CFB Transfer Portal Updates

One of the main purposes of The Wire is to educate Signing Day Sports users and keep them engaged in the developments of their sports. Keeping up to date on what has effectively become player free agency in college football will serve recruits well when it becomes time to dip their toe in the transfer portal. 

Why do players move in the first place? Is the grass always greener? To answer some of these questions, today’s blog entry will recap some of the latest player movements and the background behind them. 

First, where does the recruitment of athletes in the transfer portal begin? It’s similar to high school recruitment – college coaches. 

Most recently, Lincoln Riley has put on a masterclass of transfer portal recruiting. He has effectively overturned almost an entire roster in less than two years, primarily through recruiting transfer players. 

It has come to be relatively unsurprising news, but Riley has once again delivered for USC in just his second spring with the program. He recently convinced Bear Alexander, The Athletic’s top-ranked college football player in the transfer portal, to transfer to USC. 

Do you guys remember Jordan Addison, by the way? Well, for Riley, the rich get richer. 

It seems all too easy for a program that seems to have turned a corner and risen from the depths of the 2010s. Riley clearly knows what he’s doing, but how have other coaches fared when it comes to attracting top players in the transfer portal? 

Deion Sanders Recruits Travis Hunter (Jackson St. to Colorado)

Hunter was the top-ranked recruit in the class of ‘22. His flip from Florida State to Jackson State was shocking to say the least. He delivered on his ranking by putting up a near flawless season as Jackson State’s top cornerback. He even cemented his status as one of the top transfer portal targets by putting up respectable numbers on the offensive side of the ball too. 

Deion Sanders

(Photo by Helen H. Richards/The Denver Post)

It is no surprise that he ends up reunited with Deion Sanders. Sanders’ emergence, combined with the addition of Hunter immediately returns Colorado to a point of relevance, albeit prior to the season starting. 

Steve Sarkisian Recruits Adonai Mitchell (Georgia to Texas)

It’s almost like Stetson Bennet graduated, and wide receivers are less inclined to continue their college career as a bulldog. Crazy how a two-time champion quarterback can have that effect. Nonetheless, Adonai Mitchell, one of Bennet’s favorite targets, is now going to be catching passes from Arch Manning or Quinn Ewers…

That actually could be an upgrade.

Sarkisian’s experience as an offensive coordinator along with the weapons he’s compiled is sure to propel Texas to great heights for their last season in the Big 12. 

Mitchell’s career in Athens was shortened due to a lingering injury, but his presence was felt when he was available, and his fingerprint leaves a lasting legacy. In 2021, he caught the go-ahead touchdown in the CFP Championship game. And in 2022, he caught the go-ahead touchdown in the Peach Bowl against Ohio State. It doesn’t get much better than that. Sorry Bulldogs…

Dan Lanning Recruits Jordan Burch (South Carolina to Oregon)

Dan Lenning, Oregon’s head coach, was recruiting Berch heavily in 2019 when he was working for Kirby Smart in Georgia. When presented with the opportunity to re-engage with an athlete of his caliber, Lenning didn’t let him slip through his fingers. 

Burch will arrive in Eugene as a seasoned DE who boasts the honor of being the second highest-ranked recruit ever for South Carolina behind some guy named Jadeveon Clowney. Burch was given a five-star ranking by 247Sports and was the eighth-ranked recruit in the nation at the time of his commitment. 

Burch’s output at the college level seems to validate his composite ranking. In his first season as a full-fledged starter, he recorded 60 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and was credited with 29 QB hurries on the year by Pro Football Focus – second-most in the SEC.

(Top Photo: Jerome Miron / USA Today)

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