On Monday, news broke that Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal after three years with the Buckeyes.
McCord started all 12 of Ohio State’s regular-season games at quarterback. Still, Ryan Day declined to commit to McCord as Ohio State’s starting quarterback moving forward during his press conference on Sunday. Now, the wheels are in motion for Ohio State to have a new quarterback in 2024, whether that be Devin Brown, Lincoln Kienholz, incoming freshman Air Noland or an incoming quarterback from the portal.
Here is a look at potential quarterback options Ohio State could pursue in the portal:
Soon after Washington State’s Cam Ward announced he would enter the transfer portal last week, FOX commentator Brock Huard reported that Ward had received NIL offers of $1 million or more from at least 10 schools. That made the 6-foot-2, 223-pound quarterback one of the most sought-after players in the portal.
Schools wish to add Ward to their roster for his talent but also his experience. The West Columbia, Texas, native started his college career in the FCS at Incarnate Word. He then transferred to Washington State, where he appeared in 25 games and completed 644 of 983 passes (65.5%) for 6,968 passes, 48 touchdowns and 16 interceptions across two seasons. Ward will be one to watch for West Coast teams like USC, Oregon and Washington, but Ohio State could enter the mix with McCord’s departure.
Immediately after Duke’s Riley Leonard announced he would enter the transfer portal, several national college football media members reported Notre Dame as the frontrunner to land him.
3:00pm: Riley Leonard enters Portal— Josh Pate (@LateKickJosh) November 29, 2023
3:01pm: Entire CFB media apparatus pic.twitter.com/sAAhN0EzjF
What Notre Dame finds appealing about Leonard – namely, his 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame, athleticism, ball security and winning résumé – Ohio State could find useful in Day’s quarterback-friendly offense, which will also feature a plethora of four-star and five-star athletes at wide receiver.
In 2023, Leonard suffered an ankle sprain in Duke’s Week 6 loss to Notre Dame that cut his season to seven games in which he threw for 1,102 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. His best year came as a sophomore in 2022, when he threw for 2,967 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 games as the Blue Devils’ QB1.
Oregon State’s DJ Uiagalelei is back in the portal. The Bellflower, California, native started his college career at Clemson and seemed poised to be the next great Tigers quarterback after Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence. However, that wasn’t in the cards for Uiagalelei.
After a 2022 season in which he threw for 2,521 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions and led Clemson to an 11-3 season, Uiagalelei transferred to Oregon State in 2023. In the regular season, Uiagalelei threw for a career-high 2,638 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven picks.
Last week, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound quarterback entered the portal for the second time in his career after Jonathan Smith left the Beavers to become Michigan State’s next head coach. That means Uiagalelei will be looking for his third home in three years. But with his talent and experience, Ohio State could consider making that home Columbus.
Like McCord, Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel entered the transfer portal on Monday.
Thank you Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/90fT2nBE7A— Dillon Gabriel (@_dillongabriel_) December 4, 2023
Gabriel earned unanimous first-team All-Big 12 honors this season after leading the Big 12 with 3,660 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns and six interceptions and guiding the Sooners to a 10-win regular season. Before his stint in Norman, the 5-foot-11, 204-pound senior spent three seasons at UCF. His 14,865 career passing yards rank second-most among all active FBS quarterbacks.
Now headed to his third school in three years, Gabriel will have a nice list of options. He could move to Mississippi State and play in the same offensive scheme with former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, the Bulldogs’ newly hired head coach. USC, Oregon and Washington are also considered options for the Mililani, Hawaii, native, while Ohio State could look to enter the field.
Moore announced he would enter the transfer portal last week after he appeared in nine games for Chip Kelly and UCLA in 2023. In those nine games, Moore completed 114 of 213 passes (53.5%) for 1,610 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
A five-star in the class of 2023, Moore was heavily recruited by Ohio State. He committed to Oregon after he threw for 9,880 yards, 135 touchdowns and 20 interceptions at King High School in Detroit. Moore flipped his commitment to UCLA two days before he was supposed to sign his letter of intent with the Ducks.
On Monday, Ohio State wide receiver Brandon Inniss posted a highlight video of himself catching a 9-yard touchdown pass from Moore in the 2022 All-American Bowl, seemingly recruiting Moore to transfer to Ohio State.
Good ol times pic.twitter.com/gjxy6EtmwI— Brandon Inniss (@Brandon1inniss) December 4, 2023
In four seasons at Kansas State, Will Howard threw for 5,786 yards, 48 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. While he is the most turnover-prone of the quarterbacks listed, Howard led Kansas State to a Big 12 Championship Game win over TCU in 2022 and collected 327 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the Wildcats’ loss to Texas in 2023.
According to a report from On3, USC’s Lincoln Riley and Nebraska’s Matt Rhule have met with Howard in the past week in hopes of landing the veteran quarterback. If Ohio State likes what it sees from Howard, the Buckeyes could add themselves to the mix as it looks ahead to 2024.
- Will Rogers: A grad transfer, Rogers appeared in every game for Mississippi State during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. However, his playing time in 2023 was cut short because of an injury. In eight games this season, Rogers threw for 1,626 yards and 12 touchdowns with four interceptions.
- Grayson McCall: A three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year who threw for over 10,000 yards in his five years at Coastal Carolina, McCall will be one of the most experienced options in the portal. He hasn’t played at the Power 5 level, but he has talent that could be elevated with better weapons around him, as would be present at Ohio State.
Photos: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports, Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports, Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports, Bryan Terry-USA TODAY Sports, Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports, Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports