Three quarterbacks that have entered the transfer portal would make a lot of sense for Nebraska football.
It remains to be seen what Nebraska football does in the transfer portal this offseason, but it seems likely that the Huskers will be looking for a proven starter at quarterback.
Nothing against the guys in the room, but there at least needs to be some competition added. Matt Rhule can’t afford to hope that Chubba Purdy is a quality starter next season — Nebraska needs to get one that’s proven and there are already a few solid options, including some that entered the transfer portal on Monday.
Here’s a look at each and why they might make sense. We’ll also take a look at how likely it is for Nebraska to land each of them.
Will Howard, Kansas State
The former Kansas State quarterback entered the portal on Monday, which seemed like a surprise, but really isn’t when you consider that Avery Johnson is poised to take over as the starter.
Howard is exactly the kind of quarterback Nebraska football needs. He’s a dual-threat — he has rushed for 19 touchdowns in his career as well as 921 yards, but he’s more of a thrower than a runner.
Howard has thrown 25 interceptions in his career, including 10 as a freshman and 10 this past season. But he threw 24 touchdowns this season and has 39 over the past two seasons compared to 14 interceptions.
Beyond that, Howard has averaged 7.2 yards per attempt and is just under 60 percent for his career. He’s a proven dude and could have just one year of eligibility — maybe two. He’s also from Pennslyvania so maybe Matt Rhule can actually get this dude.
Howard surely wants to join a winning program, but if Nebraska had him this season, it would probably be playing for the Big Ten championship this weekend and that’s not an exaggeration.
Blake Shapen, Baylor
Shapen isn’t on this list because he used to play at Baylor, but that certainly can’t hurt. Yes, the Bears have struggled the past two seasons but if you dig into the numbers, Shapen was pretty solid. He’s got 36 touchdown passes during his career compared to 13 picks.
Shapen completes 63.7 percent of his passes. He’s also averaged 7.4 yards per attempt which tells you he can push the ball down the field. One thing about Shapen is that he’s not a runner. The Huskers would lose that dual-threat element, but Nebraska football needs an accurate passer and Shapen fits the mold.
The former Baylor starter wouldn’t be my first choice, but Nebraska could also do a lot worse.
Will Rogers, Mississippi State
Getting the all-time SEC leader in passing yards isn’t going to be easy. However, Rogers is exactly the kind of quarterback that Nebraska football needs.
It feels like Rogers could stay in the SEC and whichever team gets him is going to need a big-time NIL offer. Hopefully, the Huskers can get that figured out but Rogers has thrown for 12,315 yards and 94 touchdowns in his career.
Rogers did throw just 12 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions. Both of his 30-touchdown seasons came under a spread system. He also completed just 59.9 percent of his passes in 2023, so I don’t think he’s going to be a Heisman Trophy winner or anything.
But Rogers could definitely quarterback Nebraska to 8-9 wins. With the Huskers’ running game and defense, he could thrive and that’s why they should at least make a run at him.
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