Nine of the 14 teams in reconfigured Conference USA return their starting quarterbacks, and four of the schools looking for new starters will look to transfers to fill the void.
Here's a look at the four transfer quarterbacks, plus a key wide-receiver transfer for a league school this season.
QB Nick Montana, Tulane
Arrived from: Mount San Antonio College (Walnut, Calif.)
About Montana: Montana (6-3, 208), a junior who is Joe's youngest son, began his career at Washington. He started one game with the Huskies as a redshirt freshman in 2011 and played in six games that season. But he wasn't going to beat out Keith Price for the starting job, so he transferred to a junior college last season. Montana threw for 2,652 yards, 22 TDs and 11 picks and now joins a team that returns every key receiver and four starting linemen from last season. While Tulane also returns its top four rushers, the Green Wave was last in the nation in rushing offense last season (475 total rushing yards in 12 games).
QB Jameill Showers, UTEP
Arrived from: Texas A&M
About Showers: He's the guy who Johnny Manziel beat out last summer to become the Aggies' starter. Showers (6-2, 200), a junior, played in seven games last season, then graduated in the spring and is eligible immediately for the Miners. He backed up Ryan Tannehill at A&M as a redshirt freshman in 2011. Showers has a strong arm and some mobility, but other than junior Jordan Leslie, the Miners have an unproven group of receivers.
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QB Allan Bridgford, Southern Miss
Arrived from: California
About Bridgford: He played in 10 games, with three starts, in three seasons with the Golden Bears, then graduated and transferred to Southern Miss in May. His main competition for the job is junior walk-on Cole Weeks and redshirt freshman Kyle Sloter. New coach Todd Monken will run a pass-happy version of the spread, and Bridgford (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) is known for his strong arm. He had issues with consistency and accuracy at Cal, though.
WR Devon Smith, Marshall
Arrived from: Penn State
About Smith: Smith (5-7, 150) played a lot in his three seasons at Penn State, making 56 catches for 795 yards and three TDs in 36 games (six starts). He transferred to Marshall last August after leaving Penn State for what was termed personal reasons -- he was charged with marijuana possession in April 2012 after a March raid on his house in State College, Pa. He redshirted last fall and should be a key component for one of the best passing attacks in the nation this season. Smith has excellent speed and elusiveness. He should become a favorite of Herd QB Rakeem Cato, who was No. 5 in the nation with 4,201 passing yards last season.
QB Scotty Young, Louisiana Tech
Arrived from: Texas Tech
About Young: He threw for 4,467 yards as a senior in high school at a Texas perennial power, Denton Ryan, but didn't play at all in two seasons as Texas Tech. Young (6-2, 210) transferred to Louisiana Tech after the 2011 season, then sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules. Louisiana Tech threw the heck out of the ball under former coach Sonny Dykes (now at Cal), but new coach Skip Holtz will run a more conventional offense. The Bulldogs return just two full-time starters on offense.