Brown Talks Quarterback Transfers

If you've followed our site, you know that we advocated for the Longhorns to pursue a one-year transfer at quarterback, a.k.a. a Russell Wilson transfer. At Thursday's media availability, Texas coach Mack Brown put those rumors largely to bed.

"I don't see that happening for us," Brown said. "It's something we looked at, but as of right now, it's not happening. That may change, but I don't see it happening this late."

Conditionally, I agree with Brown's decision, particularly with regard to multi-year transfers like Texas Tech graduate Jacob Karam or junior college quarterbacks. In my mind, you don't take a two-year transfer unless you feel two qualifications are met:

1) The player has a chance to significantly improve the quarterback position

2) You don't take him without feeling like a quarterback is going to leave the program or leave the position

Number one seems obvious, and we'll get to that more in just a minute. But why is No. 2 important? Because you don't want to spend the 2013 season with six scholarship quarterbacks on roster, and you don't want to miss out on grabbing a top 2013 quarterback because you're getting one extra year from a transfer.

In one way, a guy like Karam's two years of eligibility are exhilarating. He's basically a junior college transfer and has more time to develop and blend with the personnel on campus. He can provide a longer-term solution. But on the other, that one year of eligibility can be a huge detriment. Can you really spend one year with six quarterbacks on roster, taking at least two spots from other positions? And one year from Karam isn't worth a potential four from Tyrone Swoopes or J.T. Barrett.

That's why a one-year transfer is so appealing: it's a no-lose situation. The only thing at risk is a scholarship for this year. That's it. If the player doesn't work out, there's no long-term risk. And if he does, your team just got a short-term solution while allowing your younger quarterbacks another year to mature.

Now, back to No. 1. Is Karam really the (short-term) answer? True, he was behind Seth Doege this year, but completing 9-of-17 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns isn't exactly a huge sampling to peruse. After all, both David Ash (7-for-12 for 145 yards and two touchdowns) and Case McCoy (7-for-12 for 110) had more accurate performances and threw for more yards against Iowa State, and their throws actually came with games on the line. So what evidence is there that Karam is a definite upgrade over a player with similar eligibility in McCoy, or an upgrade over a younger player in Ash?

That's the biggest, and most vital question that the Longhorn staff will have to answer with any potential trasnfer. In McCoy and Ash, the Longhorns have two more battle-tested signal callers at the FBS level. Both have taken the reins of the team on the road in the Big 12, and stared down blitzes from programs like Oklahoma.

So while the transfer situation would be one worth monitoring, the Longhorn coaches would be advised to be careful that they don't fall into a "grass-is-greener" situation. And judging by Brown's comments, the Longhorns are taking care to avoid just that.

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