Texas Football: 3 possible transfer destinations for QB Maalik Murphy

Maalik Murphy, Texas football
Maalik Murphy, Texas football / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas football will lose its backup quarterback, redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy, to the NCAA Transfer Portal, per a report from ESPN's Pete Thamel on Dec. 13. It was reported by Thamel on Twitter/X late in the evening of Dec. 13 that Murphy intends to enter the transfer portal.

It is significant to note that Murphy will not be with the team for the College Football Playoff this postseason. No. 3 Texas faces the No. 2 Washington Huskies in the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA, on Jan. 1.

Transfer destinations in P5 becoming more limited as Texas football QB Maalik Murphy intends to enter portal

Murphy played an important role as Texas's backup quarterback during the regular season. He started two games after redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers went down with a shoulder injury in a game on the road on Oct. 21 against the Houston Cougars.

While coming on in relief of Ewers and starting the next two games, Murphy led the Longhorns to a record of 3-0. The two starts he won for the Longhorns during the regular season came at home against the BYU Cougars on Oct. 28 and No. 23 Kansas State Wildcats on Nov. 4.

The impact of Murphy's departure via the transfer portal could be felt in the Playoff by the Longhorns, with true freshman quarterback Arch Manning taking over the backup role. While Murphy had his inconsistencies in his two starts for the Longhorns in relief of Ewers during the regular season, he still got the job done in both contests.

Here's a look at three possible transfer destinations for Murphy in the portal this offseason.

Michigan State

Murphy is too talented of a quarterback with too much potential to not get a significant amount of Power Five interest once he officially enters the transfer portal. He received a bevy of offers to leave Texas via the transfer portal after he showed out during spring ball and the Orange-White Game in April.

One Power Five school that is seeking a starting quarterback in the portal this offseason that could be a viable fit for Murphy is the Michigan State Spartans. Michigan State and new head coach Jonathan Smith are at the beginning stages of a rebuild after the scandal and eventual departure of former head coach Mel Tucker earlier this fall.

Michigan State hired Smith away from the Oregon State Beavers after he rebuilt that program out in Corvallis in the last few years. Smith took an Oregon State program that was down in the dumps in the late 2010s and made them a dark horse PAC-12 title contender in the last couple of years.

The Oregon State program Smith tookover in 2018 hadn't reached bowl eligibility since the 2013 season. The Beavers posted a winning record in the last three seasons, and likely will be a top-25 team in the final AP Poll in back-to-back campaigns.

Michigan State makes sense for Murphy for a few reasons. The first is that Michigan State needs a quarterback to rebuild this program around heading into the future. Murphy has three years of eligibility remaining and could be the face of that program if he developed under Smith in East Lansing.

Smith certainly has a proven track record of developing quarterback talent as a coach at the collegiate level. He helped develop and coached up two All-MWC quarterbacks as the Boise State Broncos QB coach in 2012 and 2013.

He continued to develop and coach successful quarterbacks during his time as the Washington offensive coordinator/QB coach in the mid-2010s under then head coach Chris Petersen. Smith developed and coached one of the most productive and decorated quarterbacks in the modern era of the Washington program, Jake Browning, from 2015 to 2017.

At Oregon State, Smith coached former Clemson quarterback transfer DJ Uiagalelei to his best and most consistent season as a starter in college this fall. Uiagalelei threw for over 20 touchdowns and nearly 2,700 passing yards as Oregon State's starting quarterback this season.

Murphy also fits the offensive scheme Smith likes to run, which is a spread-heavy offense that needs a quarterback with a powerful arm to make all the throws. It also helps that Smith's offense doesn't require a dual-threat component from the quarterback, since Murphy doesn't really have a strong running element to his game.

Regarding scheme fit and opportunity for immediate starter reps at quarterback, Smith and Michigan State check the boxes for what Murphy could be looking for in his next destination out of the portal this offseason.

The great unknown with Michigan State's quarterback search in the portal entering the offseason is the former Oregon State freshman transfer and ex-blue-chip recruit Aidan Chiles. Oregon State's highest-rated quarterback recruit in program history entered the transfer portal as Smith left for the Michigan State job a couple of weeks ago.

There is at least a decent chance Chiles sticks with Smith out of the transfer portal this offseason and heads to East Lansing.

But if there is still a chance to win the quarterback competition, Michigan State could be a viable destination for Murphy. That would likely be assuming Chiles isn't ready to start or he doesn't end up in East Lansing in 2024.

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