshirt freshman Riley Ferguson also expected to enter the fray, why not add in Rivers to spice things up even more?
For a Vols program hoping for a complete turnaround in 2014, a new face could be the answer the team is looking.
The Commodores are another team that could use some help at quarterback.
They also happen to be another one of the schools that offered Rivers during his recruiting period.
Starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels is graduating after a solid senior campaign in 2013. Help was supposed to be on the way with younger brother K.J. Carta-Samuels—a 4-star prospect in the class of 2014.
However, following former head coach James Franklin’s departure from Vanderbilt, K.J. swiftly decommitted and signed with Washington.
Now, the Commodores are slim at options. The team will have to decide between soon-to-be sophomore Patton Robinette and soon-to-be junior Josh Grady.
This could be a perfect opening for Vanderbilt to come calling for Rivers.
While the Commodores might be the team out of the three with the least chance of putting together a winning season in 2014—they only return 10 total starters—it’s an opportunity to play in the tough SEC.
But if that doesn't work out, there's always the FCS. Given the level of competition at that level, it would be almost unfair for whichever team picked him up.