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Exploring Potential Landing Spots for Top QBs In the Portal

by Connor Jackson

Photo credit: Scott Bruhn/Nebraska athletics

With the offseason approaching, that time is almost here.

That time is the transfer portal season, and it is already shaping up to be even crazier than last year. Between players utilizing their COVID-19 year and chaos in the coaching carousel, hundreds of players have hit the portal in recent days.

Here, we take a look at the top quarterbacks in the portal and where they best fit:

Ohio State | Quinn Ewers

Quinn Ewers reclassified to the 2022 class to join the Buckeyes. The would-be high school senior was a backup to C.J. Stroud at Ohio State, as one would expect. Regardless, Ewers decided to hit the transfer portal.

Ewers was widely considered as the top quarterback prospect of the 2022 class. In fact, he was one of the most highly-rated recruits the sport has ever seen. Because of that, he instantly becomes one of the most sought-out signal callers in the entire country despite playing only in garbage time.

Ewers, a Texas native, has been visiting multiple Texas schools.

Potential Landing Spots: Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Texas A&M

Oklahoma | Spencer Rattler

Spencer Rattler came into this season with Heisman Trophy hype, and was considered by many to be the top quarterback prospect in the nation. Unfortunately, Rattler did not live up to that hype. After inconsistencies, Rattler was benched in favor of Caleb Williams in the middle of the season.

The writing was on the wall for Rattler, but after head coach Lincoln Riley left for USC, he officially put his name in the portal.

While he had a rough year, he still has value. Those skill-sets that made Rattler so efficient in his first two years are still there. Now, it is about finding the right fit for the former Sooner. Despite his struggles, Rattler remains as talented as anyone.

Potential Landing Spots: Arizona State, Arizona, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Liberty

UCF | Dillon Gabriel

Gabriel threw for over 3,000 yards in each of his first two seasons at UCF. After suffering a season-ending injury in the early part of the season, Gabriel has opted to transfer.

As expected, a quarterback with the numbers that Gabriel has put up will draw tons of national attention. In fact, he has already been tied to Tennessee and Ole Miss. Some believe he might land with the Rebels, where his former offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby is working with Lane Kiffin.

Gabriel is instantly one of the best overall players available in the portal, and he still has plenty more to give.

Gabriel is good enough to turn a good team into a contender, and that should be the type of team he joins.

Potential Landing Spots: Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida, Florida State, USC

LSU | Myles Brennan

Brennan waited in the shadows for three years behind Joe Burrow and Danny Etling at LSU. After finally getting the nod in 2020, Brennan made the most of it.

In just three games, Brennan threw for over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Brennan would miss the rest of the season with a nagging shoulder injury.

Before 2021, Brennan was in the heat of a quarterback battle with TJ Finley, and Max Johnson. Finley transferred and Brennan yet again missed the entire season to injury.

Even though Brennan has dealt with nagging injuries, we have seen what kind of player he can be when he is fully healthy. That paired with experience makes him a low-risk, high-reward addition for any team.

Brennan could drop down to a smaller school, but he could be an instant plug-and-play quarterback for any school that needs one.

Potential Landing Spots: Texas, SMU, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina

Nebraska | Adrian Martinez

After spending four years as a starter at Nebraska, Martinez will use his COVID year and spend his final season elsewhere.

Martinez has had an up-and-down career with the Cornhuskers. He is a career 63.5% passer with 45 touchdowns, but he has also added 30 career interceptions. In his defense, Nebraska has not exactly been the most stable place to succeed in recent years.

Even with the turnover issues, Martinez instantly becomes one of the best available quarterbacks in the portal. Why? Because four years of starting experience in the Big Ten is valuable.

Martinez should provide instant help for someone who needs it behind center.

Martinez has already visited two programs, and the belief is that it will come down to those two.

Potential Landing Spots: California, Kansas State

Indiana | Michael Penix Jr.

Penix had an up-and-down career with the Hoosiers, but will get one more shot to prove himself, thanks to the COVID year.

Penix won big games for Indiana in 2020 and hopes were high coming into 2021. Unfortunately, he fell well short of those expectations. Nagging injuries for his entire career certainly have not helped either.

Regardless, we have seen the big-play ability that Penix has. That paired with his trials as a starter at Indiana give him value.

The Florida native could return home.

Potential Landing Spots: UCF, South Florida, Miami

Ohio State | Jack Miller

Miller is another Ohio State quarterback who got lost in the rotation this year and is taking a shot at the transfer portal.

On top of backing up Stroud and Kyle McCord, Miller was suspended indefinitely from the team earlier in the year following an arrest. Fortunately for Miller, the transfer portal will give him a second chance to do it right.

With three years of eligibility left, Miller’s best football is still ahead of him.

The Arizona native has been connected to schools in that state, but there are other schools around the country that are also interested.

Potential Landing Spots: Arizona, Arizona State, Houston, South Carolina

Tennessee | Harrison Bailey

Bailey started multiple games as a freshman for Tennessee in 2020, but got lost in a rotation that featured transfers Hendon Hooker and Joe Milton in 2021.

Bailey was a highly-sought recruit, who is seasoned in the SEC as a starter. For that reason, he is a somewhat hot commodity in this year’s transfer carousel at the quarterback position.

The Georgia native could look to return home, but there are other schools that should have him on their radar.

Potential Landing Spots: Georgia Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia Southern