Just two years in and the grad transfer rule has already made a huge impact in the Pac-12 with it's largest impact being felt at football's most-important position. Vernon Adams blazed the trail in 2015, probably keeping Oregon from losing at least a few more games than they did and now Dakota Prukop and Davis Webb look poised to follow his path and bridge the gap between in-program-developed quarterbacks.
The controversy of if this situation has anything to do with the original intention of the rule has become moot at this point and I don't see the rule going away anytime soon. In fact, it's probably only going to have more and more of an impact as we move forward as 1/6 of the conference will likely be starting a grad transfer at QB in 2016.
The frequency for quarterback transfers, earlier and earlier in their careers, growing injury and concussion concerns and the difficulty of signing a top quarterback when you are starting an underclassman, especially if he is a freshman or sophomore, should grow the amount of grad transfer quarterbacks in the conference. It's no coincidence that programs like Cal and Oregon who recently saw zenith, three-year starter quarterbacks take off recently, need to bridge the gap with grad transfers.
We have seen with programs like Cal and Oregon that having an all-time great quarterback is about 99.9 percent positive, but that tiny little negative is you might have a hard time getting a good heir apparent for that legend when he leaves town for the NFL. In these cases, the quarterbacks in the classes near the star will transfer out and once you name that star a starter as a freshman, programs will have a hard time signing top quarterbacks coming out of high school as these prospects no longer want to wait for much more than a year, maybe two, to have a chance to become the man under center. You can see that at programs like UCLA and Washington who have struggled to sign quarterback recruits since they named freshmen starters at quarterback.
So, while as a fan, I don't really like the rule, it is an incredibly valuable asset for programs facing this issue and helps allow them bottom out at the position for at least a year at the quarterback position. This could be incredibly helpful for a program that is trying to remaining elite, like Oregon, and one that is doing everything to try and stay competitive, like Cal. I actually wouldn't be shocked if Sonny Dykes snatching Webb away from Colorado ends up leading to Dykes keeping his job and Mike MacIntyre possibly losing his.
With that said, this should be a huge year for seeing whether or not grad transfer quarterbacks grow in the Pac-12. Starting positions and success for Prukop and Webb are not set in stone. There is a very good chance, grad transfer quarterbacks, other than the rare example like Vernon Adams, end up being meager band aids at best and programs have to continue mostly relying on developing their own signal callers.