football Edit

Three-Point Stance: ACC transfers, teams trending up, key Big 12 players

Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with a ranking of the ACC transfer classes, a look at Power Five programs that could be trending up and a breakdown of offensive players that need to step up in the Big 12.


FACT OR FICTION: Hendon Hooker could win the Heisman Trophy

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State | JUCO

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board

RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series




Kedon Slovis
Kedon Slovis (USA Today Sports Images)

Continuing on I take a look at the top teams in order from the ACC in the transfer portal.

T-1. Florida State

Total additions: 10

Headliners: Mycah Pittman (Oregon), Trey Benson (Oregon), Winston Wright (West Virginia), Deuce Spann (Illinois), Johnny Wilson (Arizona State), Kayden Lyles (Wisconsin)

The 'Noles clearly wanted to upgrade the receiver position, so they went and picked up four guys in Pittman, Wright, Spann and Wilson, all of whom will push for playing time. Lyles, the two-year starter at Wisconsin is a nice piece on the interior of the offensive line with the ability to play center or guard. Benson should also see snaps at running back.

T-1. Virginia

Total additions: 7

Headliners: Devin Chandler (Wisconsin), Kameron Butler (Miami-Ohio), Paul Akere (Old Dominion), Mac Hollensteiner (Georgetown), John Paul Flores (Dartmouth)

A very solid portal class for first-year coach Tony Elliott. Chandler has great speed and elusiveness and should shine with Brennan Armstrong throwing him the ball. Butler was a beast at Miami and could be a double-digit sack player next year, and Akere is another guy who can really get after the quarterback. Hollensteiner and Flores are both potential contributors on the offensive line.

3. Louisville

Total additions: 7

Headliners: Jayden Williams (USC), Tyler Hudson (Central Arkansas), Tiyon Evans (Tennessee)

Hudson is a sneaky-great addition for the Cardinals after he went for more than 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in three seasons at Central Arkansas. Evans is another strong addition from Tennessee after he was the No. 2 back for the Vols last season. He enters as the odds on favorite to start at running back next season.

4. Miami

Total additions: 6

Headliners: Daryl Porter (West Virginia), Antonio Moultrie (UAB), Frank Ladson (Clemson)

The big name here is Ladson, who will look to replicate the success that last year's big transfer receiver, Charleston Rambo, had. Moultrie is a really nice player on the edge, and could be the next great sack artist for the U.

5. Syracuse

Total additions: 6

Headliners: Juwaun Price (New Mexico State), Dan Villari (Michigan), Isaiah Johnson (Dartmouth)

Price will join Sean Tucker to give the Orange one of the best running back duos in the conference. Johnson brings really intriguing size at corner, as his 6-foot-4 frame is one that you don't see every day at that position. Villari could be the quarterback of the future after leaving Michigan.

6. Pittsburgh

Total additions: 4

Headliners: Kedon Slovis (USC), Shayne Simon (Notre Dame)

Slovis is obviously the big name here and for good reason. He massively outplayed his three-star ranking during his tenure at USC, and offers a similar skillset to departed starter Kenny Pickett. Simon is an interesting piece as well, as he'll look to replace the departed Wendell Davis.

7. Georgia Tech

Total additions: 7

Headliners: Khari Gee (Notre Dame), Ahmari Harvey (Auburn), Pierce Quick (Alabama), Hassan Hall (Louisville), Paul Tchio (Clemson)

Lots of needs for Georgia Tech, and the Yellow Jackets have done a nice job of adding some undervalued players to their roster. Quick and Tchio will both be factors on the offensive line, while Gee and Harvey could be their new safety pairing on the back end of the defense. Hall will be asked to replace Jahmyr Gibbs, who left for Alabama.

8. Virginia Tech

Total additions: 4

Headliners: Jadan Blue (Temple), Grant Wells (Marshall), Jason Brown (South Carolina)

With Braxton Burmeister gone, new coach Brent Pry is bringing in both Wells and Brown to contend for the starting job behind center. Whoever is starting however will have a nice target to throw to in Blue, who will need to step up after losing Tayvion Robinson to Kentucky.

9. Wake Forest

Total additions: 2

Headliners: Kobie Turner (Richmond)

Not much here for the Demon Deacons, who are keeping most of their division-winning squad intact from last season. Turner however has a chance to be special, as he was an FCS All-American last season as well as a three-time all-CAA selection.

10. North Carolina

Total additions: 3

Headliners: Noah Taylor (UNC), Corey Gaynor (Miami), Spencer Rolland (Harvard)

Gaynor and Rolland were brought in to help shore up the offensive line which struggled at times last season. Taylor was a playmaker for the Cavaliers over the past two seasons and should shine in Chapel Hill.

11. Boston College

Total additions: 2

Headliners: Dino Tomlin (Maryland), Regen Terry (Arizona)

Only two additions for the Eagles, who, with a healthy Phil Jurkovec, should be a player in the Atlantic next season. Terry is an intriguing piece on the defensive line, while Tomlin adds depth to an already strong receiver corps.

12. NC State

Total additions: 1

Headliners: Darryl Jones (Maryland)

The only addition for the Wolfpack who are bringing back a lot from last year's squad. The only real need they had was at receiver and Jones should help fill in the depth there.

13. Clemson

Total additions: 1

Headliners: Hunter Johnson (Northwestern)

The rare return to their original school, Johnson is back for the Tigers after two years in Evanston. However, his play has not been up to his five-star grade coming out of high school, so don't expect Clemson's only addition to see the field much if at all this year.

14. Duke

Total additions: 1

Headliners: Evan Deckers (Massachusetts)

The only addition for the Blue Devils was Deckers, a long snapper from Massachusetts. New coach Mike Elko has talent needs across the board, so don't be surprised if they make some moves after spring practice.



Jimbo Fisher
Jimbo Fisher (USA Today Sports Images)

On Tuesday I singled out a team in each Power Five conference in danger of a serious regression this fall. Here's a look at the teams on the opposite side of that ledger:

SEC: Texas A&M - Jimbo Fisher has been absolutely killing it on the recruiting trail the past couple of seasons, culminating with signing the top-ranked 2022 class. Add in transfer quarterback Max Johnson, and you've got the recipe for a true contender. We know that boosters around the program are not afraid to throw around the big bucks, and with NIL deals becoming increasingly lucrative, the Aggies will be able to continue to lure top talent from across the country.

Big Ten: Maryland - The Terps are a bit of a surprise choice here, but Mike Locksley has this program headed in the right direction. Taulia Tagovailoa made huge strides last season, and they've added some key pieces to replenish their wide receiver corps. They play in one of the toughest divisions in college football, so they'll always be behind the eight ball, but Maryland is definitely a program on the rise.

ACC: Miami - Mario Cristobal is off to a great start at his alma mater, and the bet here is on his recruiting prowess. Assuming he's able to re-establish the state of Miami and lock down the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country, the U will be back sooner rather than later. And it doesn't hurt that the Canes already got a high-end quarterback in the fold with the emergence of Tyler Van Dyke.

Big 12: Texas - Things couldn't have gone much worse in Steve Sarkisian's first season in Austin, but there are a lot of signs pointing to the program moving in the right direction. The biggest piece here is the addition of Quinn Ewers, who should be a big step up at quarterback.

Pac-12: USC - The obvious choice here, USC has gotten a huge influx of talent via the portal and has a new coach who we know gets results in Lincoln Riley. With Caleb Williams in the fold, the Trojans will have a clear upgrade at the most important position, and Riley is certain to recruit at a high level moving forward.



Malik Knowles
Malik Knowles (USA Today Sports Images)

Today I round out the offensive players (non-QB and non-transfers) who need to step up for each team this spring. We finish with the Big 12.

Baylor: RB Taye McWilliams — Baylor loses a ton of backfield yardage with Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner gone but McWilliams has big-play ability and showed a bit of it last season. He’s the most likely candidate to step in.

Iowa State: RB Jirehl Brock — Brock has learned under Breece Hall and the big back is ready to shine on his own. And he better with a new QB in place as well.

Kansas: WR Lawrence Arnold -- A true No. 1 receiver is needed and Arnold has the potential to be that guy.

Kansas State: WR Malik Knowles — He had a solid season last year but someone needs to step up and be a true No. 1 with a new QB. He has the skill to take it up a notch.

Oklahoma: OT Savion Byrd — He’s raw but he can play tackle or guard and it would help a ton if he could fill the need at RT.

Oklahoma State: RB Dominic RichardsonJaylen Warren, Dezmon Jackson and LD Brown are all gone as Richardson most likely steps up to be the main workhorse.

TCU: RB Kendre Miller — With Zach Evans transferring, Miller is the guy and has rushed for 1,011 yards, nine TDs and 7.4 yards per carry.

Texas: OL Hayden Conner — Texas needs him to step up his game a notch and win one of the starting guard spots or a true freshman will pass him.

Texas Tech: OL Weston Wright — The Texas Tech offensive line is a massive question mark as the Red Raiders lose three starters and add two transfers so Wright has to become the clear leader of the group.

West Virginia: RB Tony Mathis — With Leddie Brown gone, Mathis is clearly the man and showed flashes last year but never found the end zone.