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What does Matthew Baldwin’s exit mean for TCU’s QB Room?

TCU now has four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.

TCU v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

TCU quarterback Matthew Baldwin is walking away from the sport, according to Jeremy Clark of 247 Sports.

Multiple injuries have halted what began as a promising career, and Baldwin’s health is the main reason for his exit, according to Clark.

Baldwin originally landed at Ohio State after a stellar high school career at Lake Travis, where he redshirted his freshman year on campus. Early projections had Baldwin in a battle with Tate Martell to replace Dwayne Haskins as the starter for the Buckeys, but Martell and Baldwin both entered the transfer portal in 2019 after Georgia transfer Justin Fields arrived on campus.

Baldwin’s application for immediate eligibility was initially denied by the NCAA, but was reversed about a month after the first ruling.

There’s a revolving door to the QB room

Baldwin is the fifth quarterback to leave the program in the past two years. The addition of Baldwin was a big one for TCU’s quarterback room, which had already seen Shawn Robinson leave the program and was still wondering if Justin Rogers would be healthy enough to compete for the starting job against Max Duggan and Mike Collins.

We know how that story ends, too, with Rogers transferring to UNLV and Collins heading to Rice as a graduate transfer.

Baldwin is the second quarterback to leave the program in recent months, after Mississippi State transfer Logan Burnett made a quick entrance & exit through what has felt to be a revolving door.

The QB room as it currently stands

TCU’s quarterback room currently consists of Duggan, Matthew Downing, JUCO transfer Stephon Brown, and recent signee Eli Williams. Duggan will be the starter in 2020 and even Baldwin’s presence on the roster wouldn’t have done much to keep that from being the case.

The only real things keeping Duggan from starting in 2020 seem to be either a prolonged pandemic or an injury. The question that everyone will be asking, and rightfully so, is how well prepared will TCU’s depth be should an injury to Duggan occur? Brown is incredibly proven at the JUCO level, but he, along with Downing and Williams, have no D1 experience.

What’s next?

Four scholarship quarterbacks isn’t exactly a low number, but it’s possible TCU will look to the transfer portal to bring another quarterback into the mix to back up Duggan.

A couple of options might be Deuce Wallace, a graduate transfer from Vanderbilt, or Jason Shelley from Utah.

Wallace leaves Vanderbilt as a graduate transfer, after throwing for 371 yards in 11 appearances for his career.

Shelley started five games for the Utes in 2018 in place of injured starter Tyler Huntley, going 3-2 and passing for 1,162 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 192 yards and three touchdowns. In 2019 Shelley appeared in 11 games in a variety of roles, including at safety in Utah’s Alamo Bowl game against Texas.

It’s worth noting, though, that TCU already has two quarterbacks committed for the 2021 class with German stud Alexander Honig and Alabama product Trent Battle.

Standing pat might be the move in a pandemic

With the uncertainty of a 2020 season happening, or being played in full, TCU might opt to roll with the four guys they’ve got and wait until Honig and Battle are on campus next fall. It’s hard enough to get guys ready to go in a normal setting, I can’t imagine the complications that come with our current context.