It's safe to say that Miami football has not had the season it hoped for during Mario Cristobal's debut. At 4-4, any conference or playoff aspirations the Hurricanes had have evaporated. The Hurricanes are now fighting just to make a bowl game at this point.
As Miami has disappointed this season, so has starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. The Connecticut native had a breakout season in 2021, throwing for 2,931 yards and 25 touchdowns in just 10 games. This season, though, Van Dyke has declined in several key areas, including touchdowns, yards per attempt and quarterback rating.
Speculation has recently arose regarding Van Dyke's future in Miami. ESPN college football insider Pete Thamel appeared on the October 29th edition of College Gameday, saying the Hurricanes must “find a style” for their quarterback or risk losing him to the transfer portal.
“The biggest concern for Miami moving forward has been the regression of quarterback Tyler Van Dyke,” Thamel said. “The Hurricanes are the country's No. 67 scoring offense. Talking to coaches who played Miami this season, the Hurricanes feel like they're more calling plays than actually running a cohesive offense. The question at Miami is, can they find a style and tempo to fit Tyler Van Dyke and let him avoid going to the portal, giving him a path forward to the NFL.”
While Van Dyke was reportedly content to stay at Miami previously, that may no longer be the case. Let's go over a few reasons why Van Dyke should enter the transfer portal.
3. There are opportunities elsewhere
By far the biggest reason why quarterbacks, and players in general, transfer is to find new starting opportunities. Many players have turned their college careers around by transferring, and some have become true superstars. Some of the biggest examples include Joe Burrow at LSU or some of Oklahoma's recent transfer QBs.
Van Dyke doesn't fit as neatly into this category, as he appears to have the starting job locked up for at least the short-term future. However, that doesn't mean better opportunities aren't available elsewhere. A player who went through a similar situation is Bo Nix, who started for three years at Auburn before transferring to Oregon this season and taking his game to a whole new level.
Even with his performance this year, Van Dyke has more than enough talent to win a starting job at a Power Five program. Many teams would love to have Van Dyke under center, whether they are struggling to throw now or are losing their quarterback next season. If he does decide to enter the portal, Van Dyke will have no shortage of suitors.
2. Incoming competition at Miami
Van Dyke may be the clear starter right now, but that could change quickly. If he continues to underperform, his leash may be a lot shorter than people realize, especially considering some of Miami's incoming recruits.
The Hurricanes currently have two quarterbacks in their 2023 recruiting class: Emory Williams and Jaden Rashada. Williams, a three-star recruit from Milton, Florida, likely won't compete for the starting job, but Rashada absolutely will. Rashada is a top-10 QB recruit in the nation, according to 247Sports, and has the mobility that Van Dyke lacks.
Getting up to speed on some of Jaden Rashada from this season. Has improved his completion % from 57% last season to 62% thru eight games this year. More patient in the pocket, not forcing as much. Good example of the type of accuracy he’s been playing with on this back shoulder. pic.twitter.com/bdLDPFkeLw
— Cooper Petagna (@cpetagna247) October 28, 2022
If Rashada is as good as advertised, the pressure on Van Dyke will only grow stronger. The worst-case scenario for him would be to stay and then lose his starting job, one that may be smart to avoid.
1. Van Dyke has regressed under Cristobal
Van Dyke's struggles this season need no introduction, so let's keep this short. The bottom line is that he just hasn't looked the same this season. Whether that's due to coaching, poor play around him or solely on him is up for debate, but it doesn't change what's happening.
Van Dyke could just need a change of scenery, and there's nothing wrong with that. Many players have been in this exact situation before, and many more will be after. Whether in Miami or elsewhere, one can only hope Van Dyke gets his career back on track.