Auburn Tigers quarterback Bo Nix broke the internet on Sunday evening when the Pinson, Alabama native took to social media to announce that he will enter the transfer portal ahead of the 2022 college football campaign. Nix marks the second former 5-star quarterback recruit to hit the portal in recent weeks, following Spencer Rattler’s move away from Oklahoma.
The soon-to-be-former-Tiger now departs the program as one of the more decorated quarterbacks in school history. In 34 games for the Tigers, Nix threw for 7,251 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions with a 59.4% completion percentage. Nix also rushed for 859 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons.
Nix will look to boost his stock ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. His dynamic dual-threat ability should attract plenty of interest from programs from all walks of life that are searching for a much-needed boost at the quarterback position. Nix's next destination will be a hot topic of discussion and we've identified three fits that make sense on the surface as we await the outcome of his monumental decision.
Prestiged head coach Lane Kiffin is staying at Ole Miss for the 2022 campaign. That alone makes this destination incredibly intriguing. You'd be hard-pressed to identify a situation that better suits Nix going forward. Matt Corral experienced an outstanding season under Kiffin’s tutelage in 2021 and now has the opportunity to be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 draft.
Corral’s departure leaves Ole Miss with a sizable hole at the quarterback position. Kiffin possesses a brilliant offensive mind and has succeeded in operating a scheme that is known to be quarterback-friendly. Nix is entering the portal partially because he feels he reached his ceiling at Auburn. There would be room for a considerable amount of growth at Ole Miss. The Rebels’ offense has been in astounding form throughout 2021, having scored north of 35 points per contest heading into their Sugar Bowl showdown with Baylor.
Nix is in need of the glow-up only a coach like Kiffin could provide him with.
Nix may be searching for a powerhouse program to call his new home, but he could do a lot worse than reuniting with former Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn at UCF. Nix worked under Malzahn throughout his first two seasons as Auburn's starting quarterback and performed rather admirably. Nix combined to account for 42 touchdowns as both a passer and runner in 24 contests, ultimately shining under Malzahn's direction.
Malzahn’s first season as the Knights’ head coach has flashed growth as he attempts to build the program. The Knights are currently a respectable 8-4 and will play Florida in this year's iteration of the Gasparilla Bowl.
Starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel suffered a season-ending injury in the third game of the season and has now decided to enter the transfer portal. Freshman quarterback Mikey Keene showed a terrific amount of poise when he was thrust into the starting lineup, but Malzahn may be searching for an upgraded signal-caller with more experience. Landing a quarterback with Nix's talent and penchant for winning crucial games would make the Knights an incredibly exciting program to monitor throughout the 2022 campaign.
We are traveling a little off the beaten path for our third and final hypothetical destination, but it makes sense when analyzed in finer detail. Former head coach Sonny Dykes departed SMU for TCU and has been replaced by former Mustangs offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, who now returns to the program after a one-year stint as Miami's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
There's a notable connection here, as Lashlee served as Auburn's offensive coordinator under Malzahn from 2013-2016. Nix and Lashlee never crossed paths, but Lashlee undeniably mastered Malzahn's scheme at Auburn, which is one Nix is incredibly familiar with and has already been successful in.
SMU already possesses an intriguing quarterback on the roster in the form of Tanner Mordecai, who transferred to SMU from Oklahoma ahead of the 2021 campaign. Mordecai was named SMU's starter and threw an impressive 39 touchdowns in just 12 appearances. It's worth noting, however, that Mordecai transferred to the program under former head coach Dykes. With Lashlee now in the head coaching chair, he could opt to hand-select a quarterback of his choosing. He would likely have a considerable amount of interest in securing Nix’s services.