February 11th, 2019 | by CollegeAD

Justin Fields is college football’s next catalyst, helping the sport become either more progressive and player-friendly or dragging it toward the perils of free agency, depending on whom you ask. Fields on Friday became the latest high-profile transfer quarterback to gain immediate eligibility at his new school, Ohio State, after the NCAA approved his waiver request. The top-rated recruit in the 2018 class left Georgia after a frustrating freshman season and now likely will be Ohio State’s QB1 as the Ryan Day era begins this fall. Like Fields, Patterson bounced from the SEC (Ole Miss) to the Big Ten without having to sit out a season, which the NCAA requires for undergraduate transfers. Players are excited about the NCAA transfer portal and the new freedom it provides. Many coaches are critical, using terms such as “free agency” and “epidemic” and saying the new transfer paradigm creates roster-management problems and empowers third-party influencers. Administrators are quietly monitoring the trends. And Mars’ phone doesn’t stop ringing. -Adam Rittenberg and Tom VanHaaren, ESPN. Read More.

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