NCAA Sports

Northwestern QB Hunter Johnson, former 5-star prospect, enters NCAA Transfer Portal

Northwestern quarterback Hunter Johnson has entered the NCAA Transfer portal, 247Sports has learned. Johnson, a former 247Sports 5-star prospect from the Class of 2017, recorded stats in three games during the 2021 season for the Wildcats in 2021, ending the year passing 424 yards and four touchdowns against four interceptions. He has started eight games for the Wildcats in three seasons of playing time with the program.

Johnson began his collegiate career playing for Dabo Swinney at Clemson before announcing a transfer to Northwestern after one season with the Tigers. Johnson, out of Brownsburg (Ind.) High School, was the No. 2 pro-style passer in the nation for the 2017 cycle, according to the 247Sports Composite Player Rankings. He was ranked the No. 30 overall prospect in the nation, regardless of position, for that cycle.

Northwestern went 3-9 during the 2021 season, finishing last in the Big Ten West standings at 1-8.

The NCAA introduced the transfer portal on Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer. They merely need to request that compliance enter their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear following their request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears in the portal.

While a player entering their name in the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. A player is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are under no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once they enter the portal.

There were 2,646 FBS players to enter the transfer portal during the 2020-21 transfer cycle, sources said. That was up from 1,692 in 2019-20 and 1,717 in 2018-19.

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That increase can at least partially be credited to the NCAA’s new policy that student-athletes are allowed to transfer once in their careers without having to sit out a year-in-residence. That means all players who enter the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible at their new school as long as they meet a NCAA mandated entry deadline.

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