The college football QB transfer pool is crowded every offseason now. The majority of five-star QBs eventually pick a new school, and plenty of onetime useful starters and once-touted recruits also find themselves jumping from one campus to another.
There’s a handful of high-profile transfers and potential transfers in the class of 2018. Five-star Georgia freshman Justin Fields is likely to be one. Alabama national champion Jalen Hurts could be another. Clemson Playoff QB Kelly Bryant has already transferred to Missouri, and former TCU four-star Shawn Robinson has decided to join him.
It’s easy to see those names and immediately, desperately want your school to land a guy like that. That’s fair, but the sad truth is that your school probably is not getting Fields, Hurts, or anyone else who was once the No. 2 overall recruit in the country or the starter for a Playoff team and a national champ. So, let’s consider one other idea.
Have you met Tyree Jackson, quarterback of the Buffalo Bulls?
247Sports reported he’s already in the NCAA transfer portal and has already graduated from Buffalo, meaning he’d be eligible right away at a new school. Additionally:
Buffalo coach Lance Leipold told @YahooSports that he’s had “good open talks” with Tyree Jackson about exploring a transfer. He said Jackson is putting his name in portal to “explore all options.” https://t.co/bB4RdBlUom— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 26, 2018
Jackson was arguably the best quarterback in the city of Buffalo this season, ahead of any of the dudes the NFL team trotted out.
He had a 28-to-12 TD-to-interception ratio. He was explosive, completing only 55 percent of his passes but averaging 7.7 yards per throw. He was valuable in the run game, carrying 36 times for 6.7 yards per carry (sacks not included) and seven touchdowns. His passer rating was a solid 137, second in the MAC behind Ohio’s Nathan Rourke.
He had a better passer rating in his lone Power 5 game than he did the rest of the year, although I’m stretching the limit of the term “Power 5” by applying it to Rutgers. I don’t want to get ahead of myself with a QB who was only 41st nationally in yards per throw and 53rd in passer rating, but there’s a lot to like in Jackson’s results so far.
I am stone-cold serious that he might be better than any guy on the Bills. Nathan Peterman’s Nathan Peterman. Derek Anderson’s Derek Anderson. Josh Allen’s passer rating in the Mountain West in 2017 was nine points lower than Jackson’s this year in the MAC, and Allen gained a full yard less per throw. It was weird when the Bills picked Allen in the top 10, but it’s not been weird to see Allen throw more picks than touchdowns as a rookie.
The only Bills QB who I think might be better is Matt Barkley, and that’s only because Barkley was one of the highest-rated recruits in history, rather than much of what he’s done lately.
If you watch Jackson play, you can easily imagine the right offensive coach molding him into a cult hero in the Power 5.
Why? Two reasons, neither of which is complicated:
1. He is 6’7 and throws a football very hard.
I am not saying he’s accurate. Not now. Most college QBs aren’t, and 55 percent is not a good completion rate. But he can throw bullets, whether into tight windows ...
... on the move ...
... or way deep:
2. He’s 6’7 and runs like a large truck.
Jackson’s one of the largest QBs anywhere, weighing in at 245 pounds. He’s not the passer MAC legend Ben Roethlisberger was at Miami (Ohio), but he’s a much better runner. Buffalo has chosen not to use Jackson on many designed QB runs, but he’s both effective and really fun to watch as a scrambler:
He also has an impressive turning radius. Look at him go:
Later in the same game!
I’m just saying: some coach is going to have Jackson run QB power and make him into a devastating short-yardage run threat. Even if not, his size and determination to beat guys with his legs in the open field make him a blast to watch. You, a fan, will have a more enjoyable 2019 season if Jackson is quarterbacking your team.
Am I cherry-picking highlights there? Oh, yeah.
To find the first throw, I had to sift through a couple of throws that very well could’ve injured someone on the sideline.
But that’s not really the point. The point is that Jackson drips potential, and in the right place, he could be a star. He’s certainly got the talent to be a starter at some Power 5 schools, if he can further improve.