vNov 11, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) passes against the California Golden Bears during the first quarter at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The college football world received some surprising news on Monday with Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord entering the transfer portal.

As a result, the Buckeyes will likely turn to the transfer portal themselves in order to add a veteran signal-caller to a quarterbacks room that currently includes Devin Brown, Lincoln Kienholz and incoming freshman Air Noland.

With several quarterbacks across the country having already announced that they’ll be entering the portal this offseason, Ohio State will have plenty of options. With that in mind, here’s a look at five quarterbacks the Buckeyes could target in the weeks ahead.

Cameron Ward

Of all the potential targets for the Buckeyes this offseason, Cameron Ward might be the best fit. Between two seasons at FCS school Incarnate and two seasons at Washington State, the 21-year-old possesses no shortage of experience with 42 starts to his credit over the course of his college career.

In his two seasons with the Cougars, Ward proved to be a dynamic passer, completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 6,968 yards, 48 touchdowns and six interceptions, in addition to 13 rushing touchdowns. Coming to Columbus could prove mutually beneficial, as it could allow Ward to improve his resume as an NFL prospect while providing the Buckeyes with an experienced upgrade who wouldn’t necessarily cause too much of a shakeup in the rest of the quarterback room.


KJ Jefferson

Like Ward, KJ Jefferson offers no shortage of experience, as he has five years of college football experience, including three seasons as a starter, at Arkansas to his credit. The 22-year-old isn’t as dynamic of a passer as Ward is, but he does add a mobility (1,876 yards and 21 touchdowns for his career) that Ohio State has lacked at the quarterback position since Justin Fields left the program.

Coming to Columbus could allow Jefferson to both compete for a national title and improve his draft stock. While he may not have the highest ceiling on this list, he checks a lot of boxes.

Dante Moore

A former five-star prospect, Dante Moore ranked as one of the top overall prospects in the 2023 class but lasted just one season at UCLA. Appearing in nine games, the Detroit product completed 53.5 percent of his passes for 1,610 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

While his freshman season left something to be desired, Moore’s talent is undeniable and it’s worth noting that he was linked to Ohio State at various points during his recruitment. Considering he still has three years of eligibility remaining, if the Buckeyes do target him, it would likely result in more quarterbacks than McCord transferring from Columbus.

Grayson McCall

Of all the quarterbacks in this year’s transfer portal, Grayson McCall might be the most intriguing. A four-year starter at Coastal Carolina, the 22-year-old is one of the most accomplished players in Sun Belt history, earning four first-team All-Conference selections.

Between his experience and ability as both a passer and a runner, the three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year checks a lot of boxes that would be appealing to the Buckeyes. The biggest question regarding McCall’s potential fit in Columbus is how he would handle playing in a more difficult conference than the one he’s dominated for the last four years.

DJ Uiagalelei

One of the top prospects in the 2020 class, DJ Uiagalelei has enjoyed — or endured — an up and down college career that included three seasons at Clemson before he transferred to Oregon State for the 2023 campaign. In his lone season with the Beavers, the former five-star prospect completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 2,418 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions.

While Uiagalelei has yet to live up to the hype that he entered his college career with, he’s both experienced and talented. It’s hard to imagine he’d be the Buckeyes’ top target following McCord’s departure. But if nothing else, he’s an option Ohio State could consider if it strikes out with its top choices.

[Adam Rittenberg on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.