Is There Such a Thing as Relying Too Much on Transfer Quarterbacks? – Sports Illustrated
Jim Harbaugh has tried not to make headlines this offseason, but he’s still inspiring questions…
From Larry: With Jim Harbaugh using transfer QBs every year, can it affect the ability to recruit QBs to Michigan?
It certainly will be something opposing coaches use against the Wolverines in recruiting if it keeps up. In Harbaugh’s three seasons at Michigan, his starters have been Jake Rudock (Iowa graduate transfer), Wilton Speight (inherited from Brady Hoke), John O’Korn (Houston transfer) and Brandon Peters (recruited by Harbaugh’s staff). Speight has transferred to UCLA, and Peters may get supplanted by Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson. So here is what Urban Meyer might say if he finds himself recruiting the same quarterback as the Wolverines.
Player: I’m also considering Michigan.
Meyer: Remember J.T. Barrett?
Player: Of course.
Meyer: I signed him. You know Dwayne Haskins?
Player: Your new starter?
Meyer: The very same. I signed him, too. Do you know how many of my starting quarterbacks I inherited or signed at Florida and Ohio State?
Player: How many?
Meyer: All of them. Now who would you rather sign with?
This isn’t limited to Michigan, by the way. LSU’s best two quarterbacks this decade (Zach Mettenberger and Danny Etling) were transfers, and the Tigers are currently pursuing Ohio State graduate transfer Joe Burrow. Under current Michigan assistant Jim McElwain, Florida turned to multiple transfers (Luke Del Rio, Austin Appleby, Malik Zaire) at quarterback at various times in a three-season span. West Virginia’s last three starting quarterbacks (Clint Trickett, Skyler Howard, Will Grier) were transfers. In the absence of a homegrown player who grabs control of the job, a transfer allows a coach to plug in a player—who probably has some experience—and buy time until he can sign the next homegrown star. But of the programs listed above,