Cam Ward is a consensus top-three transfer portal quarterback nationally. As part of a broader discussion, Jon Santucci and Chris Boyle of the Tallahassee Democrat asked, "Which transfer quarterback to an in-state school will have the biggest impact in 2024?"
Florida State added DJ Uiagalelei from Oregon State and K.J. Jefferson transferred to Central Florida from Arkansas. Neither Jefferson or Uiagalelei are consensus top 10 transfer QBs. Ward is the top returning passer in college football, averaging 311.3 yards per game.
After initially declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft, Ward changed his mind and announced he would transfer from Washington State to Miami. Ward provides Miami with an experienced QB and a proven track record of production. Miami started three QBs during the 2023 season.
Jefferson finished 82nd nationally in 2023, averaging 175.6 passing yards per game. Uiagalelei was 51st, averaging 219.8 passing yards per game in 2023. Uiagalelei is stepping into the biggest shoes. Jordan Travis was a potential Heisman Trophy candidate before a season-ending injury in November.
"Boyle: I think Cam Ward has the biggest impact. I think he has the highest ceiling of the three guys. He’s motivated to improve his draft stock, which is why he said he returned to college. He wants to be a potential Day 1 pick. He’s an electric player and a guy who can really get it down the field. It’s been a long time since Miami had a player as accomplished as him at quarterback.- Chris Boyle-Tallahassee Democrat
FanDuel currently lists Ward at plus 2,000 to win the Heisman Trophy. That is tied for 10th nationally. Uiagalelei is 14th at plus 2,500. Jefferson is significantly down the list at plus 10,000. The corresponding national championship odds list Florida State ninth at plus 2,000. Miami is 18th at plus 6,000.
Central Florida is plus 30,000 to win the National Championship. That only includes the College Football Playoff. How UCF, FSU and Miami perform throughout the 2024 season will have a major impact on which transfer QB receives the most accolades this fall.
Ward is currently projected as the seventh overall pick in 2025 by the NFL Mock Draft Database. Jefferson is listed as the 150th-ranked player overall in the NFL Mock Draft Database and Uiagalelei is listed as the 440th overall prospect for 2025.
Florida State lost about 75 percent of its production from 2023. Miami returns its top two rushers and receivers. Central Florida is still getting adjusted to playing in a Power conference. Miami should have the highest ceiling of the three teams in 2024. Ward is the foundation of the 2024 Miami football team.