There is a new liberty that is starting to sweep across the nation and terraform the college football landscape into the mold of that of NFL free agency this offseason with the new introduction of the quarterback portal.
Starting on Oct. 15, 2018, a new NCAA policy that allows student-athletes to enter their names into a transfer portal in which they are permitted to engage in contact with other institutions without the ramification of potential penalty, sanction or loss of eligibility.
Just because a player enters their name into the portal does not necessarily mean that they fully intend to transfer. It essentially affords these athletes opportunities that have never been available to student-athletes because of tampering restrictions.
However, this new-found liberty does not come without any potential risk because once a player enters into the transfer portal, they expose themselves to the possibility of losing their scholarships because their teams are no longer obligated to keep them on the roster once they’ve exercised their right to enter the portal.
Another stipulation states that any non-graduate that chooses to transfer is still required to sit out an entire season per NCAA mandate unless they are granted a waiver. In essence, this portal primarily benefits graduate transfers who have already received their degrees and have a year or two left of eligibility.
The college sport most impacted by this new policy is also the NCAA’s largest source of revenue. That sport is football and the position most directly associated with this new policy is the most important on every team, the quarterback.
There are some high profiled signal callers that have enlisted and gone through the transfer portal and now are on a new team that they believe will give them the best chance to succeed and even possibly advance their career to the next level.
Former Clemson Tiger Kelly Bryant is still a tiger but has now traded in his orange and purple stripes for the University of Missouri’s black and gold. The class of 2018’s former No.1 overall recruit in Justin Fields decided that he didn’t want to sit behind University of Georgia’s starter Nick Fromm for another season and take his talents to Ohio State to become a Buckeye.
Perhaps the biggest impact that will emerge from the inaugural implementation of transfer portal is that 2x national champion from the University of Alabama in Jalen Hurts is now the quarterback for the University of Oklahoma next season.
The reason that this might prove to be the biggest and most brilliant utilization of the new transfer portal is that Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley has coached the last two Heisman trophy winners in former first overall pick Baker Mayfield and potential top 10 pick in this year’s NFL draft Kyler Murray.
Hurst witnessed firsthand what athletically gifted passers like himself can accomplish in Riley’s system when his former team in the Crimson Tide took on the Sooners in this past season’s college football playoffs. He will attempt to keep the streak of coach Riley’s prodigies contending for titles, Heisman trophies and ultimately first-round pick pedigree alive and well.