Takeaways from the college football transfer portal: RB market, Colorado exits and more from a busy first day

The inaugural spring window of the NCAA transfer portal for college football players opened on April 15 of last year. On that date, only 90 FBS scholarship players had put their names into the portal. Those were simpler times.

On Tuesday, the spring transfer window opened and 90 scholarship players were already in the portal by 10:30 a.m. ET. By the end of the day, more than 200 people had entered the portal to begin the 14-day period for lower-tier transfers. Here's what we learned from day one.

In numbers

Compared to the first day of the December portal window, when 538 FBS scholarship players and more than 1,100 college football players transferred in one day, Tuesday was fairly quiet.

This time, a total of 221 FBS scholarship players entered the portal, including 105 from Power 5 schools and 116 from the top five pool. This is a significant increase from last year but is predictable now that the NCAA's one-time transfer rule is out of the picture.

Players no longer need to wait and graduate before transferring again, resulting in 47 FBS scholarship players returning to the portal on Tuesday as repeat transfers. That's just over 20 percent of first-day entries. With the exception of Alabama offensive lineman Caden Proctor and two others, these players are generally still trying to find a school where they can be starters.

Pulse bulletin

Free daily sports updates straight to your inbox. subscription

Free daily sports updates straight to your inbox. subscription

He buysBuy the Pulse newsletter

Georgia State led all FBS schools with 13 scholarship players entering the portal. New coach Dale McGee was hired in late February and is just working to rebuild his roster. Arkansas State (eight transfers), Colorado (eight), Bowling Green (six), Illinois (six) and Old Dominion (six) had more departures than most, but keep in mind there will be a lot of movement over these few days. Coming.

We have now surpassed 2,100 FBS scholarship transfers in the current portal cycle that began on August 1. This represents a 25 percent increase from last year's total of 1,685 on April 16. This will be another record year for transfer transactions in college football.

Colorado Spring Cleanup, Part Two

Colorado sophomore Cormani McClain's announcement that he was entering the portal was one of the most impressive developments of the day.

See also  Antoine Davis loses three points from Pete Maravich's scoring record

You can't call it completely unexpected, given that Maclin was sidelined for most of spring ball and struggled early in his rookie campaign. Head coach Deion Sanders wasn't shy about voicing his frustration in September.

However, it's disappointing to see that didn't work out, given how committed MacLean was to this program and its future when Sanders flipped the five-star hotel away from Miami in January 2023. For the record, MacLean had not yet officially walked out of the gate as of late night Tuesday.

Six of Colorado's players who entered the portal Tuesday have been transferred to year one: wide receiver Tar'Varish Dawson, tackle Savion Washington, tackle David Conner, tackle Isaiah Jatta, defensive tackle Chazz Wallace and safety Myles Slusher. Two freshmen from Sanders' first signing class — receiver Jacob Paige and safety Jaden Milliner Jones — join those players moving forward.

Washington's exit means the Buffs will not return any of the five offensive linemen who started in the 2023 season opener. That position was quickly fixed at the end of the season, with Sanders hiring a new coach and six newcomers for the spring.

Where else does Colorado still need help? Don't worry, Shedor Sanders and Shilo Sanders are working on it.

deepen

Go deeper

Rise and control? Where the Coach Prime experience stands in Colorado is at the beginning of year two

Running back market takes shape

Shortly after Oregon State's Damian Martinez entered the portal, he had a clear plan. The returning first-team All-Pac-12 is preparing to take official visits to Arizona, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Kentucky and Miami over the next two weeks.

Visit plans can change quickly during portal recruiting, but his current itinerary provides a solid window into who is in the market for a difference-maker to return in this spring window.

Miami is the school to watch as Martinez's run begins. It may be too early to call the Hurricanes the favorite, but they are in great shape. They have exciting offensive talent in Cam Ward, Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George but have a clear need to step back. Mark Fletcher and Ajay Allen missed spring training with injuries, Henry Parrish Jr. is in the portal, and TreVonte' Citizen is reportedly planning to transfer as well.

See also  Stephen Jones on not signing von Miller: We made a 'conscious decision to go in the direction we took'

Parrish is expected to return to Ole Miss and help meet the needs of the Rebels at that position. Mississippi State picked up a commitment from Miami (Ohio) transfer Rashaad Amos over the weekend. It will be an interesting little game of musical chairs for the rest of these contenders with Dallan Hayden (Ohio State), Trent Howland (Indiana), Isaiah Augustave (Arkansas), and Andrew Ball (Georgia) also available in the portal, in addition to Louisville. Benny Bone It will likely return to the market.

The G5 defensive tackle stands out as the most popular

It's an annual tradition when the transfer portal opens: a group of 5 contestants emerge who are discovered and introduced by everyone at the same time. On Tuesday, it was Kent State defensive tackle CJ West who may have melted his cell phone.

The 6-foot-2, 315-pound senior has developed into a three-year starter for the Flashes and has produced 110 tackles, 59 pressures, 19.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks in his career. West was ranked as the top DT in the MAC last season according to PFF and earned third-team All-MAC honors from the league's coaches.

Twelve hours into his tryout in the portal, West has already received offers from LSU, Indiana, Rutgers, Miami, Kansas State, Colorado, Wisconsin, Arkansas and Texas A&M. He'll pick up a lot this week. There are too many Power 5 programs looking for help at defensive tackle this spring window. The coaches will fight hard for a few big men with rookie caliber like West to emerge.

Where things stand at QB

If you were hoping the big names at the quarterback position would make shocking decisions on Tuesday, you were probably disappointed.

Unless a contender like Michigan decides to change up their room with a running back with a pinned arm or the returning player is outmaneuvered on the spring ball, they will mostly be backups attracting attention during the spring window.

See also  Why Pablo Sandoval Is Trying to Make an MLB Comeback in Giants Spring Training - NBC Sports Bay Area and California

Miami backup Jacurri Brown announced Tuesday that he will soon enter the portal as expected after the Canes brought Ward in January. Alabama's Ty Simpson is expected to remain in Tuscaloosa. Oregon State's Austin Novosad and Ohio State's Lincoln Kienholz are two young QBs other teams are keeping an eye on, but neither entered the portal on Tuesday.

Instead, most of the bystanders who become available are people who have been through this before. Jacolby Creswell (Arkansas), Nick Evers (Wisconsin) and Christian Filo (Pitt) are back in the transfer portal for the second time after transferring last offseason. UCF's Timmy McClain, who made three appearances for the Knights last season, could be next.

North Carolina freshman quarterback Tad Hudson has become the latest member of the 2023 class to arrive in the portal. Eight of the top 30 recruits in his class have already transferred this offseason.

What comes next?

During last year's spring wave, 339 FBS scholarship players were transferred in the first week of the window, and 645 were transferred by the end of April. This course can beat these numbers in terms of quantity, but will it succeed in terms of quality?

If last year's spring break was any indication, we're bound to see some impact players appear in the portal between now and April 30. Many of these teams are still in spring training and won't deal with leaving until the Sunday and Monday after their spring games.

We may not see true star talent hit the market like we did in December when Caleb Downs, Walter Nolen and Quinchon Judkins moved on. The coaching staff and NIL groups don't want to be surprised by the deadline. They will be proactive about taking care of the people they want to keep. Post-spring transfers tend to be backups seeking better playing opportunities. This will remain the case in this cycle. Expect a long two weeks of rapid hiring, renegotiations and rumors as these teams continue to fight to find and turn around their true difference makers.

(Damian Martinez Photo: Soobum Im/USA Today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *