The reactions from Miami football fans were varied when Washington State quarterback Cam Ward announced he chose to enter the 2024 NFL Draft instead of staying in the transfer portal. Ward has until January 15 to make a final decision. Pete Thamel of ESPN reported that Ward has not yet hired an agent.
Fans reacted to Ward not signing with Miami, what it means going forward, the general state of the Hurricanes' football program and how it reflects on Mario Cristobal. Miami has alternative transfer QBs. Will Howard from Kansas State was the only other transfer QB Miami hosted in addition to Ward to visit Miami.
Thamel reported that Miami pursued Arkansas transfer QB K.J. Jefferson and Malachi Nelson of USC. Jefferson later committed to Central Florida on Monday. Howard and Nelson appear to be the front runners for Miami going forward. The projections have been that Miami wants to add an experienced QB.
Entering the 2024 offseason, Miami has redshirt sophomore Jacurri Brown who stated the Pinstripe Bowl versus Rutgers, Emory Williams who started two games this season and 2024 signee Judd Anderson at QB. Miami needs to add a fourth QB at least for depth after going through the 2024 season with only three QBs.
If Miami can sign Howard, all should be forgotten about losing out on Ward. Nelson provides Miami with a lot of upside but is young and unproven. Nelson only played in one game in 2023, completing one pass in three attempts. Beyond Howard and Nelson, there are other not as highly ranked options at QB in the transfer portal.
Some fans are more patient and practical than others. Canes Chief above has over 7,000 followers on X. It's a good lesson for most fans. The transfer portal process is far shorter than for high school recruits but requires patience. Miami is unlikely to get completely shut out of a transfer QB.
Miami was clearly waiting for Ward to make a decision. It likely cost them a realistic chance at Jefferson. Howard might have been waiting for Ward to make a decision. Howard is more of a dual threat QB. There has been no timetable for a decision from Howard or Nelson.
The news about Ward came after Miami true freshman defensive lineman Collins Acheampong entered the transfer portal on New Year's Eve. It was a tough 24 hours to end 2023 and begin 2024. Miami did sign the fourth-best 2024 class. The Hurricanes have commitments from four 2024 transfers.
Center Zach Carpenter from Indiana, defensive linemen C.J. Clark from North Carolina State, Marley Cook from Middle Tennessee State and Vanderbilt safety Savion Riley will join Miami in 2024. Miami has the 44th best 2024 transfer class. That should move significantly by the time classes are finalized.