In Tom Osborne's book "Faith in the Game", Osborne commented that players who transfer usually don't find more success at their new school. For the most part, it's true. Mainia Brown certainly didn't become a star at BYU. Marques Simmons found himself just as deep on the depth chart at Iowa as he did at Nebraska. Today's Omaha World-Herald looked at the quarterbacks who recently left Nebraska, and how they've fared.
When we last saw Curt Dukes, he was recovering from knee surgery but was competing with Jammal Lord for the starting QB job 3 years ago in the 2003 Spring Game. Shortly thereafter, he left the team and transfered to Duke, redshirted in 2004, and played sparingly in 2005. Based on his comments when he left and how things went in Durham, it sure looks like Dukes lost interest in playing college football. Dukes will graduate early from Duke and bypass his senior year to enter medical school. In this case, it looks like Dukes' transfer went well for him personally, even though his football career never really moved forward.
Joe Dailey took a lot of abuse from some fans in 2004, and most of that was undeserved. Recruited as a run/pass quarterback, Bill Callahan tried to convert him into a dropback passer, with rather mixed results. Some games (Western Illinois, Baylor) went well. Other games (Southern Miss, Iowa State) turned into disasters. In Callahan's defense, with Jordan Adams unavailable and a trio of freshmen backing up Dailey, keeping Dailey healthy was a top priority. Plus, many felt that Callahan had to prove his commitment to the West Coast Offense at Nebraska, so Dailey became a sacrificial lamb - the square peg in the round hole. Now at North Carolina, he's playing much better in another variant of the West Coast Offense, but one that will work with Dailey's instincts instead of against them. A lot of people point to the end of the Southern Miss game as the signature play of Dailey's career. What I saw is a completely befuddled quarterback who was having an internal battle between his instincts and what his coach was trying to teach him -- with a horrible result as his indecisiveness on that play resulted in him going out of bounds inside the Southern Miss 5 as time expired. A fresh start might just be what Joe Dailey needed.
Meanwhile, wrestler Ryan Goodman still chases his dream of playing in the NFL at North Carolina State. He did make the NCAA wrestling championships for the Wolfpack though.
Any discussion of transferring quarterbacks has to include the poster child for finding a better situation, and that's Nebraska's Zac Taylor. When Taylor left Wake Forest, I'm sure that he was hoping to work his way back into the MAC or Conference USA. Now the kid who grew up wearing Sooner Red is going to be spending his senior year battling for a Big XII championship.
Does transferring help players? It depends on where the problem was. If the problem was inside, the problem will just follow you elsewhere. But if the situation wasn't right for you, like with Zac Taylor and possibly Joe Dailey, it might work out after all. In the end, Curt Dukes found the problem inside, but in his case, the transfer looks like it was a good move for him as well.