The proliferation of the transfer portal and implementation of the one-time transfer waiver has dramatically impacted all of college football. But no position has been impacted more than quarterback, as last offseason in the Pac-12 illustrated.
Eight of the 12 teams in the conference added a transfer quarterback between the 2021 and 2022 seasons who has started at least one game so far this year. With several of those players set to exhaust their eligibility this season, don’t be surprised if a lot of those same teams dip back into the transfer well prior to next fall.
Of course, transfers in inevitably means transfers out, too, especially at quarterback where only one player can see the field at a time. Here is a look at a few Pac-12 signal-callers who could be looking for a new home next year.
Jay Butterfield, Oregon
Dan Lanning inherited an Oregon quarterback room that included two former Rivals100 prospects in Butterfield and Ty Thompson, but he opted to bring in a signal-caller with more experience in Bo Nix. That move looks prescient in hindsight, as Nix is off to a great start this season. But the addition of Nix likely means at least one of Butterfield and Thompson won’t get a chance to start for the Ducks, and right now, Butterfield looks like the odd man out. He is currently listed third on the team’s depth chart, behind Nix and Thompson. Plus, Oregon has landed a commitment from the No. 2 prospect in the 2023 class in quarterback Dante Moore. The sheer number of talented players who could be in the Oregon quarterback room next season means at least one of Butterfield and Thompson will transfer, and if Nix does opt to return to school for his final season of eligibility, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see both seek a starting job elsewhere.
Miller Moss, USC
Moss could be the next in a long line of talented prospects to start their college careers at USC only to transfer, joining the likes of JT Daniels, Kedon Slovis and Jaxson Dart. Moss saw a bit of action as a true freshman last season and figured to have an outside chance to win the starting job this season, but that was before Lincoln Riley arrived and brought Caleb Williams with him. Williams has to stay in college for at least one more season beyond 2022, and Riley has already landed a commitment from another five-star passer to be his heir apparent in Malachi Nelson. The good news for Moss is that there should be plenty of programs eager to take a chance on a former four-star quarterback.
Will Plummer, Arizona
Plummer played in 13 games and started eight across his first two seasons at Arizona, but Wildcats coach Jedd Fisch replaced him via the transfer portal with former Washington State quarterback Jayden De Laura. De Laura doesn’t figure to go pro after this season, and he could stick around for another two years if he so chooses. Plus, Arizona has a four-star quarterback committed in the class of 2022 in Brayden Dorman. Plummer struggled with ball security during his time as the Arizona starter, throwing 12 interceptions compared to six touchdowns, but a quarterback with starting experience should always command some attention in the transfer market.
Xavier Ward, Washington State
The other Ward in the Washington State quarterback room, Cameron, has started the 2022 season strong. New Cougars coach Jake Dickert brought Cameron Ward in from Incarnate Word during the offseason, and he’s completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 1,097 yards and 10 touchdowns through four games. Assuming he doesn’t seek to pursue an NFL career (which isn’t impossible), he still has two years of eligibility left, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Xavier Ward, who has yet to appear in a college game, looks for an easier path to the starting spot elsewhere. He also had an offer from Oregon State as well as several Group of Five programs out of high school.