FCS Transfer QB Cameron Ward in Top 20 Heisman Odds

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(AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Sam Herder @SamHerderFCS Mar 07, 2022, 2:19 PM

More than 80 FCS players have transferred to the FBS for the 2022 season. It seems like a high number until you see the 230 FBS players transferring to the FCS D1 subdivision. On the list of FCS-to-FBS transfers are several All-Conference and All-American performers. No transfer has created more buzz than Cameron Ward, though.

The Incarnate Word quarterback is heading to Washington State. Ward is already in the top 20 college football betting odds to win the Heisman Trophy on BetMGM at +5000.

His rise in one year came out of nowhere.

Ward played only two seasons at UIW. In fact, he saw action in just one calendar year as the FCS played two seasons in 365 days, postponing its 2020 fall schedule to the 2021 spring due to COVID concerns. Ward was a zero-star high school prospect from West Columbia, Texas. He had two Division 1 offers from FCS Texas Southern and UIW. But he became a superstar instantly when he hit a college field.

In the spring season, Ward threw for 2,260 yards, 24 touchdowns, and four interceptions in six games. He was named a HERO Sports Freshman All-American and won the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top FCS freshman.

In the fall of 2021, Ward threw for 4,648 yards, 47 TDs, and 10 interceptions in 13 games, leading UIW to the second round of the playoffs. He earned HERO Sports Sophomore All-American honors.

Against FBS Texas State, Ward threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns. One game against Southeastern Louisiana University in a quarterback duel between him and potential 2022 NFL Draft pick quarterback Cole Kelley, Ward passed for 610 yards and seven TDs. Kelley had 647 passing yards and three touchdowns. And in a near playoff win at defending national champion Sam Houston, Ward had 481 yards and five passing scores.

The dude can play. 

Doing it against Pac-12 defenses is a different story, of course. Although you can ask former FCS All-American and 2021 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp how much fun he and the Eastern Washington offense had torching Pac-12 teams once a year.

Ward is a big, strong athlete at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. He throws the deep ball well with a flick of the wrist and has the arm strength to beat defenders on out routes or throws down the seam. He can escape pressure but doesn’t look to tuck the ball and run often, instead, keeping his eyes downfield and letting his receivers make plays.

247Sports ranks Ward the fourth-best transfer quarterback in 2022 behind Caleb Williams (Oklahoma to USC), Quinn Ewers (Ohio State to Texas), and Jaxson Dart (USC to Ole Miss).

Ward’s final five choices as a transfer were UIW, FCS member Prairie View A&M, and FBS members Ole Miss, Washington State, and Houston. He chose Washington State, following his UIW head coach Eric Morris, who is now the WSU offensive coordinator. His announcement to transfer to WSU came in early January, shortly after WSU’s starting QB Jayden de Laura announced he is entering the transfer portal and eventually landing at Arizona.

A year ago, Ward had zero college starts and was in preseason camp getting ready for a season that began in February. Now, the college football odds suggest he could be a top 20 FBS player in 2022.

Top 2022 Heisman Odds

NameTeamOdds
Bryce YoungAlabama+250
CJ StroudOhio State+400
Caleb WilliamsUSC+800
Bijan RobinsonTexas+1600
Quinn EwersTexas+2000
TreVeyon HendersonOhio State+2000
DJ UiagaleleiClemson+2000
Anthony RichardsonFlorida+2000
JT DanielsGeorgia+2500
Kedon SlovisPitt+2500
Jaxson DartOle Miss+2500
Tyler Van DykeMiami+2500
Braelon AllenWisconsin+3000
Will Anderson Jr.Alabama+3000
Sam HartmanWake Forest+3000
Spencer RattlerSouth Carolina+3000
Jahmyr GibbsAlabama+4000
Dillon GabrielOklahoma+4000
Bo NixOregon+5000
Hendon HookerTennessee+5000
Jaxon Smith-NjigbaOhio State+5000
Cameron WardWashington State+5000

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About the Author

Sam Herder

Read More @SamHerderFCS

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.