MINNEAPOLIS — One of the candidates to be Minnesota's next quarterback bowed out of the competition before ever playing a game for the Gophers.
According to a person with knowledge of the decision, sophomore-to-be Vic Viramontes has decided to transfer back to his original junior college.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday because the university had not announced the departure of Viramontes, who will return to Riverside Community College in California and is expected to switch positions. Viramontes preferred to be closer to home before settling on a new four-year program, the person said. He passed for 42 touchdowns and rushed for 53 scores over his final three seasons at Norco High School, which is about 20 miles west of Riverside CC.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Viramontes was the top-ranked dual-threat junior college quarterback in the country for the 2018 recruiting class, but he struggled in spring practice and fumbled twice in the intrasquad game in April. Viramontes was a clear third on the depth chart behind freshmen Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad.
None of the quarterbacks on Minnesota's roster have attempted a pass yet in a college game.
Seth Green was moved to tight end during spring practice, so the race will be down to Morgan and Annexstad entering the fall. Morgan, who redshirted last season, is from Union, Kentucky. Annexstad is a Minnesota native and product of the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, after moving from Mankato.
Connor Rhoda and Demry Croft split the job for the Gophers last year. Rhoda graduated, and Croft transferred. Minnesota was last in the Big Ten with a 47.2 completion percentage and second-to-last in the league, ahead of only Rutgers, with an average of 126.1 passing yards per game.