Tyler Patmon was looking for a new football destination. And OSU was looking for help at cornerback.
Both have now satisfied those needs, thanks to a rule that allows college athletes who have graduated to transfer and immediately play their final season of eligibility. OSU recently announced Patmon has transferred from Kansas and will bring three years of Big 12 starting experience to the Cowboy secondary in 2013.
“You look at his film and you saw a guy who has functioned in the Big 12 and has played in big games,” OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said. “Like everybody, he's had success and failures. But you love somebody with that experience.
“He's got a year to go somewhere else and possibly have himself a great year. So he's highly motivated to come in here and play, which is what we want.”
Players like Russell Wilson and Jeremiah Masoli made this postgraduate transfer rule famous. Many others have utilized the rule.
At Oklahoma, Drew Allen used it to leave Norman and transfer to Syracuse, where he will challenge for the starting quarterback job in his final season.
“I wanted to go where there was a great opportunity to succeed and play and compete for the job,” Allen told ESPN.com “I'm not expected to be promised anything. But all you can ask for is a chance to compete at a high level at a big-time school in a big-time conference.
“I competed like crazy at OU for four years. I have no regrets. I gave it my all. But I felt like it was my time to move on and go up to Syracuse and compete for the starting job there.”
So after playing behind Sam Bradford, Landry Jones and Blake Bell, Allen is hoping for his first real shot under center. Patmon, after tweeting shortly after his departure that leaving KU was “not by choice,” will likely compete for the starting cornerback job opposite Justin Gilbert.
And all who use this postgraduate transfer rule are essentially looking for a fresh — and final — athletic shot after earning their undergraduate degrees.
“Whatever happened in the past, just like with our players, it's done,” Spencer said. “Ever since he decided to come here, I know he's been training hard. He knows this is his last shot.
“He's got a renewal of life here.”
Three memorable postgraduate transfers
RUSSELL WILSON, QB
N.C. State to Wisconsin
Wilson helped the Wolfpack to a 9-4 record in 2010, his junior year, but announced in January 2011 that he would pursue a professional baseball career. When that didn't work out, N.C. State granted Wilson a release, he graduated in May and transferred to Wisconsin.
In his only season there, Wilson threw for 3,175 yards, 33 touchdowns and only four interceptions and led the Badgers to a Big 10 title and Rose Bowl appearance.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted Wilson in the third round, then handed him the starting quarterback job before his rookie season began. He responded with a stellar performance, leading Seattle to a 10-6 record and a playoff win.
RYAN SMITH, CB
Utah to Florida
Smith started 12 games as a redshirt freshman at Utah in 2004, when the Utes went undefeated and won the Fiesta Bowl. The next year, though, after coach Urban Meyer left for Florida, Smith had a falling out with the new coaching staff and was benched.
Smith completed a stunning 21 credit hours in the summer of 2006 to graduate early, then transfer to Florida under the NCAA's recently passed graduate transfer exception. He led Florida with eight interceptions, was a second-team All-American and helped the Gators win the 2006 national title in his only season there.
JEREMIAH MASOLI, QB
Oregon to Ole Miss
Masoli emerged in 2008 as Oregon's starting quarterback because of injuries and was superb, leading the Ducks to a 42-31 Holiday Bowl victory over Oklahoma State. The next year, he quarterbacked Oregon to the Pac-10 championship, racking up 2,815 total yards and 28 touchdowns in the process.
In March 2010, though, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree burglary charge and was suspended the entire 2010 season by coach Chip Kelly. A few months later, after he was cited for drug possession and kicked off the team entirely.