More and more teams are using the transfer portal to their advantage to retool, reload, and revamp their roster. Many big names have entered the portal, with one of the biggest being Washington State's Cameron Ward.
Ward transferred to Washington State from Incarnate Word, where he has done nothing but put up major numbers. In two seasons at Pullman, Ward put up 6,963 yards and 48 touchdowns while completing 65.5% of his passes.
But the wins have been hard to come by. Washington State has gone 12-13 in Ward's two seasons as their starting quarterback. With the mass exodus of the Pac 12 conference, Washington State won't have the chance to compete for a major conference championship. It would make sense why he'd want to explore his options.
Ward won't have a shortage of options when it comes to teams approaching him in the transfer portal. Ward could also declare for the upcoming NFL Draft, but seems likely to stay in college football. If that remains true, the question is: where is the best program for Ward to transfer to?
Oregon seems to be the place that makes the most sense for Ward. If he needs any convincing, all he has to do is look at their current starting quarterback. Bo Nix's game has elevated drastically since he became an Oregon Duck. During his three seasons at Auburn, he never had one where he completed more than 61% of his passes. He even got benched during his junior season there.
But ever since Nix landed at Eugene, he has taken off like a rocket. Remember how he never completed more than 61% of his passes at Auburn? Well, Nix has never completed fewer than 71.9% of his passes in his two seasons at Oregon. He has 7,499 yards in two seasons with at least one more game to go, and is averaging 9.25 yards per attempt. He's thrown 66 touchdowns to only nine interceptions. He's elevated his game to a whole new level.
Cameron Ward can do the same, and there will be an opening for him to do so. Nix is in the final year of his collegiate eligibility. He will almost surely declare for the NFL Draft after this season. Ward can come in, take his place as the Oregon starting quarterback, and keep the winning coming for a program on the rise and one that could not only make the College Football Playoff, but even make noise in it. Oregon seems like the dream destination for Cam Ward.
Just about anything that was said about Oregon and Bo Nix could apply to Washington State's longtime rivals in Seattle. The Huskies are also a burgeoning program that is one win away from the Pac-12 Championship Game and has gotten there, in large part, off the back of a quarterback they acquired via the transfer portal.
Michael Penix Jr. had a great season for the Indiana Hoosiers in 2019, but he only threw 29 touchdowns in his four seasons in Bloomington. He threw for 31 touchdowns last season alone in his first with the Washington Huskies and 32 this season.
Penix Jr. has shined in an offense that allows him to air it out more frequently than he did at Indiana. In his four seasons as a Hoosier, Penix Jr. threw the ball 576 times. Granted, he did get injured quite frequently during his time there, but still.
But since arriving in Seattle, Penix Jr. has attempted 981 passes. And he has thrived doing so. He's completed 65.4% of his passes in that span, has 8,540 yards, is averaging 8.7 yards per attempt, and has thrown 63 touchdowns to 16 interceptions.
Like Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr.'s game elevated after arriving in Seattle. Cameron Ward could do the same, and he wouldn't have to move very far to get there. The Huskies would be a great spot for Ward as well.