Oklahoma State starting quarterback Spencer Sanders has entered the transfer portal after an All-Big 12 career with the Cowboys, the redshirt senior announced Monday at the start of the portal window. Sanders will have one year of eligibility remaining at his next stop thanks to the NCAA-granted pandemic waiver.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I am announcing my decision to enter the transfer portal today, and in the spirit of the 'Cowboy Culture,' I wanted everyone to hear it directly from me," Sanders wrote in a statement. "I appreciate all that Cowboys fans and the Oklahoma State family have given to my family and me in these memory-filled five years."
Sanders's career at Oklahoma State followed an award-winning run at Denton (Texas) Ryan High School that ended with him as a touted four-star prospect. His time in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was successful, but a bit of a mixed bag. He went 31-12 as a starter, which included a 12-2 campaign in 2021 in which the Cowboys finished six inches away from winning their first Big 12 championship since 2011.
However, Sanders suffered a shoulder injury during his senior season and was forced to miss a handful of games. His numbers slipped dramatically after the injury, and he fell below 60% completion for the first time in his career. The Cowboys collapsed without Sanders in the lineup as underclassmen Garret Rangel and Gunner Gundy combined to complete 52% of passes with seven combined interceptions in reserve duty.
Sanders has just one year of eligibility remaining after a lengthy four-year starting career in Stillwater. He should be a top target for teams looking for an instant-impact stopgap. Sanders' profile could be an intriguing fit for UCLA after Dorian Thompson-Robinson capped off his career with a fifth-year ascent. Auburn has a gaping hole in the quarterback room as Hugh Freeze joins the program. If he wants to return to his home state, there will be opportunities at SMU or Houston.
Sanders threw for 9,553 yards, ran for 1,956 yards and posted 85 total touchdowns during his four-year career with the Cowboys. However, he also threw 40 interceptions, never finishing below eight picks in a season.
Gundy and Rangel are both expected back to compete for the starting job in 2023. The Cowboys also hold a commitment from three-star quarterback Zane Flores, the top recruit in Oklahoma State's No. 69-ranked recruiting class.