One of the interesting stories to watch in Conference USA next season continued to take shape this week when former Michigan quarterback Russell Bellomy transferred to UTSA.
Bellomy was a pretty highly regarded quarterback out of Arlington Martin who 247 Sports rated No. 29 among pro style quarterbacks nationally his senior year.
Bellomy will be eligible this year, when the C-USA West Division race could well come down to who comes out ahead when it comes to hitting on their transfer quarterback.
Granted, Rice will likely be among the favorites in the race for the division title after returning quarterback Driphus Jackson and running backs Jowan Davis and Darik Dillard.
When one looks at the conference race at this point, Louisiana Tech has arguably the top team coming back, while UNT and UTSA are looking to jump into the ranks of contenders.
All three teams hopes could come down to their quarterback transfers. To review …
North Texas: Newcomer — DaMarcus Smith
UNT coach Dan McCarney said the Mean Green really need to upgrade their quarterback play after starting three different guys last season. Josh Greer, Dajon Williams and Andrew McNulty combined to complete 54.7 percent of their passes and compile a 112.4 efficiency ranking. Both totals ranked 12th in the league.
Granted, UNT could hope that one of those players — particularly McNulty — takes a big step forward. UNT’s best hope for a dramatic upgrade, though, is Smith. The former Butler County (Kansas) College standout threw for 2,746 yards and 31 touchdowns with just eight interceptions last season. The problem is that he won’t be able to participate in spring practice.
Louisiana Tech: Newcomer – Jeff Driskel
Louisiana Tech hit the jackpot last season with Cody Sokol, a fifth-year senior transfer from Iowa who came in and threw for 3,436 yards and 30 touchdowns while leading the Bulldogs to a 9-5 finish, an appearance in the C-USA championship game and a win over Illinois in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Sokol torched UNT for five touchdown passes in a 42-21 win in a game that wasn’t that close. The Bulldogs led 42-7 in the fourth quarter.
Sokol left a huge void, one Louisiana Tech appears like will fill with Driskel, a former five-star prospect, who played quite a bit at Florida before transferring.
There is a feeling out there among UNT fans that if Driskel didn’t succeed at Florida that he might not be an impact player at Louisiana Tech. I don’t buy that for a minute. Driskel has the kind of talent that should make him a top-end player at the C-USA level.
UTSA: Newcomer – Russell Bellomy
Bellomy didn’t enjoy nearly the same level of success at Michigan that Driskel did at Florida, but he does give UTSA another option at a position it struggled at last season. UTSA ranked dead last in C-USA in passing efficiency at 106.4 and really missed Eric Soza, who threw for 2,719 while leading the Roadrunners to a 7-5 finish in 2013.
UTSA could have really used Bellomy last season and could look to him to help guide a huge rebuilding process in a season the Roadrunners return just five starters.