The most exciting part of the college football offseason the last two seasons has been the movement among quarterbacks afforded by the transfer portal.
After all, three of the four 2019 Heisman Trophy finalists — LSU’s Joe Burrow, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts — were transfer quarterbacks. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy, and led LSU to the College Football Playoff championship.
The 2020 season promises to bring more of the same. Wake Forest signal-caller Jamie Newman is among the biggest quarterbacks who found a new home in the SEC, which has seen interesting movement within the conference. Houston’s D’Eriq King also transferred, and won’t be the last.
Sporting News will track the biggest transfer quarterbacks here. And in the meantime, we’ll rank them — so far — based on the impact they should make in 2020:
MORE: College football’s biggest winners, losers from early NFL Draft entries
Ranking transfer quarterbacks for 2020
1. Jamie Newman (Georgia)
Newman enjoyed a breakout season as a redshirt senior in Wake Forest’s high-scoring offense, accounting for 32 total touchdowns, 2,868 passing yards and 574 rushing yards in 2019. Now Newman — who compiled a 10-6 record as a starter the last two seasons — will be counted on to replace veteran quarterback Jake Fromm while leading Georgia back to the SEC championship game for the fourth consecutive season. Newman brings a dynamic skill set to the position, and it’s on new offensive coordinator Todd Monken to make that work.
2. D’Eriq King (Miami)
The Hurricanes’ quarterback play bottomed out in the 14-0 loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl, but King offers a short-term solution in 2020. He totaled 50 touchdowns in 2018 before redshirting last year at Houston, and he possesses talent that should translate well in the ACC. He also gives first-year coordinator Rhett Lashlee — who comes from SMU — a dynamic playmaker around whom to build the offense. Expect Miami to be better at that most important position as a result.
3. K.J. Costello (Mississippi State)
Costello played in 29 games at Stanford the last three seasons and brings experience to the position. Costello dealt with a concussion and a thumb injury that limited him to five games with the Cardinal last season, but he was still a team captain. He will help Mike Leach break in at Mississippi State, and that should translate to big numbers in his first season .
4. Feleipe Frank (Arkansas)
The Razorbacks are no stranger to the transfer portal, and Franks gives first-year coach Sam Pittman a veteran quarterback with whom to work. Franks is coming off surgery for a dislocated ankle that ended his 2019 season (and allowed Kyle Trask to take hold of the starting job at Florida). Franks’ experience will be helpful, especially in early-season tests against Notre Dame and Texas A&M. Franks has 38 touchdowns to 17 interceptions and a 59 percent completion percentage for his career.
5. Jake Bentley (Utah)
Bentley’s career arc is reflective of many big-time college football quarterbacks. He started as a freshman at South Carolina, but dealt with injuries and inconsistency throughout his career. Now Bentley steps into a situation at Utah in which he’s one of the most talented passing quarterbacks Kyle Whittingham has ever had on his roster. Now it’s time for Bentley, who has 55 touchdowns and 32 interceptions, to prove it one more time at the FBS level.
6. Chase Brice (Duke)
Brice, whose claim to fame is leading Clemson to a comeback victory against Syracuse in 2018 when Trevor Lawrence went down with injury, will transfer after spending the last two seasons as a backup. He is a graduate transfer who can play right away with the Blue Devils, and he should be able to build on that success with David Cutcliffe. The familiarity with the ACC is a bonus.
MORE: Composite college football preseason rankings for 2020
Transfer quarterbacks looking for waiver
Phil Jurkovec (Boston College)
Ian Book’s decision to stay at Notre Dame for one final season prompted backup Jurkovec to find another opportunity elsewhere, and he’ll be in a competition with Dennis Grosel for the starting job — if he’s eligible to play right away. Jurkovec has been accurate in a limited sample size, and he offers an added running dimension with 5.8 yards per carry. First-year coach Jeff Hafley has options at the position.
Joey Gatewood (Kentucky)
Gatewood, a dual-threat quarterback who was used as a role player behind Bo Nix at Auburn last season, stayed in the conference. Even if Gatewood is deemed eligible in 2020, he’d have to compete for the starting position against incumbent starter Terry Wilson, whose season-ending knee injury in 2019 allowed Lynn Bowden Jr. to win first-team All-American honors as an athlete. Gatewood is another quarterback who will need a transfer waiver to play right away.
Transfer QBs still making decision
Allison played in seven games for West Virginia the last two seasons, accumulating 496 passing yards and two touchdowns to four interceptions. He is a redshirt who will have two years of eligibility remaining wherever he lands.
Ramsey entered the transfer portal after playing three seasons at Indiana. He made 24 starts, and he has 6,581 passing yards with 42 TDs. Ramsey also has 832 rushing yards and 14 TDs. He’ll be a nice dual-threat pickup.