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All-Portal Team: Top offensive players available in transfer market

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Eric Kumah
Eric Kumah (AP Images)

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With National Signing Day in the rear-view mirror and the new transfer rules in place, several schools and their fan bases are looking to the transfer portal as a potential way to plug holes on their respective roster. With that in mind, we take a look at the offensive side of the ball and provide our “all-portal team” of available offensive talent.

QUARTERBACK

As a recruit: Jackson committed to the Hokies over Northwestern, West Virginia and Minnesota during the spring of his junior year. He stuck with the school even after coach Frank Beamer resigned and was replaced by Justin Fuente.

With the Hokies: After redshirting his first year on campus, Jackson won the starting job in 2017 and surprised many around the country by throwing for nearly 3,000 yards. His sophomore season was cut short due to an injury after three games in 2018 and after being told he would have to compete for the starting job in 2019, Jackson elected to transfer.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Jackson has a lot of ability not only as a passer but as someone who can extend the play and lead an offense. His success in his one full year as a starter is encouraging and if he finds the right offense he could put up major numbers and make an offense dangerous.” -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director

As a recruit: Starkel made an early commitment to Oklahoma State, but backed off that pledge following his senior season and ended up landing at Texas A&M.

With the Aggies: After redshirting his first year on campus, Starkel won the starting job to open the 2017 season. After suffering an injury in the school’s season-opener against UCLA, Starkel missed several games, but returned and regained his job later that year. In 2018, Starkel lost out on the starting job to Kellen Mond and spent the year as his primary backup. In 11 career games, Starkel has thrown for 1,962 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 60 percent of his passes.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Starkel has shown flashes of excellent potential and he has good field vision and makes good decisions. I think he’s a capable starter for some team with good leadership skills and the ability to run a balanced offense. Mond was the better athlete. That’s why he won the job.” -- Farrell

Other Available Quarterbacks: Deondre Francois (Florida State), Kasim Hill (Maryland), Hendon Hooker (Virginia Tech), Ross Bowers (California), Ty Storey (Arkansas), Braxton Burmeister (Oregon)

RUNNING BACK

As a recruit: Williams signed with North Carolina as a high school prospect, picking the Tar Heels over South Carolina, Clemson and several others. After just one year on campus and sparse playing time, he elected to transfer to South Carolina.

As a Gamecock: Williams had two productive seasons for the Gamecocks while serving in an all-purpose role, rushing for 471 yards in 2017 and adding 328 yards rushing and 152 yards receiving in 2018. After finishing third on the pecking order when it came to carries, Williams elected to transfer for his final year of eligibility.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Williams brings versatility to any offense as he can run the ball but also be effective in the passing game. He gets upfield quickly and has reliable hands, so I think he will be an effective change of pace and third down back for someone.” -- Farrell

As a recruit: One of the top junior college players in the 2018 class, Bell committed to Nebraska during the Early Signing Period over Arizona State, Tennessee, Louisville, Boise State and Utah.

As a Husker: Bell started the first three games of the 2018 season for the Huskers but after losing his job for Game 4 he elected to leave the school in an effort to preserve a year of eligibility under college football’s new redshirt rules. He finished the year with 173 rushing yards.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: No

Why he can still make an impact: “Bell has good size and is an excellent downhill runner who can break tackles and make yards after contact. He’s a good fit for a pro style offense that will feed him the ball and allow him to gain confidence and strength the more he carries the ball.” -- Farrell

Other Available Running Backs: JD King (Oklahoma State), Kyle Porter (Texas), Eric Swinney (Ole Miss), Taj Griffin (Oregon), Amir Rasul (Florida State), Tristian Houston (Texas), Brandon Stephens (UCLA), Josh Crawford (Vanderbilt), Siheim King (Kentucky), Caleb Perry (Washington State), Jonathan Femi-Cole (Minnesota).

WIDE RECEIVERS

As a recruit: Johnson committed to Penn State during the spring of his junior year, picking the Nittany Lions over offers from Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State and several others.

As a Nittany Lion: After a redshirt year and a year as a reserve, Johnson had a breakout season in 2017, catching 54 passes for 701 yards. He took a step back in 2018 while struggling with drops and nagging injuries and finished the year with 352 yards on 25 catches. Johnson announced his intention to transfer for his final year of eligibility last month.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Johnson isn’t a burner, but he’s a big, strong possession receiver who can make plays over the middle and move the chains. He has reliable hands and he’s a matchup problem for smaller corners, so he could have a big year with the right team.” -- Farrell

As a recruit: Kumah committed to Virginia Tech over NC State, Miami and several others during the summer prior to his senior year.

As a Hokie: After redshirting his first year on campus, Kumah emerged as a consistent target for the Hokies' quarterbacks over the next two seasons. He had a career-high 42 catches for 559 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018 and finished his Hokie career with 883 yards and nine touchdowns. He announced his plan to transfer last month and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Kuham is a prospect who is still emerging and developing as a talent. He’s a solid route runner and a very disciplined player so he’s a reliable target for any quarterback. He won’t run away from many but he will make some big plays downfield here and there." -- Farrell

As a recruit: Salomon initially had leaders like Miami, Alabama and others but as his recruitment played out his stock fell among Power Five schools and he eventually landed at USF.

As a Bull: After making a minimal impact as a freshman in 2016, Salomon had a breakout season in 2017, catching 32 passes for 512 yards and five touchdowns. But he took a step back in 2018, both in terms of his production and his relationship with the USF coaching staff. After catching 25 passes for 440 yards during the regular season, he was suspended for the team’s bowl game and ultimately elected to transfer.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: No

Why he can still make an impact: “Salomon has a ton of talent as a big, long-striding receiver who can not only make plays downfield but also be a red zone threat. At one point in his high school career he showed so much talent he was a five-star, but a lack of desire and effort really hurt him. If he wants to be great, he can be great.” -- Farrell

FOR MORE USF COVERAGE, VISIT RUNNINGTHEBULLS.COM

Other Available Wide Receivers: Trevon Sidney (USC), George Campbell (Florida State), Josh Imatorbhebhe (USC), Kyle Davis (FAU), Brandon Polk (Penn State), Damian Alloway (UCLA), Irvin Charles (Penn State), Jaylon Robinson (Oklahoma), Keith Mixon (Mississippi State), Terrell Chatman (Arizona State), Carmoni Green (Illinois), Keyston Fuller (Duke), Cam Sullivan-Brown (Penn State), La’Michael Pettway (Arkansas), Aaron Young (Duke), Tavin Richardson (Kentucky), Devin Butler (Syracuse).

TIGHT END

As a recruit: A late-emerging wide receiver turned tight end, Dorsey chose Illinois over UCF, South Carolina, Indiana and several others.

As an Illini: Dorsey stepped right into the lineup as a freshman at Illinois, catching 22 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. But an unspecified violation of team rules led to a suspension during the offseason prior to the 2018 and the issues lingered into the year, leading to Dorsey leaving the team midway through his sophomore season.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: No

Why he can still make an impact: “Dorsey was a raw wide receiver out of high school with solid athleticism but was very raw. Now he’s a big target who can work the middle of the field and stretch a defense when needed. He has all the physical skills to be a very good one in the right offense.” -- Farrell

Other Available Tight Ends: Chris Cunningham (Virginia Tech), Tyrone Wheatley (Michigan), Nakia Griffin Stewart (Rutgers), Christian Roberson (Mississippi State), Kyle Penniston (Wisconsin), Nasier Upshur (Florida State).

OFFENSIVE LINE

As a recruit: Braun committed to Georgia Tech during the summer prior to his senior year, choosing the Jackets over Florida, Miami, Ohio State and several others.

As a Yellow Jacket: Braun stepped right into the lineup as a freshman and made an immediate impact, earning a starting spot by the middle of his freshman season. From that point on he was a fixture in the lineup, starting 32 consecutive games and earning second-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore and first-team All-ACC honors as a junior. After the Jackets changed coaches in December, Braun elected to transfer for his final year of eligibility.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Braun is a plug-and-play guy with a ton of experience, especially as a run blocker and he can instantly be a leader for some offensive line. A physical kid, he is also mobile enough to reach the second level. He’ll be highly coveted because of his experience and talent.” - Farrell

As a recruit: A two-star in the 2015 class, Jackson has just one FBS offer, courtesy of Rutgers, and he committed to the Scarlet Knights during the spring of his junior year.

As a Scarlet Knight: After playing mostly as a reserve center and left guard during his first two years on campus, Jackson blossomed after moving to right guard for the 2018 season. According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson was the team’s best overall blocker, and was one of the top graded pass blockers in the entire Big Ten. Despite being locked in for a starting job in 2019, he decided to enter the transfer portal for his final year of eligibility.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Jackson is an excellent pass protector and a well-balanced lineman overall who can make an immediate impact someplace. He’s physical, he plays with good leverage and he’s versatile. He could be a center or a guard for someone.” -- Farrell

As a recruit: Richmond saw offers pour in from all over the country during his recruitment and he initially committed to Ole Miss prior to his senior year. But a late push from Tennessee got the Vols back into the picture and he eventually flipped to the in-state school on signing day in 2015.

As a Volunteer: After redshirting his first season at Tennessee, Richmond stepped into the lineup at left tackle in 2016 and saw his share of ups and downs while playing nearly 500 snaps for the nine-win Vols. He continued to show improvement in 2017, playing another 400-plus snaps at left tackle before missing the final few games of the season with an injury. Richmond moved to right tackle in 2018 and graded out as the Vols' best pass-blocking offensive lineman on the season, according to Pro Football Focus, but he struggled with penalties and as a run blocker. He entered his name into the transfer portal following the season, with one year of eligibility remaining.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: “Richmond still has a very high ceiling despite needing work as a pass blocker and being a bit more disciplined. He has excellent size, can play left or right tackle and he has good feet. As a one-year transfer, he’s a plug-and-play guy who is ready to start from day one.” -- Farrell

As a recruit: Murphy committed to Texas Tech over Houston, Oklahoma State and several others during the summer prior to his senior season. After a couple of injury-riddled seasons with the Red Raiders, he medically retired in 2016. After taking a year off, he re-emerged and transferred to UCLA.

As a Bruin: Murphy started the first four games of the season for the Bruins, before going down with another injury that limited his playing time over the rest of the season. Despite his absence from the game, Murphy was UCLA’s highest-graded pass blocking offensive lineman in 2018 according to Pro Football Focus. After receiving a sixth-year of eligibility from the NCAA, he surprisingly announced his plans to transfer in December.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: Yes

Why he can still make an impact: Murphy has been injury prone for sure but he has a ton of potential if he can stay healthy. He’s tall and long and a solid pass blocker who can also hold his own as a run blocker. He’s motivated to have a great last season and his experience will provide leadership for someone.” -- Farrell

As a recruit: Ashley committed to Auburn during his sophomore year in high school and despite a late push from Maryland, he elected to stick with the Tigers.

As a Tiger: Ashley redshirted his first year on campus and came into 2018 poised to make an impact. His most significant action came against Southern Miss, when he was inserted into the lineup following an injury, but he struggled, allowing three sacks in the game. He was limited over the second half of the season due to a medical issue and didn’t appear in a game over the second half of the season. He announced his plans to transfer earlier this month.

Grad transfer with immediate eligibility?: No

Why he can still make an impact: “Ashley has great size and length but has had to overcome some injuries that have limited him a bit. That being said, he’s still very talented and can be a starter at left or right tackle for the right program. He was one of the more athletic offensive linemen I’ve seen over the last many cycles out of high school before the injuries started to mount.” -- Farrell

Other Available Offensive Linemen: Reuben Unije (Illinois), Josh Wariboko (UCLA), Thiyo Lukusa (Arizona), Larry Boyd (Illinois), Jake Grant (Utah), Andrew Trainer (Illinois), Jesus Gibbs (South Carolina), Eleasah Anderson (Baylor), R.J. Proctor (Virginia), Oge Udeogu (Iowa State), Zeke Martin (Illinois).