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UNLV vs Kansas: Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Rick Scuteri/AP

UNLV quarterback Jayden Maiava (1) throws down field against Kansas during the first half of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, in Phoenix.

UNLV is going to be in the market for a quarterback, after all.

Freshman Jayden Maiava announced on Monday that he is entering the transfer portal, just eight days after telling assembled media in Phoenix for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl that he was staying at UNLV.

In his post, Maiava closed the door on a return to the Scarlet and Gray, explaining that the decision was “marking the end of my journey with UNLV.”

Maiava’s dramatic, 180-degree reversal leaves UNLV in need of a starting quarterback for next season. Maiava took over for injured Doug Brumfield in Week 4 and won his first four starts, eventually leading the team to its first Mountain West championship game and snapping the program’s 10-year bowl drought.

A Liberty product, Maiava completed 63.5% of his passes for 3,085 yards and 17 touchdowns, earning Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors. In the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, he passed for 291 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in a 49-36 loss.

With Maiava’s departure, UNLV still has two quarterbacks on the roster with starting experience in Brumfield and Cameron Friel. Freshmen Bo Edmundson and Lucas Lenhoff did not play this year, and the program has signed 2024 prep quarterback Gael Ochoa, a dual threat from El Paso, Texas. Head coach Barry Odom and offensive coordinator Brennan Marion will likely turn to the transfer portal in search of a dependable, plug-and-play starter for 2024.

Maiava’s decision to transfer stings due to the circumstances surrounding his announcement. Two days after the Mountain West championship game, a recruiting site reported that Maiava would enter the transfer portal; Maiava and his teammates refuted the report, and on media day at the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, his coaches and teammates expressed their delight at having Maiava committed to the program for the long term.

Odom even noted his desire to tailor the offense around Maiava’s talents going forward, a plan that will have to be retooled in the offseason.

“I think we can build around a lot of the things in his natural skill set,” Odom said at the time.

Maiava will have three years of eligibility remaining and will be able to suit up immediately for the 2024 season.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun