LSU QB Hayden Rettig to Transfer: Top 5 Potential Landing Spots

Tyler DonohueNational Recruiting AnalystJune 2, 2014

LSU QB Hayden Rettig to Transfer: Top 5 Potential Landing Spots

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    Credit: 247Sports

    A former high school All-American is leaving LSU. Quarterback Hayden Rettig, who signed with the Tigers in 2013, will transfer elsewhere, according to Jim Kleinpeter of NOLA.com.

    The 6'3", 205-pound passer spent his first season on campus as a redshirt reserve. Following spring camp, Rettig faced an uphill battle to supplant heralded true freshman Brandon Harris and sophomore Anthony Jennings atop the depth chart.

    He enrolled at LSU as a 4-star recruit just 17 months ago, rated No. 9 nationally among pro-style quarterback prospects in 247Sports' 2013 composite rankings. The Southern California product threw for 3,400 yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles.

    The redshirt freshman finds himself back on the open market and may consider several schools for his second collegiate landing spot. We explore five programs that appear to present possibilities in terms of positional need and personal history with Rettig.

5. Louisville

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    Garry Jones/Associated Press

    There isn't a single Louisville quarterback who committed to the current coaching regime out of high school, though incoming 3-star freshman Reggie Bonnafon stuck with the pledge he initially made to Charlie Strong and signed with Bobby Petrino's team in February.

    Louisville just lost one of the most celebrated players in program history when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater jumped into the draft and was subsequently selected in the first round. Petrino and his staff are piecing together a depth chart of predominately inexperienced passers.

    The Cardinals welcomed junior college transfer Patrick Thomas, a former UAB commit, in April. He will be in the mix with Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin and Brent Nelson for playing time in 2014 as the team transitions into the ACC.

    Tyler Ferguson, a former Penn State quarterback, is a new addition to the roster and will be eligible to play in 2015. It may seem like a crowded collection, but none of them have proven themselves as capable of being "the guy" for years to come, so Louisville could remain in a similar position of uncertainty at quarterback next year.

    Petrino could prepare for that possibility by stockpiling talent, though Rettig becomes more of a possibility if one of the Cardinals' current scholarship quarterbacks leaves the team. Their loyalties may not lie with Louisville's new (and old) head coach.

4. Cal

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    After missing out on multiple top in-state targets, Cal could look to bring in a former Golden State standout. Starting quarterback Jared Goff tossed 18 touchdowns as a true freshman and looks like the real deal moving forward, but the Bears would be smart to add depth behind a passer who has the potential to leave early for an NFL opportunity after his junior season.

    The Golden Bears signed a pair of potential replacements in February, but neither carried the kind of recruiting clout that Rettig commanded just one year earlier. Assuming Goff remains healthy and continues to make strides, it's hard to see him being supplanted as starter in 2015.

    Still, Rettig would have a realistic opportunity to rise up the depth chart and emerge as the primary backup next season. He would have two years of eligibility remaining after the 2015 campaign to make his case for the starting gig.

    The Golden Bears also offer proximity to Rettig's old stomping grounds that he'll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. USC and UCLA are set at quarterback for years to come after landing 5-star 2015 prospects.

3. Tennessee

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    When news surfaced that redshirt freshman Riley Ferguson is expected to transfer from Tennessee before the 2014 season, it increased an already dire need for new quarterbacks in Knoxville. The Volunteers didn't pick up a passer during the 2014 recruiting cycle and are still in search of a commitment as the clock ticks toward signing day 2015.

    The team whiffed on 4-star New Mexico product Zach Gentry in May when he pledged to Texas, and Tennessee seems to be losing ground to SEC-rival Auburn in the race for 5-star Florida quarterback Torrance Gibson.

    The position should be priority No. 1 for a program that probably needs to bring in two new passers next year.

    Head coach Butch Jones could check one off the list if he secured Rettig, while continuing to focus on the current crop of rising high school seniors. Tennessee also provides an alluring opportunity for the former LSU prospect to prove himself in the same conference as his old squad.

2. Rutgers

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    Mel Evans/Associated Press

    Rutgers must address its quarterback position moving forward and requires elevated play in the passing attack as competition grows more intense.

    The Scarlet Knights offense sputtered at times in 2013 due to ineffectiveness in that department, and Gary Nova, who has served as starter during stretches of the past three seasons, is entering his final year of eligibility.

    Rettig would absolutely enter the equation for a starting role in 2015, as the team embarks on its second season in the Big Ten Conference. The Scarlet Knights have searched for stability at quarterback since the 2009 departure of all-time passing leader Mike Teel, despite brief flashes of elite play from Nova and eventual Pittsburgh star Tom Savage.

    Rutgers reeled in transfer quarterback Philip Nelson, a former Minnesota starter, in January. However, he is no longer with the program after being charged with assault this spring.

1. Boston College

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Rettig doesn't need to search far and wide for a reference at Boston College. His older brother, Chase, is one of four Eagles quarterbacks to accumulate at least 8,000 career passing yards.

    He wrapped up his college run in 2013 while stretching his personal starting streak to 45 games. Considering the success Chase enjoyed in Beantown, Boston College serves as a strong option for Hayden.

    His family is already familiar with the coaching staff, and there should be an open competition for the job in 2015. If he wins the spot, Rettig could retain it through the 2017 season.

    Tyler Murphy, a fifth-year graduate transfer from Florida, is slated to start this fall. Following his departure, Rettig's main competition would likely be 2014 signee Darius Wade, a 3-star prospect.