NCAA Football: Conference USA Football Championship-New Mexico State at Liberty

Liberty quarterback Kaidon Salter withdrew his name from the transfer portal Friday and will return to the Conference USA champs for the 2024 season, 247Sports reports. Salter ranked as the No. 25 overall player and the No. 5 quarterback in the transfer portal before electing to return to school.

Coming out of Cedar Hill, Texas, Salter ranked as the No. 48 overall prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle. He enrolled at Tennessee coming out of high school, but was dismissed from the program amid two arrests in January 2021. Salter joined Liberty ahead of the 2021 campaign and has amassed 4,001 yards passing, 41 touchdowns and 1,426 yards rushing in three seasons with the program.

When Salter entered the transfer portal on Jan. 2, Rumors swirled that he could head south to Auburn for a reunion with Hugh Freeze — his former coach at Liberty. The Tigers are potentially seeking more stability at the quarterback position after rotating between Payton Thorne and Robby Ashford in 2023.

"Auburn has been linked to several of the top quarterbacks in the portal," 247Sports national recruiting analyst Clint Brewster said after Salter entered the portal. "They need to bring in an elite signal-caller with the instability they had in the QB room in 2023."

While most expected Freeze to bring in a transfer signal caller, the Auburn coach made it clear he would be picky when adding to his quarterback room. 

"As soon as a quarterback hits the portal, I'm immediately getting hit: 'This is your guy! Throw the bag at him!' I'm like, 'Have y'all watched the film? How many games has he won?'" Freeze said after the Tigers' 31-13 loss to Maryland in the Music City Bowl. "That just seems to be the cool thing to do, and maybe they're right. I don't know. Truthfully, we evaluate and watch every single quarterback that goes in the portal, and we try to evaluate if it is the best thing for our football team."