KJ Jefferson Transfer Portal Landing Spots: South Carolina, Ohio State, Auburn Among Best Fits

Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson entered the transfer portal on Wednesday. We break down the five-best landing spots for the dual-threat playmaker.

The transfer portal has been as entertaining to follow as any slate of games on a given Saturday. The biggest fish of the offseason submitted his name for a transfer on Saturday, as Arkansas’ star QB KJ Jefferson officially entered the portal.

Jefferson shared a story on his Instagram that he hadn’t decided about entering the portal after initial speculation, but he’s now made it known he’s ready for his next home. Where could Jefferson land? We have the five best landing spots and fits for Jefferson.

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Five KJ Jefferson Landing Spots

A three-year starter with the Razorbacks, Jefferson is looking for a new home despite Arkansas adding offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino to run the unit.

Each of these five teams can offer Jefferson immediate success and the potential to improve his NFL stock for 2025.

MORE: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

South Carolina Gamecocks

With Spencer Rattler off to the NFL, the Gamecocks could opt for a veteran to bridge the gap before LaNorris Sellers hits the field. Brad Crawford of 247Sports reported that South Carolina is the “frontrunner” for Jefferson already, so the 6’3″, 245-pounder may want to follow a former coach. In this case, it would be Dowell Loggains, who was the tight-ends coach at Arkansas from 2021 to 2022 and is now the Gamecocks’ OC.

Jefferson, a better runner than a downfield passer, accumulated 7,911 passing yards, 67 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions over five seasons at Arkansas. Going to play for Loggains, who runs a more horizontal offense than Petrino, would fit Jefferson’s play style better than Rattler’s. Rattler completed 68.9% of passes for 3,186 yards, 19 touchdowns, and eight interceptions last year.

South Carolina’s passing game will take a hit no matter what in 2024 as they watch Xavier Legette depart to the NFL. Swapping out Rattler for Jefferson will help keep the offense moving, but the latter is a more limited passer.

Louisville Cardinals

After finishing 10-2 and playing in the ACC Championship Game, Louisville will be in the market for a new quarterback for 2024. Jack Plummer spent his final year of eligibility as a graduate transfer with the Cardinals and is off to the NFL. Head coach Jeff Brohm got the best out of Plummer and would push Jefferson without forcing him into a clunky offense.

Brohm has had success with a bevy of quarterbacks throughout his career. His ability to go from Malik Cunningham to Plummer is a great snapshot of his willingness to craft an offense around his available talent. Jefferson would benefit from an offense that pushes him to be more aggressive but not abandon his rushing ability.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Maybe it’s strange to consider adding a new quarterback to an 11-1 Ohio State team, but I said last November that the Buckeyes should consider adding Jefferson or Kansas’ Jalon Daniels. Kyle McCord produced decent numbers in his first year as a starter but was a huge step down from predecessors Justin Fields and CJ Stroud. The Buckeyes might need a fix with McCord in the portal if they’re not sold on Devin Brown.

Jefferson is somewhere between former Buckeyes Barrett and Fields as a player. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was in his first year as the co-offensive coordinator in Barrett’s last year, so he’ll know how to maximize Jefferson.

Plus, Day can burn the bridge with Brown with Air Noland in line to get the starting job in 2025. The upgrade from McCord to Jefferson is considerable, even if Jefferson is an inconsistent passer.

Auburn Tigers

Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze has built some impressive offenses throughout his career. His time with Payton Thorne went as expected for those who had seen the former Michigan State QB struggle before coming to Auburn. Nevertheless, now Freeze has the chance to add a real dual-threat who can threaten defenses more than Thorne.

Jefferson must consider whether Auburn is a better situation for him than Arkansas. Freeze doesn’t have a deep array of playmakers to fit around Jefferson.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Will Rogers is headed to Washington, so there’s a gaping hole at QB for the Bulldogs. New head coach Jeff Lebby has a history of building effective offenses. He crafted a more balanced attack at Oklahoma with Dillon Gabriel most recently.

Like with Auburn, Mississippi State isn’t exactly loaded with star receivers. But it’s an offense that might show off more of Jefferson’s skills than Arkansas’.

College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

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