The most dynamic and prolific quarterback in the Football Championship Subdivision realm from 2023 is heading to South Beach — and testing the Atlantic Coast Conference waters.
Albany QB Reese Poffenbarger, who led the FCS in touchdowns and passing yards, announced to ESPN that he’s transferring to Miami.
Impact of Reese Poffenbarger Heading to Miami
College football insider Pete Thamel reported the news Monday.
For the Hurricanes, they finally swoop up their transfer portal QB need.
Notable high-profile names like Cam Ward (Washington State), Will Howard (Kansas State), Taylen Green (Boise State), KJ Jefferson (Arkansas), and most recently, Malachi Nelson (USC) were names seeking a new college football destination. All diverted elsewhere.
The biggest loss, though, was Ward as he took a visit to Miami before declaring for the NFL Draft. Jefferson was considered another possibility for the Hurricanes, per The Miami Herald, but will head to Central Florida instead. Howard was another who visited the campus before choosing Ohio State as his next stop.
Miami, though, still settles for a dynamic passer who led the FCS with 36 touchdowns and 3,603 yards.
It’s not common for an FCS star to dive feet-first into the higher Football Bowl Subdivision realm. Vernon Adams went from Eastern Washington star to taking the QB reins at Oregon post-Marcus Mariota. Shedeur Sanders is one of the more recent FCS to FBS leaps — going from Jackson State to joining his father last season at Colorado.
Poffenbarger is the latest to take the college football version of a leap of faith.
“Albany will forever have a place in my heart, and we did a lot of special things,” Poffenbarger told ESPN in a phone interview. “At the end of the day, I thought it was time to move on and put myself in the best position to compete for a national championship and one day play in the NFL.”
How Poffenbarger Fits With ‘The U’
Poffenbarger may not have the build of an ACC quarterback, as he stands at just six feet and 205 pounds.
However, head coach Mario Cristobal and company are getting one of the more accurate passers in the FCS. And someone who has enough hops to dunk a basketball.
— Reese Poffenbarger (@ReesePoffenbarg) April 11, 2023
Poffenbarger was even described to Thamel as a “Stetson Bennett” type quarterback — one who played with a ton of confidence and moxie and made excellent use of the weapons around him. That’s also the same Bennett who became a two-time national champion.
The Great Danes star delivered two stellar seasons in the capital of New York. The native of Middletown, Maryland, threw 2,999 yards and tossed 24 touchdowns with just four interceptions in 2022. He followed that up with his FCS-leading 2023.
Here’s what could also intrigue fans of “The U:” Poffenbarger has put up solid numbers against FBS competition. When he faced Baylor in 2022, then Hawaii and Marshall in ’23, Poffenbarger posted the final numbers — 45 of 95 for 427 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
Poffenbarger shows strong velocity on his passing touch and established himself as a dangerous play-action passer. He has a knack for going deep the moment he sees the one-on-one.
Poffenbarger will have to prove that he can hit the contested, tight window throws against what’s expected to be a step in speed in the ACC. But he gets the chance to work with offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who improved Miami’s points per game to 31.5 points per game this past season.
In addition to being inserted into a fast-rising prolific offense, Poffenbarger gets the luxury of having two of the best ACC wideouts coming back to South Beach in Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George — who combined for 1,954 receiving yards. Miami also scored a trio of four-star WR talents in the early signing period with Ny Carr, Joshisa Trader, and Chance Robinson … giving Poffenbarger some intriguing young talent to work with.
While Miami struggled to land a high-profile FBS star, Poffenbarger finally addresses Miami’s QB need. He’s the lone QB addition through this recruiting cycle and is already expected to challenge for the starter reins once spring practice arrives.
Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!