Top transfers to watch during the 2022 college football season

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Caleb Williams

College football’s version of free agency with no salary cap can make the rich even richer, translate a floundering program into an overnight success or could vault good teams to contender status.

The transfer portal has led to these top headliners arriving in new places, set to potentially make the biggest splashes this season.

QB Caleb Williams (6-1, 215) Oklahoma to USC
– Quarterbacks aplenty appear on this list and none are more prominent than Williamsm who was awarded the starter’s role as a freshman for the Sooners over starter Spencer Rattler in the 6th game of the 2021 campaign against Texas. Williams repaid the trust with 1,912 yards passing, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions, completing 64.6 percent in 11 games while adding 442 yards (5.6 average) with six touchdowns. He followed his ex-OU coach Lincoln Riley to SoCal so a seamless transtion is expected.

QB Quinn Ewers (6-2, 205) Ohio State to Texas
– Ranked the No. 1 prospect in the 2022 class, he reclassified in order to enroll early at Ohio State in 2021. Buried behind Buckeyes star C.J. Stroud and other marquee recruits as the fourth option on the depth chart, Ewers looked for greener pastures (with the NIL era in full swing, that can apply multiple ways). He is the starter this season at Texas as a redshirt freshman.

QB Spencer Rattler (6-1, 200) Oklahoma to South Carolina
– The former top national recruit spent three seasons at Oklahoma, redshirting in 2019. Rattler tossed for 4,595 yards, 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, rushing for additional nine scores. He started 17 games for the Sooners prior to bowing out to Caleb Williams in midseason 2021. Once considered a Heisman favorite in the 2021 preseason, Rattler has grabbed the starting role for the Gamecocks.

QB Cameron Ward (6-3, 220) Incarnate Word to Washington State
– Perhaps the best player in this group most may not know about. He played in a wing-T offense in high school where he only attempted 12 passes per game as a senior. As a freshman in the spring of 2021 at Incarnate Word, Ward threw for 2,260 yards, 24 touchdowns, four intercepts in only six games to earn the Jerry Rice Award (national FCS freshman of the year). In the fall of 2021, he accounted for 4,648 passing yards, 47 TD passes with 10 interceptions and earned the Southland Conference Player of the Year honor. Washington State has produced outstanding passers throughout school history including Drew Bledsoe, Ryan Leaf, Jack Thompson and Gardner Minshew. Ward could shatter their single-season passing records.

QB Dillon Gabriel (6-0, 186) UCF to Oklahoma
– The lefty re-united with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby from UCF. In 25 starts for the Knights, he tossed for 8,037 yards, 70 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 60.7 percent completions, running for 372 yards and eight more touchdowns. Gabriel will operate a fast paced attack in Norman, hoping to improve his 2021 stats.

QB Jaxson Dart (6-3, 210) USC to Ole Miss
– Although not officially named the starter in Oxford, he will be under the watchful eye of QB guru Lane Kiffin. Jaxson was the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior after throwing for 4,691 yards, 67 touchdowns with four interceptions. He added 1,195 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns. While a freshman at USC, he threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns vs. Washington State. Pending the decision by Kiffin on who tops the depth chart, Dart has monster potential in a friendly offense.

QB J.T. Daniels (6-2, 220) Georgia to West Virginia
– Originally a USC singee out of high school, Daniels became a Mountaineer in April. Undefeated as a starter with the Bulldogs, Daniels ended up losing the job on an eventual national title winning squad to Stetson Bennett IV. In 2018, Daniels was the second true freshman in USC history to start a season opener, a 43-21 win over UNLV. He spent the 2020 and 2021 season at UGA. The top overall recruit in the nation threw for over 12,000 yards at Mater Dei (Cali.). In 19 college starts, he has tallied 4,840 yards, 32 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, completing 63.8 percent of his throws.

RB Jahmyr Gibbs (5-11, 201) Ga. Tech to Alabama
– The Dalton, Ga. native spent a pair of seasons with the Yellow Jackets as a feature back on struggling teams, running for 1,206 yards and eight scores while averaging 5.2 yards each carry. His versatility earned him a 91.5 grade from APB by Pro Football Focus after he added 59 catches for 768 yards and five scores. Also a special teams threat, he made 31 kick returns with a 25.6 yard average and one score. Now the top running back in the Crimson Tide machine, Gibbs has sky-high potential to shine.

RB Zach Evans (6-0, 215) TCU to Ole Miss
-A five star recruit in 2020, he never got untracked with the Horned Frogs over 15 games (8 starts). He totaled 1,068 yards and nine touchdowns but injuries limited him to just six games in 2021. Evans favorably compares to Denver’s Melvin Gordon. Durability will determine how much he shows off his special talent moving forward.

RB Travis Dye (5-9, 192) Oregon to USC
– In 48 contests (19 starts) with the Ducks, he tallied 3,111 yards with a strong 6.0 yard per totes average and scored 21 touchdowns. Dye grabbed 83 passes for 869 yards and eight scores as well. His 4,337 all purpose yards with Oregon included kick returns. He has surprising strength for his stature to be a workhorse runner.

WR Jordan Addison (6-0, 175) Pittsburgh to USC
The 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner after grabbing 100 passes for 1,593 yards with 17 touchdowns, the top target for Pitt’s Kenny Pickett now will be a primary option for Caleb Williams. Projected as a high 2023 NFL draft pick, Addison is among the top three receivers along with LSU’s Kayshon Boutte and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

WR Mario Williams (5-9, 185) Oklahoma to USC
– Re-uniting with coach Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams at USC, the smallish wideout displays tremendous catching radius. As true freshman, he snared 35 balls for 380 yards and four touchdowns for the Sooners after being tabbed the top high school player in the nation at his position in 2020 as a senior by ESPN.

WR Jermaine Burton (6-0, 200) Georgia to Alabama
– The junior corralled 53 passes for 901 yards and eight touchdowns in 24 contests with the Dawgs. Possessing 4.31 forty speed and velcro hands, he will be a key option for the Crimson Tide and QB Bryce Young. Burton tracks the ball well and shows elite skills to separate. Moreso an intermediate route runner rather than a straight line deep threat, he could become Young’s favorite target.

WR Tyler Hudson (6-2, 197) Central Arkansas to Louisville
– Maybe the biggest sleeper of the group after 33 starts for UCA, the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year in ’19 looks to move up in class. In 2021, he grabbed 62 passes for 1,229 yards and eight touchdowns. Hudson will team up with Louisville QB Malik Cunningham to form a dangerous duo in the ACC.

RT Kingsbury Suamataia (6-6, 330) Oregon to BYU
– Surprised to see an offensive lineman ineman on this list? He’s that good. There are many who will bolster programs but Suamataia woth four years of eligibility remain is a big get (literally) in Provo. The five-star 2021 signee for the Ducks has tremendous skills, athleticism and mobility for his build.

DE Jared Verse (6-3, 248) Albany to Florida State
– The former FCs standout stacked up 14.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for losses and 53 tackles in 15 games. A dominant presence on the edge, cited him among the top three transfer portal prospects to keep tabs on this season. An elite pass rusher, Verse projected to contend for selection in the 2023 NFL Draft first round.

MLB Jacoby Windmon (6-2, 250) UNLV to Michigan State
– Former John Ehret High star brings a ton of experience to East Lansing. A violent tackler, he made 30 starts over three seasons at UNLV. In 2021, Windmon totaled 119 tackles, 11.5 for losses and 6.5 sacks.

DE Noah Taylor (6-5, 240) Virginia to North Carolina
– The senior recorded 13 sacks, 30 tackles for losses, 16 QB hurries and three interceptions during his three seasons with the Cavaliers. Tar Heels defensive coordinator Gene Chizik will feature his skills.

DE Khris Bogle (6-4, 245) Florida to Michigan State
– After racking up 69 tackles, 11.5 tackles for losses and eight sacks in 35 games for the Gators, Bogle still has two years of eligibility remaining. While at Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale), Bogle was ranked the number two defensive end in the 2019 class behind only Kayvon Thibodeaux (the 11th pick by Giants in the ’22 draft). Mel Tucker has thrived on transfers with the Spartans and appears to have another impact performer in the fold.

CB Eli Ricks (6-2, 190) LSU to Alabama
Now a junior, he was a five-star signee for the Tigers in 2020. In 14 appearances at LSU, he recorded four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. A midseason injury in 2021 sidelined him. Projected to be first round pick in 2023 NFL draft, Ricks may have to work his way into Nick Saban’s good graces after joining the Tide.

CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse (6-1, 205) Oklahoma State to LSU
– After 47 starts for the Cowboys, he looks to make his last season remaining count in the SEC. The former Evangel Christian star tallied 216 stops, 24 pass breakups and four interceptions as an All-Big XII performer while in Stillwater.

DB Brandon Joseph (6-1, 196) Northwestern to Notre Dame
– Called the best strong safety in the country, he is projected to be a high first round pick next spring. Adeqautely filling the shoes of current NFL rookie Kyle Hamilton would validate thise projections. Joseph was a team captain as sophomore for the Wildcats. Highly intelligent with 4.52 speed, he shows elite cover skills in either man or zone coverage. Joseph recorded 135 tackles and nine picks during his 1,449 defensive snaps in 23 games at Northwestern.

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Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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