Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson reportedly intends to enter the transfer portal ahead of his sixth and final (maybe??) year of eligibility. Jefferson has started nearly 40 games throughout his college career, and finished with over 2,100 passing yards and 447 rushing yards in 2023.
He passed for 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and rushed for another two scores, but each of these stat lines saw a decrease from his 2022 production.
Jefferson has shown that he has the potential to be great — his 2021 and 2022 seasons were phenomenal. He finished with over 2,400 passing yards and over 600 rushing yards in 2022, finding the end zone 24 times in the air and nine on the ground. He threw just five interceptions during that season.
The Sardis, Mississippi native is a very physical, athletic quarterback who has suffered from the affliction of an offensive line that can’t block SEC defenders. This has caused injury issues on scrambles as well as a rushed sense of urgency in the pocket that has been a setback to his passing.
In the right offensive scheme, his experience and rushing abilities could be the key that unlocks a whole new level for a program. So where might he end up for his final year?
The Wildcats initially recruited Jefferson out of high school, and will be losing Devin Leary after this year. The NC State transfer was serviceable in Lexington, but somewhat underwhelming. Jefferson has a higher ceiling than Leary, and could bring the Wildcats back to their 2022 season success.
Jefferson would be a great fit with Mario Cristobal in Miami, and Cristobal is in desperate need of quarterback talent. With a competent O-line and some room to grow, Jefferson could elevate Miami from good to great in the ACC.
With Spencer Rattler on his way out and no clear successor, Shane Beamer may be looking for a veteran transfer to start this season before he turns to his younger recruits. Jefferson’s SEC experience and scrambling ability would both be big pluses for the Gamecocks.
Payton Thorne had some really great games this season. He also had some really bad games. Auburn may be looking for a different starter this season. On the other hand, Auburn crushed Arkansas on the field this season.
This landing spot may be something of a stretch, as OSU may want someone with less injury history than Jefferson with Ryan Day’s job on the line as soon as next year.