As spring practices wrapped up across college football, optimism reigned everywhere, and it was particularly the case for a program with a quarterback transfer who offers vast potential.
A team’s vibe often flows through football’s most important position. Programs in the Football Championship Subdivision have the luxury of getting many impactful Division I transfer QBs, from the FBS level and other FCS programs. The NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility to student-athletes for the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 school year makes the transfer scenarios go even deeper.
Here are 12 D-I transfer quarterbacks (plus a bonus group) to know prior to the 2022 FCS season:
Kajiya Hollawayne, Grambling State from UCLA
Height: 6-4; Weight: 210; Year: R-Fr.
The Skinny: Ranked as high as a four-star recruit by ESPN in the 2021 recruiting class, the dual-threat signal caller out of California signed with Grambling in mid-December less than a week after Hue Jackson was named the new coach. Hollawayne did not see action in a redshirt season at UCLA. All three of Grambling’s returning QBs were under 50 percent on 60+ pass attempts in the Tigers’ 4-7 campaign.
Lucas Johnson, Montana from San Diego State
Height: 6-3; Weight: 215; Year: R-Sr.
The Skinny: Johnson’s college career began at Georgia Tech in 2016, which makes him a seventh-year player this fall. SDSU went 8-1 in his nine starts last season, and he had 333 passing yards and four total touchdowns in a Frisco Bowl win over UTSA. Montana, expected to be one of the FCS’ top teams, returns redshirt sophomore Kris Brown, who made four starts behind the graduated Cam Humphrey.
Tyler Johnston III, Towson from UAB
Height: 6-2; Weight: 215; Year: Gr.
The Skinny: Johnston went 15-6 as a starter at UAB, including in wins in the 2018 and 2020 Conference USA championship games. He fits the Towson system with running ability, producing 5,503 career yards of total offense at UAB, although he’s struggled with interceptions (37 touchdown passes to 28 picks).
Knox Kadum, McNeese from Virginia Tech
Height: 6-1; Weight: 200; Year: R-So.
The Skinny: Kadum committed to the Cowboys several weeks after the hiring of coach Gary Goff. Originally a James Madison commit before he went to Virginia Tech, Kadum is athletic and has a strong arm, which he showed off in spring practice. He had a 49-6 record as a starter and led two state title wins in the Georgia high school ranks.
Will McElvain, Central Arkansas from Northern Iowa
Height: 5-11; Weight: 185; Year: R-Jr.
The Skinny: UCA is replacing heavy losses in the skills positions, including QB Breylin Smith, so it helps to gain a veteran like McElvain, who passed for 2,778 yards (a UNI freshman record) and 20 touchdowns and led a playoff win in 2019. Bears coach Nathan Brown praised McElvain’s performance in the spring.
Matthew McKay, Elon from Montana State
Height: 6-4; Weight: 225; Year: R-Sr.
The Skinny: McKay was FCS runner-up Montana State’s starter in a 9-2 regular season, but was demoted to No. 2 right before the playoffs and quickly left the program. He passed for 2,021 yards and 17 TDs with only three interceptions. He’s returned to his home state, where he began his college career at North Carolina State.
Jeremiah Oatsvall, Tennessee Tech from Memphis
Height: 6-1; Weight: 200; Year: Gr.
The Skinny: One season after being down on Memphis’ depth chart, Oatsvall has returned to the Ohio Valley Conference, where he spent the 2017-20 campaigns at Austin Peay. He was the conference’s 2017 freshman of the year and accounted for 4,533 yards of total offense and 44 total TDs in 28 career games, with his final two seasons under new Tennessee Tech offensive coordinator Wes Satterfield.
Lindsey Scott Jr., UIW from Nicholls
Height: 5-11; Weight: 220; Year: R-Sr.
The Skinny: New UIW coach G.J. Kinne has done well to replace standout Cameron Ward, who transferred to Washington State. Last fall, Scott fell 10 rushing yards shy of accomplishing the 15th FCS season with at least 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards. He’s at his fifth school, also LSU and Missouri as well as East Mississippi Community College, where he started on the 2017 JUCO national championship team.
Reece Udinski, Richmond from Maryland
Height: 6-4; Weight: 220; Year: Gr.
The Skinny: Udinski began the 2019 season at VMI by throwing 368 consecutive passes without an interception, an FCS football record. He had a pair of 3,000-yard seasons with the Keydets and is their all-time leading passer (7,877). The backup at Maryland last fall, Udinski is reunited with wide receiver Jakob Herres, who’s made a grad transfer to Richmond from VMI.
Jeff Undercuffler, Eastern Illinois from Albany
Height: 6-5; Weight: 231; Year: R-Jr.
The Skinny: New EIU coach Chris Wilkerson worked in FBS transfers Iraken Armstead II (Virginia) and Jonah O’Brien (Colorado State) during spring practice, but since then, the Panthers secured a verbal commitment from Undercuffler, whose FCS-leading 41 TD passes in 2019 were the most in subdivision history by a freshman (he was a redshirt freshman). He’s passed for 6,406 yards and 59 TDs in 31 career games.
UPDATE: Undercuffler decommitted from Eastern Illinois.
Jarren Williams, Alabama A&M from South Florida
Height: 6-2; Weight: 206; Year: R-Jr.
The Skinny: Very few of Alabama A&M’s FCS-high 28 transfers appear as impactful as Williams after the Bulldogs lost Aqeel Glass and his 12,000+ career passing yards. At his fourth school, Williams didn’t play for USF or Garden City Community College, but the one-time four-star recruit set the Miami record with six TD passes in a 2019 game against Louisville, finishing with 2,187 yards and 19 TDs that season.
Jack Zergiotis, Merrimack from UConn
Height: 6-2; Weight: 220; Year: So.
The Skinny: The Canada native seeks to give the Warriors production that’s similar to last year’s transfer QB, Westin Elliott. At UConn, Zergiotis played in 13 games, including 12 starts, and passed for 2,107 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had a 418-yard, three-TD performance against East Carolina.
So You Need More QBs …
Aaron Allen, Alcorn State from Louisiana Tech, 6-1, 200, R-Jr.; Tyler Huff, Furman from Presbyterian, 6-1, 200, Gr.; Preston Hutchinson, Chattanooga from Eastern Michigan, 6-2, 202, Sr.; Otto Kuhns, Norfolk State from Eastern Illinois, 6-3, 205, So.; Jeremy Moussa, Florida A&M from Vanderbilt, 6-3, 225, Gr.; Lowell Narcisse, Nicholls from UTSA, 6-2, 245, Sr.; Cade Rice, Wofford from South Dakota State, 6-3, 210, R-Fr.