In the midst of the college football award shows Thursday night, there was a spree of quarterbacks moving elsewhere for the 2016 season.
Among them was Oklahoma’s Trevor Knight.
Knight, who started for the Sooners in 2013 and 2014, was beaten out by junior Baker Mayfield before this season.
Oklahoma granted Knight his full release Thursday, according to SoonerScoop.com’s Carey Murdock. Because the quarterback will graduate this semester he’ll should be immediately eligible to start in 2016.
So, could Knight find himself in the SEC next season? Here are four SEC teams that make sense as landing spots for the former Oklahoma quarterback.
Knight has already been in contact with a handful of schools about transferring, including UGA, according to Murdock.
The Bulldogs will have a glaring need under center since Faton Bauta decided to transfer out of Athens, Ga. and question marks surrounding the other quarterbacks listed on the depth chart.
UGA will turn to Greyson Lambert for the bowl game against Penn State, which could inevitably lead to Brice Ramsey following in Bauta’s footsteps.
Knight could quickly find himself starting for UGA should first-year coach Kirby Smart decide that he’s the superior option. The need for Knight grows even greater if UGA does not secure its commitment from 5-star quarterback recruit Jacob Eason. Then UGA would find itself in an even more precarious position heading into 2016 with major question marks under center.
LSU has dropped five consecutive meetings to Alabama, so wouldn’t a quarterback that’s already beat the Tide make a lot of sense?
Knight did just that back in his sophomore season. A preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, Knight tore through the Alabama defense to the tune of 348 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 45-31 victory in the 2014 AllState Sugar Bowl.
LSU continues to scramble for answers at quarterback. Brandon Harris was exposed after LSU’s 7-0 start, faltering late in the season. After a seven-game stretch in which he did not throw an interception, Harris threw four picks in the final three games. Not surprisingly, the Tigers went 1-3 during that stretch.
With weapons like Leonard Fournette, Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, LSU needs a quarterback fully capable of making plays with his arm. Knight fits that bill; he’s more than a game manager and has had success against SEC teams.
Have you heard? Dak Prescott’s storied Mississippi State career is coming to an end, and Dan Mullen needs to himself a new option behind center.
The Bulldogs do not have a quarterback in their 2016 recruiting class. On their depth chart is a pair of redshirt freshmen, Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley.
Fitzgerald and Staley combined for 19 pass attempts this season. In comparison, Prescott attempted 435.
Fitzgerald may be the presumptive favorite to start in 2016. After all, he enrolled early and has had plenty of time to familiarize himself with the offense.
Fitzgerald impressed with his arm this summer and stepped up when Prescott was dealing with a stomach bug. But that was limited action against the likes of Northwestern State and Troy; how he’s going to fare against Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU?
Based on his body of work alone, Knight is an immediate upgrade to Fitzgerald. Mullen has not shied away from using two quarterbacks in the same game either, so Mississippi State could potentially take advantage of both Knight and Fitzgerald depending on game flow and game situations.
Missouri’s interest in Knight largely depends on what the status of Maty Mauk is for next season.
For now, it’s unclear. Mauk was suspended twice last season and eventually removed from the team indefinitely.
Drew Lock started the final eight games of the season in place of Mauk, but the freshman did not progress as expected. Lock threw four touchdowns compared to eight interceptions and saw his completion percentage hover around 48 percent as a starter. He only won two games in that span.
Depending on what happens with Mauk, first-year Missouri coach Barry Odom must decide whether this team can compete with Lock as its quarterback. Otherwise, redshirt sophomore Eddie Printz and redshirt freshman Marvin Zanders are the Tigers’ other options at the position.
It remains unknown who Odom will choose to serve as offensive coordinator, but depending on the style of play, perhaps Knight could be the answer.
Knight is a more skilled option than Lock and a more proven commodity than either Printz or Zanders. With eight starters returning on the defensive side of the ball, Missouri could be a sneaky threat to contend if it can solve its offensive woes quickly.