2016 College Football QB Recruiting Class Recap

2016 was only four years ago. But for some college football quarterbacks it was a lifetime ago.

7 Top 25 QBs from the 2016 recruiting cycle are still at the school they signed with.

Let’s take a look at the 17 who have transferred, 7 remain, and the 1 who is now in the NFL. (ranking via 247sports)


Shea Patterson (1) – Ole Miss to Michigan

Patterson enters 2019 as Michigan’s starter after a 10-3 season in 2018. He began at Ole Miss but left after the 2017 season when the Rebels were hit with NCAA sanctions and players were allowed to transfer without sitting.

Jacob Eason (2) – Georgia to Washington

Eason got hurt early in the 2017 season and never got his starting job back after Jake Fromm took over and led the Georgia all the way to the National Championship game. Eason goes from being a Bulldog to a Huskie and after sitting out in 2018, will look to lead Washington to a second straight PAC-12 championship.

Malik Henry (4) – Florida State to Independence CC to Nevada

Henry is best known for his appearance on the famed Netflix series “Last Chance U”. He certainly isn’t known for anything he has done in the college game. He left FSU after one year and spent last year at Community College and 2019 will be his chance to finally see the field with Nevada.

Brandon Peters (6) – Michigan to TBD

With Shea Patterson starting in 2019 and Dylan McCaffery as the future heir, Peters announced this off-season he has entered the transfer portal but has yet to come out of it with a new team

Brandon McIlwain (9) – South Carolina to California

After playing 8 games in 2016 as a true freshman, McIlwain used his redshirt season to sit out and transfer to Cal. Appearing in 10 games in 2018, he threw 129 passes – 8 INTs, 2 TDs. He will compete for playing time in 2019.

Shane Buechele (11) – Texas to SMU

Buechele started 12 games in 2016 as a freshman, throwing 21 TD passes. That Texas team went 5-7 and replaced Charlie Strong with Tom Herman. Herman brought in highly touted Sam Ehlinger to compete at QB. Buechele played 9 games in 2017, splitting time with Ehlinger and last year played just twice, throwing only 30 passes as Ehlinger took over at QB. Buechele will finish out his career at SMU for offensive head coach Sonny Dykes.

Jack Allison (10) – Miami to West Virginia

After redshirting in 2016, Allison left Miami due to his fit with Mark Richt and a coaching staff that didn’t recruit him to the U. Allison sat behind Will Grier in 2018 at WVU, but started the Camping World Bowl, completing just 17-35 passes, 277 yards, and 1 INT. He will be involved in a quarterback competition in 2019 that involves the next man on this list…

Austin Kendall (12) – Oklahoma to West Virginia

Kendall was expected to compete for the starting job at Oklahoma in 2019, following the departure of Kyler Murray. But Oklahoma brought in a big name transfer (see below) and Kendall left for West Virginia, where he will have a chance to replace outgoing Will Grier. Kendall’s departure was messy as OU initially refused to let him leave, but after public backlash, ultimately reneged.

Jalen Hurts (13) – Alabama to Oklahoma

Kendall left OU when he realized he wouldn’t win the starting job over Jalen Hurts, who moves on from Alabama after compiling a 26-2 record as starting QB from 2016-2017, including a loss in the 2016 National Championship game. He started the 2017 game too, but was replaced at halftime and never regained his job from Tua Tagovailoa. At Oklahoma, Hurts replaces the NFL’s #1 draft pick and 2018 Heisman trophy winner, who previously replaced the NFL’s #1 draft pick and 2017 Heisman trophy winner. Expectations are high in Norman…

Patrick O’Brien (15) – Nebraska to Colorado State

O’Brien was recruited heavily out of high school by CSU head coach Mike Bobo, but opted for Nebraska instead. After the arrival of Scott Frost, O’Brien left and sat out the 2018 season and will compete for Collin Hill to start in 2019.

Woody Barrett (16) – Auburn to Kent State

Barrett transferred in 2017 and sat out and played 12 games for Kent State in 2018, throwing 11 TD and 9 INT.

Zerrick Cooper (17) – Clemson to Jacksonville State

Clemson’s QB room is crowded and right now Trevor Lawrence is the man, at least through 2020. Cooper is one of several Clemson backups who have transferred the last couple of years. Cooper started 13 games for Jacksonville State in 2018, throwing 14 TDs, 19 INTs, and running for 6 TDs

Messiah deWeaver – Michigan State to East Mississippi CC to Old Dominion

DeWeaver never threw a pass for Michigan State. He played one game, running 4 times for -1 yard. He left after the 2017 season and spent last year at East Mississippi Community College, where they went 12-0, winning the NHCAA National title. deWeaver completed 68% of his passes, throwing 10 TDs and 4 INT and running for 2 TDs as well. He will enter 2019 with a chance to start for Old Dominion.

Devon Modster (20) – UCLA to California

Modster showed potential in 2017, playing in 5 games due to Josh Rosen nursing various injuries throughout the year. However, Modster wasn’t a fit in new coach Chip Kelly’s system and was buried on the depth chart in 2018, leading to his decision to transfer to Cal.

Max Gilliam (22) – California to UNLV

Gilliam never saw the field for Cal and played 9 games for UNLV in 2018, finally making his college football debut. He threw 14 TD, 8 INT and will be back to start for the Rebels again in 2019.

Terry Wilson (23) – Oregon to Kentucky

Wilson never saw the field at Oregon and spent time at junior college before playing 2018 for Kentucky. Wilson was mediocre, for the most part, in 2018, but started all 13 games for Kentucky. His efficiency is what benefited the Wildcats the most, as Wilson completed 67% of his passes. He threw 11 TDs, 8 INTs and led Kentucky to their most win since 1977(10).

Zach Smith (24) – Baylor to Tulsa

Smith was recruited to Baylor by old coach Art Briles. He was never a fit in Matt Rhule’s more traditional, pro style offense, so Smith left after the 2017 season after playing 19 games total. He sat out 2018 and is expected to start for Tulsa in 2019.


KJ Costello (3) – Stanford

Through two seasons (24 games), Costello has completed 63% of his passes, 5113 yards, 43 TDs, 15 INT

Feleipe Franks (5) – Florida

Despite being so highly ranked out of high school, Franks has constantly been looking over his shoulders, especially with a new coaching staff (Dan Mullen) coming in last season. Emory Jones should provide some stiff competition. Last year, Franks threw 24 TD and 6 INT, leading Florida to a 10-3 record and a win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl.

Jarrett Guarantano (7) – Tennessee

It’s been a rocky road for Guarantano, who has thrown 16 TD and 5 INT in 385 pass attempts, but has constantly split time with other quarterbacks.

Jawon Pass (14) – Louisville

Pass played in 11 games last year, after sitting behind Lamar Jackson for a couple of years. He threw 8 TD and 12 INT but it’s hard to judge him given how poorly Louisville’s 2018 season went (finished 2-10). Pass will be in line to start in 2019, but potentially with a short leash given the coaching change.

Jake Bentley (19) – South Carolina

After starting 7 games as a freshman in 2016, Bentley started all 13 each of the last two years. He has thrown for over 7,000 yards (7,385), 54 TD, 30 INT, completing 62.8% of his passes. Bentley has helped lead the Gamecocks to a bowl game each of the last three years, going 1-2 (winning 2017 Outback Bowl).

Dillon Sterling-Cole (21) – Arizona State

Sterling-Cole has thrown just 57 passes, but remains at ASU as he is the projected starting QB in 2019.

Seth Green (25) – Minnesota

Green committed to Minnesota as a quarterback, but in 2018 he was utilized as a full-time wildcat QB/gadget player. He ran the ball 76 times for 282 yards and 8 TDs, caught 2 passes, and completed 4-5, 2 of which were TDs.


Dwayne Haskins (8) – Ohio State

Rose Bowl champion, Heisman Trophy finalist and Big Ten touchdown record breaker. Pretty decent one season of starting for Haskins, who was the #15 pick in the 2019 NFL draft to the Washington Redskins. With that, he became the Big Ten’s first QB drafted in the first round since 1995.

Other notables

Josh Jackson (29) will play for Maryland in 2019 after beginning his career with Virginia Tech

Ian Book (35) led Notre Dame to a 12-0 regular season in 2018 and a CFB Playoffs appearance

Tyler Huntley (38) helped lead Utah to the PAC-12 title game in 2018 and will return with goals of winning it in 2019

Justin Herbert (43) is expected to be one of the top QBs drafted in the 2020 NFL draft and would possibly been #1 or #2 off the board in 2019

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About Mike Schneid 519 Articles
Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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