The QB Transfer Epidemic; Adios Jimmy G; Emmert Exits; SEC Cleans Up; Campolindo Shines; Kyrie Moves
We've reached the point for college quarterbacks where, if you ain't playin', you ain't stayin'.
If you lose your job, suffer an injury, get a new coach, or fear an incoming freshman (or transfer) will steal your job, you're probably out the door looking for greener pastures.
A study by the Athletic revealed that more than 70 per cent of the top high school quarterbacks who signed with FBS programs in the recruiting classes of 2017 through 2020 have transferred during their college careers. There were 168 college quarterbacks who were rated as top 50 recruits during those four years. So far, 126 of those 168 have transferred. That's 75 per cent.
Sometimes, as in the case of former USC/Pitt/West Virginia QB J.T. Daniels, one transfer isn't enough. Of the 126 recruits who transferred, 39 have done it multiple times.
The Pac-12 is representative of this national trend. Consider that 11 of the 12 presumed quarterback starters in the conference for 2023 will be transfers.
Four of them are among the best in the nation--USC's returning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams (Oklahoma), Washington's Michael Penix Jr. (Indiana), Oregon's Bo Nix (Auburn) and Utah's Cam Rising (Texas).
Arizona's Jayden De Laura (Washington State), and Washington State's Cameron Ward (Incarnate Word) also return. (Penix, Williams and Ward are pictured above).
Five other Pac-12 schools have brought in transfer QBs for this fall: Oregon State--D.J. Uigalelei (Clemson); Colorado--Shedeur Sanders (Coach Prime's son, from Jackson State); Cal--Sam Jackson (TCU); Arizona State--Drew Pyne (Notre Dame) and UCLA--Colin Schlee (Kent State).
Stanford, with incoming freshman Myles Jackson and returnees Ari Patu and Ashton Daniels, will be the only school without a transfer at QB.
Crazy times, for sure.
Goodbye Jimmy G: Speaking of quarterbacks, let's take a minute to thank Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers under-appreciated and over-criticized quarterback, who leaves the team with a higher winning percentage than Joe Montana.
Last week coach Kyle Shanahan said he couldn't envision "any scenario" where Garoppolo would be with the team this fall. But he didn't say anything else.
No "thank you" for taking us to the Super Bowl and NFC Championship game. No "thank you" for playing through injuries. No "thank you" for handling a very awkward situation--when the 49ers handed the keys to the kingdom to untested and inexperienced Trey Lance--so graciously. No "thank you" for taking over for the injured Lance and rescuing the season.
Fortunately, Jimmy will get his just due sometime in the next few months, when he signs a mega contract with a team looking for a solid, experienced, winning quarterback. Houston, Miami and the Jets — all coached by former 49ers coordinators and in need of a good QB -- are almost certain to be interested in Garoppolo. So is Las Vegas, coached by his former New England coordinator, Josh McDaniels.
Hell, there could be a bidding war that nets him a deal in the $20-25M range.
Emmert's Dissembles: In an interview with NPR's Ari Shapiro, outgoing NCAA President Mark Emmert made several dubious claims about his accomplishments., but Shapiro was having none of the revisionist history.
Here's Emmert on NIL: "The biggest issue today is, of course, the name, image and likeness--the so-called NIL rules. And I've been an advocate for moving forward on NIL for a number of years now."
Yeah, right. That's almost as ridiculous as Kevin McCarthy saying "Integrity matters to me."
Here was Shapiro's response: "You say you've been an advocate for moving forward on NIL, but you fought hard against giving student athletes financial benefits. And the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling against you in 2021. The association continues to fight legal battles. You've called for Congress to intervene. That's led nowhere. When you look at this history and this set of facts, it looks like from the Supreme Court on down, these are battles that the NCAA has fought and lost."
Later, after Emmert congratulated himself for the progress he's made on gender equity, yet another issue where he had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, Shapiro let him have it again.
"On issue after issue, you describe progress that the NCAA has made. And I can't help but look at the history and wonder whether the organization was dragged into making that progress rather than leading the way."
To Shapiro we say, well done.
To Emmert, good riddance.
SEC Dominates: Last week was national signing day for high school football recruits, and 247 Sports provided some revealing information as to why the SEC continues to be the best conference on the field.
Of the five-star recruits who signed letters of intent, the breakdown by conference was as follows: SEC--21, Big 12--7, Pac-12--5, ACC--4 and Big Ten--1.
The four-star breakdown was equally disparate: SEC--145, Big Ten--74, ACC--60, Pac-12--59 and Big 12--49.
Campolindo Shines: It was a big basketball weekend for two alums of Campolindo High School in Moraga, Haley Van Dyke and Aidan Mahaney, who led Washington's women to an upset victory over Stanford and St. Mary's men to a huge win over Gonzaga.
Van Dyke, a senior forward, had 14 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the Husky women to a 72-67 win over the No. 2 ranked Cardinal.
Freshman guard Mahaney, after missing nine of his first 10 shots, made six straight baskets in the final five minutes to force the game into overtime, then banked in a three and set up three other baskets with excellent passes as the No. 18 Gaels prevailed over the No. 12 Zags 78-70.
Mahaney was offered scholarships only by St. Mary's, Hawaii, Northern Arizona, USF, and Yale, but is one of the top freshmen in the country.
Stanford and Cal could certainly use him.
Super Bust: Four years ago the NBA Brooklyn Nets thought they were creating a super team by acquiring Kevin Durant, James Hardy and Kyrie Irving. But instead of a dream team, the combo turned out to be a nightmare.
No titles, not even close. Just a series of injuries, hold outs, vaccine denials, and trade demands.
Durant and Irving played just 74 games together over three-plus seasons in Brooklyn. Durant, Irving and Harden played just 16 games together.
Now the undependable and combustible Irving is off to Dallas, where he will play with perhaps the league's best player, Luka Doncic.
Just another locker room to destroy.