Like it or not, the new age of college football is in full swing.
Players are on the move in the portal and Wednesday’s early signing day brought even more chaos.
Decisions are hard to make:
Throughout all of this are, of course, namely quarterbacks making decisions that will alter a team’s outlook and its overall potential going into next season. Whether it’s entering the NFL Draft or transferring to a Power Five school, there has been a lot of news revolving around key Group of Five QBs.
Here’s an update on some of those players, while there will certainly be more to come:
Michael Pratt, Tulane
Arguably one of the top quarterbacks that could have entered the portal and joined a P5 program, Pratt announced Tuesday that he will be staying with the Green Wave.
Huge news for a squad that just won what was the top G5 conference in the country. Pratt was a big reason why. He tossed 25 touchdowns and just five interceptions as the Green Wave enter the Cotton Bowl vs. No. 8-ranked USC at 11-2.
Tulane came out of nowhere and with their (currently) top-five recruiting class among G5 programs, they should be back making noise next season, especially with Pratt under center.
Austin Reed, Western Kentucky
Reed had originally announced that he would be entering the portal and was apparently sought after by Louisville. Instead of heading 122 miles northeast, Reed decided to remain a Hilltopper.
On Wednesday, he gave Hilltopper fans reason to rejoice at his return. In the 44-23 New Orleans Bowl win over South Alabama, Reed passed for 497 yards and four touchdowns. The WKU faithful should have already rejoiced at Reed’s decision to return, however, considering he led the country with 4,746 passing yards and 40 touchdowns.
Now, Reed will look to guide WKU to knock off UTSA as the top team in the league and win its first C-USA title since 2016.
Frank Harris, UTSA
Speaking of the Roadrunners, Harris will be back for his seventh(!) season — each one with this program. He helped guide UTSA to back-to-back C-USA championships and top 25 status the past two seasons.
Behind only Reed, Harris was second in the conference in total offense (333 YPG) and tallied 41 touchdowns.
Conference USA is set with some top-tier quarterbacks going into 2023.
JT Daniels, Rice
While we’re on the C-USA trend, we can just touch on this really quick. Following a stint with West Virginia, Daniels will now be suiting up for Rice in what is his fourth school in six seasons.
The former five-star recruit passed for 2,107 yards, 13 touchdowns, and nine interceptions last season.
Mikey Keene, Fresno State
Filling in Jake Haener’s shoes will be tough for anyone to do, but Keene proved successful during his time at Central Florida.
The sophomore started in 11 games over his two seasons with the Golden Knights, one of those starts coming this season. After filling in for Dillon Gabriel, who suffered a season-ending injury, Keene went 6-3 as the starter and passed for 1,730 yards and 17 touchdowns while tossing six picks in 2021.
John Rhys Plumlee joined UCF out of the portal last offseason, and Keene dropped back down the depth chart. Keene should be a lot of fun to watch in this offense, as long as he secures the starting spot.##
Austin Aune, North Texas
Austin Aune announced he was leaving North Texas and entering the portal before delcaring for the NFL Draft.. The 29-year-old passed for 3,547 yards and 33 touchdowns this season.
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
After announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal Dec. 12, Coastal Carolina was relieved to start the new year when McCall withdrew his name on Jan. 1, deciding to remain in Conway. Last season, the junior passed for 2,700 yards and 24 TDs to just two interceptions. He has 77 touchdown passes against eight interceptions in three seasons as a starter.
Hank Bachmeier, LA Tech
The senior started the first four games of 2022 before he was ultimately benched for Taylen Green after the Broncos found a new offensive coordinator. In those four games, Bachmeier totaled 497 yards with six TDs and three picks. The Broncos went 2-2. In his junior campaign, Bachmeier started all 12 games, passing for 3,079 yards and 20 touchdowns. He will fill a need at QB for second-year coach Sonny Cumbie and the Bulldogs, and should make some noise in their pass-heavy offense.
Haaziq Daniels, Air Force
Someone who has yet to find a destination, Daniels entered the portal Dec. 23. A three-year starter for the Falcons, Daniels was excellent in managing the triple-option attack, rushing for 695 yards and eight scores last season. He also passed for 836 yards and seven touchdowns. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out for Daniels after spending his last three years running an offense that’s only run by three teams in the country.
Tanner Mordecai, SMU to Wisconsin
New Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell coached against Mordecai at SMU the previous two seasons. He must have liked what he saw even though the Mustangs only had 41 combined points in those two games. Mordecai was quick to announce his decision to commit to the Badgers after entering the portal Dec. 29. In his two years with the Mustangs, the sophomore compiled 7,152 yards and 72 touchdowns. We’ll quickly figure out how well he adapts to Power 5 play.