Transfer Bio Blast: Collin Schlee

Adam Luckettby:Adam Luckett04/24/24

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Transfer Portal Latest - April 24, 2024

The spring transfer portal window of the offseason officially opened last week. We started to see some of the player movement pick up steam on Monday. Teams are working rapidly to get targets on campus for visits over the next two weeks to close these fast-paced recruitments over the next four or so weeks.

Kentucky entered the backup quarterback market on Wednesday.

UCLA quarterback Collin Schlee entered the transfer portal on April 4 after spending one season in the Pac-12 playing for head coach Chip Kelly. The class of 2019 graduate has one season of eligibility remaining and has official visits scheduled with Kentucky and Virginia Tech this week.

Kentucky currently only has two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, and new offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan arrived on campus after the first transfer portal moves were made. The Wildcats are now looking to address the lack of options in that room.

KSR’s Transfer Bio Blast is now taking a closer look at what Collin Schlee could bring to Lexington.

MACtion Quarterback

Collin Schlee was a three-star prospect in the class of 2019 who led Lake Linganore (Md.) Oakdale to an undefeated season and 2A Maryland state championship as a senior in 2018. Also a star basketball player, Schlee had scholarship offers from mid-major programs such as Bucknell and Mount St. Mary’s. The prospect was a three-star recruit and decided to stick with football after accumulating 40 touchdowns in his final season of prep football.

The DMV native was a member of head coach Sean Lewis’ first full recruiting class at Kent State. After taking a redshirt year in 2019 on the first Golden Flashes team to ever win a bowl game. Schlee played backup snaps to Dustin Crum in 2020 and 2021 before becoming Kent State’s starter in 2022 as a redshirt junior.

Playing in Lewis’ veer-and-shoot offense that requires some deep ball accuracy down the sideline, Schlee’s lack of accuracy (12/40) on deep sideline throws was an issue despite Kent State having two wideouts — Tez Walker (North Carolina) and Dante Cephas (Penn State) — who ended up on power conference rosters. However, the quarterback helped upgrade Kent State’s rushing attack. The Golden Flashes finished No. 22 nationally in rushing yards per game (202.7), and Schlee played a big role in that rolling up 575 non-sack rushing yards.

After the season ended, Kent State had quite the talent drain which included multiple players leaving for power conference programs and Lewis bolting to become the offensive coordinator at Colorado. Schlee was one of those who decided to bounce.

One-and-Done at UCLA

After losing multi-year starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson to the NFL, Chip Kelly needed to find a new starting quarterback in Westwood. The play-calling head coach with extensive NFL experience took a double-dip approach. The Bruins signed five-star high school prospect Dante Moore and added Kent State transfer Collin Schlee to the roster.

Moore opened the season as the starter, but returner Ethan Garbers also played starter’s snaps (336). Schlee saw action in seven games as a change-of-pace quarterback first before earning before making two starts late in the year. UCLA leaned into the MAC transfer’s rushing ability.

Schlee’s passing numbers (53.2% completion rate, 4.6 yards per attempt) were not good in a small sample size, but UCLA used the transfer as a run-first quarterback.

After Chip Kelly bolted for Ohio State, UCLA promoted running backs coach DeShaun Foster to head coach. Former Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is now the play-caller for the Bruins. During the spring semester, Schlee has decided to transfer again likely to find an offense that better fits his playing style.

Scouting Notebook

Collin Schlee was only a starting quarterback in college football for one season, but this is a player with more playing experience than that. The former Kent State and UCLA quarterback has been used as a gadget player in glorified wildcat formation looks. The super senior transfer likely will not be a starter at his next location, but he will be a unique weapon for a play-caller to use as a schematic wrinkle.

Here is my scouting write-up on the Pac-12 transfer look for his third college football home.

Collin Schlee (6-3, 225) is a former low three-star recruit who has seen action in 31 career games accumulating 2,677 passing yards, 1,264 non-sack rushing yards, and 29 total touchdowns. Playing in a veer-and-shoot super spread scheme at Kent State, Schlee had some accuracy concerns but thrived playing on the move. The athletic quarterback was a productive runner on designed carries executing play fakes and getting shoulders square to the line of scrimmage quickly turning north/south on runs. Schlee was also a productive off-platform player who could extend passing plays with scrambles. A slippery runner in the open field, Schlee has some deceptive wiggle and can make some second and third-level defenders miss in space. Shows good spatial awareness in the pocket allowing him to extend plays. Was a true run threat as a wildcat quarterback at UCLA who defenses had to respect on zone read designs. True progression pocket passing and accuracy are concerns, but Schlee can thrive as a change of pace quarterback or run-first option as a spot starter.

Bush Hamdan made his first big recruiting splash when he assisted Vince Marrow in landing three-star recruit Brennen Ward in the class of 2025. The next big addition could come in the transfer portal. Kentucky needs some more QB depth, and Collin Schlee could provide that, but his value could be more than that.

The transfer owns a unique skill set and could be an intriguing gadget player for whatever offense he plays for in 2024.

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2024-05-21