Predicting where five top grad transfers will land
Several big names have changed schools this offseason and while there will be plenty of more transfers at the conclusion of spring, the number of players who will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 is dwindling. We take a look at some of the big names still on the market and do our best to predict their landing spots.
As a recruit: Zaire was one of the nation’s top overall players, and chose the Irish over Alabama, Ohio State and several others.
At Notre Dame: Zaire waited his chance to get a shot in South Bend and seemed like the program’s future quarterback when he lead the Irish to a victory over LSU in the Music City Bowl to cap the 2014 season. But just two games into his sophomore year he suffered a season-ending injury, allowing DeShone Kizer to step in and take over the job. In 2016 Zaire served as Kizer’s back up before deciding to transfer at the conclusion of the season.
Where he will land: Florida. Zaire seemed bound for North Carolina, but his spot actually went to another graduate transfer, former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris. With limited scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Zaire could be a perfect fit in Gainesville until some of the school’s younger options are ready to play.
As a recruit: Bolin was one of the top recruits in the state of Kentucky in the 2013 class and elected to stay in-state, choosing the Cardinals over Cincinnati and Illinois.
At Louisville: Bolin had his share of success with the Cardinals, leading the school to a victory over bitter rival Kentucky in 2014 and then splitting time with Lamar Jackson in 2015. However, Jackson emerged as a star, leaving Bolin to look for other options.
Where he will land: Northern Illinois. Bolin has several options with Cincinnati, Western Michigan and others showing interest, but a move to the MAC seems like the clearest path to playing time. He should thrive in the Huskies' offense.
As a recruit: Mitchell was a versatile athlete who played a number of positions in high school and chose to play for Iowa over Kansas State, Cincinnati and Nebraska.
At Iowa: Mitchell started his career with the Hawkeyes as a wide receiver before moving to running back. His best season came in 2015 when his versatility saw him contribute as a weapon out of the backfield. But he barely played in 2016, clearing the way for him to leave the school to explore other options.
Where he will land: Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have been battling Bowling Green to land Mitchell, but the chance to play in the Big 12 and see the field should help Texas Tech win out.
As a recruit: Dye was one of the nation’s top backs in the Class of 2013, choosing Clemson over a number of other offers including Georgia, Notre Dame and Tennessee.
At Clemson: Dye’s career never really took off with the Tigers as a number of injuries slowed him down. His best year came as a redshirt freshman, but he was used primarily in mop up duty the last two seasons and didn’t record a statistic in the College Football Playoff.
Where he will land: Miami. The Hurricanes are in need of a back up for Mark Walton and Dye’s ties to the staff from their time at Georgia make the Canes the favorites over programs such as SMU and Georgia Southern.
As a recruit: Wilkerson was a four-star in the class of 2013, committing to Georgia over Clemson, South Carolina and several others.
At Georgia: Wilkerson never quite lived up to his ranking with the Bulldogs as he navigated through several defensive coaching changes. He appeared in 20 total games in his career, including six in 2016.
Where he will land: Iowa State. The Cyclones jumped at the chance to host Wilkerson for a visit earlier this month and seem like the most likely destination for the former four-star.