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Ex-Washington State QB Cam Ward declares for NFL Draft in move that has transfer portal implications across college football

Ward's decision to move on could leave programs like Miami and Ohio State in the lurch if they want a portal QB

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 25: Cameron Ward #1 of the Washington State Cougars looks on during the third quarter against the Washington State Cougars at Husky Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. The Washington Huskies won 24-21. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Former Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward isn’t transferring to another school after all.

Ward announced Monday in a short video that he was declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft. It’s a decision that could have ramifications across all of college football.

Ward was perhaps the most coveted transfer quarterback remaining in the portal. He announced at the end of the regular season that he was exploring a transfer from Washington State and was immediately linked to top programs across the country like Ohio State, Miami and others.

Instead, he’s heading to the NFL. And there are now two fewer quarterbacks available for schools like the two mentioned above if they are looking for a new quarterback for the 2024 season. Hours after Ward declared for the NFL Draft, ex-Oregon State QB DJ Uiagalelei committed to Florida State.

Ward transferred to Washington State from Incarnate Word ahead of the 2022 season. He threw for nearly 7,000 yards and 48 TDs over his two seasons with the Cougars and had more season of eligibility remaining.

With Ward off to the NFL, the top quarterback in the transfer portal who has significant starting experience is former Kansas State QB Will Howard. Howard has been strongly rumored as a possibility to transfer to USC.

The Seminoles were in the market for a quarterback because Jordan Travis is out of eligibility and backup QB Tate Rodemaker is in the transfer portal himself. Third-string true freshman Brock Glenn started both the ACC title game and the Orange Bowl 63-3 blowout loss to Georgia and looked very much like a player in his first season of college football in those games.

Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke entered the transfer portal at the end of the season after Emory Williams took over as the starter during the season. Williams is coming back to Miami, but he suffered a season-ending arm injury against Florida State.

Ohio State could roll with Devin Brown at quarterback for the 2024 season if it doesn’t land a transfer. Brown served as the backup to Kyle McCord during 2023 and started the Cotton Bowl loss to Missouri after McCord transferred to Syracuse. But Brown was injured in the first half. Freshman Lincoln Kienholz struggled in his place.

“Fresh off the game, it’s hard to process all of it right now but we have to figure out what’s the best thing for the team moving forward,” Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day said when asked about a potential exploration of the transfer portal. “And that’s in a lot of areas. So we’ve got to take a hard look at that and get that figured out. But everything will be looked at.”