It took Landry Lyddy about an hour to get his first phone call after entering the transfer portal. UAB head coach Trent Dilfer was on the other end of the call.
As it turned out, that was the only call Lyddy needed.
"I had three or four others, but I really only entertained this one," said the former Louisiana Tech quarterback, who is now part of Dilfer's program at UAB.
The 6-foot, 198-pound Shreveport, Louisiana native spent his true freshman season at Louisiana Tech. He played in eight games with starts against FIU, UTSA, Charlotte and UAB. He was 82 of 126 overall for 767 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. His best game came against FIU when he was 28 of 40 for 256 yards through the air, and he rushed for a touchdown.
His progression to Louisiana Tech was natural.
"Growing up, Louisiana Tech was like my hometown school," Lyddy said. "(It was an) hour down the road from my house. I went to games growing up. I've always wanted to be a Bulldog."
That was certainly the direction he was looking while putting up big numbers and winning games at Calvary Baptist in Shreveport. He threw for 3,385 yards and 53 touchdowns as a senior and 3,566 yards and touchdowns as a junior. His team won a state championship during his junior season and advanced to the playoff semifinals the next year. He was honored as Mr. Football in Louisiana and was the state's Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
Lyddy said he had about a dozen scholarships, all from Group of 5 schools. Bill Clark's UAB staff offered him a scholarship, but the only time he visited campus was a quick drive-through on the way to a family trip to Atlanta. His Louisiana Tech recruitment began when Skip Holtz was the head coach and continued when Sonny Cumbie took over the program.
"When we had the coaching staff change at Louisiana Tech, I got offered by SMU and Boise State in the same week," Lyddy said. "I took visits at both of those places. I definitely entertained other options heavily, but I felt at that time Louisiana Tech was the best place for me."
He enrolled in the spring of 2022 and participated in spring practice, which made it easier to see how much he had progressed by the end of his freshman season.
"You can go back and watch the film from our spring practices, and I'm like, 'Man, those are some bad decisions,'" Lyddy said. "On the field, I definitely grew. Off the field, just growing as a person, because you're living by yourself and all that kind of stuff. On and off the field, I'm definitely a different person."
Leaving his childhood favorite school wasn't an easy decision, but it was one Lyddy felt he was ready to make.
"I got to experience it for a year, and it was great," Lyddy said. "But I was ready for change of scenery. It was definitely difficult leaving, but I'm excited about this opportunity."
He's quickly thrown himself into the UAB program, even though he's been in Birmingham for less than a week. Obviously, the offense isn't fully developed, but he spends time daily with offensive coordinator Alex Mortensen and quarterback coach Nick Coleman. He joins a quarterback room that includes 2022 backup Jacob Zeno, transfer Trace Campbell and returnee Damon Stewart.
"There's some good dudes in the room. I'm excited to compete," Lyddy said.
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