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CU Buffs freshman QB Owen McCown to put name in transfer portal

Receiver Maurice Bell also plans to enter portal as a grad transfer

Colorado quarterback Owen McCown warms up before the Utah game on Nov. 26 in Boulder. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Colorado quarterback Owen McCown warms up before the Utah game on Nov. 26 in Boulder. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Colorado quarterback Owen McCown is planning to put his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

On Thursday night, the true freshman, who was CU’s most efficient quarterback this season, announced his decision on Twitter.

“To Buff nation, I would like to thank you for your unwavering support and welcoming me with open arms,” McCown wrote. “To coach (Karl) Dorrell, coach (Mike) Sanford, coach (Nate) Dodson, and the rest of the support staff, thank you for everything you have done for me both on and off the field.

“For my teammates, you will always be brothers to me and I will cherish the memories we shared. With that being said, I intend to enter the transfer portal.”

McCown can’t officially put his name in the portal until Monday, when the 45-day window opens for FBS players. Graduate transfers can put their name in the portal at any time, however, and receiver Maurice Bell announced his intention do that on Thursday, as well. Earlier this week, guard Casey Roddick and safety Isaiah Lewis also put their names into the portal as grad transfers.

This season, CU had four different starting quarterbacks, and McCown had the best passer rating of the bunch, at 110.0. He made three starts, completing 57.0% of his passes (57-of-100) for 600 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for 38 yards and two touchdowns.

A 6-foot-2, 175-pound true freshman from Rusk, Texas, McCown was recruited to CU by Dorrell, the Buffs’ former head coach who was fired on Oct. 2.

Originally slated to redshirt so he could develop his body, McCown came off the bench to make his debut late in a 49-7 loss to Minnesota on Sept. 17. He then started the next three games. In his third start, Oct. 15 at Folsom Field against California, McCown was banged up and relieved by junior JT Shrout.

McCown was unable to play the next few weeks wound up sitting out the final six games so he could preserve his redshirt. He played in four games, the maximum allowed to keep a redshirt, so he will have four seasons of eligibility remaining.

Bell was a sixth-year senior this season, catching a career-high 13 passes for 42 yards. During his career, he caught 24 passes for 137 yards and one touchdown.

As a sixth-year senior, Bell has exhausted his eligibility, but, like Lewis, is hoping to get medical hardship waiver for a seventh season. Bell missed the entire 2021 season with an injury. Roddick was a fifth-year junior this year and he has one season of eligibility remaining.