Brennan Armstrong transfers to NC State: Virginia’s all-time leading passer reunites with ex-Hoos player

Former Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong will transfer to NC State, reuniting him with his former offensive coordinator, Robert Anae, who was hired by the Wolfpack after spending the 2022 season helping to revitalize Syracuse’s offense. Armstrong arrives at NC State while Devin Leary heads to Kentucky after spending the last five seasons with the Wolfpack. Landing Armstrong marks a major acquisition for NC State as the program is coming off a somewhat disappointing 8-5 campaign in 2022.

The Wolfpack struggled to live up to preseason expectations, starting the year ranked No. 13 in the AP Top 25 and rising as high as No. 10 amid a 4-0 start before injuries derailed the season. Still, the program is on solid footing under veteran coach Dave Doeren, and with a veteran quarterback in Armstrong, NC State should boast a formidable offense in 2023.

Armstrong threw for 9,034 yards, a school record, and 58 touchdowns while running for 20 more scores in his tenure at Virginia. The former three-star prospect is originally from Shelby, Ohio, and played sparingly his first two seasons at UVa before taking over as the starter for the final three seasons. He recorded action against NC State once in 2020 when he completed 6 of 9 passes for 57 yards and two interceptions in a game the Wolfpack won 38-21.

Reunited with Anae

Anae was Virginia’s offensive coordinator from 2016 to 2021 and helped develop Armstrong into one of the nation’s top passers heading into the 2021 season. Armstrong set a program record in 2021 with 4,449 passing yards, and also owns numerous single-game, season and career records at Virginia.

But when coach Bronco Mendenhall resigned somewhat unexpectedly at the end of the 2021 season, it threw Anae and Armstrong into a tailspin. Anae ended up at Syracuse, where he helped quarterback Garrett Shrader to a career season in 2022. Armstrong stayed at Virginia and took a step back under first-year coach Tony Elliott as the Cavaliers finished 3-7 and struggled with the horrific late-season tragedy of a shooting that led to that three players died.

NC State quarterback depth chart

When Leary went down with a season-ending pectoral injury midway through the 2022 campaign, it sparked a game of musical chairs at quarterback for the Wolfpack. Ben Finley, MJ Morris and Jack Chambers all ended up getting significant reps at the position as injuries continued to rattle the Wolfpack. The season ended with Finley quarterbacking Duke’s Mayo Bowl loss to Maryland. Chambers is out of eligibility, but Finley and Morris remain on the NC State roster for now.

ACC quarterback dominoes

With Armstrong officially in the fold at NC State, another domino has fallen in the offseason quarterback transfer carousel. The ACC has been affected in a particularly significant way by the movement. Former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is headed to Oregon State, Sam Hartman is moving to Notre Dame from Wake Forest, Phil Jurkovec is moving from Boston College to Pitt and Louisville is landing former Purdue and Cal quarterback Jack Plummer.

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