"I am excited to say I am in the process of applying to Columbia University," Nottingham told The Bootleg in an exclusive interview. "Pending admissions, I plan on playing football for head coach Pete Mangurian and the Columbia Lions."
Transfer applications for admission into Columbia are not due until March 1, but Nottingham has finished all necessary essays. Now, it's a waiting game for the former Cardinal gunslinger, who plans to get a job and train before he hears back from the university. He can potentially join the Lions this summer.
Nottingham's decision to move from FBS-caliber Stanford to FCS-level Columbia would make him eligible to play immediately, per NCAA transfer rules.
"Once I decided to transfer, I did my research," Nottingham said. "Columbia is one of the world's premiere universities in one of the greatest cities in the world. Once I took a closer look at the Columbia football program, their offense, and once I spoke with coach Mangurian and [offensive coordinator Jaime] Elizondo, I knew Columbia was the perfect and natural fit for me."
The Lions return four players who caught more than 20 passes last year, including junior receiver Connor Nelligan, who hauled in 62 receptions in 2012. Starting quarterback Sean Brackett is graduating this year, so that position calls for a replacement.
Nottingham, who was scheduled to major in Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford, will consider his academic options if admitted in Columbia. Units from Stanford courses generally translate well for transfer into Ivy League schools. The quarterback plans to visit the university's Manhattan campus sometime within the next month.
"I know it's going to be a culture shock, a complete change of scenery," he said of his move from The Farm to The Big Apple. "But I'm a pretty up-tempo person, and everyone there is always on the move, so I'm looking forward to it."
In the immediate future, Nottingham will be cheering hard for his former Stanford teammates in tomorrow's Rose Bowl.
"I want to see them do very well," he said. "I learned a lot this season, and I am truly enjoying seeing all of my teammates' hard work pay off the way that it is."
Nottingham's Time at Stanford: A Summary
No. 7 finished his Stanford career 10-for-16 with exactly 100 yards passing to go along with a single touchdown throw. He appeared in eight games.
The East Bay native played prep ball with Stanford unanimous All-American tight end Zach Ertz at Danville's Monte Vista High School. He was Luck's primary 2011 back-up in a year Josh Nunes missed because of injury. About a week before the kick-off of the 2012 campaign, Stanford head coach David Shaw announced that Nunes had beaten Nottingham for the starting quarterback spot.
That move came as a surprise to many, particularly after Nottingham had out-performed Nunes statistically in open exhibitions at Stanford's spring game and in the final preseason scrimmage. But Shaw said his decision was rooted in Nunes' ability to better avoid negative plays and manage Stanford's offense, and not on Nottingham's superior arm strength and athleticism.
Despite Nunes' subsequent struggles and the Stanford attack's severe drop in production, Nottingham did not see significant playing time. He was relegated to mop-up duty against Duke and at Colorado while Kevin Hogan's role steadily grew throughout the season. Hogan made his first start on November 10 and performed well in a win over Oregon State, all but extinguishing Nottingham's prospects of attaining considerable playing time.
Among the Stanford fan base, there's a lingering curiosity as to what could have been had Nottingham gotten his chance while Hogan was developing, especially during Nunes' worst performances at Washington and Notre Dame. Those games represented the Cardinal's only 2012 losses, both coming after the Farm Boys' starter missed several easy throws. During Nunes' struggles in Seattle, ESPN cameras hovered near Nottingham on the sideline, anticipating a quarterback change that never came. Once Hogan had developed into adequate starter's form, of course, this anticipation vanished.
After losing the initial 2012 quarterback battle, Nottingham never publicly addressed his scarce playing time, drawing the praise of many outsiders. Shaw said that he continued working hard at practice, ready to step in for Nunes -- and later Hogan -- in case of injury.
David Lombardi is the Stanford Football Insider for The Bootleg and FOX Sports Next. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMLombardi.
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