And now, neither will see their junior year at the school they originally signed with. Patterson was the No. 4 overall prospect in the class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. Eason was No. 5.
Patterson made the decision to transfer to Michigan following the 2017 season. The NCAA dropped a number of penalties on Ole Miss, including another bowl ban for the 2018 season. Eason, the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the class, announced on Friday that he would be leaving Georgia.
Reports indicate that Eason will transfer to Washington, which makes sense given that he’s from there and that current starter Jake Browning will be a senior and will exhaust his eligibility following the 2018 season. Eason will have two years of eligibility after sitting out in 2018.
It’s not a great look that both guys, who were both pegged as generational type talents, left early. But Eason never had a chance to win back the starting quarterback job for Georgia this year, and much like how Bodhi wasn’t going to paddle to New Zealand in Point Break, Eason had too much natural talent to sit on the bench behind Jake Fromm.
And as for Patterson, he couldn’t have known that the coach that recruited him there, Hugh Freeze, would be fired prior to his sophomore season, and that he would have to spend another season at Ole Miss without the possibility of postseason play. Patterson doesn’t know yet if he’ll be eligible for the 20118 season, and even if he is, he’ll have to compete with Brandon Peters, a 4-star quarterback in that same 2016 class, and 2017 4-star quarterback Dylan McCaffrey.
With Eason and Patterson now gone, 5 of the top 10 quarterbacks in the 2016 class have transferred, and that number figures to grow. Feleipe Franks, the No. 5 quarterback in the class, could transfer should he not win the Florida quarterback job, which isn’t a lock given his past performance and the fact that Dan Mullen just brought in Emory Jones. The same can be said for Peters, who was the No. 6 quarterback in that class.
The No. 8 quarterback in the class, Dwayne Haskins, is the favorite to win the Ohio State job. Jarrett Guarantano was the No. 7 quarterback prospect and he started for Tennessee this season and figures to do so again for Jeremy Pruitt in 2018. The same can be said for Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, who took over halfway through the season and figures to start in 2018 for the Cardinal.
Quarterbacks transferring isn’t new by any stretch, as the 2015 class as saw 4 of its top 10 quarterbacks transfer. 2015 saw 6 of its top 10 quarterback transfer, but only 3 of them had transferred prior to their junior season.
Also not included in the top 10 is Jalen Hurts. He was the No. 13 quarterback prospect in the class and some, such as ESPN’s Greg McElroy, see him transferring to Texas.
As of Friday, the No. 1, No. 2, No. 4, No. 9 and No. 10 quarterbacks have transferred. No other position group in the 2016 class has seen that kind of attrition. Such is life when there can only be one starting quarterback and reps are vital to becoming a high NFL draft pick.