Former Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson is transferring to UCF, he announced via social media on Monday. Jefferson, who is the No. 20 quarterback in 247Sports' transfer rankings, spent five seasons with the Razorbacks and served as their starter in each of the last three years. 

Jefferson is one of the most experiences signal-callers in college football. He signed with Arkansas in 2019 as a four-star prospect out of Sardis, Mississippi, and redshirted in his first season with the program. He appeared in five games in 2020 with one start and took over as the full-time starter in 2021. Jefferson has missed just two games since taking control of the offense, with 36 starts in 38 possible appearances. 

The 6-foot-3 and 247 pound Jefferson accounted for 6,616 total yards and 60 touchdowns from 2021-22 but struggled amid Arkansas' 4-8 2023 campaign, its worst year since 2020 under coach Sam Pittman. Jefferson posted career lows since becoming the starter in completion percentage (64.2%), passing yards (2,107), passing touchdowns (19), rushing yards (447) and rushing touchdowns (two). He also threw eight interceptions despite having just nine total in two years prior. 

Arkansas fired offensive coordinator Dan Enos eight games into the year due to the offense's struggles. Jefferson made his own departure official in December. 

Ideal fit at UCF 

Jefferson has drawn more comparisons to former Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn star Cam Newton than any other quarterback at the FBS level, so it seems appropriate that he'll be playing his final year under Gus Malzahn, who knows how to get the most out of a mobile quarterback. (Knights QB John Rhys Plumlee just rushed for 505 yards and five touchdowns this season.) Jefferson certainly isn't lacking in that area, having rushed for almost 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns with the Razorbacks. 

Instead of running around defenders, he simply runs through him. At 237 pounds, he looks more like a linebacker than a traditional quarterback. If he hits the second level, good luck to any defensive back lining up to lay a hit on him. And, just for reference, Newton hovered around 250 pounds during his time at Auburn. 

Jefferson should be comfortable with the zone scheme concept that Malzahn has run throughout his career. Arkansas ran a quick, no-huddle scheme with offensive coordinator Kendal Briles from 2021-22, so processing plays as they develop won't be an issue. 

Transfer dominoes falling elsewhere

Arkansas already has its replacement courtesy of Boise State transfer Taylen Green, but Jefferson's decision does have a major impact on the wider transfer landscape. 

Miami, which is actively searching for a new signal-caller, was in contact with Jefferson, according to ESPN. That was especially relevant after former Washington State star Cameron Ward, who was a top target for the Hurricanes, announced he would enter the 2024 NFL Draft

Options are now wearing thin for Miami. The U has been connected with Kansas State transfer Will Howard, but USC has long been seen as the favorite for his services. Ironically, ESPN mentioned USC transfer Malachi Nelson -- a former five-star quarterback in the class of 2023 -- as an option for the Hurricanes. Either way, Jefferson is off the board, though his future does lie in Florida.