Jayden Maiava spearheaded one of the more memorable seasons in UNLV Rebels football history, guiding the Rebels to their first Mountain West Conference title game appearance by handling the quarterback reins.
Now, that season appears to be his last with the Rebs. Maiava’s name is among the latest to enter the transfer portal to start the New Year.
Transfer Destinations for Jayden Maiava
Maiava enters after guiding UNLV to a 9-4 mark. He supplanted Doug Brumfield as the starter and responded by throwing for 2,794 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also added 261 rushing yards and three more scores.
There will likely be intrigue for Maiava, considering his impactful season and his 6’4″, 220-pound frame.
However, Maiava had a rough outing in the Mountain West Championship Game. Boise State flustered him into committing three turnovers.
Maiava could still earn some high interest from other teams in the portal. The Henderson, Nev., native was once courted by Power Five conference schools in high school before choosing UNLV. But here are five potential destinations for Maiava.
Oregon State Beavers
There are two openings in Corvallis courtesy of D.J. Uiagalelei and Aidan Chiles. With the Beavers’ 2023 starter committed to Florida State and Oregon State set to face more MWC opponents as part of its new conference pact, the Beavs can turn to someone who knows those defenses well.
Oregon State has accrued two quarterback commitments through the portal, but neither Gevani McCoy or Gabarri Johnson have FBS starts under their belt. A player like Maiava would bring leadership and experience at the top level of college football.
The Beavs could still use another QB, and Maiava has the potential to keep the transfer trend going there.
California Golden Bears
Somehow, Strawberry Canyon has become a closet destination for past Rebels.
Former defensive backs coach Tre Watson was a beloved recruiter for UNLV before joining the defensive staff at Cal. And, the Bears recently thrived with former Rebels cornerback Nohl Williams. But is there room for a quarterback?
While Cal was led by walk-on Fernando Mendoza and ended up winning its last three games with the Miami native to become bowl-eligible, the Bears could still use depth with Ben Finley in the portal. Plus, with Cal aiming to keep its RPO (run-pass option) element with Jake Spavital off to Baylor, the Bears can still use a running option. But past success with Rebels makes Cal a potential option.
Coming here puts Maiava against future Atlantic Coast Conference competition, with Cal heading there in 2024.
Washington State Cougars
Cam Ward leaves an opening here. And he’s considered one of the top portal quarterbacks.
This can potentially open a door for Maiava to land here. Wazzu has started to turn to a dual-threat passer as of late. Not only did Ward electrify fans in Pullman, but the Cougars also had another running and throwing threat in Jayden De Laura before he transferred to Arizona.
Outside of Ward, the rest of the QB room was filled with freshmen. Maiava can add experience and a potential boost in the room if he heads to Pullman.
San Diego State
Say Maiava wants to stay in the MWC. The new regime in the 619 appears to be the best fit.
Maiava would have a chance to reignite a longtime conference power that fell to 4-8 overall. But with Sean Lewis now in place as head coach, the Aztecs need a QB who has worked in a fast-paced setting before. Maiava was doing just that at UNLV with the “Go-Go” offense under offensive coordinator Brennan Marion.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes still need to find an adequate replacement for Kyle McCord. After the abysmal showing of their offense with Devin Brown leading the way, the runway is clear for Maiava to make the trek to Columbus.
The offense fits his skillset well, as he brings a dual-threat ability and downfield accuracy with him wherever he transfers. Ohio State fans would likely welcome Maiava with open arms.
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