The college football world was abuzz on Monday as it was announced that former USC quarterback Jaxson Dart entered the transfer portal, set to leave Southern California. Dart played in six games for the Trojans in 2021, accruing 1,353 passing yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions.
Dart played against BYU on Thanksgiving weekend, playing well in the loss to the Cougars. He threw for 248 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score in the losing effort.
USC QB Jaxson Dart has entered the Transfer Portal pic.twitter.com/uwfPU1MaNr— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) January 10, 2022
Dart came out of Corner Canyon High School in Draper, UT. 247Sports ranked him as a four-star recruit, the 10th-ranked quarterback and No. 2 overall recruit out of the state of Utah in last year’s class (No. 1 was recent BYU transfer from Oregon, offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia). Aside from USC, Dart also fielded offers from BYU, Arizona State, TCU, Iowa State, and Washington State. If Dart were to transfer to BYU, the Cougars would possess the top two recruits from their home state of the class of 2021.
Dart is rated as a 5-star recruit and the third-highest ranked transfer in 247’s 2022 transfer rankings.
How realistic are BYU’s — the school to first offer Dart in high school — chances of landing the former highly recruited signal caller?
Chris Hummer from 247Sports cites sources saying BYU is “in the picture” for Dart’s services.
BYU and UCLA, which lost Dillon Gabriel to Oklahoma last week, are expected to be in the picture for Dart, per sources. Dart hails from Utah and the Cougars were heavily in the mix for him coming out of high school in the 2021 class.
There seems to be some momentum, at least on social media, for Dart heading to BYU. Nothing is imminent at this point, but the Cougars seem to be one of the favorites.
Dart has ties to the University of Utah with family, but it’s safe to assume the Utes are happy with their quarterback situation, as Cam Rising saved their season, led them to a PAC-12 title and a Rose Bowl berth. Plus, he has two more years of eligibility.
Jaxson Dart potential landing spots that I can think of on the spot.— CFB Home (@CFBHome) January 10, 2022
Expect BYU to be a heavy contender for Jaxson Dart. Heard rumblings in the last few weeks that there was serious interest between Dart and BYU.— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) January 10, 2022
Some current BYU players and recruits are also weighing in on social media, trying to steer the young talented quarterback to Provo.
Yktv… @JaxsonDart— LOGAN FANO (@LoganFano) January 10, 2022
You already know @JaxsonDart let’s rock!!— Parker Kingston (@ParkerKingston) January 10, 2022
Dart’s girlfriend and high school sweetheart also lives in Utah, so that’s got to mean something, right?
The elephant in the room is the fact that BYU currently as a proven quarterback on the roster in Jaren Hall, as well as a highly recruited young signal caller in Jacob Conover, who notoriously turned down an offer from Alabama to come to BYU. Dart entering the mix would throw an enormous wrench into previously-laid plans at quarterback in Provo.
Obviously, if the coaches were to coax Dart to Provo, it would be to, at the very least, compete for the starting job, if not give it to him outright.
Jaren Hall is a talented athlete who made many excellent plays that led BYU to several victories over the 2021 season. However, durability is a concern as he is yet to make it through a full season healthy. Would the coaches be willing to perhaps erase that goodwill with Hall with Dart’s presence? The talent is certainly there, as Dart was highly sought-after and was good enough to start at a prestigious place like USC. He displays excellent arm talent as well as athleticism to create and improvise.
Quite frankly, Dart is a better overall quarterback prospect than Hall. It comes down to getting the potential turned into production on the field and staying healthy.
Dart presumably has three years of eligibility left. That would mean, if he does come to Provo and win the job, players like Hall and Conover would either need to be backups or enter the transfer portal to perhaps start elsewhere. It’s hard to see a scenario where Dart comes in and beats Hall out right away, but hey, you never know. At the very least, he’d be waiting in the wings if Hall were to get hurt.
The college football world is in a tornado of transfers, attrition, movement, hirings and firings, and nothing stays status quo for long, especially with the Wild West that is the new Name, Image, and Likeness era. This is the nature of college football. Coaches need to look for opportunities to improve their roster 24/7. Putting Dart on BYU’s roster for 2022 instantly makes the team better. They will just have one of the most complicated quarterback situations in Provo in recent memory.