Five SEC transfers off to a hot start in 2022
Believe it or not, we're already a quarter of the way through the 2022 college football season and most teams have at least three games in the books. We spend all offseason projecting how players will perform, particularly those who transfer from one program to another. Now, it's time to take a look at which of these newcomers have had the biggest impacts so far this season.
We start our look today with the five transfers off to the best start in the SEC.
Jayden Daniels, LSU
After starting for three years at Arizona State, Daniels transferred to LSU and beat out Myles Brennan and Garrett Nussmeier for the quarterback job. His Tiger career got off to a bit of a rocky start with a loss to Florida State (although that had more to do with special teams mistakes than Daniels' performance), but has since rebounded well.
Daniels has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 556 yards and six touchdowns through three games. He also leads LSU in rushing with 225 yards and a pair of scores.
Most important, Daniels has not turned the ball over this season. He threw 10 interceptions a season ago. Daniels totaled 303 yards and a pair of scores in LSU's impressive win over Mississippi State on Saturday.
Zach Evans, Ole Miss
Evans' talent has never been in question. Now, the former No. 1 running back in the class of 2020 appears to have finally found the right fit with Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. Evans has rushed for 317 yards and three touchdowns through his first three games in a Rebel uniform, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
Despite splitting snaps with Quinshon Judkins, he's currently second in the SEC in rushing on the year. As a team, Ole Miss ranks fifth nationally in rushing offense at more than 270 yards per game.
The Rebels are going to continue to run the rock this season, and Evans should be the headliner out of the backfield.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
Alabama found a rare dual-threat weapon in Gibbs. Through three games with the Crimson Tide, the Georgia Tech transfer not only leads the team in rushing with 22 carries for 151 yards, but his 14 receptions are the most on the roster, as well. He's turned those into 144 yards and a pair of scores. He caught the winning touchdown in Alabama's thriller against Texas a couple weeks ago.
Alabama has struggled to find a replacement for Jameson Williams and John Metchie III at wide receiver, but Gibbs' receiving prowess has helped fill that void. He should continue to be a focal point for the Crimson Tide offense this year.
Drew Sanders, Arkansas
Sanders struggled to see consistent playing time at Alabama, but he has sure found a home at Arkansas. Sanders leads the SEC with 5.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss through his first three games as a Razorback. His 28 total tackles rank second on the team and fourth in the league.
He's also forced a pair of fumbles. Sanders has been a major reason why Arkansas ranks sixth nationally in run defense. Barry Odom's scheme tends to produce 100-plus-tackle linebackers, and Sanders has the makings of another one.
O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida
Torrence didn't generate a ton of hype when he decided to follow head coach Billy Napier from Louisiana-Lafayette to Florida. But he's looked like a gem so far. According to Pro Football Focus, Torrence has been the highest-graded offensive lineman in the country so far this season who has played at least 60 snaps.
Starting at right guard, Torrence has allowed no sacks and just two quarterback pressures as a pass blocker while also grading out as the best run blocker in the country.