JT Daniels leaves West Virginia to enter transfer portal for a third time

JT Daniels, West Virginia Mountaineers. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
JT Daniels, West Virginia Mountaineers. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

College football might as well rename the transfer portal after JT Daniels, as he is going in there for a third time after only one season at West Virginia.

JT Daniels is the Johnny Cash of college football, as he’s been everywhere, man.

The former five-star quarterback out of Santa Ana, California initially committed to play for the USC Trojans out of high school as part of the 2018 recruiting class. He started as a true freshman for Clay Helton. During his second season at USC, he tore his ACL in the season opener vs. Fresno State. This set in motion what has been quite the college ride for the former five-star quarterback.

After transferring to Georgia in spring of 2020, Daniels headed to West Virginia last offseason after losing his starting job due to injury in Athens. Stetson Bennett IV took over a third of the way through last season and never relinquished the starting job at Georgia. Daniels reunited with former USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell at WVU. After a down year, Daniels is moving on.

By entering the transfer portal for a third time, Daniels has at least one year of eligibility left, and possibly two if he is granted a medical redshirt retroactively for the 2019 campaign (he should).

JT Daniels enters transfer portal, poised to play for his fourth college program

As far as where Daniels could end up, it is a total head-scratcher. With so many Power Five quarterbacks hitting the portal, including Brennan Armstrong, Devin Leary, Spencer Sanders, Kedon Slovis and D.J. Uiagalelei, it is not as easy as one would think to connect a former starter to somewhere else. Daniels was looking at Missouri and Oregon State before committing to WVU…

However, Brady Cook seems to be in a good spot in Columbia and Chance Nolan is hitting the portal out of Corvallis, as Ben Gulbranson took over the reins for him mid-season. Frankly, there will probably be a starting job to had available across the Power Five, or even in one of the better Group of Five leagues, where Daniels could land. Having potentially two years of eligibility helps.

Overall, Daniels’ stock has taken one big hit after another. His USC injury, turned extended recovery at Georgia did not help. Another injury allowed for Bennett to take his job from him in September of last year. Going to WVU to reunite with Harrell, only to get benched down the stretch on a losing Mountaineers team has massacred his former first-round NFL Draft grade.

Ultimately, Daniels has time to rehab his college football career. Given that he graduated from the University of Georgia, he can enter the portal without having to sit out a year. Although we are not looking at a blue-chip prospect anymore, Daniels is a smart player who can make all the throws. If he gets a year, maybe two, he can reinvent himself before seeing what the NFL has to offer him.

One thing is certain about Daniels hitting the portal again: He will play ball anywhere in the nation.

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