Rivals Transfer Portal – SEC transfer quarterbacks making debuts this week


No position has been impacted more by the transfer boom in college football than quarterback. Every offseason, a host of signal-callers transfer to new programs in search of playing time and, in turn, send other quarterbacks into the portal.

The SEC has seen its fair share of movement on the quarterback carousel. With every team in the league opening its 2022 season this weekend, here’s a look at the transfer quarterbacks that are set to debut with their new teams and what their roles might look like.

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DEFINITE STARTERS:

Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

The only transfer quarterback in the SEC who has been named his team’s starter is Rattler, who came to South Carolina from Oklahoma during the offseason. Rattler carries lofty expectations on his shoulders entering his fourth college season. He should get a chance to put up big numbers in his Gamecock debut as South Carolina hosts a Georgia State team that finished 109th nationally in pass defense last season.

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STILL COMPETING:

Jayden Daniels, LSU

New LSU coach Brian Kelly said he would announce his team’s starting quarterback for its season-opener against Florida State early this week — and then Monday, he reversed course and said he would keep the decision a secret. The Tigers’ starter will either be Daniels, a transfer from Arizona State, or redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier.

If Daniels does indeed start, he should bring the big-play potential he flashed across three seasons as the starter at Arizona State. But after throwing 10 interceptions last season, he will need to cut down on the turnovers to keep his starting spot.

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Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss

Rebels coach Lane Kiffin quipped that he won’t even tell his son, Knox, who will start behind center when Ole Miss faces Troy on Saturday. That could be because, as Kiffin said, he doesn’t yet know who is the better option between Dart and sophomore Luke Altmyer, or it could be typical college football coach secrecy.

Regardless, it would come as a surprise if Dart, who was one of the most hyped transfer additions nationally during the offseason, doesn’t at least see some action when the Rebels host the Trojans. Dart played in six games as a true freshman at USC last season and threw nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

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BACKUPS: 

Jack Abraham, Missouri

Missouri added the journeyman during the offseason but shortly after the start of fall camp announced that redshirt sophomore Brady Cook would start behind center. If the Tigers take care of business during their Thursday night opener with Louisiana Tech, we could see where the seventh-year senior stands in the quarterback pecking order.

Abraham, who hasn’t played in a game since October 2020 due to a rash of injuries, could use some reps, but Eli Drinkwitz might prefer to see what redshirt freshman Tyler Macon or true freshman Sam Horn, both former four-star recruits, can do under the lights.

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Robby Ashford and Zach Calzada, Auburn

After Bo Nix transferred to Oregon, Ashford and Calzada came to the Plains in the hope of replacing him behind center. Reports indicate that TJ Finley, himself a transfer from LSU a year ago, will get the start when the Tigers open their season against Mercer. However, the FCS opponent should certainly provide Auburn a chance to get its backups into the game.

Saturday should provide an indication of whether Ashford, a redshirt freshman from Oregon, or Calzada, who started 10 games for Texas A&M last season, will be the primary backup this year.

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Max Johnson, Texas A&M

Johnson started 12 games for LSU last season but left for Texas A&M during the offseason. Reports indicate that Jimbo Fisher will start sophomore Haynes King rather than Johnson when the Aggies open their season against Sam Houston State on Saturday.

Again, this should be a matchup that allows Texas A&M to go deep down the depth chart, giving Johnson a chance to show what he can do and illustrating whether he or five-star freshman Conner Weigman will be the No. 2 quarterback this year.

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