After deciding to enter the NCAA transfer portal in October, Will McElvain has decided where he's headed next.

The former starting quarterback for the UNI will travel to Conway, Arkansas, and compete for the University of Central Arkansas.

The Bears, who are a part of the ASUN conference, had high expectations for this season but finished with a 5-6 record and missed the FCS Playoffs.

Though McElvain was offered a scholarship, he will have to compete against the incumbent starting quarterback for Central Arkansas, Breylin Smith. This season, the junior started 10 of 11 games and completed 220 passes for 2884 yards and 26 touchdowns along with 10 picks.

Should the Des Moines native earn the starting position, he'll have plenty of weapons to work with. Tyler Hudson, a sophomore wide receiver for the Bears, was named a first-team sophomore All-American by HERO Sports and was a second-team overall All-America by HERO Sports. He was also named a second-team FCS All-American by the Associated Press. Running back Darius Hale and offensive lineman Justin Lairy both earned first-team freshman All-America honors from HERO Sports as well.

Upon entering the transfer portal, the McElvain received attention from a plethora of schools across the country, including schools like Tennessee-Martin, Montana, North Texas, Idaho, and more.

When he first arrived at UNI, McElvain was given a chance by Head Football Coach, Mark Farley.

After a red-shirt year under then-starter Eli Dunne in 2018, McElvain skyrocketed up the Panther depth chart, earning the starting quarterback position over 3-Star recruits Nate Martens and Justin Fomby in 2019.

He went on to lead UNI to a quarterfinals appearance in the 2019 FCS Playoffs, and the purple and gold finished with a 10-5 record. Over that season, the Lincoln High school graduate completed 203 of his 382 passes, finishing the year with 2778 yards, and 20 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He also ran for 372 yards and a touchdown.

He held the reigns over the 3-4 spring season the Panthers played in 2021 and retained the starting job for just two games this fall. Theo Day, a Michigan State transfer, took over the starting position halfway through UNI's win over Sacramento State.


When he made the decision to transfer, Farley had this to say:

We wish Will the best, and we'll help Will in any way we can because he helped our program.

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