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Undervalued College QBs
Undervalued College QBs

Associated Press

December 12, 2022

There is no offseason in college football with the transfer portal in full effect. Last week, I looked at three QBs who could see a bump in value after entering the transfer portal and finding a new team. This week, it’s more of a mixed bag.

Players transferring are not the only noteworthy events right now, coaches are changing teams, and some players have chosen to come back to school. I’ll look at three players whose outlook has changed over the past week. 

Remember, a player’s Share Price reflects statistical expectations in their NFL career. For NCAA prospects, college stats only matter if they affect how the market views their NFL potential. That all starts with their expected draft position. 

Make sure you tack on their 3x Multiplier if you want a chance for higher returns!

Michael Penix Jr ($7.83), Washington

Penix had a fantastic 2022 season after many injury-riddled seasons left his future in doubt. A key was him linking up with his old offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer, now the head man at Washington. 

Penix’s Share Price increased 45% this season from about $5.40 a share to $7.83 a share. He finished second team All Pac-12 (behind Heisman winner Caleb Williams) and eighth overall in the Heisman voting. Last week, Penix decided he had some unfinished business in Seattle and will return for his sixth collegiate season.

Washington undoubtedly has a Pac-12 championship on their wish list with an eye towards a playoff berth as well. Penix’s return will put them in the national spotlight and will be on the short list of Heisman hopefuls. 

The market saw Penix as a third or fourth round pick in the 2023 NFL draft had he declared, but I think he can play himself into a better spot by going back to school next year. 

Two players that currently have prices reflecting Day 2 draft capital are Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker ($16.17) and Florida’s Anthony Richardson ($9.70). 

So, if Penix can raise his stock to where Richardson’s is now, his share price will increase by 24%. That means a $1K bet on Penix now would be worth over $1.7K next year with his Multiplier.

MJ Morris ($1.99), NC State

Morris got off to a hot start this season when he entered the Wolfpack’s game against Virginia Tech after starter Jack Chambers was forced to leave with an injury. Morris proceeded to go 20-29 with 265 yards and three touchdowns to lead a comeback victory. 

The true freshman was a favorite of ours at campus2canton, where we identified him as a sleeper freshman QB on The Official (16:35 mark) before the season. He wound up  completing 60.5% of his passes and throwing for seven touchdowns and only one interception in five games before getting injured himself.

The big news in Raleigh is that Robert Anae will be coming over from Syracuse to be the Wolfpack’s offensive coordinator. Anae’s offenses have a history of incredible production from the quarterback position. 

Garrett Shrader had a fantastic 2022 season under Anae with a career-best 8.9 adjusted yards per attempt. Going back another year, Anae was with Virginia in 2021 and coached Brennan Armstrong to 4,449 passing yards, 31 passing touchdowns, 251 rushing yards and nine more scores on the ground. 

Armstrong was not the prospect that Morris is. A fairly unknown three star with a 0.87 rating on 24/7 who didn’t see the field until his third season.  Contrast that with Morris who was a four star with a 0.89 rating and looked great as a true freshman. 

Coming off his huge 2021 campaign, Armstrong entered 2022 with a Share Price of $2.03. Without Anae, his performance suffered, and his price dropped 27% this season. I think Morris’ price is right at his floor with a much higher ceiling under Anae in 2023 and beyond. 

The one caveat here is if Armstrong reunites with Anae at NC State, as he is in the portal but has yet to announce his next destination.    

That being said, Morris’ Share Price is in the same range as Penn State’s Sean Clifford despite playing better as an 18 year old than Clifford did at 24. Keep an eye on Armstrong, but someone who played this well this young bodes well for Morris’ eventual NFL Draft stock.

Austin Reed ($1.56), Transfer Portal

Who doesn’t love a rags to riches story? Reed was a late bloomer in high school and in turn, under-recruited. He eventually landed at the championship subdivision program Southern Illinois. After one season, he transferred to Division II University of West Florida where he won a title in his first year. In 2022, he transferred to Western Kentucky and finished second in all of the bowl subdivision in passing yards and passing touchdowns.

If you will recall, Bailey Zappe had a similar path to stardom at Western Kentucky and wound up a fourth round draft pick to the New England Patriots. Zappe impressed during his few opportunities as a rookie, showing his college production was no fluke. His Share Price went from about $4.40 as an unknown rookie to an all-time of $9.86 when it looked like he could unseat Mac Jones. Now it’s settled at $8.02. 

Similar to Zappe, Reed is in position to make a name for himself after transferring to a bigger school with the NFL Draft in mind. He’s entered the portal and wants to level up to a Power Five program. 

Zappe had a $4.50 share price leading up to the draft. That was after a historic, record-breaking season and eventual fourth round draft pick. So, let’s say Reed can get himself to $3.00, or just about two-thirds of Zappe, and settle in as a fifth or sixth round pick. That would be a nearly 100% increase in share price. 

If that winds up happening, a $1K bet on Reed would be worth $4K with his Multiplier! That’s great upside for a player with a reasonably high floor who could soon find himself as the starter for a Power 5 program.

The early whispers are that he is close with new Louisville head coach Jeff Brohm  and will follow him to the ACC. Brohm coached up Mike White once upon a time, also at Western Kentucky, and has a proven track record with unheralded yet cerebral QBs.

It is not hard to justify a purchase of Reed’s stock at $1.56 a share. He wouldn’t have to do much next year to see a solid return on investment. Players like Ty Thompson ($1.99) and Brock Vandagriff ($2.04) have more recruiting pedigree, but have done nothing heading into their third year and don’t look to be making any moves yet.

Prices are current as of 12/12/22 at 3:00 PM EST
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