Big Green Adds Transfer QB From Florida

  • Dartmouth College's Jimmy Fitzgerald throws a pass through teammates' arms on April 17, 2018, on Memorial Field. Fitzgerald, a transfer from the University of Illinois, had his quarterbacking career ended last fall when he suffered torn knee ligaments for a third time. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • With the upcoming graduation of two-year starter Jack Henegham, right, the Dartmouth College football team will look to a number of replacement candidates, including Jake Pallotta, left. The two are shown during a Nov. 15, 2018, practice on Memorial Field. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Dartmouth College freshman quarterback Derek Kyler practices on Nov. 2, 2017, on Memorial Field. The Illinois native, who ran the Big Green's scout team last season, is in the mix for the starting job this fall. Former University of Florida quarterback Jake Allen announced last week that he is transferring to Dartmouth. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Jake Allen.

Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, June 03, 2018

Jake Allen, most recently a redshirt freshman quarterback at the University of Florida, has announced he’s transferring to Dartmouth.

A 6-foot-3, 200-pound native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Allen tweeted out his intentions last week and should be immediately eligible for the Big Green. Allen was fourth on the Gators’ depth chart this spring under new coach Dan Mullen, according to seccountry.com.

“Because the offense is not the right fit for me, and because I want to continue to pursue my dream to play in the NFL, I am now seeking other opportunities,” posted Allen. He had scholarship offers from Pitt, Miami, Iowa and North Carolina State coming out of high school, but stuck with Florida, to which he committed after his sophomore year. Allen then transferred to a different high school, St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, and helped the team win a private school state title as a senior.

St. Thomas Aquinas also is the alma mater of former Dartmouth quarterback Dan Shula, a 2006 graduate of the college. His father, David Shula, a onetime Dartmouth star receiver and NFL head coach, was hired to coach the Big Green’s receivers this spring.

Dartmouth’s quarterback situation is unsettled. Senior Jack Heneghan, who recently signed with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and will graduate later this month, was a two-year starter. Rising junior Jake Pallotta was Heneghan’s backup but saw little time. Classmate Jared Gerbino is a rushing standout but barely threw any passes. Rising sophomore Derek Kyler slipped back a bit during spring practice and incoming freshman Jack Alexander of Redondo Beach, Calif., is also in the mix.

The Big Green welcomed another Power Five conference signal-caller last year when Jimmy Fitzgerald transferred from Illinois. He had not seen game action with the Illini. Fitzgerald suffered a career-ending knee injury last fall while executing a quarterback draw for a touchdown during a JV game against visiting Norwich.

High-profile transfer quarterbacks have had mixed success in the Ivy League during the past 20 years. Gavin Hoffman, formerly of Northwestern, starred for Pennsylvania during the late 1990s. Nick Robinson, who transferred from Georgia to Penn roughly two decades later, played in six games last fall and threw for 604 yards and six touchdowns, while having one pass intercepted. The Quakers’ primary quarterback in 2017 was Will Fisher-Colbrie, a former Colorado player who threw for 1,524 yards and 13 touchdowns but had 11 tosses picked off.

Yale landed former Nebraska backup Patrick Witt in 2009 and he started three seasons for the Bulldogs, setting several school records. However, he also was accused of sexual assault and subsequently lost his candidacy for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He later graduated from Harvard Law School.

Stanford transfer Brett Nottingham bombed for struggling Columbia teams during the 2014-15 seasons and twice quit the Lions.

They also brought in former Florida quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg. He started 12 of the 17 games in which he played in during the 2016-17 campaigns and completed 57 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The Ivy League’s 2017 offensive player of the year was Princeton quarterback Chad Kanoff, who decommitted from Vanderbilt in March of his senior year and landed with the Tigers.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.