By Corey Long – @CoreyLong
Updated Dec. 12, 2019.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
With the introduction of the transfer portal two years ago, the movement of players from one program to the next has become fast and furious. We will try to keep up with all the transfers and eligibility decisions here:
Anthony Brown becomes the latest experience QB to enter the portal
Brown has been the most successful and productive quarterback at Boston College since probably Matt Ryan. Brown has started for the Eagles since he was a redshirt freshman, and through six games this year, Brown looked strong, throwing for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns with a shade under 60 percent completion. He was continuing to develop as a passer and take fewer chances as a runner. Unfortunately, Brown had a season-ending leg injury, and that along with the dismissal of head coach Steve Addazio and the fact that Brown is graduating, it makes sense for him to transfer and play his final year elsewhere. Brown, a class of 2016 recruit from Holmdell, New Jersey, threw for 4,738 yards, 40 touchdowns and 20 interceptions over 28 starts. With his experience and production, Brown will have a market, especially for a team looking for some more mobility from the position.
Auburn transfer QB Joey Gatewood finds home at Kentucky
Gatewood, who announced his transfer from Auburn late in the season, took a visit to Kentucky and was completely sold on Mark Stoops’ program. Gatewood (6-5, 235), was used sparingly at Auburn this season after losing out the starting quarterback job to true freshman Bo Nix. Gatewood could apply for a waiver to be eligible immediately, but with Terry Wilson likely healthy enough to regain the starting quarterback job next year, Gatewood might be better suited to spend the year learning the offense, continuing to improve as a passer and focusing on starting for the 2021 season forward. Kentucky also has 2020 recruit Beau Allen ready to sign next week and join the program in January, so the quarterback room looks strong for the foreseeable future.
Utah corners QB transfer market with Bentley, Powell
This is called setting up yourself for today and tomorrow. Jake Bentley, a 3-year starter at South Carolina, suffered a foot injury in the Gamecocks’ 2019 opener against North Carolina. His injury allowed freshman Ryan Hilinski to see the field as a true freshman, and Hilinski is expected to take the helm for the next few years. Bentley, who threw for 7,527 yards and 55 touchdowns, will be a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility and the favorite to take over from outgoing senior Tyler Huntley.
Peyton Powell, the top recruit in Baylor’s 2019 class, left the program in August and entered the portal. After an official visit to Utah, Powell committed to the program in late November and will sign next week. Powell (6-2, 185) is considered a potential athlete who could play quarterback or wide receiver. Whether or not that was a point of contention with him at Baylor is unknown.
Former starting QB Matt McKay expected to move on
McKay, a class of 2017 recruit out of Raleigh, N.C., spent a couple of seasons as Ryan Finley’s backup before taking over the starting spot to begin the 2019 season. He did not start against Florida State because coach Dave Doreen chose to play former Florida State quarterback Bailey Hockman instead. From there, N.C. State’s quarterback position was a bit of spinning wheel, with redshirt freshman Devin Leary also in the mix. McKay will need a waiver to get two final years of eligibility at an FBS program.
Former starting quarterback Feleipe Franks will transfer or enter the NFL Draft
Franks, a Class of 2016 prospect from Crawfordville, Florida, announced his intentions to leave the Florida Gators and either transfer to play his final year of eligibility or enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Franks started in 2017 and struggled in his first year behind an underwhelming offense and split time with Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire. Dan Mullen replaced Jim McElwain as head coach of Florida after the 2017 season. In 2018, Franks continued to struggle with his consistency, but what should have been his darkest moment became his turnaround. In a 38-17 loss to Missouri, Franks was benched for Kyle Trask and Trask did enough in the game to likely be named the starter the following week. But Trask suffered a season-ending foot injury against Missouri and Franks returned to finish the final four games of the season with a 8-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Franks started three games in 2019 before he suffered a season-ending knee injury against Kentucky.
With Kyle Trask firmly entrenched as the starter and sophomore Emory Jones and incoming freshman recruit Anthony Richardson making up Florida’s quarterback depth chart in 2020, Franks will move on. He could enter the 2020 NFL Draft, but he’d probably be better served playing another year of college football. Franks (6-7, 230) has the size, athleticism and arm strength to be a top draft prospect if he can show his ability for a year in a quarterback-friendly offense. He’ll be a highly coveted transfer on the market and could be a difference-maker for a Power Five program in need of a quarterback.
Blue-chip wide receiver Justin Shorter enters the transfer portal
Shorter, a class of 2018 prospect out of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, was arguably the top wide receiver prospect in his class. At 6-foot-4, 218 pounds, Shorter drew comparisons to some of the best physical wide receivers the game has seen like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. Despite his physical attributes, the general scouting report on Shorter was that he was raw and needed to improve his route running and hands. Shorter only played three games as a true freshman, allowing him to qualify for a redshirt. He has been a little productive in 2019 with 12 catches for 137 yards.
If Shorter transfers, he’ll probably search for an immediate waiver that would allow him three years or eligibility over three years. If Shorter doesn’t get a waiver, he’ll have to sit out 2019 and have just two years to complete two years of eligibility. And there is a chance Shorter can patch things up with Penn State. If he goes on the open market, however, expect a lot of suitors.
Rutgers failures with Schiano lead to multiple transfer requests
On Sunday, it was widely reported that Rutgers had failed to come to an agreement with former head coach Greg Schiano on a return to the program. By Tuesday, quarterback Art Sitkowski and wide receiver Daevon Robinson, frustrated with the school’s lack of commitment to football, decided to enter the transfer portal. Sitkowski, who has 27 starts at Rutgers, had already decided to sit out the remainder of the season and take a redshirt after former coach Chris Ash was fired. Robinson, out of Medford, New Jersey, has played in every game this season. A couple of days earlier, Rutgers running back Elijah Barnwell announced his transfer.
Recently dismissed DB Jamel Cook officially makes transfer request
Cook, a class of 2016 prospect out of Miami, Florida, originally committed to Florida State, but ended up signing with USC on national signing day. After redshirt year in 2016 and limited playing time in 2017, Cook (6-4, 190) decided to transfer to South Carolina and had to sit out the 2018 season for transfer rules. He saw the field for one game this season, against Charleston Southern, but was suspended for team rules and eventually dismissed in mid-October after being arrested and charged for second-degree domestic violence. Assuming that Cook has cleared up his legal charges, it would seem likely he’ll transfer to an FCS program or lower-division program to finish out his eligibility.
Freshman DL leaves TCU, enters the portal
Karter Johnson, a class of 2019 recruit out of Pickerington, Ohio, has been a no-show around the TCU program for the past couple of weeks and officially placed his name in the transfer portal before the weekend. Johnson (6-3, 275) was one of the highest-rated prospects in TCU’s 2019 recruiting class. He chose the Horned Frogs over offers from Michigan State, Minnesota, Indiana and Nebraska among others. Don’t cry for the Horned Frogs though, as earlier this month they landed a commitment from defensive tackle Jaquaze Sorrells out of Florida. Sorrells originally committed to South Carolina, but did not qualify and never enrolled.
Ole Miss has two wide receivers announce intentions to transfer
Wide receivers Demarcus Gregory and Miles Battle, both members of the Rebels’ 2018 recruiting class, have entered the transfer portal. Both players had played in 10 games for the Rebels; but they left the program before the game against LSU. Gregory (6-3, 200), from Duncan, South Carolina, chose the Rebels over Indiana and also had offers from Appalachian State and Arkansas. According to the Ole Miss website, Gregory had six catches for 127 yards this season. Last Wednesday, Gregory tweeted: “It’s been truly a blessing to be a student-athlete at The University of Mississippi. I am forever thankful for my teammates and friendships I have made that will last forever. After talking to my family and praying constantly about my situation. As with every decision I make I trust the path God has chosen for me by saying I have decided to enter the transfer portal.” Battle (6-4, 185), from Houston, chose the Rebels over Oregon and also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Houston, Baylor, California and a host of others. He had two catches in 10 games with Ole Miss this season.
Miami TE Evidence Njoku decides to leave program
Njoku, a class of 2017 recruit out of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, made the move from wide receiver to tight end this season hoping to emulate the success of his older brother David Njoku, but he has decided to continue his journey elsewhere. Njoku (6-6, 225) has played limited snaps for the Hurricanes this season, getting stuck on a Miami depth chart that featured six tight ends on the roster. Njoku also had offers from Boston College, Illinois, Indiana and other programs. Last Tuesday, Njoku tweeted: “After deep thought and discussion I have decided to enter the transfer portal to furthermore continue my athletic and academic career. I want [to] thank coach [Manny] Diaz and coach [Stephen] Field for their support of my position change, as well as the rest of the athletic staff and trainers.”
Oregon State loses two to the transfer portal
For the most part, Oregon State has been reaping the benefits of the portal since the craze began nearly two years ago. But the portal giveth and the portal taketh away. Sophomore tight end Isaiah Smalls placed his name in the portal on November 13. Smalls, from Los Angeles, played in all 12 games for the Beavers last season and had eight catches for 118 yards. He suffered from injury issues this year and only appeared in the season opener against Oklahoma State. He will take a redshirt this season and move on. Joining Smalls in the portal from Oregon State is a redshirt sophomore safety Jeffrey Manning. Manning, also from Los Angeles, has been a part-time starter for the Beavers. He took a redshirt in 2017 and played in all 12 games last season, making a couple of starts. Manning was expected to compete for a starting spot this season, but was slowed by an ankle injury. He has played the past four games, but will now move on. It’s possible Manning will be a graduate transfer and have two years of immediate eligibility remaining.
Florida starting OL announces he’ll transfer
It’s rare that a current starter of a top-10 team says he’s going to transfer, but it happened last week when Chris Bleich announced he was going to put his name in the transfer portal. Bleich (6-6, 320), out of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, had started eight of nine games for the Gators this season, but he was losing snaps and minutes to freshman Richard Gouriage. Bleich started but played limited snaps against Georgia, as Gouriage played most of the game, and the writing was on the wall that Gouriage was likely going to start the next game against Vanderbilt. Bleich was part of Florida’s 2018 recruiting class and played four games in 2018 before taking a redshirt.
TCU loses QB Rogers to transfer portal
Once a position of considerable depth, the quarterback room at TCU continues to thin out as the season progresses. Last week, redshirt freshman Justin Rogers announced his intentions to transfer. Rogers (6-4, 225), out of Bossier City, Louisiana, was the highest-rated recruit in TCU’s 2018 recruiting class. Unfortunately, Rogers suffered a significant knee injury during his senior year of high school and still wasn’t ready for game action according to Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson. On Tuesday, quarterback Alex Delton, a fifth-year graduate transfer announced he was leaving the team. Delton started two games this season for TCU. The departures leave TCU with Max Duggan, the team’s current starter, and backup Mike Collins. The Horned Frogs have a commitment from quarterback Eli Williams in the 2020 recruiting class.
QB Jack Allison will transfer from West Virginia
Allison, a quarterback with a red-chip designation out of Palmetto, Florida, transferred to West Virginia in 2018 under former head coach Dana Holgorsen. Allison (6-4, 205), originally signed with Miami when the Hurricanes were coached by Al Golden, and transferred to West Virginia after one season. He played in a reserve role last year but started the Camping World Bowl game against Syracuse after regular starter Will Grier opted to sit out the game. Allison also played against Iowa State this season as an injury replacement for Austin Kendall. Allison is going graduate next semester and will have two years of eligibility as a graduate transfer at his next stop. Wide receiver Ricky Johns, a class of 2017 recruit from Lansdale, Pa., has also entered his name in the transfer portal.
Texas WR Pouncey enters transfer portal
Wide receiver Jordan Pouncey, a member of the Longhorns’ 2017 class out of Winter Park, Florida, is the third player to enter the portal from Texas, joining linebacker Caleb Johnson and Class of 2019 offensive line prospect Javonne Shepherd. Pouncey is noted for flipping from Notre Dame on National Signing Day in 2017 to give Texas head coach Tom Herman his first signing-day surprise. Pouncey (6-2, 200) has been used in a backup role after redshirting in his first season, appearing in 15 games, including all eight Texas games this season. To compound this loss, Pouncey announced his transfer on the same day his brother, Ethan Pouncey, a red-chip cornerback out of Winter Park, announced he was backing off of his commitment to Texas. The elder Pouncey is looking for a place where he can get more playing time while Auburn and Florida are among the potential new suitors for Ethan Pouncey.
Former top Alabama recruit Antonio Alfano finds Pac-12 home
There’s been a lot written about former blue-chip recruit Antonio Alfano, and not much of it has been positive. Well, here’s hoping the talented prospect out of Rahway, New Jersey can turn things around at his new home with Colorado. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive lineman becomes Mel Tucker’s biggest recruiting win to date. Alfano had Georgia as one of his three finalists during his recruitment last season when Tucker was the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator. Now, the Buffaloes hope that relationship will pay off in spades. Alfano made the declaration public on his Twitter account late Monday night, “I was honored to be recruited by Alabama and Nick Saban and have nothing but positive things to say about them. I want to be successful today and tomorrow and I believe what Coach Tucker is building at Colorado gives me the best opportunity to do that.”
Auburn QB Joey Gatewood leaves team, enters portal
Gatewood, one of the top recruits in Auburn’s 2018 recruiting class, had been used sparingly this season and mostly in short-yardage situations. The Tigers’ starting quarterback is true freshman Bo Nix, and despite his struggles as a passer in losses to LSU and Florida, he appears to be the guy who Gus Malzahn wants to go with. Malzahn told AL.com that he understands the decision. “[Gatewood]’s just at a point where he wants to be a starting quarterback and just feels like he needs to start looking for schools now so he can find the right spot.” Gatewood (6-4, 232), out of Jacksonville, Florida, rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns and also threw for 54 yards in the seven games he appeared in. Gatewood committed to Auburn as a sophomore, and by the time he graduated, he was rated as the top athlete in the nation, with evaluators split on whether his future would be at quarterback or possibly tight end. This decision means Gatewood is committed to playing quarterback at his next stop. Auburn is very thin at quarterback, with only one other scholarship quarterback on the roster, 24-year-old Cord Sandberg, who played baseball for six years and originally committed to play football for Mississippi State out of high school in 2013. Auburn has a quarterback committed in the 2020 class, Chayil Garnett out of Lakeland, Florida, but don’t be surprised if the program is in the market for a second arm. As for Joey Gatewood, he had nearly every major offer you can think of coming out of high school, but not everyone is sold on him as a quarterback. He is, however, a big athlete, and there are a lot of programs that could do worse than a big, athletic quarterback prospect to develop.
WR Michael Young enters portal, exits Notre Dame
Young, a member of the Fighting Irish’s 2017 recruiting class out of Destrehan, Louisiana, was supposed to have an increased role this season, but dealt with some injuries coming out of summer camp and hasn’t been able to find a lot of snaps. He hasn’t been with the program since last week and wasn’t with the team for the Michigan game. Young (5-11, 190) originally chose Notre Dame over offers from Missouri, Texas A&M, Virginia, Arizona State and others. He played in 14 games in two-plus seasons at Notre Dame. Young has only appeared in three games this season and will be eligible for a redshirt. He is scheduled to graduate in the spring and will have two years of immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer next year.
Nebraska ATH Miles Jones places his name in the portal
Jones, a multi-purpose player from Fort Lauderdale, was a member of the Cornhuskers’ 2018 recruiting class. He took a redshirt season in 2018 and has appeared in four games this season, playing some wide receiver and running back but has not recorded a stat. His only stat was from 2018, when he had one carry for 21 yards against Bethune-Cookman. Nebraska head coach Scott Frost has brought in a lot of bodies for the offensive skill positions, and Jones also been dealing with injuries to keep him from improving his position on the depth chart. Jones (5-8, 175) chose Nebraska over Vanderbilt and also had offers form Kansas, Mississippi State, Syracuse, Oregon State and Navy. He will have to apply for a waiver to get his three full years of remaining eligibility.
CB Stanley Garner decides to depart from Kentucky
Garner was a member of the Wildcats’ 2018 recruiting class out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He redshirted in the 2018 season and has appeared in six games this season. He’ll have to apply for a waiver to get all three years of his remaining eligibility. Garner (6-2, 180) chose Kentucky over Illinois and had offers from Arkansas, Michigan State, Oregon State, Nebraska, Indiana, Cincinnati, Florida International and others.
Former UCLA WR schedules official visit with Baylor
Theo Howard, who placed his name in the transfer portal in early October, expects to make a decision on his new program before he graduates in December. He has decided to take an official visit to Baylor on November 16, when the Bears host the Oklahoma Sooners in what could be a battle of top-15 teams. Howard has also scheduled a visit to Arizona for a date yet to be determined. TCU, Washington and Minnesota are other programs Howard has kept in touch with and may visit in the future. Howard, who led UCLA in receiving last season, decided to transfer after injuries kept him off the field for the first half of the season. He will take a redshirt and be immediately eligible at his next stop.
Former Baylor QB Peyton Powell took an official visit to Utah
Powell, who was one of the highest-profile members of Baylor’s 2019 recruiting class, made the decision to get in the transfer portal before the start of the season. He was in attendance for Utah’s 35-0 win over California. Powell said that Boston College and Purdue are also likely stops for official visits. A top-20 quarterback/athlete in the 2019 class from Odessa, Texas, Powell (6-2, 185) originally committed to Texas, but backed out of that commitment and eventually chose Baylor over Illinois, TCU, Ohio State and Virginia. Powell would likely have to apply for waiver to get immediate eligibility.
Michigan S Woods enters portal, plans grad transfer
Safety J’Marick Woods will have two years of eligibility remaining if he’s able to make a move as a graduate transfer. Woods was a member of the Wolverines’ 2017 recruiting class. He actually started Michigan’s bowl game as a freshman but has been in and out of the lineup since then. Woods (6-3, 210), out of Florence, Alabama, chose the Wolverines out of high school over offers from Mississippi State and Arkansas.
Porcher IV makes decision to leave Virginia Tech
Defensive tackle Robert Porcher IV has decided to put his name in the transfer portal after playing five games with the Hokies. Porcher, who was listed as the No. 2 defensive tackle on the depth chart and is the son of former NFL defensive lineman Robert Porcher III, was a member of the Hokies’ 2017 recruiting class. Porcher (6-3, 275) will have questions about his remaining eligibility as he’s played two full seasons and already sat through a redshirt. If he can classify himself as a graduate transfer or receive a waiver, he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining; he might only have one otherwise.
Texas freshman OL Shepherd puts his name in the portal
Javonne Shepherd, a class of 2019 red-chip offensive lineman out of Houston, has placed his name in the transfer portal. There is a lot of speculation about what has brought the 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman to this decision, but just because his name is in the portal doesn’t mean he’s going to leave the program. Shepherd had appeared in one game this season and was expected to redshirt. He enrolled at Texas over the summer. If Shepherd does decide to test the transfer waters, there will be plenty of interest. Shepherd committed to Texas in June of 2018, but he left his recruitment open and decided not to sign with the Longhorns during the early signing period. Georgia, Alabama and Texas A&M were among the programs that Shepherd took official visits to before signing with Texas on national signing day of 2019.
Miami WR Brian Hightower plans to leave program
Hightower played in all seven games for the Hurricanes this season but saw his snap count drop from week to week. He only played nine snaps in the Hurricanes’ 28-21 loss to Georgia Tech. Hightower caught eight passes for 88 yards this season. He was a highly touted prospect in Miami’s 2018 class after playing his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He played as a true freshman for Miami and caught a touchdown pass in the 2018 season opener against LSU. With Hightower’s departure and the uncertain status of suspended receiver Jeff Thomas, Miami is going to likely finish the season a little thin at the receiver position.
Oct. 18 Updates
After weeks of delay, DL Antonio Alfano is officially in the portal
Alfano was the highest-rated player in Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class and was supposed to be a major piece in the Crimson Tide’s rebuilding of their defensive line into the dominant unit that it has been in past years under Nick Saban. Alfano (6-4, 285) hasn’t been around the program in a while. He was a standout during the Crimson Tide’s spring game, but wasn’t seen at practices as the season approached and Saban originally said that Alfano was going through some disciplinary issues. Saban later made additional statements that were probably a little closer to the truth in his eyes when he suggested that Alfano had basically quit the team and quit going to class. He claimed that Alabama tried to set up counseling sessions with Alfano, but he wasn’t responsive to the school’s efforts. Alfano’s father put up a Twitter post last month with the opinion that Alfano should stay at Alabama and work things out. It’s uncertain if his opinion has changed. The bottom line is Alfano was a high-end, blue-chip-grade player in the Class of 2019 and there’s going to be no shortage of programs ready to pursue him in hopes of being the right fit. Alfano would provide immediate snaps and productivity for any program he played for.
Michigan TE Muhammad appears ready to move on
Mustapha Muhammad, from Missouri City, Texas, was a member of the 2018 recruiting class and graded out as a top-20 player in the state of Texas. Muhammad is fifth on the depth chart at Michigan and isn’t likely to see many snaps for the remainder of the season. Muhammad was one of the top-rated players in the Wolverines’ 2018 class, choosing Michigan over offers from Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Muhammad didn’t appear to be interested in staying closer to home during his first recruitment, so it will be interesting to see if he is more receptive to schools in Texas the second time around.
Arkansas likely to lose two players to transfer
It has been a rough go of things for Arkansas since Chad Morris arrived. The Razorbacks are 4-14 under Morris and 0-11 in in the SEC. Now, the coaching staff is dealing with players leaving the program and de-commitments within the recruiting class. Defensive back Devin Bush, the top-rated player in Arkansas’ 2019 recruiting class, has entered the portal. Bush has played four games for the Razorbacks with limited reps. Bush (6-0, 185), out of New Orleans, had offers from Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State, Notre Dame and others. Joining Bush is linebacker D’Vone McClure, who has been with the Razorbacks since 2016. McClure played baseball for four years out of high school and is currently 25 years old. He had 38 tackles in 22 games with Arkansas.
WR Tevin Bush will leave West Virginia, go closer to home
Bush, from New Orleans, has been with the Mountaineers for three seasons and was the starting slot receiver for West Virginia to start the season. During his three seasons at West Virginia, Bush has contributed at slot receiver, running back and in the return game on special teams. Bush has accounted for over 500 yards rushing and receiving during his tenure at West Virginia. He has only played four games in 2019, meaning he’s eligible for a redshirt and would have two years of eligibility remaining at his next stop.
Oct. 11 Updates
Freshman LB Boykins enters the transfer portal
It’s always a surprise to see a true freshman enter the transfer portal before the season ends, but it happens occasionally. South Carolina linebacker Derek Boykins is the third member off South Carolina’s roster to enter the portal. Boykins, from Concord, NC, was an early signee for the 2019 recruiting class at South Carolina. He chose the Gamecocks in June of 2018 and had offers from North Carolina, Tennessee, Duke, N.C. State, Texas A&M and others. He appeared in one game this season for the Gamecocks and would be eligible for a redshirt.
RB Jefferson becomes the latest to leave Michigan State
It was only a few weeks ago that we wrote about linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle being the first player from Michigan State to enter the transfer portal. Now for the third time in three weeks, a player has decided to leave the Spartans in hopes of greener pastures. Running back La’Darius Jefferson decided to enter the portal this week after a season and a half. Jefferson, from Muskegon, Michigan, was part of Michigan State’s 2018 recruiting class. He had a solid role among Michigan State’s rotation of backs as a freshman with 255 yards and a couple of touchdowns on 78 carries. But Elijah Collins has taken over the the RB1 spot at Michigan State this year and Jefferson’s role has been diminished to nearly nothing. He becomes the second running back to leave this season, joining Connor Heyward. Jefferson has played in five games, which should mean he’ll have to take this season as a full season and will have a redshirt and two years of eligibility remaining at his next stop.
RB Jeter enters the portal, still practicing
The transfer portal is a fluid thing. Players can “test the waters” so to speak and see what interest there is from other programs, but they don’t have to leave their current program. In the case of Oklahoma State running back Jahmyl Jeter, a redshirt freshman from San Antonio, he has entered the portal but is still practicing with Oklahoma State. Jeter was a member of Oklahoma State’s 2018 recruiting class. The Cowboys currently have the nation’s leading running back in Chuba Hubbard, who already as 1,094 rushing yards this season. Hubbard’s success has left few carries for his backups. Jeter has 11 carries for 34 yards in three games this season.
Oct. 8 Updates
QB Caylin Newton heads to the transfer portal
Caylin Newton is notable for being the younger brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback and former NFL MVP Cam Newton, and he’s also known for engineering the largest point-spread upset in history when he led the Howard Bison to a 43-40 win over UNLV despite being 45-point underdogs. Newton was a star among the HBCU schools, and his likeness was the main reason Howard played an historic game against Harvard this past week. Newton didn’t play because he had already reached his four-game limit and will take a redshirt. Newton will graduate from Howard in May, and as a redshirt and graduate transfer, he’ll have two years of eligibility at his next stop. This promises to be one of the most intriguing recruiting stories in a long time. It’s hard to say exactly where Newton would fit best. The efforts against UNLV clearly prove that he has the talent to go against a lower-tier FBS defense. Howard’s struggles this year, which included a 79-0 loss to Maryland, show that he probably can’t single-handedly carry a team that doesn’t have comparable athletes, week in and week out. Newton (6-0, 195) isn’t a big physical specimen like his older brother. Coming out of high school, any FBS looks Newton had were likely going to be at wide receiver or defensive back, but his offers outside of Howard were Hampton, Savannah State and Kentucky Christian. The game has changed a little, and Newton is certainly a good enough athlete to fit into someone’s RPO scheme and have a chance. The natural thought is that Newton, from Atlanta, is looking to stay in the southeast. There might not be SEC opportunities for him, but I’m guessing nearly every Conference USA or Sun Belt program would be highly interested. Both conferences are filled with coaches who are considered “offensive guys”. I could also see some Power Five programs, like Kansas, which just promoted RPO specialist Brent Dearmon, or a place like Arizona, where Kevin Sumlin will be looking for an explosive presence under center after Khalil Tate leaves. Either way, there will be options for the 2018 MEAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Rutgers QB Sitkowski, WR Blackshear plan to redshirt, wait and see.
What a strange mess Rutgers is right now. In a week when the football program took a step forward by firing head coach Chris Ash, it’s clear that some of the players aren’t ready to buy into interim coach Nunzio Campanile and would rather wait to see what steps Rutgers takes. Quarterback Art Sitkowski, who started for the Scarlet Knights in 2018, is asking to sit out. He lost his starting spot to McLane Carter in a preseason competition, but he has played in three games as an injury replacement for Carter. With Carter still suffering from concussion issues and not expected to play again this season, Sitkowski’s request to redshirt leaves Rutgers razor thin at the most important position on the field. Sitkowski will still be listed as an emergency quarterback since he could play in one more game and still redshirt. Meanwhile junior running back/wide receiver/return specialist Raheem Blackshear (5-9, 195) is likely done for the season since he has already played four games. Blackshear was unquestionably Rutgers’ best offensive player. Campanile seemed to be of the impression that Blackshear was going to transfer and said he did not expect the receiver to return. It’s unlikely Campanile will have a final say in that, however. If Blackshear does hit the transfer market expect the interest in the all-purpose talent to be high. Blackshear has over 1,700 yards rushing and receiving with 12 touchdowns in two-plus seasons at Rutgers. If Blackshear leaves, he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining. Blackshear, a class of 2017 recruit from Warminster, Pennsylvania, had an eventful recruitment that included de-commitments to Michigan State and Temple before eventually settling in on Rutgers.
RB Lanard Fournette departs LSU
Lanard Fournette, the younger brother of former LSU great and current Jacksonville Jaguar Leonard Fournette, was used sparingly as a rotational running back. He had just 13 carries this season for 36 yards with a touchdown along with five receptions for 19 yards, but that carry total was a career high for him. The younger Fournette graduated in May and could go somewhere else as a graduate transfer, but at this time that appears unlikely. The departure doesn’t really affect LSU, which has four running backs on the depth chart ahead of where Fournette was.
Oct. 4 Updates
Veteran CB Moses Reynolds parts with Texas A&M
Reynolds, the younger brother of Los Angeles Rams receiver Josh Reynolds, has been with the Aggies since 2016 when he committed to program while under previous coach Kevin Sumlin. Reynolds has struggled to find a regular position with the Aggies. He was initially a safety but was moved to wide receiver in 2017 only to move back to the secondary in 2018 when Jimbo Fisher arrived. Despite all the movement, Reynolds has only been a lightly used reserve this season. Reynolds will probably stay at Texas A&M and graduate in the winter or the spring, giving him immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer with one year to play.
DB Jordan Ulmer ready to move on from Missouri
Ulmer (6-1, 195), from Belleville, Mich., was part of the 2017 recruiting class and considered a recruiting gem after a standout freshman year when he started the season opener and was a key contributor all year. Since then, Ulmer has been rumored to leave and head coach Barry Odom has been a critic of his effort. Ulmer supposedly turned a corner during training camp, and Odom suggested that he was ready to be the player they hoped he would develop into. If that’s the case, however, it will be at another program. Ulmer should be able to take a redshirt this season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
DB Custis leaves Ole Miss with an uncertain future.
Cornerback Montreal Custis, from Jonesboro, Ga., has been with the Rebels since 2015. He spent the first two years working his way up the depth chart and started the first three game for Ole Miss in 2018 before tearing his ACL. The injury ended his season, and he has yet to be cleared for a return to the field. Custis, a redshirt senior, has to apply for a medical hardship if he wants to transfer to another program.
LB Jonathan Smith will depart North Carolina
Smith was part of North Carolina’s 2016 recruiting class under former coach Larry Fedora. He played in 26 games and started eight in his first three seasons. He ran into academic trouble that kept him out during the spring and for the first couple of games of the 2019. The suspension put Smith deep on the depth chart behind Jeremiah Gemmel and Chazz Surratt. Smith played in three games and will be able to take a redshirt to play for another school in 2020.
Suspended Punter Logan Tyler leaves Florida State
Tyler had been suspended for a violation of team rules after the first game of the season and lost his job to walk-on Tommy Martin. Tyler was part of the Seminoles’ recruiting class of 2016 under Jimbo Fisher and started in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He is the second player in as many days to enter the portal from Florida State, joining wide receiver D’Marcus Adams.
Oct. 3 Updates
Kansas State QB Holcombe enters transfer portal
Holcombe, a member of the Wildcats’ 2018 recruiting class, was rated as a top-20 dual-threat quarterback coming out of Summer Creek High School in Humble, Texas. He was part of Bill Snyder’s final recruiting class at Kansas State. It’s a curious move for Holcombe, who had already used his redshirt season in 2018, and was the backup behind starting Skylar Thompson. Holcombe actually played in last week’s 26-13 loss to Oklahoma State and could’ve been in line for more work this season as a tight end or a wide receiver. Holcombe played in three games this season, completing one pass for nine yards and rushing for 70 yards. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Holcombe could be an interesting prospect on the transfer circuit. He is a big athlete who can run and will certainly attract programs specializing in RPO-type of offenses.
LB Ignont is the latest to leave Tennessee
It seems like each one of these updates includes a new departure from Tennessee. Linebacker Will Ignont is the latest to depart from the program. Ignont, from Huntsville, Ala., did not travel with the team for its 34-3 loss to Florida two weeks ago. He began the season as the starting middle linebacker, but he didn’t play much after recording eight tackles in a 16-13 loss to BYU. Ignont, who was part of the Volunteers’ 2017 recruiting class, played 21 games for Tennessee in two-plus seasons. He is eligible for a redshirt and will have two years of eligibility remaining at his next school.
Michigan State loses RB Heyward to the portal
Running back Connor Heyward started the season at the top of the depth chart for the Spartans, but he lost carries and his primary role to redshirt freshman Elijah Collins every week and was not with the team for Saturday’s win against Indiana. Heyward, from Suwanee, Ga., was part of the Spartans’ 2017 recruiting class. The son of former NFL running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward has played in over 25 gams for the Spartans. He led the team with 529 yards rushing and five touchdowns as a sophomore. He has 79 yards on 24 carries this year. Heyward only played in four games for Michigan State in 2019, so he can take a redshirt season.
WR D’Marcus Adams transfers out of Florida State
Adams, from Daytona Beach, Fla., was one of the recruiting holdovers in 2018 as the Seminoles went from Jimbo Fisher to Willie Taggart. Adams redshirted last season and hasn’t seen much time since enrolling at the school in January of 2018. Adams is a top track performer and was nationally ranked out of high school in the 110-meter hurdles.
Sept. 26 Updates
DB Jamyest Williams, former All-SEC freshman, will leave South Carolina
The Gamecocks are struggling on the field, and head coach Will Muschamp is a rough position of needing a win to keep the faithful fanbase at bay. So, the news that South Carolina’s junior safety Jamyest Williams probably couldn’t have come at a worst time. Williams, from Loganville, Georgia, was part of the Gamecocks’ 2017 recruiting class and had a stellar freshman season with 38 tackles and two interceptions. For his efforts, Williams was named to the All-SEC Freshman team and drew comparisons to Tyrann Mathieu because of his size (5-foot-8, 175) and style of play. Williams dealt with some injuries as sophomore, but he had 32 tackles and a pick over eight games. He has played all four games this season but will now take a redshirt and search for a new program.
Two from Oklahoma enter the transfer portal
Cornerback Starrland Baldwin, who hasn’t been listed on Oklahoma’s official team roster this season, has officially entered the transfer portal. Baldwin, from Houston, was part of the Sooners’ 2018 recruiting class. He tore his ACL during training camp in 2018 and missed the entire season. Joining Baldwin in the portal will be linebacker Jonathan Perkins. Perkins, from San Bernardino, Calif., is part of the 2019 recruiting class and enrolled in January. Perkins (6-0, 215) originally chose the Sooners over offers from Arkansas, Louisville, Arizona, UCLA and others.
Veteran LB Brandon Bouyer-Randle will transfer from Michigan State
Brandon Bouyer-Randle, a redshirt junior, was part of the Spartans’ 2016 recruiting class and has provided reliable depth for the Michigan State over the past three seasons. He has played in 30 games after redshirting the 2016. Bouyer-Randle has played on both special teams and as a reserve. He had his best season in 2018 with over 20 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles. If Bouyer-Randle goes through with his transfer, he will have one season of eligibility remaining.
Sept. 24 Updates
Houston QB D’Eriq King decides to redshirt and ????
King was responsible for 50 touchdowns last season and was having another statistically pleasing season with 663 yards passing, 302 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns through four games. The Cougars have started slowly this season and are currently 1-3 under new head coach Dana Holgorsen. The first reports on King were that he would redshirt and enter the transfer portal. But King himself said that he was going to redshirt and return to Houston next season. This is a pretty strange event, so there are a couple of possibilities of why King made this decision. He could be a little banged up and want to spend the rest of the season recovering from injuries rather than play for a struggling team at 70 percent or less. He also may have gotten some NFL feedback and may return playing a different position. This would give Holgorsen a chance to break in a new quarterback during a lost season and have his top player return. Returning is a risky move by King either way. If he wants to play quarterback next year and Holgorsen finds someone younger and more productive in these next eight games, King would likely have to go to another program. And there’s always the risk of an injury.
It is safe to say there’s a lot left to be determined with this move. If King eventually decides to transfer, where would his destination be? Oklahoma is a popular answer, but eventually Lincoln Riley is going to have to play the blue-chip prospects he has recruiting at quarterback or they will stop committing to him. Florida State is also an interesting answer since his former offensive coordinator, Kendal Briles, is down in Tallahassee now. The Seminoles, however, project to have a pretty full quarterback room in 2020 right now. This story might not be over.
Miami OL Cleveland Reed enters the portal
Reed, a redshirt freshman from Fort Meade, Fla., was part of the Hurricanes’ 2018 recruiting class under Mark Richt. Reed has only seen action in three games since arriving at Miami. He played in the Hurricanes’ 63-0 win over Bethune-Cookman but sat out the other three games. Reed was rated as a four-star prospect by the composite rankings compiled by 247Sports.
Former top-100 S Isaiah Pryor leaves Ohio State
Pryor, one of the top prospects in the 2017 recruiting class, played 31 games at Ohio State, including three this season. He had 47 tackles and an interception in his 2-plus years with the Buckeyes. Pryor will count this season as a redshirt and plans to stay at Ohio State until he gets his degree in December. He will be able to play immediately as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility.
Sept. 16 Updates
What’s the deal with Alabama DT Antonio Alfano
Alfano, the top recruit in Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class, has reportedly entered the transfer portal, but according to various Twitter reports as of Monday, his name wasn’t in the portal yet. It usually takes a day or two to get there, so if he didn’t enter until Saturday or Sunday, it might not show up until Tuesday. The whole situation has been a little strange. Alfano hadn’t been practicing with the Crimson Tide for a couple of weeks, and Nick Saban said Alfano was going through some discipline issues and potentially some academic issues. If Alfano does make it to the portal, and by all accounts he will, there will be a lot of eyes seeing where he ends up next. Alfano (6-4, 285) was a top-10 prospect in the Class of 2019, the top-rated prospect in New Jersey and was ranked as the top strong-side defensive end in the nation. Alfano chose the Crimson Tide over Georgia and Penn State in his first go around. Expect many of the top schools to go chasing after him.
RB Deneric Prince leaves Texas A&M
Prince was part of Jimbo Fisher’s first recruiting class with the Aggies, but committed to the program while Kevin Sumlin was head coach. Prince had a very productive spring game, but has yet to find a carry in A&M’s first three games despite two of them being blowout wins against overmatched opposition. Prince’s departure leaves the Aggies pretty thin at running back for the remainder of the season after suffering a few injuries. Prince (6-1, 205) had an offer from Arizona when Sumlin took the job but remained committed to A&M. Don’t be surprised if he ends up with the Wildcats.
LB Blake Barron announces departure from Oklahoma State
Barron was part of the Cowboys’ 2018 recruiting class. He was forced to redshirt after tearing his ACL and MCL during practice and has since be buried on the depth chart after re-injuring his knee. Barron (6-0, 225), from Dallas, never suited up for the Cowboys. His other offers out of high school included Houston and North Texas.
Sept. 12 Updates
WR Devon Williams moves on from USC
Unable to breakthrough on the depth chart, former blue-chip prospect Devon Williams will transfer out of USC. Williams appeared in all 12 games in the 2018 season, but he has struggled with consistency and did not play a snap in Week 1 against Fresno State. Williams did play last week against Stanford and caught a pass for 11 yards. Williams should have plenty of suitors given his recruiting pedigree and big body (6-4, 200). He will have three years of eligibility remaining and a redshirt available to use.
Oft-injured RB Dae Williams leaves Louisville
Williams had a season-ending injury four games into the 2018 season and tore his ACL in the spring of 2017, which forced him to miss the first six games of that season. Despite the ACL injury, Williams had his most success with the Cardinals in 2017 when he rushed for 235 yards and three touchdowns over six games. Overall, he had 306 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games. Williams, from Sapulpa, Oklahoma, should have two years of eligibility remaining and is likely to transfer to an FCS program. Louisville has gone with Javian Hawkins and Hassan Hall in the backfield with Maurice Burkley backing them up.
Sept. 5 Updates
Former Washington QB Haener enrolls at Fresno State
Jake Haener, who left Washington late last month after losing the starting job and entered the transfer portal, has enrolled at Fresno State and was practicing with the Bulldogs on Wednesday, according to the Fresno Bee. Haener will have to sit out the 2019 season and will be eligible as a redshirt junior in 2020. Fresno State’s starting quarterback, Jorge Reyna, is a senior. The Bulldogs have two redshirt freshmen, Ben Wooldridge and Steven Comstock, splitting time as backups. All three players will compete in the spring for the starting job next season. Fresno State also has a commitment from California prospect Jaden Casey in the 2020 recruiting class.
Two leave Tennessee after loss to Georgia State
Wide receiver Jordan Murphy and defensive back Terrell Bailey were officially announced as departures on Monday. Murphy is the second wide receiver to leave Tennessee in the past two weeks. Maleik Gray, a former top-100 player in the 2017 recruiting class as a defensive back, left Tennessee on August 25 and transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Both Murphy and Bailey were available, but did not play in Saturday’s loss. Murphy, a junior, caught 11 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown last season. Bailey, a sophomore, played four games last season, mostly on special teams. There’s no word on if either player has officially entered the transfer portal yet.
Helton: Door open for QB Sears to return
After losing starting quarterback J.T. Daniels for the season to a knee injury, USC head coach Clay Helton said the door was open for former quarterback Jack Sears to return. Sears entered the transfer portal on August 27 but said that he would be on campus for the semester so he could graduate and was willing to help out the Trojans if he were needed. For now, the Trojans will go with true freshman Kedon Slovis and redshirt junior Matt Fink as the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart. After a 5-7 season in 2018, Helton is arguably on the hottest seat in the nation as a head coach and will be taking a major risk starting a true freshman for the rest of the season.
Aug. 28 Updates
Aubrey Solomon cleared to play for Tennessee
Arguably the biggest news to come from the transfer wire in the past 24-48 hours is the NCAA clearing defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon for immediate eligibility with Tennessee. Solomon transferred from Michigan at the beginning of the year and participated in spring practice with the Volunteers. Solomon is listed as the No. 2 right defensive end on Tennessee’s depth chart but, by all accounts, he’ll start for the Volunteers on Saturday in their opener against Georgia State. Solomon was a consensus five-star prospect out of Leesburg, Georgia in the 2017 recruiting class. He committed to Michigan on National Signing Day in 2017. Solomon was a top reserve for the Wolverines as a freshman and was expected to make a major jump in his sophomore season, but injuries slowed him down. Now the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman will try to provide much needed experienced depth for the Tennessee defense.
Virginia Tech OT Brock Hoffman loses final NCAA appeal
Few transfer cases have been more interesting and frustrating to fans than Brock Hoffman. Hoffman transferred from Coastal Carolina to be closer to his mother, Stephanie, and provide support to her as she recently had a non-cancerous brain tumor removed. Hoffman’s appeals have been denied at every turn by the NCAA, which has questioned – in writing – the reasons for Hoffman’s transfer. Technically, the NCAA denied Hoffman because Blacksburg, Virginia sits five miles outside of the 100-mile radius from his home in Statesville, North Carolina. The NCAA has also said – in writing – they believe Stephanie’s condition has improved significantly. Hoffman’s most recent appeal was also denied, and he’ll now have to take a redshirt and will be eligible for the 2020 season.
Former Miami DB Derrick Smith heads to Illinois
Smith was expected to get major playing time in the Hurricanes’ opener against Florida last Saturday but announced he was going to enter the transfer portal a week before the game and committed to Illinois on August 23. Smith, a former three-star prospect out of Orange Park, Florida, played in 25 games during his two seasons with Miami. He will redshirt this season and have two years of eligibility remaining for the Illini.
Jalen Hurts among notable transfers named QB1 at new school
Many of the major quarterback transfers over the past two years will get their opportunities to resume their careers at new programs. Hurts, who had been working with the ones since spring practice, was officially named the starter for Oklahoma’s opener against Houston on Sunday. Justin Fields, a former five-star prospect, who transferred from Georgia to Ohio State in the winter, beat out Kentucky transfer Gunner Hoak for the starting spot with the Buckeyes. Class of 2016 five-star prospect Jacob Eason, another Georgia transfer, has not thrown a pass since early in the 2017 season, but he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Washington Huskies in their opener against Eastern Washington.
Georgia Tech goes 1-for-2 with transfer waivers
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have a tall order in their opener Thursday against Clemson, and that challenge just became tougher after the NCAA denied a waiver to defensive end Antonneous Clayton. Clayton, a Florida transfer, would have likely started or been a major contributor off the bench for the Yellow Jackets this season. Instead, he’ll have one year of eligibility remaining in 2020. It wasn’t all bad new for Georgia Tech, as Michigan transfer Myles Sims’ waiver was approved and he’ll be ready to contribute Thursday for the young Yellow Jackets defense. Sims has four years of eligibility remaining.
Iowa WR Oliver Martin will be immediately eligible
Martin, a Michigan transfer, caught 11 passes for 125 yards last season for Michigan as a redshirt freshman. The former four-star prospect committed to Michigan in the class of 2017. He transferred to Iowa over the summer and is expected to be available for the Hawkeyes’ opener against Miami of Ohio on Saturday.
Former Virginia Tech defensive lineman Proctor opts for JUCO
Proctor put his name in the transfer portal six days ago and will play for Iowa Central Community College this season and graduate in December, giving him two years of eligibility at another school in 2020. Proctor was a four-star prospect coming out of high school and one of the highest-rated players in the Hokies’ 2017 recruiting class. He redshirted in 2017 and played a reserve role last season.
Former LSU DB Kelvin Joseph transfers to Kentucky
Joseph played in 11 games last season for LSU and originally went in the transfer portal in May. He pulled his name out of the portal a week later but went back in late July and announced the decision to transfer to Kentucky earlier this week. Joseph will be eligible for the 2020 season. The former four-star prospect was also considering Florida, Maryland, Auburn and Mississippi State.
QB Lindsey Scott Jr. will look for fourth school
Scott, a former three-star prospect out of Zachary, Louisiana started his career with the LSU Tigers in 2016 but transferred to East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Mississippi after one season. He spent the 2017 season at the former Last Chance U and committed to Missouri in January of 2018. Now after being named QB3 behind Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant and Taylor Powell, Scott has decided to move on again. It’s likely Scott (5-11, 220) will transfer to an FCS or lower-division program.
USC QB Jack Sears will move on
Sears, a former four-star prospect who was rated as a top-five pro-style quarterback in the nation, was thought to have a good shot to compete for the Trojans’ starting quarterback job as the program transitions to the “Air Raid” offense. But J.T. Daniels was named the starter and freshman Kedon Slovis won the backup job, leaving redshirt junior Matt Fink and Sears on the outside looking in. Sears plans to stay at USC for the fall semester and earn his degree. That will allow him to be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer at his next program.
Washington QB Jake Haener leaves after being named a backup
Haener was battling with Jacob Eason for the starting quarterback spot at Washington and lost out to the former five-star prospect. Haener had, however, secured the backup spot and was expected to play this weekend against Eastern Washington, but the former three-star prospect from Danville, California decided to move on instead. His departure leaves Washington thin at quarterback, with only Eason having previous playing experience. Haener is reportedly looking at major programs on the west coast, with Fresno State and San Diego State both being mentioned as possible landing spots.
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