College Football Players Most Likely to Transfer This Offseason

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2019

College Football Players Most Likely to Transfer This Offseason

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    This year's college football season has put the value of transfer players front and center.

    Three of the four College Football Playoff teams have transfers manning the quarterback position. Incidentally, Ohio State's Justin Fields and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts were Heisman Trophy finalists, and LSU's Joe Burrow took home the hardware.

    So who will be the next transfer to take the college football world by storm?

    Ahead, we've highlighted seven notable potential transfers. It's a list that's heavy on quarterbackssix of them in factwith one former 5-star wide receiver also earning a mention.

    Players are ordered based on expected impact during the 2020 college football season.

Joey Yellen, QB, Arizona State

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    2019 Stats: 28-of-44, 292 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT (1 game played)

    While most of the players on this list are upperclassmen and grad transfers who will be eligible to play immediately, Joey Yellen has entered the transfer portal after his true freshman season at Arizona State.

    That means he will need to sit a year before he can bolster a team's quarterback position, but he could prove worth the wait.

    A 4-star recruit and the No. 9 pro-style quarterback prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, Yellen also had offers from Georgia, Oregon State, Washington State, Brown and San Jose State coming out of Mission Viejo High School in California.

    His lone action during the 2019 season came when he got the nod in place of injured starter and fellow freshman Jayden Daniels against USC on Nov. 9. After the Sun Devils fell behind 28-7 in the first quarter, Yellen nearly completed the comeback in what ended up being a 31-26 loss.

    "Because we have a freshman quarterback in Jayden, Joey doesn't get any reps in practice," ASU offensive coordinator Rob Likens told reporters. "Zero, none. For him to come in and do what he did, that may be one of the best true freshman performances."

    With a big 6'3", 210-pound frame and a strong arm, Yellen has a chance to develop into a quality quarterback at the Power Five level, even if he's not going to make an immediate impact.

Justin Shorter, WR, Penn State

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    2019 Stats: 12 receptions, 137 yards, 0 TD (8 games played)

    Justin Shorter has not made much of an impact during his two seasons at Penn State.

    However, as a former 5-star recruit and the top receiver prospect in the nation during the 2018 recruiting cycle, he's sure to generate plenty of interest after entering the transfer portal.

    The 6'4", 213-pound Shorter was the No. 8 prospect overall in the 2018 class, and he upped his production a bit in 2019 after catching just three passes as a freshman.

    With his size and strength, he's a tough cover for opposing cornerbacks, though his route running and ball skills remain a work in progress.

    There will be no shortage of teams willing to roll the dice on his past potential and future upside.

    He had offers from Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among several others, coming out of South Brunswick High School in New Jersey.

Anthony Brown, QB, Boston College

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    2019 Stats: 81-of-137, 1,250 yards, 9 TD, 2 INT (6 games played)

    A season-ending knee injury on Oct. 5 marked the end of the 2019 campaign for Anthony Brown, and now the redshirt junior is looking for a new home as a graduate transfer.

    The 3-star recruit took over as the primary signal-caller at Boston College during the 2017 season, throwing for 1,367 yards and 11 touchdowns against nine interceptions, while adding another 210 yards on the ground.

    The following season, he threw for 2,121 yards and 20 touchdowns with just nine interceptions and led the Eagles to a 7-5 record.

    With 28 starts, 4,738 passing yards and 40 touchdowns under his belt, he's one of the more experienced options on the transfer market. The big question will be the health of his knee.

    His decision to enter the transfer portal came shortly after Boston College head coach Steve Addazio was fired, so there's still a chance he could opt to return if new head coach Jeff Hafley makes a push to bring him back.

    That said, there are enough quarterback-needy teams that he could find a more appealing alternative elsewhere.

Jett Duffey, QB, Texas Tech

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    2019 Stats: 239-of-367, 2,840 yards, 18 TD, 5 INT (10 games played)

    Jett Duffey took over as the starting quarterback for Texas Tech on Oct. 5 in place of the injured Alan Bowman after seeing some sporadic action the previous two weeks.

    He made an immediate impact in the starting role, throwing for 424 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-35 victory over Oklahoma State, and the job was his the rest of the year.

    He wound up averaging 339.5 yards over the final eight games of the season, and while the Red Raiders went just 2-6 during that span, he showed enough potential under center that he should generate plenty of transfer interest.

    The redshirt junior will be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer, and he should find more high-level interest this time around after choosing Texas Tech over the likes of Air Force, Nevada, McNeese State, Southern Illinois and Stephen F. Austin as a 3-star recruit.

    His dual-threat abilities and prolific passing production this past season make him an intriguing fit for a number of different schools.

Feleipe Franks, QB, Florida

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    2019 Stats: 54-of-71, 698 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT (4 games played)

    Teams looking for experienced quarterback help will no doubt be drawn to the impressive numbers that Feleipe Franks posted during the 2018 season.

    As a redshirt sophomore, he led Florida to a 10-3 season and a Peach Bowl victory over Michigan.

    He threw for 2,457 yards and 24 touchdowns with just six interceptions, and added another 350 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on the ground.

    More of the same was expected this season, but his season came to an abrupt halt during the third game of the season when he suffered a dislocated ankle that would sideline him for the remainder of the season.

    So what's next?

    "Franks said he plans to explore his options of entering the NFL draft or transferring and playing his final season at another school," wrote Chris Low of ESPN.

    The former 4-star recruit has already visited Kansas, so he seems serious about weighing his college options, and as long as his ankle is healthy he's capable of making a significant impact somewhere in 2020.

K.J. Costello, QB, Stanford

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    2019 Stats: 102-of-167, 1,038 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT (5 games played)

    Another high-profile quarterback who saw injuries derail his 2019 season after a strong performance the previous year, K.J. Costello could easily prove to be the prize of this year's crop of transfer quarterbacks.

    A 4-star recruit and the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class, Costello was one of the more productive quarterbacks in the country during the 2018 season when he threw for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns in a 9-4 season at Stanford.

    He likely would have been a late-round selection in the NFL draft had he declared last season, but he instead opted to return for his senior season in hopes of boosting his stock.

    Now, he'll look to do the same next season as a graduate transfer.

    He may be the answer to replacing Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow at LSU or junior standout Jake Fromm at Georgia, assuming he moves on to the NFL.

    While his ultimate landing spot remains unclear, there's little doubt Costello will be a popular name this offseason for a school looking for an immediate starter at quarterback.

D'Eriq King, QB, Houston

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    2019 Stats: 58-of-110, 663 passing yards, 6 TD, 2 INT, 312 rushing yards, 6 TD (4 games played)

    "D'Eriq King is the biggest potential QB domino of the offseason," read a recent headline from Chris Hummer of 247Sports.

    It's easy to see why.

    The senior quarterback decided to redshirt after four games this season, and he had already accounted for 12 touchdowns at the time, despite a disappointing 1-3 start from Houston.

    During the 2018 season, he accounted for 50 touchdowns, tossing for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns with six interceptions while adding 674 rushing yards and 14 scores.

    Hummer wrote:

    "The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Houston native is one of only six quarterbacks in FBS history to account for 50 touchdowns in a single season. He's only one of three QBs in FBS history to throw for 35 touchdowns in rush for 13 in a single season. King's 2018 effort, which was cut short by injury, is one of the most productive ever."


    All stats courtesy of Sports Reference unless otherwise noted, while all recruiting information comes via 247Sports.