Top 12 quarterback transfers to watch in 2018 Staff

May 27, 2018 at 11:12 pm.

Oct 21, 2017; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Shea Patterson (20) moves out of the pocket against the LSU Tigers during the second quarter at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.  Photo Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 21, 2017; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Shea Patterson (20) moves out of the pocket against the LSU Tigers during the second quarter at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Photo Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback transfer market is still open for business, with several vagabond passers looking for homes for the fall, but most of the biggest names have found new landing places.

Many of these immediately eligible quarterbacks have already made an impression during spring ball and will transform major-conference races and influence the chase for the College Football Playoff.

Here are 12 key transfer quarterbacks who have traded uniforms since last season:

1. Shea Patterson (Ole Miss to Michigan) — The Wolverines’ entire world changed when Patterson was granted immediate eligibility in late April because of sanctions against the Ole Miss program. Patterson, the former No. 1 quarterback recruit in the nation, has plenty of good tape as a starter for the Rebels, is adept at extending plays with his feet and has a do-what-it-takes attitude. As Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary told reporters this spring: “He’s swaggy.”

2. Joe Burrow (Ohio State to LSU) — Head coach Ed Orgeron’s one-year experiment with coordinator Matt Canada went off the rails, so he elevated Steve Ensminger to the position in yet another attempt to invigorate the passing game. The problem in the spring: Sophomore Myles Brennan didn’t separate from junior Justin McMillan or redshirt freshman Lowell Narcisse. Burrow, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, has thrown only 39 career passes, but he’s flashed enough for LSU to legitimately hope he’s the savior.

3. Gardner Minshew (East Carolina to Washington State) — Minshew, who passed for 2,140 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season, initially announced he was moving to Alabama for his graduate season. But with both of ‘Bama’s top QBs still in place, he switched to Washington State, which is reeling from the January suicide of projected starter Tyler Hilinski.

4. Bryce Perkins (Arizona State to Arizona Western JC to Virginia) — The Cavaliers, who finished last in the ACC in rushing last season, needed to spice up their entire offense and has found that in Perkins, who worked as the No. 1 during spring ball and appeared to be the team’s fastest player. Virginia will add some option looks to help spread the field.

5. Keller Chryst (Stanford to Tennessee) — The Vols are rebooting after an 0-8 SEC season, with new coach Jeremy Pruitt going to more of a pro-style attack. That’s fine with Chryst, who was 11-2 as a starter at Stanford but lost his job to K.J. Costello last season. Chryst will compete with redshirt sophomore Jarrett Guarantano (1-5 as a starter in 2017) in fall camp.

6. Wilton Speight (Michigan to UCLA) — Speight might not be the perfect fit for new coach Chip Kelly and an up-tempo offense, but he brings plenty of experience after throwing for almost 3,200 yards at Michigan. Speight will compete with redshirt sophomore Devon Modster, who has a dash of playing time and the right dual-threat skill set … but incoming freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson will have a say, too.

7. Dru Brown (Hawaii to Oklahoma State) — Brown passed for 5,273 yards, with 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, in two seasons as the starter in Hawaii. When he and true freshman Spencer Sanders arrive in Stillwater, they’ll try to unseat fifth-year senior and former walk-on Taylor Cornelius, who had a tenuous post-spring claim to the right to replace departed Mason Rudolph.

8. K.J. Carta-Samuels (Washington to Colorado State) — With only one season of eligibility left, Carta-Samuels could wait no more behind senior Jake Browning. Carta-Samuels originally appeared headed to transfer to UCLA, but he detoured to the Rams, who lost Nick Stevens to graduation and saw sophomore Collin Hill suffer an ACL tear before spring practice.

9. Brandon Dawkins (Arizona to Indiana) — He’s a talented runner and the kind of all-purpose threat that coach Tom Allen covets. Dawkins, who started 14 games for the Wildcats with 1,582 rushing yards and 20 scores on the grounds, is throwing his hat in the ring against sophomore Peyton Ramsey (1,252 passing yards last season) and early-enrolled freshman Michael Penix Jr., who has a chance to be “pretty special,” Allen said.

10. Blake Barnett (Alabama to Arizona State to South Florida) — Barnett started the 2016 season opener for Alabama before Jalen Hurts took over the job. Barnett hasn’t played much in college but he’ll bring his big recruiting reputation to USF, whose quarterback position will be up for grabs in fall camp in the post-Quinton Flowers era.

11. Alex Thomson (Wagner to Marshall) — Should be an interesting leap from the FCS to Marshall after he missed most of last season because of a shoulder injury. Thomson, who is 6-foot-5 with a bit of NFL buzz, had interest from Tennessee before he picked Marshall, which has to replace NFL Draft early-entry Chase Litton.

12. Brady White (Arizona State to Memphis) — The former four-star recruit was sidetracked by a 2016 ankle injury, but he’ll get a fresh start as a grad transfer at Memphis, reuniting with Tigers head coach Mike Norvell, who recruited White when he was a Sun Devils assistant. Memphis has to replace NFL prospect Riley Ferguson.