Inside College Football: Are Nebraska and Ohio State QB Joe Burrow a transfer match?

LINCOLN, Neb. -- During a visit to Nebraska last week, Joe Burrow's name came up more than once.

Burrow is a redshirt junior quarterback at Ohio State who reportedly could become a graduate transfer next month. The connection: Burrow's father and brothers played at Nebraska.

Further connection? Cornhuskers coach Scott Frost needs a firestarter quarterback ASAP to run his version of Chip Kelly's Blur offense.

"You think he's [Burrow] better than what we got?" Frost asked, rhetorically, after Saturday's spring game.

Frost has four quarterbacks of his own to consider after his first spring practice at Nebraska.

Burrow, meanwhile, has thrown 39 career passes. He's in a quarterback battle of his own, primarily with sophomore Dwayne Haskins, who seems to be the favorite at Ohio State. There is a long way to go.

Based on Saturday, freshman Adrian Martinez is currently the guy at Nebraska. The newbie from Fresno, California, completed 10-of-13 passes and threw for 114 yards. He also led all rushers with 60 yards.

"He came in [as an early enrollee], so he should still be in high school," said wide receiver Conor Young. "He came out in front of 86,000 [fans] and performed at the level he did; it shows a lot of poise. It's rare to find someone that young to step on the field and gain all the respect of all the other guys."

Burrow could conceivably be on someone else's campus soon if he graduates with a year of eligibility remaining. A lot of the future hinges on when Urban Meyer names his starter. Meanwhile, Nebraska completed its 15th spring practice on Monday.  

"We think, if we can get by with what we have, it's cleaner than muddying up the situation," Frost said.

"I think we have what we need here," Young added.

Frost made news in December 2017 with his dogged recruiting of Martinez. While he was still coaching at UCF but already installed at Nebraska, Frost flew cross the country from Orlando, Florida, to Fresno -- with a refueling stop in Lincoln.

"Got back [to Orlando] at 4 a.m., practice was at 7 a.m.," Frost recalled.

Oh yeah, Frost was also sick during that quick turnaround. It was worth it. The four-star prospect picked Nebraska over Tennessee (among others) during the new Early Signing Period.

"Only actions can really show a man's true intentions," Martinez said. "Him flying out to see me and my family and myself for dinner showed how much he wanted me to become part of this program."

The NFL Draft's top quarterbacks

1. Josh Allen, Wyoming: Has all the measurables that the scouts love. There is a reason he completed less than 60 percent of his balls. He literally was too good for some of the Mountain West talent around him in Laramie.

2. Josh Rosen, UCLA: The 2017 Bruins most resembled the sort of lower-end NFL team Rosen will join. UCLA had a bad offensive line, couldn't run and couldn't defend. Yet, Rosen thrived.

3. Sam Darnold, USC: I agree with Jim Mora. Right here, right now, he's perfect for the Browns. I just have no idea what the Browns are going to do with their first pick. Neither do the Browns, it seems.

4. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: I'm in the minority. I never thought of him as a franchise quarterback. Maybe a good selection in the back half of the first round. Maybe. Great college player, maybe one of the top three in OU history. I know he was measured at less than 6-foot-1, but I'm 5-foot-10 and we seemed to be the same height when I interviewed him. Guess I just made it onto his list of enemies Baker is keeping in his phone.

5. Lamar Jackson, Louisville: The former Heisman winner just isn't an NFL quarterback. Half of what he does (run) will be taken away from elite NFL defenders. His completion percentage is a concern as is his ability to read defenses.

More college football news, notes

  • Much was made of Jeremy Pruitt calling out Tennessee fans after his spring game. Maybe athletic director Phillip Fulmer has the right idea to increase attendance: "I still don't know why we haven't looked into this.  Why don't we play a game [against another team]?" he asked. "You could even do like high school and play a jamboree.  You bring in Clemson, North Carolina. Play a round robin."
  • Texas coach Tom Herman on a possible academic benchmark (3.0-3.3 GPA) being considered for players to be able to transfer without restriction: "We don't ever judge our players academically on GPA. We judge them on attitude and effort. A 2.4 might be the best a guy can do. Another guy might be capable of a 3.5, but he's getting a 2.4, but we're going to get on that guy."
  • More Herman on his defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, who got a raise from $1 million to $1.7 million: "We have to because Todd has a wife at home, and when Notre Dame is calling and offering $1.5 million, and A&M is offering $1.75 million, and Florida State is offering $1.75 million, and he's making $1 million, [it's a case of] do you want him or do you not?" Texas' defense gave up 10 fewer points and 83 fewer yards per game in Orlando's first season compared to 2016.
  • For a team on NCAA probation heading into a second straight bowl ban, Ole Miss sure is killing it (again) in recruiting. The Rebels are currently No. 5 in the 247Sports Composite rankings for 2019. A lot of that has to do with the total number of commits (15) at this point.
  • NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline has been sued twice for malpractice, he admitted in a recent deposition obtained by CBS Sports. Both of those actions came before he joined the NCAA. Also, Hainline said he gets a bonus per his contract for "seeing a reduction in injuries."
  • Former Penn State linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White will collect $500,000 from a loss-of-draft-value insurance policy, according to sources. Wartman-White tore his ACL against Temple in 2016. He was not selected in last year's draft and is currently a graduate assistant at Mississippi State
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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