Conference USA gains another high-level transfer

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

Miami's loss is Conference USA's gain.

For the second time in the past four days, a former Miami backup quarterback has transferred to a Conference USA school. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cannon Smith, who told Miami coach Randy Shannon he was transferring last Monday, will play for the Memphis Tigers.

On Friday, Taylor Cook, who also left Miami last week, enrolled at Rice.

Both players will sit out the 2009 season per NCAA transfer rules, but will be available in 2010.

Smith, son of FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith, is from the Memphis area.

"We're excited about him coming here," coach Tommy West said Monday. "We had recruited him before when he decided to leave and go to Miami. He sees an opportunity here."

Memphis has become a sanctuary for transfers looking for a fresh start. The Tigers have nine major college transfers on their roster, eight of which are eligible this year. Several come from SEC schools, but the Tigers also boast players from the ACC and the Big Ten. Wide receiver Jermaine McKenzie, who will sit out this season, came from Miami and tight end DajLeon Farr also came from Miami.

As a senior at Olive Branch High School in 2006, Smith completed 130 of 273 passes for 2,314 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also played in Miami's season opener in 2008 and completed his only passing attempt for 2 yards.