Big 12 Football: 3 transfer landing spots for OK State QB Spencer Sanders

Spencer Sanders, Big 12 football Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Spencer Sanders, Big 12 football Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Spencer Sanders, Big 12 football
Spencer Sanders, Big 12 football /

One of the biggest transfer announcements to emerge from a Big 12 football player entering the 2023 offseason came courtesy of the former All-Big 12 Oklahoma State Cowboys senior quarterback Spencer Sanders. On the afternoon of Dec. 5, Sanders announced his intention to enter the transfer portal.

After spending four years as the starting quarterback for head coach Mike Gundy and the Pokes, Sanders elected to explore his options in the portal for the final year of his eligibility in college. The announcement came by way of a post to his Twitter timeline on the day of the portal window opening (Dec. 5).

Since he only has one year of eligibility remaining, Sanders will likely be looking for a destination out of the portal that can elevate his stock for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Moreover, Sanders is coming off a senior season at Oklahoma State where he faced a myriad of injury issues down the stretch. He was either limited or out for almost every single game in the back half of the regular season for the Pokes.

Despite the limitations that Sanders faced down the stretch this season, he will still be one of the most notable quarterbacks to emerge in the portal this offseason. He is a four-year starter that has more than 30 career wins under his belt from his time at Oklahoma State.

Sanders is also one of the most adept playmakers that will emerge among quarterbacks in the portal in the 2023 class.

Potential landing spots for Big 12 football grad transfer QB Spencer Sanders

With all of this in mind, here’s a look at three possible destinations for Sanders out of the portal heading into next offseason.

Notre Dame

One of the programs that are most openly seeking out help at the quarterback position in the portal heading into the upcoming offseason is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Head coach Marcus Freeman and the Fighting Irish made their portal intentions known for the quarterback position when the news broke that Drew Pyne was putting his name in recently.

Pyne was the starting quarterback for a good portion of the regular season for Notre Dame. He helped the Irish right the ship after the starting quarterback out of fall camp, Tyler Buchner, suffered a season-ending injury early in the 2022 campaign.

Notre Dame is going to be one of the more appealing landing spots for big-time quarterback transfers this coming offseason. The Irish will have a talented supporting cast on offense and a proficient defense coming back to compete on a national level in 2023.

But how does Sanders, in particular, fit with the Notre Dame offense?

Notre Dame likes to run a balanced spread offense that relies on quick passes and a lot of inside zone runs to get the ball moving down the field in a rhythmic fashion. This offense works best when it has a quarterback leading the charge that can get the ball out quickly and has a dual-threat element to their game.

Sanders clearly has a playmaking element to his game, which can add another dimension to the Notre Dame spread offense in a hypothetical sense. But he was also a pretty good quick-ball thrower in the first half of the 2022 season, prior to when the injuries started to rack him for him this fall.

Sanders graded out among the top half of Big 12 starting quarterbacks on passes with less than 2.5 seconds to throw in the pocket in the first half of the regular season. And that was a trend that held firm for him since the 2020 season.

The combination of the scheme fit along with the immediate opportunity to make an impact with a potential dark horse College Football Playoff contender next season makes Notre Dame an interesting fit out of the portal for Sanders.