Pitt adds a transfer quarterback
Pitt will add a quarterback to the 2020 roster this offseason, but it won’t be a high school recruit.
Arizona State quarterback Joey Yellen will be transferring to Pitt and enrolling for the spring semester, which starts Monday, Jan. 6, Panther-Lair.com has learned.
Yellen, a native of Mission Viejo (Calif.), joined Arizona State as a three-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. He was one of three quarterbacks to sign with the Sun Devils last year; of that trio, Jayden Daniels won the starting job and had a strong season, throwing for 2,943 yards 17 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Yellen got his chance at midseason when he stepped in for an injured Daniels to start against USC. Arizona State lost that game but Yellen showed his potential, completing 63.6% of his passes and throwing for 292 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Daniels returned as the starter the next week and finished the season in that role. Yellen announced on Dec. 16 that he would be seeking a transfer.
The timing of his announcement meant that Yellen would not be able to visit any schools until January, but he wanted to enroll at a new college for the spring semester, which would allow him to participate in spring camp.
Per NCAA transfer rules, Yellen will have to sit out the 2020 season. He will be a redshirt sophomore in 2021 - a year that will likely see Pitt looking for a new starting quarterback after Kenny Pickett graduates next season.
As a two-year starter at Mission Viejo High School, Yellen threw for 6,131 yards, 57 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions. He was particularly good as a senior, when he completed 64.7% of his passes for 3,516 yards and 27 touchdowns. He was also a top-20 quarterback prospect in the nation, according to Rivals.com.
Yellen’s transfer lessens the need for Pitt to find a quarterback prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. The Panthers didn’t sign any quarterbacks in December, and with Yellen on board, Mark Whipple and company might not need one in February either. Yellen will join a quarterback room that has Pickett, redshirt freshman Nick Patti and freshman Davis Beville returning from the 2019 roster. After Pickett finishes his eligibility next season, Yellen, Patti and Beville will compete for the open starting quarterback job.