Last Saturday, Virginia Cavaliers redshirt junior quarterback Greyson Lambert announced his decision to transfer from the program in search of a new opportunity to start elsewhere for his final two years of eligibility.
Lambert, who lost the starting job to Matt Johns this spring, will have the opportunity to compete for a No. 1 job once he graduates this summer.
“I met with Greyson earlier this week and he explained to me his reasons for wishing to transfer,” said head coach Mike London, according to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan. “I want to wish him well and appreciate everything he has done for our football program. He is a fine young man and will do well.”
A former four-star prospect and the No. 8 overall pro-style quarterback for the recruiting class of 2012, Lambert held offers from prestigious programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and South Carolina, before committing to Virginia. Despite throwing 11 touchdowns to 13 interceptions from 2013-14, there won’t be a lack of interest for his services.
Now re-opening his recruitment as a free agent, you can expect his phone to be all but silent over the next few weeks (or days). Assuming UVA will block him from transferring to an ACC school—or another program on the Cavs’ upcoming schedule—here are five potential landing spots for the Jesup (GA) native.
- South Carolina: Steve Spurrier offered Lambert a scholarship back in high school, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind going after him for a second time. Everett Golson was rumored to have the Gamecocks on his transfer list, which means they should still be open for business after he landed at Florida State. Connor Mitch, Perry Orth, and Michael Scarnecchia—the three quarterbacks currently vying for the starting position—have thrown a total of eight career passes, and it’s unknown if any are capable of doing a better job than what Dylan Thompson achieved (or didn’t) in 2014. Lambert brings experience to the table and could thrive under Spurrier’s QB-friendly leadership.
- Old Dominion: Less than three hours away from UVA, Old Dominion might be the perfect landing spot for Lambert. There’s a huge hole to fill with record-setting quarterback Taylor Heinicke gone, and whoever takes over will be blessed with an explosive skill corps. If Lambert wants to play in an offense that will feature his arm—he’d undoubtedly put up some massive numbers, playing in several shootouts—then he might want to consider giving the Monarchs, who are now eligible for the postseason, a helping hand.
- Rutgers: If Gary Nova can have his best season in his first (and last) as a member of the Big Ten Conference, why can’t Lambert? Nova, who had struggled with inconsistency during his first three years with Rutgers, felt at home in the B1G with career-high numbers in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt, Passer Efficiency Rating, and Adjusted QBR. Now out of eligibility, the Scarlet Knights have concerns for stability under center as they try to sustain the success they had in 2014, all while keeping their identity as a pro-style offense. Lambert could be the answer here.
- South Florida: I only mention USF because landing Lambert could potentially save Willie Taggart’s job. In his first two years, his quarterbacks have combined to complete 47.8 percent of their passes for 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions, as the passing game finished dead last nationally in Passer Efficiency Rating in 2013 (91.1), and 116th (107.6) in 2014. With Mike White—the only QB who had found some form of success—transferring to Western Kentucky, the situation again looks grim. Lambert would be an upgrade to either Steven Bench or Quinton Flowers, and could provide some balance to what’s been a one-dimensional approach with running back Marlon Mack. Besides, who wouldn’t want to live in Tampa?
- UConn: Maybe not the most ideal landing spot for a quarterback—actually, it’s where they go to die, as no UConn QB has thrown for more than 14 touchdowns in a season since Dan Orlovsky in 2004 (23)—but it comes with a familiar face. UConn co-defensive coordinator Vincent Brown is the one that recruited Lambert at Virginia, and though the Huskies seem to be comfortable with former N.C. State transfer Bryant Shirreffs running the show and leading the rebuild project, Lambert would certainly open competition back up.