Top CFB Transfer Landing Spots for Former Texas A&M Starter Nick Starkel

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2019

Top CFB Transfer Landing Spots for Former Texas A&M Starter Nick Starkel

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    The transfer portal has packaged a handful of starting-caliber quarterbacks to new destinations, and Nick Starkel will add to that list.

    After a redshirt season, he opened the 2017 campaign as Texas A&M's starter. Starkel made seven appearances that year, throwing for 1,793 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.

    But in 2018, Kellen Mond took control of the position. Since he'll only be a junior next season, the path to playing time in College Station was exceptionally narrow. Starkel, who will graduate in June, has decided to take his two years of eligibility elsewhere.

    Depending on where he chooses, Starkel could be a starter. Or the new location must be ready to host a quarterback competition.

    The order is subjective but based on the schools Starkel has expressed interest in, per Josh Newberg of 247Sports.

5. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

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    Jim Lytle/Associated Press

    Starkel mentioned six interested teams, but Ohio State is no longer a favorable spot. The NCAA granted Georgia transfer Justin Fields' waiver, and his eligibility overlaps with Starkel's.

    That waiver approval has moved Louisiana on to the list.

    While he's seemingly looking for a power-conference team, Starkel is a sensible pursuit for second-year coach Billy Napier. The Ragin' Cajuns must replace Andre Nunez, who threw 20 touchdowns in 2018.

    Levi Lewis shared snaps last season, so he's the favorite to succeed Nunez. But if Starkel wanted to join Louisiana, he could make the program a contender in the Sun Belt.

4. Arizona Wildcats

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Might there be a reunion in the works?

    Starkel earned the starting job under Kevin Sumlin, and the former Texas A&M coach is now the boss at Arizona.

    The big question is whether Starkel values that relationship over immediate snaps. Khalil Tate is returning to the Wildcats in 2019, and it's improbable he'd lose the job. Granted, since Tate is a senior, Starkel could move into the starting role in 2020.

    Strictly from a playing time perspective, though, Arizona trails the three other schools that contacted Starkel.

3. Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Chad Morris added one grad transfer, but he's apparently not finished yet. According to Newberg, Starkel will visit Arkansas on March 1.

    Ben Hicks, who has already picked the SEC program, previously started for Morris at SMU. The rest of the QB room is unproven, however. Hicks' one year of eligibility remaining means, at worst, Starkel could start for the Razorbacks in 2020.

    Or he could earn the job outright immediately!

    Plus, Starkel has an existing relationship with Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis. He held the same position at Texas A&M during the quarterback's first two seasons.

2. Florida State Seminoles

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Florida State's current depth at quarterback is inexcusable. Willie Taggart absolutely must land a grad transfer at the position.

    After the dismissal of starter Deondre Francois, James Blackman is the only scholarship quarterback on the roster. But adding Starkel would alleviate this concern.

    Starkel will travel to Tallahassee over the weekend of March 29 and is expected to make his decision following that visit.

    Given the combination of a scheduled trip and a semi-favorable depth chart, FSU is becoming the most likely spot for Starkel. Nevertheless, a different ACC program offers the best opportunity to start in 2019.

1. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Geoff Collins needs a quarterback.

    The former Temple boss is changing Georgia Tech from a triple-option attack to a spread. The current personnel on the roster headed to Atlanta were planning to play under center, not in shotgun. That doesn't mean all of Tech's quarterbacks are incapable of playing at this level, but the burden of proof is a hefty one.

    So, unless Collins is comfortable with a returning QB or believes 3-star freshman Jordan Yates will start immediately, finding a transfer with experience in a spread system would be useful.

    There isn't a better option in the transfer portal than Starkel, and he won't find a clearer path to playing time.


    All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from, or B/R research. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.