Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal, the Razorbacks star confirmed in a statement to On3. 247Sports initially reported on Nov. 29, shortly after Arkansas hired Bobby Petrino as offensive coordinator, that Jefferson would enter the portal following a disappointing season that saw Arkansas finish 4-8 while Jefferson threw for a career-low 2,107 yards and eight interceptions. 

"It has been a dream to be captain and QB1 at the University of Arkansas," Jefferson wrote in his statement. "Accomplishing those records and being mentioned amongst the great QBs in Razorback history was an honor, but the memories and friendships I've made with my coaches and teammates along the way are what I'll cherish the most. To the fans, I can't express my gratitude enough for all of the support I've received from this great state. I hope you've enjoyed watching me grow as a man and a player as much as I've enjoyed representing this state and university. You accepted me as one of your own, and for that, I'm forever grateful and in your debt."

Though 2023 was an obvious letdown, Jefferson has established himself as one of college football's top quarterbacks over the past few years. He finishes his Arkansas career with 7,911 yards passing and 67 touchdowns. Jefferson is also a tough runner that can affect the offense with his legs. He rushed for at least 600 yards and six touchdowns in two straight seasons entering 2023, but had just 447 yards and two touchdowns via the ground this season. 

Possible destinations for Jefferson

The transfer portal has reshaped the way programs go about roster building in college football, and a player with Jefferson's experience should have no shortage of options. Multiple SEC schools appear to be in the market for a transfer quarterback: South Carolina, likely replacing starting quarterback Spencer Rattler in 2024 after a 5-7 season, is a potential destination, according to 247Sports. Auburn could also upgrade at quarterback after going a pedestrian 6-6 in coach Hugh Freeze's first season, even after adding former Michigan State starter Payton Thorne via the transfer portal last offseason. 

TCU is at least worth monitoring thanks to the immediate connection between Jefferson and Horned Frogs offensive coordinator Kendal Briles. The two paired at Arkansas with far better results for Jefferson. Though Chandler Morris and Josh Hoover are already in place at TCU, the Horned Frogs' offense was inconsistent at best under Briles in 2023 as TCU stumbled to a 5-7 mark. 

Arkansas was proactive 

Arkansas didn't take long to find Jefferson's replacement. In fact, the Razorbacks nabbed a new quarterback via the portal in Boise State transfer Taylen Green well before Jefferson officially stated his intentions. 

Green committed to Arkansas on Dec. 12 after an official visit to Fayetteville, and he has multiple years of eligibility remaining. Green redshirted as a true freshman in 2021 before playing in 13 games in 2022 while serving as Boise State's starter. Arkansas couldn't have found a more appropriate replacement for Jefferson. 

Green even has a similar frame, standing at 6-foot-6 and 221 pounds. He's rushed for 1,022 yards and 19 touchdowns over the last two seasons as Boise State's starter. Turnovers are an issue and he doesn't have the best arm, but Petrino has a solid track record running offenses, and Arkansas won't need to change its offense much to fit Green's skillset.