Ten Power Five programs most affected by the transfer portal
The addition of the transfer portal to college football has been one of the biggest developments in recent years, as players now have more information than ever when it comes to seeking a new school. Instead of getting permission from their current schools in order to transfer, and in many cases being blocked from certain schools, players now have the ability to transfer to another school freely.
Pretty much every team in college football has been affected by the portal in one way or another, whether it’s players coming or going, and it’s only likely to continue once depth charts shake out after spring football. With that in mind, we went through every name that has been publicly tied to the portal (the actual portal database isn’t public) - and the school they are transferring to or from - to find the 10 Power Five programs most impacted by the portal since its introduction in October.
PENN STATE - 18 players
Subtractions: WR Juwan Johnson (Oregon), TE Danny Dalton (Boston College), OL Alex Gellerstedt (Virginia), DE Torrence Brown (Southern Miss), LB Manny Bowen (Utah), LB Jarvis Miller (UMass), LB Dae'lun Darien (Delaware), DB Isaiah Humphries (Cal), LS Matt Aloni (Long Island)
Farrell’s take: It’s never a good sign to have this many players leaving, some of them with quite a bit of talent and potential. Is this an indictment of James Franklin and the direction of his program? I don’t think it is, as I expect Penn State to continue to challenge for the Big Ten East. But if you told me a couple of years ago that players like Juwan Johnson and Manny Bowen would be leaving, whatever the reason, I would have been surprised.
ARKANSAS - 16 PLAYERS
Farrell’s take: This isn’t completely unexpected as Chad Morris makes over the roster the way he wants and is bringing in a very talented recruiting class. A few of these players, such as Chevin Calloway, were big recruiting wins, but when you’re coming off a 2-10 season sometimes subtraction is needed. Morris will have a more talented roster on the field this season, and adding the two quarterbacks is key.
VIRGINIA TECH - 15 PLAYERS
Subtractions: QB Josh Jackson (Maryland), WR Sean Savoy (Maryland), WR Samuel Denmark (Coastal Carolina), OL D’Andre Plantin (North Texas), DE Trevon Hill (Miami), DT Cam Goode (UCF), DT Darius Fullwood (William & Mary), LB Aundre Kearney (UCF)
Farrell’s take: There is no great way to spin this for Virginia Tech and Justin Fuente, who are coming off a bad season. This is a lot of subtraction. But it’s not like these guys are headed to national title contenders, so the losses aren’t as bad as they appear. I like the upside of Burmeister and think only a couple of these transfers, such as Kumah, will really hurt.
ARIZONA STATE - 14 PLAYERS
Farrell’s take: We all know that Herm Edwards doesn’t play and he’s going to make over his roster his way. Similar to the Arkansas situation, but much better in wins and losses, Edwards will recruit his guys and didn’t inherit an overly talented roster.
UCLA - 14 PLAYERS
Currently in the portal: RB Brandon Stephens, WR Damian Alloway, WR Stephen Johnson, TE Jimmy Jaggers, WR Audi Omotosho, OL Josh Wariboko, OL Justin Murphy, LB Rahyme Johnson, DB Collin Samuel, DB Octavius Spencer, P Austin Kent
Farrell’s take: There is some talent on this list and some with a very high ceiling, such as Nnoruka and Phillips, but Chip Kelly has a big ego and will find players that fit his system and play how he wants them to. The problem? Recruiting isn’t going well, so this could take some time to build a talented roster.
MIAMI - 12 PLAYERS
Additions: QB Tate Martell (Ohio State), RB Asa Martin (Auburn), WR KJ Osborn (Buffalo), OT Tommy Kennedy (Butler), DE Trevon Hill (Virginia Tech), DE Chigozie Nnoruka (UCLA), Jaelan Phillips (UCLA), Bubba Bolden (USC)
Currently in the portal: None
Players who entered the portal but returned to team: WR Jeff Thomas
Farrell’s take: Miami is clearly the winner of the transfer portal battles this time around, as it is adding so much talent. Martell could be a star and guys like Martin, Nnoruka, Phillips and Bolden could be great additions. Recruiting didn’t go great in 2019, but this went very well.
VANDERBILT - 11 PLAYERS
Farrell’s take: Vandy loses a couple of offensive linemen I like, and their additions might not be household names, but there is some talent there. It’s not as easy to add players at Vanderbilt because of the academics, but it did a good job with the portal this time around.
USC - 10 PLAYERS
Players who entered the portal but returned to team: DB Greg Johnson
Farrell’s take: Getting Johnson back was big, but there is some talent leaving USC, which is never good. I thought Sidney would be a star at USC and can still make a big impact, and Betiku is a freak athlete. Not much is going well at USC these days.
ARIZONA - 10 PLAYERS
Farrell’s take: With Kevin Sumlin the new man in town, there were bound to be some defections, and Arizona should be fine despite the losses. Like Herm Edwards, he will build his roster with his own players through recruiting.
FLORIDA STATE - 9 PLAYERS
Players who entered the portal but returned to team: OL Landon Dickerson
Farrell’s take: The quarterback additions are key, although they aren’t stars, and losing Campbell doesn’t hurt at all. Francois is the big loss, but getting Dickerson back was big. FSU can recruit better players than the ones they lost or are losing.