If you watched the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the 2023 season, there were a few things that were tough to watch. One of those things was the questionable quarterback play. All three scholarship quarterbacks got to play and all of them had some good moments and some not great moments. If you look back at this past season, a major issue was turnovers, which stemmed from the quarterbacks. Junior Jeff Sims, sophomore Heinrich Haarberg and sophomore Chubba Purdy all combined for 16 interceptions.
There should be no surprise that head coach Matt Rhule and his staff will look at the quarterback position and see what’s available in the portal. Here are four quarterbacks in the transfer portal to watch for Nebraska.
Four Transfer Portal Quarterbacks to Watch for Nebraska
Before we get started, Rhule spoke at his end-of-season press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 29 and he was asked about the quarterback position with NIL through the transfer portal.
“A good quarterback in the portal costs $1 million to $1.5 million or even $2 million right now,” he said. “We just believe that in doing things that old school way, the hard way in building but it doesn’t mean we won’t look at people in the portal.”
It will be interesting to see who the Huskers are currently in the portal. It will also be interesting to see if any more players enter the transfer portal, including current players on the roster. There is a chance someone like Sims or even Haarberg transfer out. Just something to watch.
Will Howard (Grad Transfer from Kansas State)
Will Howard is one of the best quarterbacks currently in the portal. Howard finished the 2023 season, completing 219/357 passes for 2,643 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. It seems like he’s transferring out of Manhattan due to the pressure of freshman quarterback Avery Johnson getting a decent amount of playing time this season. However, it was due to some uneven stretches of play by Howard, but he will be someone to watch throughout the transfer portal process.
People will remember him from when he emerged as the Kansas State Wildcats’ best quarterback when he was sharing starting reps with former Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez. Howard played a big role in the Wildcats’ upset win over the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2022 Big 12 Championship.
Will Rogers (Grad Transfer from Mississippi State)
If you remember, Will Rogers was in the top five in the country for passing yards in 2021. 2021 was Rogers’ first season as a full-time starter, and they really took advantage of the late Mike Leach’s air raid offense. In 2021, Rogers threw for 4739 yards on 505/683 passes with 36 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Now, in 2022, his production decreased compared to the season before, but he still had a decent season. Rogers finished on 415/610 passes for 3974 yards with 35 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
Unfortunately, due to injuries and former head coach Zach Arnett taking over as head coach for the Mississippi State Bulldogs due to Leach’s unexpected passing, Rogers’ production decreased even more. In eight games, he only finished on 142/237 passes for 1626 yards with 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
Rogers is somebody many teams will look to add to the roster due to the production he had in 2021 and 2022. It will be interesting to see where he decides to go and he should be someone that Nebraska should look into getting.
Grayson McCall (Grad Transfer from Coastal Carolina)
Look, another grad transfer. Grayson McCall was a three-time Sun Belt Conference player of the year for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Over five seasons, McCall has accumulated 10,005 yards for 88 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. His best year under current Liberty Flames head coach Jamey Chadwell was in 2021 when he threw for nearly 2900 yards in 11 games.
McCall would be another interesting quarterback to look at in the portal and should get a decent amount of interest from teams that need a quarterback, especially with the number of changes that are coming to the college football landscape.
Tyler Van Dyke (Grad Transfer from Miami (Fl))
Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke is an interesting portal player for this cycle. Van Dyke has played for three different offensive coordinators and will be playing for a fourth one wherever he goes. He has had a few decent seasons, including his freshman season when he won the ACC Freshman of the Year. In that season, he finished completing 202/324 passes for 2931 yards with 25 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 10 games.
With his third different offensive coordinator this past season, Van Dyke finished completing 219/333 passes for 2703 yards with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He left the Miami Hurricanes due to pressure from freshman Emory Williams, who played in five games this season. Van Dyke has been linked to many power five programs that are projected to need a quarterback for the 2024 season, which includes the Huskers. However, he’s not a very popular option so far in the process, as he’s played for three different coordinators.
Granted, all of these quarterbacks are officially in the transfer portal, but there could be more as we get closer to Dec. 4. A couple of names to watch are freshman Maalik Murphy from Texas and freshman Katin Houser from Michigan State. Houser has said he intends to enter the portal but hasn’t officially said that he is. Murphy hasn’t said he will or not, but there are thoughts of him entering due to Quinn Ewers returning for another season and freshman Arch Manning most likely staying in Austin.
Who knows the names we could see enter the portal in the next couple weeks and even after spring football ends. It will be something to watch as many teams will be looking for quarterbacks, and especially after watching the quarterback play this season, Nebraska should be looking.
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