Riley Leonard Landing Spots: Could QB Join Mike Elko at Texas A&M?

    Duke QB Riley Leonard has entered the college football transfer portal. What are his top landing spots, and could he find himself in College Station?

    Riley Leonard has decided to enter the transfer portal, throwing another big name into the pool of players who are already searching for new homes.

    Leonard was expecting to have a big season in 2023, with his name even on the lips of NFL scouts. Instead, Leonard is looking for a new home. Where could he end up?

    QB Riley Leonard Transfer Portal Landing Spots

    It was announced on Wednesday, Nov. 30, that Leonard will be entering the transfer portal. The reveal was a shock to some who thought that Leonard may chance his luck in the 2024 NFL Draft. But, after suffering an injury and missing time in the back half of the season, Leonard has decided to return to school in the hope of boosting his draft stock.

    Texas A&M

    Texas A&M is the most logical landing spot for Leonard. When you add everything up, A&M ticks all the boxes.

    Leonard’s head coach at Duke, Mike Elko, is now at A&M after they parted ways with Jimbo Fisher, and it would make too much sense for the quarterback to follow his old head coach to his new stomping ground.

    MORE: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    A signing out of the portal for a prospect of Leonard caliber will cost money — A&M has it. It would also need an open starting role – A&M has it. There is little standing in the way of Leonard making the move to College Station. If he believes they can compete in 2024, Leonard could become an Aggie.

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Sam Hartman has run out of eligibility, leaving a huge gap at quarterback on the Notre Dame roster.

    While Notre Dame has commitments from promising youngsters, a source told ESPN that Notre Dame “could be a possible destination” for Leonard. And the link makes sense. Leonard fits the bill for Notre Dame and would be an experienced veteran presence to bring in. Plus, the Irish got a close look at him earlier in the season when they played the Blue Devils.

    Notre Dame won 21-14 on the road at Duke, the very game that Leonard suffered a leg injury that hampered the end of his season.

    The Irish have four-star recruit CJ Carr committed and are also returning Steve Angeli and Kenny Minchey, but none are topping Notre Dame from pursuing Leonard. He seems a logical bridge player while Notre Dame develops their new recruits.

    Auburn Tigers

    If Auburn wants to compete in the SEC in 2024, when the College Football Playoff expands, they need to improve at the quarterback position.

    As it stands, the presumptive starter for Auburn QB is Payton Thorne, while four-star recruit Walker White is expected to join for 2024 after committing to the Tigers.

    With Leonard’s hopes firmly set on a future in the NFL, he could be the perfect short-term answer for HC Hugh Freeze, who looks to continue to build up the program.

    Originally from Fairhope, Alabama, Leonard would be a huge hit with Auburn fans.

    Washington Huskies

    However the season ends for the Washington Huskies, they have been one of the best teams in college football in 2023.

    QB Michale Penix is in the discussion to win the Heisman Trophy and has been a huge part of Washington’s success. But as Penix heads off to the NFL, the Huskies will have an open spot at the quarterback position.

    Washington will want to continue their momentum off the back of the 2023 season as they head to the Big Ten in 2024. Bringing in a highly regarded quarterback from the transfer portal makes sense if they want to hit the ground running.

    Florida Gators

    If Florida is to be successful in 2024, they need to rekindle some magic at the quarterback position.

    The Gators rolled with Graham Mertz for most of the season, but we also saw freshman Max Brown take snaps after Mertz’ injury. However, Max Brown has decided to enter the transfer portal, and the future of Mertz at this point looks like he’s returning.

    Florida will have the resources to go after a quarterback in the transfer portal should they wish to, and Leonard could be the answer. HC Billy Napier is potentially on the hot seat in Gainsville, could he look to Leonard to help spark the Gators offense into life more so than Mertz ever did? Worst case scenario, a push for Leonard stokes Mertz’s fire a bit more.

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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