B/R CFB Community: Which Transfer QB Will Have the Best Season?

Adam Kramer@kegsneggsNational College Football Lead WriterFebruary 2, 2022

LAWRENCE, KS - OCTOBER 23: Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) before a Big 12 football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Kansas Jayhawks on Oct 23, 2021 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Free agency in college football is here.

Need a quarterback? Sure, you could grab one the ol' fashioned way through recruiting. Or, you could do some transfer-portal shopping and bring in a known commodity who can turn your football fortunes around in one year. 

This offseason, more than a handful of teams and coaches have set out to do just that. With the addition of a one-time, penalty-less transfer for players, plenty are taking full advantage.

But which on-the-move QB will have the best season with his new team in 2022? We asked that question to Bleacher Report readers, and they delivered a wide assortment of answers and names. 

The movement in this cycle has given us plenty of options. Let's explore as many as we can.  


Scott Frost's Quick Fix

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 20: Texas Longhorns quarterback Casey Thompson (11) throws a pass during the college football game between the Texas Longhorns and the West Virginia Mountaineers on November 20, 2021, at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium
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User: @And22 

Suggestion: Casey Thompson. Nebraska wins nine or 10 games. 

The importance of Thompson's commitment to Nebraska cannot be overstated. Given Scott Frost's turbulent year—one stockpiled with improvement but also a historic number of close losses—the Cornhuskers had to upgrade at quarterback and move on from Adrian Martinez. 

It appears they have done that by grabbing the former Longhorn, and Casey Thompson is not coming alone.

New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, who helped develop Kenny Pickett at Pitt, should be a huge addition. As is Mickey Joseph, the team's new wide receivers' coach, who enjoyed a wildly successful stint in the same role at LSU. 

Also, Thompson was not the only transfer QB to head to Nebraska. Chubba Purdy, who came from Florida State, also joined the program.

In my eyes, however, Thompson is the guy.

He showed promising flashes with the Longhorns over the past two seasons. Despite starting this past season on the bench, Thompson finished with 28 total touchdowns and only nine interceptions. 

Under Whipple, he could develop into a fascinating threat. While individual quarterbacks mentioned here might have bigger seasons—and 10 wins still feels a tad ambitious—the importance of Thompson to Nebraska and Frost cannot be overstated.  


All Aboard the Lane Train (Again)

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: USC Trojans quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) looks to throw the ball during a college football game between the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans on November 20, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum i
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User: @yadayada 

Suggestion Dart-->Kiffin

The potential here is intriguing on a few fronts. In fact, it wouldn't shock me if Lane Kiffin and Jaxson Dart wind up being the most potent combination of them all.  

Plus, this is all tremendous content.  

Dart, a true freshman at USC last season, really flashed at times. In fact, I thought he would have been a perfect fit with new USC head coach Lincoln Riley (more on that in a bit). However, his decision to leave for Ole Miss is certainly enormous for Kiffin. 

Under Kiffin's guidance, Matt Corral blossomed into one of the best quarterbacks in the country this season. Dart is likely to step right in and be the starter for the Rebels, and the results could be superb.  

Former USC tight end Michael Trigg will join Dart at Ole Miss. Throw in running back Zach Evans, who joined Ole Miss after playing at TCU last year, and this offense could be all sorts of fun.

Plus, Dart is poised to play at Ole Miss for (at least) two more seasons. This should end up being a tremendous football marriage. 


The (Former) Heisman Favorite Finds a New Home 

LAWRENCE, KS - OCTOBER 23: Spencer Rattler #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners warms up before the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
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User: @superseller1 

Suggestion: Spencer Rattler

A year ago, Spencer Rattler was the favorite to win the Heisman at Oklahoma. That sounds strange now, although it was very much the case back then.

Then the 2021 season happened, and Rattler now finds himself in the SEC playing for South Carolina. 

For the Gamecocks, coming off a massive first season under Shane Beamer, this was one of the biggest additions in the program's history. That is not hyperbole; Rattler is that rare for a program that does not normally welcome in 5-star quarterbacks. 

But after last season, I'm not sure what version of Rattler we're going to see. The regression was too pronounced to assume that he'll be the same player he was the year before. 

South Carolina will gladly take this gamble, of course. If Rattler returns to his late 2020 form, he and the Gamecocks could be in for a monster 2022 season.

A fresh start certainly feels like it will help Rattler. As will his connection with Beamer, whom he knew from his days in Norman.   

The potential is unavoidable. This will be one of the biggest stories in all of CFB.

And yes, Rattler could emerge as one of the faces of the sport once again. It just feels like we have to see more first.


Don't Sleep on the New Sooner

ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 11: UCF Knights quarterback Dillon Gabriel (11) warming up before the football game between the UCF Knights and Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on September 11th, 2022 at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bers
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User: @jwilliams1208 

Suggestion: Dillon Gabriel 

On the topic of Oklahoma quarterbacks, meet Dillon Gabriel.

The former UCF standout announced he was transferring to Oklahoma shortly after Caleb Williams—more on him in a moment—put his name in the transfer portal. (Before then, Gabriel was committed to UCLA. Yes, the transfer portal is wild.) 

Gabriel played only three games last season before suffering an injury while making a tackle against Louisville. When healthy in 2020, however, he had 34 total touchdowns and threw only four interceptions. 

In the right system, he can play. And this is the right system. Gabriel will reunite with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, whom he played with and thrived under at UCF.

It would not be the least bit shocking to see Gabriel post the biggest numbers of any transfer quarterback this fall. If Lebby's offense resembles the one we saw with UCF, Oklahoma will likely go fast and score quickly. 

Gabriel should be a big part of that. 


The Man With the Tremendous Mullet

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Quinn Ewers #3 of the Ohio State Buckeyes warming up before the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswi
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User: @garp64

Suggestion: Quinn Ewers

In terms of splash, this is the answer. And after such a rough season in Austin, this was a must-have addition for Texas.

Ewers, who spent last season with Ohio State after skipping his senior year of high school and reclassifying, is immensely talented. He was a consensus 5-star prospect and the highest-ranked recruit in the country.

He has gifts. That much is clear. However, his immediate potential outside of that is a bit of a mystery. 

Spending the majority of the season at Ohio State and learning under Ryan Day should help a great deal. Also, being in a college strength and conditioning program of that caliber should also help.  

But in terms of immediate impact on Texas, much is still to be determined.

Partnering with head coach Steve Sarkisian should be a plus when you consider how well he has molded other quarterbacks in the past. Having running back Bijan Robinson in the backfield for one more year will be an enormous help as well.

All of these are positives. And make no mistake about it, this is Ewers' job come fall. It has to be.  

The ceiling on this partnership is tremendously high—maybe higher than any scenario mentioned here. But more information and seasoning is needed before we declare Ewers a 2022 star.


The Bo Nix Experience Heads West

Butch Dill/Associated Press

User: @xayastro

Suggestion: Bo Nix? 

Will he be the best quarterback in the country next year? 

In a sport that produces weirdness as frequently as this one does, I refuse to say no. Although it would be shocking if Bo Nix, formerly of Auburn and now with Oregon, produces the greatest season of any transfer quarterback.

Consider that a dare.

Nix's improvement this past season was noteworthy. Before his season ended because of an ankle injury, he found a rhythm and also managed to produce a series of jaw-dropping, video game-esque plays. 

I have stated this across various Bleacher Report pieces already, and I'll say it one more time: No player was more exciting when dropping back last year, largely because it was difficult to know what exactly was going to happen next.

There's good and bad to come with that, and we'll likely see a fair share of both at Oregon. I don't believe Nix will have the best 2022 season. But I am excited to see his continued growth, and I also plan to tune into every single chaotic moment he produces. (He's likely good for plenty more.)


Fight On

Eric Gay/Associated Press

User: @smbcta34 

Suggestion: Can't decide before Caleb Williams goes somewhere

Given what transpired Tuesday, this answer, which was delivered over the weekend, is now perfect.

We have our answer.

The wait to see where Caleb Williams will play football is now over. USC, long thought to be the favorite because of Lincoln Riley, is the confirmed destination.

We'll talk about the 2022 potential in a moment, but no transfer-portal addition is more important than this one. That's not just because Williams is immensely gifted and shined in Riley's system at Oklahoma last fall; his sheer presence changes the buzz around the program entirely.

Recruiting will be better because of this decision. Williams is that important to the program, and it's hard to summarize just what this means.

As for 2022, well, it should be excellent. Williams is still growing as a player, and he should mesh well with a system he already knows. 

Expectations are and will be sky-high. While USC likely isn't a national title contender immediately, Williams should have an enormous fall. If the other pieces can come together on offense, there is no reason he shouldn't factor in the Heisman discussion.

Yes, kind of a big deal.