Behold, the Week 1 former SEC quarterbacks power rankings
Welcome to the other end of the transfer portal, the place discarded players end up looking to resurrect their careers after leaving their original home. In the SEC’s case, there is no shortage of former quarterbacks who have become flotsam to be dragged ashore by a program eager to upgrade with a “name” player.
A couple you’ve heard of – Shea Patterson, Jacob Eason, Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts. Others might ring a bell. And a couple require an encyclopedic knowledge of recruiting efforts from years past. But we are here to help.
Behold, the top 10 former SEC quarterbacks power rankings after Week 1!
10. Ty Storey, Western Kentucky
Trying to think of worse things than transferring from Arkansas to a school like Western Kentucky and then not even playing against Central Arkansas in the 2019 opener. Instead, Steven Duncan went the distance. Ouch.
9. Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana
Good news: The former Arkansas quarterback was quietly effective in Lions’ 35-14 victory over Jacksonville State, going 5-of-9 for 74 yards and 2 TDs. Bad news: it came as a backup to Chason Virgil, who won the preseason competition for the QB1 spot.
8. Woody Barrett, Kent State
A victim of the Jarrett Stidham sweepstakes at Auburn, Barrett went to JUCO for a year and then to Kent State – where he racked up almost 3,000 yards from scrimmage in 2018. This year hasn’t started so hot, though, as he went just 9-of-16 for 83 yards and 1 TD (and had 7 carries for minus-1 yard) in a 30-7 loss to Arizona State.
7. Blake Barnett, South Florida
Blake Barnett could have hands dripping in gold right now he had stayed at Alabama, but instead the former 5-star recruit bolted for seeming greener pastures at South Florida. He had over 3,000 yards and 20 TDs last season even with a shoulder injury, but this season hasn’t started so hot – a 13-for-30 effort for 109 yards and 2 INTs in a 49-0 Bulls loss to Wisconsin.
6. Justin McMillan, Tulane
The graduate transfer from LSU transferred in August last year and took over the QB1 spot midseason to go 5-1. His fifth-year senior season is off to a strong start, as he went 14-for-18 for 199 yards and 2 TDs in the Green Wave’s 42-14 victory over Florida International.
5. Quinten Dormady, Central Michigan
As the new face of the Jim McElwain Era, Dormady is on his second transfer after bailing out of Houston (he ejected from Tennessee first, after being QB1 in the first game of the Butch Jones era). McElwain apparently agrees with Dormady, as he went 27-of-37 for 285 yards and 3 TDs in beating mighty Albany.
4. Shea Patterson, Michigan
The former Ole Miss quarterback found a good new home in Ann Arbor and is pitching the rock to playmaking receiver duo Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones, both of whom exceeded 600 receiving yards and 6 touchdown grabs last season. The senior was solid in his opener, going 17-of-29 for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns in Michigan’s 40-21 victory over Middle Tennessee. Patterson also has former Alabama co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis calling plays, which will only help him as a potential NFL draftee.
3. Jacob Eason, Washington
Now we’re getting to it. Eason was eased out from Georgia when Jake Fromm won the QB1 spot in 2017 and elected to move back home to Washington. Before leaving Athens, Eason started 12 games as a true freshman at Georgia, recording 2,430 pass yards with 16 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. Now a junior in Chris Petersen’s offense, Eason is off to a hot start: going 27-for-36 for 349 yards and 4 TDs in the Huskies’ 47-14 beatdown of Eastern Washington. At 6-6, 247, NFL scouts already like him. We can see why.
2. Justin Fields, Ohio State
Having wrested the starting spot away from Tate Martell (who magically ended up in Miami … long story) and then graduate transfers Gunnar Hoak and Chris Chugunov, Fields is the Face of the Buckeyes to start Ryan Day’s coaching career in Columbus. Once at Georgia, Fields could theoretically have a better career than Jake Fromm. Fields and the Buckeyes made mincemeat of Florida Atlantic, as he went 18-for-25 for 234 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 45-21 victory. Yeah, it was Florida Atlantic — known more for coach Lane Kiffin’s epic hair and equally impressive Twitter presence than defense. But Fields looked great.
1. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
It’s gotta be the shoes! Hurts, the beloved Alabama graduate transfer, made his Oklahoma debut Sunday night against the cardboard cutouts that are the Houston defense and shredded them like cheap corrugated paper. Hurts found 10 receivers — all while wearing some fresh red kicks — in torching the Cougars for 332 yards on 20-of-23 passing and 3 TDs.
That’s a tidy 251.3 QB rating for those keeping track.
A first-half fumble was theoretically a 10-point change in the game, but ultimately it was just a blip. Hurts also finished with a career-high 176 rushing yards on 16 carries and 3 more TDs. That’s 508 total yards and 6 TDs for those keeping track … in just 3 quarters.
Hurts was already on Heisman minds because he is being coached by Lincoln Riley — who has developed 2 consecutive Heisman winners/No. 1 overall picks. After Sunday night’s complete performance, Hurts took his first step down the road to the stage in New York this December.