Last season, dozens of college football quarterbacks entered the transfer portal searching for greener pastures. Several had phenomenal seasons at their new homes such as Heisman winner Caleb Williams at USC, Quinn Ewers at Texas, Dillon Gabriel at Oklahoma and Jayden Daniels at LSU.
Could Purdue be in the market for a transfer quarterback this season under a new staff headed by Ryan Walters? There is a good chance that Walters, along with new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, will search the transfer portal for a signal caller.
Currently, the Boilermakers are set to have three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster: redshirt junior Michael Alaimo, redshirt freshman Brady Allen, and incoming freshman Ryan Browne. None of which have played meaningful snaps in college thus far.
Walters and Harrell will evaluate the talent they have at the position in the coming weeks. Here are some names to watch if Purdue decides to add another quarterback via the transfer portal.
Kedon Slovis: Pittsburgh
Slovis threw for 3,502 yards while completing 71.9% of his passes and had 30 touchdowns to 9 interceptions as a true freshman for the Trojans. He followed up that season with an All-Pac-12 first team selection in 2020. Slovis had 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while throwing for 1,921 yards in six games.
It appeared that Slovis was on his way to becoming a top five pick in the NFL Draft the following spring after two great seasons with USC.
However, after a tough start to the 2021 season, Slovis was benched in favor of Jaxson Dart half way through the year. That season was a disaster in Southern California as head coach Clay Helton was fired just two games into the season.
Slovis entered the transfer portal last offseason and chose Pittsburgh with Pat Narduzzi. The former highly-touted quarterback struggled with the Panthers, throwing for 2,397 yards with 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. It is important to note, Pittsburgh’s offense was in a bit of a rebuild after losing Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison.
Is a reunion with the coordinator that guided him in the best season of his college career in the cards? His familiarity with Harrell’s offense and previous success under Purdue’s new offensive coordinator makes him an obvious target for the Boilermakers this offseason.
JT Daniels: West Virginia
The former five-star recruit JT Daniels hasn’t had the college career many expected of him. After entering the transfer portal last week, Daniels is now searching for his fourth school in six years. Daniels is another former quarterback to play in the Graham Harrell offense at both USC and West Virginia.
Daniels has dealt with several injury ridden seasons throughout his career, missing nearly all of the 2019 season while sitting out a large chunk of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
After Kedon Slovis took his job in 2019, Daniels landed at Georgia with Kirby Smart. After recovering from his knee injury, Daniels threw for 1,231 yards with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the final four games of the season for the Bulldogs.
Daniels then was in and out of the lineup in 2021 before Stetson Bennett took over the starting job and led Georgia to a National Championship. He transferred again, this time to reunite with his former offensive coordinator Graham Harrell at West Virginia. Last season with the Mountaineers, Daniels was unable to find success and was benched after the team got out to a 4-6 start.
Similar to Slovis, JT Daniels has experience with Harrell’s offense and was successful in stints with Georgia. Bringing Daniels in would be a high-risk high-reward move for Purdue considering his track record.
There are better options than Daniels on the market right now, but Harrell could give it one last try with his former quarterback. If Daniels went to Purdue, he will have played in four of the five power conferences in college football.
Drew Pyne: Notre Dame
A former four-star recruit who spent last season in South Bend could be a candidate to make his way down to West Lafayette. Former Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne entered the transfer portal last week and has become a sought after transfer option.
Pyne entered the Fighting Irish starting lineup after previous starter Tyler Buchner was injured in their embarrassing loss to Marshall. Facing an 0-2 start, Pyne came in and turned Notre Dame’s season around.
The sophomore was 8-2 in 10 starts for Marcus Freeman. He threw for 2,021 yards with 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Freeman reportedly told Pyne that Notre Dame would be searching for a transfer quarterback, leading to Pyne’s departure.
If Ryan Walters and Graham Harrell aren’t encouraged by Michael Alaimo or Brady Allen, Pyne would be another option to come in and have a direct path to the starting job.
Brennan Armstrong: Virginia
This is an interesting option for Purdue. Former Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong has shown the ability to be amongst the most productive quarterbacks in college football… then one of the worst.
It was a forgettable 2022 season for Armstrong, who had 7 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while going 3-7 as a starter for the Cavaliers. Tony Elliott was hired as Virginia’s head coach after Bronco Mendenhall stepped away from college football. That change proved to be a large factor in Armstrong’s play.
The previous year was a special one in Charlottesville, as Armstrong had 4,449 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The lefty quarterback was fourth in passing yards and 12th in passing touchdowns in the country during the 2021 season.
Armstrong entered the transfer portal and has been a hot commodity. Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, NC State and Notre Dame are all linked to the former All-ACC performer.
Armstrong would fit in well with Graham Harrell’s air raid offense, making him an attractive prospect. Harrell could bet on his offense to return Armstrong to his 2021 form that was one of the best in the country.
In October of this year, Bachmeier announced he would transfer after offensive coordinator Tim Plough was fired after just four games at Boise State. It was an odd turn of events that could have turned programs off to the ex-Broncos signal caller.
After inconsistent playing time in his first two seasons, Bachmeier had the best year of his career in 2021. He threw for 3,079 yards with 20 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions while leading Boise State to a 7-5 record.
There has not been any news regarding schools that have contacted Bachmeier to this point. He could wait things out to see where he fits after the dust settles with the quarterback carousel this offseason before finding a program.
Bachmeier will not be the most touted transfer quarterback on the market, but he has prior success and experience which could interest Purdue if it misses out on bigger targets.
What about the rest?
Several of the top quarterback transfers have been dialing in on schools and are taking visits this weekend. Purdue got in the game late with the coaching search needing to happen before the program could recruit. That will likely take them out of the running for some of the quarterbacks in the upper echelon this cycle.
DJ Uiagalelei seems destined to head out west with UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona State reportedly being among the frontrunners to land the former Clemson quarterback.
Luke Altmyer and Hudson Card are former highly touted recruits that have not been able to see consistent playing time at their respective schools. Those two could be intriguing for Purdue and might be a good fit for the new look Boilermakers moving forward.