Tyree Jackson enters NCAA transfer portal

Junior quarterback has yet to make official decision on next season

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Bulls fans might see Tyree Jackson in a different jersey next fall.

Jackson, a junior quarterback, entered the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday. Jackson will be eligible to become a graduate-transfer and will not have to sit out a season if he transfers.

Jackson has been UB football's starting quarterback for the past three seasons and started all 14 games for Buffalo this year. The quarterback’s portal entry is not a guarantee he will transfer but he is exploring his options at this time, according to head coach Lance Leipold.

“Tyree Jackson informed me today that he entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal,” Leipold said in a statement. “As a recent graduate, he is exploring his options. Tyree and I have had good open talks about his future and he is considering all of his options, including returning to Buffalo for his final season.”

Auburn University is a potential destination for Jackson. Former UB athletic director Allen Greene left Buffalo this year for the same position at Auburn. The Tigers are also in need of a new starting quarterback for next season. Current Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham recently announced he will forgo his senior season to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jackson just finished the best season of his career, as the Bulls went 10-4. Jackson completed over 50 percent of his passes for 3,131 yards and 28 touchdowns. Jackson broke the school record for most total touchdowns in a single season, with seven additional running touchdowns.

Jackson is currently ranked as the no. 15 quarterback for the 2020 NFL draft.

The Bulls will have to find a replacement for Jackson if he decides to transfer. The only other quarterback on the roster with actual game experience is sophomore Kyle Vantrease. Vantrease attempted nine passes this season and had one career start on Oct. 21, 2017.

UB could open up the opportunity to local product, freshman Matt Myers, if Vantrease is not the answer. Myers, who went to Bishop Timon-St. Jude and West Seneca West High School, was named The Buffalo News’ Western New York Player of the Year in 2017, and the received the 2017 Connolly Cup, given annually to the top high school football player in Western New York.

Leipold and staff will have to be prepared for a 2019 without the Bulls’ best offensive player, despite Jackson not officially announcing if he’s transferring.

Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at nathaniel.mendelson@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @NateMendelson