Welcome to the free agency era of college football with the introduction of the one-time transfer rule and unregulated NIL opportunities. This is an unprecedented time in college football where we will see more movement than ever evidenced by the long list of players below. We have included all the major transfers in this article with write-ups on the most significant players at each position.
Caleb WIlliams, USC (from Oklahoma)
Caleb Williams transferred from Oklahoma following his HC Lincoln Riley to USC after a stellar freshman campaign. Williams brought a dynamic duo in the transfer portal with him at Wide Receiver in Mario Williams and Jordan Addison. If Williams can develop as a passer, the sky is the limit for himself and the Trojans in a wide open PAC-12. Williams is currently my QB2 in my CFF rankings.
Quinn Ewers, Texas (from Ohio State)
Quinn Ewers made a splash in 2021 when decided to opt out of his Senior year of HS and sign with Ohio State when he received a seven-figure NIL deal. After one year, he decided to transfer back to his home state and signed with his dream school growing up, the University of Texas. In the Spring game, he showed off his generational arm talent, and a mullet only a QB1 at the University of Texas could pull off. The limited videos coming out of Spring scrimmage show great chemistry between Ewers and incumbent WR1 Xavier Worthy along with fellow transfer Isaiah Neyor. The sky is the limit for Ewers and the Longhorns’ passing game in an offense that will average 40+ PPG.
Jaxson Dart, Mississippi (from USC)
Jaxson Dart transferred out of USC after it was evident new Trojans HC Lincoln Riley was bringing in his former QB at Oklahoma, Caleb Williams. It was a smart decision resulting in Dart transferring to Ole Miss with fellow Trojan MIchael Trigg. Dart has all the tools to be an elite QB, but struggled with his decision-making this Spring as he is learning his second offseason in two years.
Cameron Ward, Washington State (from Incarnate Word)
Cameron Ward joined his former HC Eric Morris at Washington State, transferring from a FCS school, Incarnate Word. He put up video game numbers in 2021 throwing for 4,648 yards and 47 TDs to only 10 INTs. While many are comparing his ascent to FBS to Bailey Zappe, who transferred from Houston Baptist to Western Kentucky. However, there have been four QBs who have transitioned from FCS to PAC-12 (Vernon Adams, Dakota Prukop, Gage Gubrud, and Kevin Thomson). Adams was the only QB who actually made it through the entire season as the starting QB for his team and wasn’t exceptional. While I do think Ward will eventually be a very good QB for the Cougars, I believe we should temper expectations in 2022 as he gets adjusted to playing football at the Power 5 level.
Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma (from UCF)
Dillon Gabriel followed his former OC Jeff Lebby to Oklahoma this offseason after playing only one season under UCF HC Gus Malzahn. Gabriel is back in a system he thrived in as a sophomore in 2020 when he threw for 3.570 yards and 32 TDs in only 10 games for 29.6 FPG. I expect Gabriel to pick up where he left off in 2020 with a talented Oklahoma WR room and potentially raise his draft stock in the process.
John Rhys Plumlee, UCF (from Mississippi)
In what seems like a game of musical chairs between Oklahoma, Mississippi, USC, and UCF, the music stopped and John Rhys Plumlee ended up in a dream system for his skill set. UCF HC Gus Malzahn’s system functions best when he has a dual-threat QB. Plumlee is the first true freshman to ever rush for 1,000 yards as a QB when he ran for 1,054 yards and 12 TDs on 154 rushing attempts in 2019. Plumlee will be extremely fun to watch in the defensively challenged AAC.
Casey Thompson, Nebraska (from Texas)
Casey Thompson transfers from Texas to its old Big 12 rival, Nebraska, joining up with new OC Mark Whipple who has a reputation for running a QB-friendly offense. His latest QB wizardry was turning Kenny Pickett into a first-round QB after he threw for 4,319 yards and 42 TDs while running for an additional 241 yards and 5 TDs. Thompson displayed a dynamic skill set last year before injuring his thumb early in the Oklahoma game. I’m excited to see him paired with Whipple this season.
Adrian Martinez, Kansas State (from Nebraska)
Adrian Martinez surprisingly transferred out of Nebraska to Kansas State presumably looking for a fresh start in an offense that fits his skill set well. QBs under Kansas State HC Chris Klieman average 97.9 carries, 467 yards and 8.3 TDs on the ground over the last 8 years. In Adrian’s three full seasons at Nebraska, he averaged 139 carries, 593.3 yards, and 9.3 TDs per year. This offense is going to highlight his strengths while mitigating his deficiencies.
Clay Millen, Colorado State (from Nevada)
Clay Millen transferred to Colorado State to join his former Nevada HC Jay Norvell along with pass catchers Tory Horton and Melquan Stovall. Millen was already the heir apparent to Nevada QB Carson Strong so he will slide into the QB1 role at Colorado State. He was a four star recruit coming out of high school and looks every bit of a future star in Norvell’s system. Millen may surprise some folks, but he is going to put up huge numbers immediately in 2022 for the Rams.
JT Daniels, West Virginia (from Georgia)
JT Daniels is moving on to his third school as he transfers from Georgia to West Virginia to reunite with his former USC OC Graham Harrell. Pre-covid, Harrell was one of the hottest coaching names in the business as Kedon Slovis has a spectacular 2019 season when he threw for 3,502 yards and 30 TDs as a freshman. Slovis actually took over for an injured Daniels midway through the first game of that season. I’m excited to finally see Daniels have a chance as the undisputed QB1 at West Virginia. He will be throwing to two talented pass catchers in Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Kaden Prather who should make his transition to Morgantown a smooth one.
Chevan Cordeiro, San Jose State (from Hawaii)
Chevan Cordeiro transfers within the MWC from Hawaii to San Jose State. Cordeiro is an interesting QB who wows with his playmaking ability on one play then leaves you confused with his decision making on the next. When he is on, he is one of the very best QBs in the MWC. He should thrive in the San Jose State offense that loves to push the ball down the field when they have the personnel to do so.
Spencer Rattler, South Carolina (from Oklahoma)
Spencer Rattler was the second QB to transfer out of Oklahoma after losing his starting role to freshman phenom Caleb Williams midway through the Red River Rivalry against Texas. Rattler is looking for a fresh start with former Oklahoma assistant coach and current South Carolina HC Shane Beamer. Rattler has all the physical tools you would desire in a prototypical pocket passer, but seems to have trouble reading defenses. It is possible his struggles at Oklahoma were due to poor OL play, but we will ultimately find out if he is able to perform well at South Carolina.
Other Notable Transfers:
Emory Jones, Arizona State (from Florida)
Jayden Daniels, LSU (from Arizona State)
Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh (from USC)
Max Johnson, Texas A&M (from LSU)
Bo Nix, Oregon (from Auburn)
Gerry Bohanon, USF (from Baylor)
Connor Bazelak, Indiana (from MIssouri)
Levi Williams, Utah State (from Wyoming)
Jayden de Laura, Arizona (from Washington State)
Grant Wells, Virginia Tech (from Marshall)
Jarret Doege, Western Kentucky (from West Virginia)
Henry Colombi, Marshall (from Texas Tech)
Kyle Vantrease, Georgia Southern (from Buffalo)
Braxton Burmeister, San Diego State (from Virginia Tech)
Michael Penix, Washington (from Indiana)
Ben Bryant, Cincinnati (from Eastern Michigan)
Grant Gunnell, North Texas (from Memphis)
Todd Centeio, James Madison (from Colorado State)
Charlie Brewer, Liberty (from Utah)
Harrison Bailey, UNLV (from Tennessee)
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama (from Georgia Tech)
Jahmyr Gibbs is a personal favorite of mine as his unique skill set makes him must watch television every time he touches the ball. Most people have limited exposure to Gibbs, because he played for Georgia Tech. However, make no mistake about it, he will be a household name after he takes the SEC by storm playing for Alabama this fall. Gibbs should have already solidified himself as a Day 2 NFL prospect, but if he gains 10 pounds and lights up the SEC like we expect then he could be a first-round draft pick. I would not be surprised if he won the Heisman either.
Zach Evans, Mississippi (from TCU)
Zach Evans, one of the most polarizing figures in college football, transferred from TCU to Mississippi to play against — in his words — “the best,” and raise his draft stock. Evans has serious talent, but also seems to find himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons. He has the ability to have a special year at Mississippi as many of the beat writers for the team believe he is the most talented RB to step foot on campus since Deuce McCallister.
Camar Wheaton, SMU (from Alabama)
Camar Wheaton transferred from Alabama to SMU this Spring after a torn meniscus prevented him from playing in 2021. Out of HS, Wheaton was a five-star prospect who put up elite track times, running a 10.6 100m at 200 pounds. Assuming he returns to full health, he will be a superstar in the AAC for a loaded SMU offense led by talented playcaller and new HC Rhett Lashlee. Look for Wheaton to make an immediate impact in 2022 for the Mustangs.
Corey Kiner, Cincinnati (from LSU)
Corey Kiner is transferring from LSU to Cincinnati to play for his hometown team. Kiner was a high school legend in the Cincinnati area as he was the 2020 Mr. Ohio in football. The Bearcats recruited Kiner hard coming out of HS, but to no avail as he chose to take his talents down to the Bayou to play for the Tigers. After a coaching change at LSU, and seeing the success of another former SEC RB in Jerome Ford at Cincinnati, Kiner elected to come back home to be the next great RB out of Cincinnati.
Travis Dye, USC (from Oregon)
Travis Dye transferred to USC from Oregon, where he broke out in 2021 accumulating 1,603 total yards and 18 TDs along with 46 receptions. Dye is entering Lincoln Riley’s offense where the RB has averaged 1,286, 19.3 receptions, and 12.3 TDs over the last 8 seasons. While there are several other talented runners, including fellow transfer Austin Jones from Stanford, Dye is clearly the top RB for 2022.
Nathaniel Peat, Missouri (from Stanford)
Nathaniel Peat is another Stanford RB who transferred out at the end of the 2021 season. Peat transferred back to play for the hometown Missouri Tigers in one of the best systems in college football for RBs. Over the last 8 years, the Missouri RB1 has averaged 275 touches, 1,534 total yards, and 19 TDs. Last year, Tyler Badie had 322 touches, 1,934 yards and 19 TDs. Peat is currently the leader to be the next Missouri RB1 and should have a huge year in 2022.
Brandon Campbell, Houston (from USC)
Brandon Campbell recently transferred from USC to Houston after Alton McCaskill tore his ACL this Spring. Campbell is a talented 5’11” 210-pound RB who ran a verified 4.58 40 and 4.07 SS coming out of HS showing off both strong speed and elite agility for a back his size. He was rated a four-star (.8936) according to 247 coming out of HS, which would have made him the highest-rated RB to ever commit to Houston if he had signed out of high school. With McCaskill presumably out for the year (he was just cleared to start walking in late May), Campbell’s biggest competition for carries is 5’7” 170-lb RB, Ta’Zhawn Henry, who is really more of a change-of-pace back than workhorse due to his size. Campbell has both the talent and the opportunity, typically great ingredients for success in CFF.
FOR THE CITY— Brandon (BC) Campbell (@2021BC) April 4, 2022
Houston, I’m home📍 pic.twitter.com/P5hW1z4wgq
Jevyon Ducker, Memphis (from Northern Illinois)
Jevyon Ducker transferred from Northern Illinois to Memphis after a breakout 2021 season when he rushed for 1,184 yards and 3 TDs. However, according to Ducker, his trust in the Northern Illinois coaching staff eroded after some broken promises leading him to transfer to Memphis, a school known for producing NFL RBs in recent history (Antonio Gibson, Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard). Ducker is a talented runner, but will be competing for the RB1 role with several quality RBs at Memphis in 2022 including incumbent starter Brandon Thomas.
Christopher Brooks, BYU (from California)
Christopher Brooks is looking to revitalize his potential draft stock transferring from the University of California to BYU for his final year of eligibility. Current Atlanta Falcons RB Tyler Allgeier had 276 carries for 1,601 yards and 23 TDs along with 28 receptions for an additional 199 yards in 2021. While I don’t believe Brooks has the same talent at Allgeier, I do believe he can play a significant role and potentially rush for over 1,000 yards in 2022.
Jalen Berger, Michigan State (from Wisconsin)
Jalen Berger transferred from Wisconsin to Michigan State after being dismissed from the Badgers early last season. I still believe that Berger, former top-15 RB recruit, is a very talented RB who can make a significant impact for the Spartans. He will be competing with fellow transfer Jarek Broussard for the top spot in the RB rotation. I really liked what I saw from Berger in the Spring game, but will he be able to do enough to separate from Broussard and the other RBs? This will be a fun Fall camp battle to watch.
Other Notable Transfers:
Henry Parrish, Miami (from Mississippi)
Montrell Johnson, Florida (from Louisiana)
Mar'Keise Irving, Oregon (from Minnesota)
Tiyon Evans, Louisville (from Tennessee)
Xazavian Valladay, Arizona State (from Wyoming)
Emani Bailey, TCU (from Louisiana)
Jarek Broussard, Michigan State (from Colorado)
Ulysses Bentley, Mississippi (from SMU)
Dylan McDuffie, Georgia Tech (from Buffalo)
Kamarro Edmonds, ECU (from UNC)
Cody Brown, Virginia (from Miami)
Noah Cain, LSU (from Penn State)
Trelon Smith, UTSA (from Arkansas)
Austin Jones , USC (from Stanford)
Trey Benson, Florida State (from Oregon)
Christian Beal-Smith, South Carolina (from Wake Forest)
Ky Thomas, Kansas (from Minnesota)
Cam Wiley, Akron (from Minnesota)
Kenan Christon, San Diego State (from USC)
Khalan Laborn, Marshall (from Florida State)
Jordan Addison, USC (from Pittsburgh)
Mario Williams, USC (from Oklahoma)
While there were several big-time transfers in the offseason, Jordan Addison’s post-Spring transfer garnered the biggest headlines as there were rumors of tampering, multi-million dollar NIL deals, and a free house in Los Angeles. It was both fun to watch and interesting to ponder the implications of pay-for-play and college free agency with the one-time transfer rule instituted this offseason. Regardless, the 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner, Addison, takes this offense to the next level along with fellow transfer WR Williams.
Mario Williams transferred to USC from Oklahoma where he formed quite the chemistry and bond with Caleb Williams. Mario appeared to be the WR1 for USC in 2022 until Addison transferred in. It seems that distinction will have to wait until 2023, but the speed and talent between the two transfer WRs along with Caleb’s’ Konami Code ability will make it difficult to stop this USC offense. Welcome back to college football relevance in 2022, USC.
Jermaine Burton, Alabama (from Georgia)
Jermaine Burton is an ultra talented WR who transferred from Georgia to Alabama in 2022 despite winning a National Title with the Bulldogs last season. The opportunity to play with Heisman Trophy winner, Bryce Young, was simply too tempting to pass up and it should pay huge dividends when the NFL Draft comes in 2023 as he instantly becomes WR1 for the Crimson Tide. We saw the impact Young and the Alabama offense had on Jameson Williams’ draft stock this past year. I’d expect the same for Burton.
Jaylon Robinson, Mississippi (from UCF)
Jaylon Robinson transferred out of UCF to Mississippi after struggling with injuries and fit in Malzahn’s scheme in 2021. Robinson landing with Lane Kiffin in the Mississippi offense is huge as he was sold on playing the Elijah Moore role for this offense that it desperately missed in 2021. Although I have not seen a monetary number reported, I know Jaylon was given a significant deal to play for Mississippi so they are expecting him to perform at a high level as their WR1 in 2022. I love the fit here as Kiffin always builds offenses around the strengths of his key playmakers.
Isaiah Neyor, Texas (from Wyoming)
Isaiah Neyor transferred from Wyoming back to his home state (you can see a theme for many of these transfers) to play WR for the University of Texas. Neyor has an extremely impressive physical profile at 6’3” 218 lbs. What makes him even more impressive is how fast he is for his size evidenced by his 20.0 YPC and 17.7 ADOT for Wyoming last year. His speed and size combination was on display in the Texas Spring Game when he caught a 65-yard bomb for a TD from Quinn Ewers. Get used to reading that as Neyor is a great fit next to Xavier Worthy with a QB like Ewers who loves to show off his arm strength through pushing the ball downfield.
Tayvion Robinson, Kentucky (from Virginia Tech)
Tayvion Robinson transferred from Virginia Tech to replace Wan’Dale Robinson in the slot for the University of Kentucky. Robinson was a talented route runner and WR who was stuck in a bad passing attack over the last three years playing for the Hokies. However, the WIldcats should maximize his skill set after Wan’Dale caught 104 balls for 1,342 yards on 140 targets in 2021. Tayvion has steadily seen his ADP rise in CFF drafts as people are realizing his talent and opportunity in 2022.
Trey Palmer, Nebraska (from LSU)
Trey Palmer transferred from LSU, following his former position coach, Mickey Joseph, to Nebraska. Palmer is projected to play the Jordan Addison-role in the slot for Nebraska OC Mark Whipple. The top WR for Whipple has averaged 84.5 receptions, 1,149 yards and 8.3 TDs over the last 8 years. Palmer is set to have a big year after getting lost in the WR shuffle at LSU.
Jacob Cowing, Arizona (from UTEP)
Jacob Cowing transferred back home to the University of Arizona from UTEP for family reasons this Spring after a phenomenal 2021 season when he caught 69 balls for 1,349 yards and 7 TDs. He has the potential to be the WR1 for the Wildcats in 2022, but he will have competition from Freshman phenom, Tetairoa McMillan. Regardless, Arizona will be greatly improved on offense in 2022 and Cowing will play a critical role.
Mitchell Tinsley, Penn State (from Western Kentucky)
Mitchell Tinsley transferred from Western Kentucky to Penn State after the departure of his former OC Zach Kittley. Tinsley played a significant role as the WR2 in a Western Kentucky passing offense that broke several single season records in 2021. His talent and effort did not go unnoticed as Penn State tabbed him as the potential replacement for Jahan Dotson at Penn State. If he takes over the WR1 role for the Nittany Lions then he will have a big year in 2022. Early reports said that Tinsley was impressive this Spring and he looked the part in the Penn State Spring game. He and Parker Washington are a very gifted duo in Happy Valley.
Western Kentucky transfer WR Mitchell Tinsley annouced his commitment to Penn State @rivalsmike pic.twitter.com/rEE0cETK3s— NCAA Transfer Portal (@RivalsPortal) December 25, 2021
Jadon Haselwood, Arkansas (from Oklahoma)
Jadon Haselwood transferred from Oklahoma to Arkansas as he looks for a fresh start in Kendal Briles’ offense. He is seeking to replace major production left behind Tennessee Titans’ WR Treylon Burks. Haselwood is a talented WR who struggled with injuries and consistency during his time at Oklahoma. It appeared Haselwood was going to be the clear WR1 for the Razorbacks until they brought in former Toledo and Georgia WR Matt Landers post-Spring practice who Arkansas HC Sam Pittman is familiar with from his time with the Bulldogs. This will be a good battle to watch during Fall camp to see if Haselwood can fight off Landers as the WR1 for Arkansas this fall.
Other Notable Transfers:
Bru McCoy, Tennessee (from USC)
Antwane Wells, South Carolina (from James Madison)
Tyler Harrell, Alabama (from Louisville)
Tyler Hudson, Louisville (from Central Arkansas)
Zeriah Beason, Washington State (from Oregon State)
Theodore Knox, SMU (from Mississippi State)
Agiye Hall, Texas (from Alabama)
Cody Jackson, Houston (from Oklahoma)
Corey Rucker, South Carolina (from Arkansas State)
Jacob Copeland, Maryland (from Florida)
Jake Bobo, UCLA (from Duke)
Jeremy Singleton, Georgia Southern (from Houston)
Kobe Hudson, Auburn (from UCF)
Kyren Lacy, LSU (from Louisiana)
Isaiah Winstead, ECU (from Toledo)
Malik Heath, Mississippi State (from Mississippi)
Robert Ferrel, Washington State (from Incarnate Word)
Kelvontay Dixon, SMU (from Texas)
Taj Harris, Rutgers (from Syracuse)
Brenden Rice, USC (from Colorado)
Caleb Chapman, Oregon (from Texas A&M)
Matt Landers, Arkansas (from Toledo)
Adonicas Sanders, Temple (from Georgia Tech)
Demarcus Gregory, Texas State (from USF)
Isaiah Esdale, RIce (from West Virginia)
Jadan Blue, Virginia Tech (from Temple)
Jake Bailey, SMU (from Rice)
Justin Robinson, Mississippi State (from Georgia)
Ricky Pearsall, Florida (from Arizona State)
Michael Trigg, Mississippi (from USC)
Michael Trigg transferred to Mississippi from USC as a package deal with Jaxson Dart. Ironically, Trigg is looking like the bigger steal at the moment as he dominated the Spring game with 7 catches for 89 yards and 3 TDs. Lane Kiffin has plenty of success with TEs in the past including OJ Howard, Harrison Bryant, and Kenny Yeboah. Trigg is the next great TE for Kiffin, and his legacy starts in 2022.
Other Notable Transfers:
Jahleel Billingsley, Texas (from Alabama)
Austin Stogner, South Carolina (from Oklahoma)
Baylor Cupp, Texas Tech (from Texas A&M)
Kemore Gamble, UCF (from Florida)