Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt coaching staff secured the services of Joey Yellen, a quarterback transferring out of Arizona State, on Thursday afternoon. Yellen spent the 2019 season with the Sun Devils as a backup to Jayden Daniels and saw the field just once after competing for the starting job in the offseason. The quarterback will enroll at Pitt in time for the spring semester, according to Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com.
There was no consensus among recruiting analysts regarding Yellen’s talent level coming out of Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, California, in 2019. ESPN considered him an elite prospect and ranked him 63rd overall in his class and third at his position, assigning him a four-star rating. However, 247Sports ranked him 1,042nd overall and 29th at his position with a three-star rating, and Rivals similarly placed him 22nd at his position and gave him three stars as well.
Upon his arrival at Pitt, Yellen will sit a year in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, and he will begin his career in Pittsburgh as a redshirt sophomore in 2021. At that point, he will likely compete with Davis Beville and Nick Patti for the starting job, as 2020 is expected to be the final season for current starter Kenny Pickett.
Yellen started under center for Arizona State once in 2019, as Daniels was injured and sat out the team’s Nov. 9 matchup with USC. In that game, the Mission Viejo native flashed his potential by throwing four touchdowns and completing 63.6 percent of his passes. However, he also threw two interceptions, including one in the last minute of the fourth quarter that ended a potential game-winning drive. With Daniels healthy for Arizona State’s next game, he reclaimed the starting job.
At Mission Viejo High School, Yellen completed 60.5 percent of his passes, amassing 5,955 yards and 57 touchdowns against 14 interceptions over a two-year span as a starter. As a senior, he threw for over 3,500 yards and had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 27-3.