27. Kyle Allen, Houston. Allen started 14 games in two seasons at Texas A&M, but the Aggies coaching staff botched a crowded QB situation, and both Allen (Houston) and Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) transferred. Murray still has to wait behind Baker Mayfield, but Allen is in good position to replace Greg Ward Jr. as Houston’s starting QB under new coach Major Applewhite. A five-star recruit, Allen completed 58.5 percent for 3,532 yards, 33 TDs and 14 INTs during an up-and-down two years with the Aggies. With a veteran O-line and a stellar receiving corps, there should be high expectations for his first season at Houston.
25. Riley Ferguson, Memphis. After beginning his career at Tennessee, Ferguson played juco ball, then transferred to Memphis and won the starting job as Paxton Lynch’s replacement. Lynch set a high standard, but in Mike Norvell’s first season as head coach, Ferguson had a stellar season, throwing for 3,698 yards, 32 TDs and 10 INTs for a team that scored 38.8 points per game. Nine starters return to the offense, and the tandem of Ferguson and senior wideout Anthony Miller will be among the most prolific in the nation.
9. Quinton Flowers, South Florida. Flowers did not get enough credit for his phenomenal season last year. Yes, he was named AAC offensive player of the year, but his electric play still flew under the radar nationally. In leading South Florida to its best season ever – 11-2 record, No. 19 final AP ranking – Flowers ranked 16th nationally in passer rating (2,812 yards, 24 TDs and seven INTs) and second among QBs in rushing (1,530 yards, 18 TDs), only 41 yards behind Lamar Jackson. Flowers has to deal with a coaching change, but he’s a tremendous weapon for offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and is the biggest reason why USF will enter the season as the favorite for the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bowl spot.