It’s an enticing scenario: former Big-10 starting quarterback transfers to Hawai‘i and takes the torch as the next Colt Brennan and returns the Warriors back to the national stage. What’s not to like about it? With the news that former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier spurned an offer to transfer to Miami and put Hawai‘i on the top of his list of new potential homes, it’s easy for UH fans to get excited.
Forcier has all of the tools. He’s athletic and has a rocket arm. He has experience in one of the country’s toughest conferences and is looking to prove himself.
But for all of the positives that come with Foricer, the negatives outweigh them.
After being replaced as the Wolverines starter by Denard Robinson in the 2010 season, it was reported that Forcier sulked along the sidelines instead of supporting his teammates. Later in the year, he was deemed academically ineligible for the 2011 Progressive Gator Bowl. He then left the school and announced he was looking to transfer.
Before eventually deciding to transfer to Miami, Forcier teased a long list of schools by confirming his interest. There was Washington, Baylor, San Diego State, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico, Kansas State, Arizona and Montana, among others. Each one of these schools licked its chops at the prospect of Forcier, only to feel neglected when Forcier announced he was going to Miami. Of course, Forcier didn’t go to Miami, and now he’s doing the same thing with another list of schools.
During Forcier’s first national tour, I was covering University of Montana football. We knew Forcier had interest and he was scheduled to make a campus visit. At the time, Montana was without a go-to starting quarterback. The Grizzlies had graduated two senior QBs and were looking at an inexperienced crop of signal callers. Everyone assumed that if Forcier came to the school, he would automatically lead Montana back to greatness. The Grizzlies were prepared to make a move, even though two years prior a similar one had backfired. Back then, it was former Oregon quarterback Justin Roper who transferred to Montana. Roper had just led the Ducks to a Sun Bowl victory and was was expected to come in, win the starting position and lead Montana to a national championship. None of that happened. Roper struggled early, was benched by mid-season, and watched as Andrew Selle, a home-grown Montana boy, led the Griz to the NCAA Football Championship Series title game — an eventual loss to Villanova.
The next year, Roper saw playing time after Selle went down with an injury, but he once again struggled and will forever be known around Montana as “Over Throper.” On a sidenote, Montana was able to get its next big transfer, former Notre Dame quarterback Nate Montana, son of NFL Hall-of-Famer Joe Montana. He moved to Montana this spring and promtly got arrested for allegedly driving under the influence before even throwing a single pass.
The moral of this story about an FCS school several thousand miles away is that no matter what the pros are about a big-time transfer, they don’t always come as advertised. And as Forcier has already proved with one team before and on his cross-country promotional tour, the headcase may not be worth the headache for the Warriors.
Follow Sports Editor Tyson Alger at twitter.com/tysonalger