Three-Point Stance: Transfer moves, All-Americans, big offers
Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with thoughts on some big recent transfers from the portal, his way-too-early first-team All-America offense for next season and the five biggest offers in college football today.
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1. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RECENT PORTAL ADDITIONS
Here are a few recent transfers that will, in some cases, impact both conference battles and also the future of their new head coaches.
TE Jhaleel Billingsley, Texas — He was in Nick Saban’s doghouse and then had a lackluster performance in the national title game when he was needed, but the talent is obviously there as is the ability to stretch the field. Moves like this will make or break Steve Sarkisian in the long run.
QB Chubba Purdy, Nebraska — The Huskers won’t be playing for any titles anytime soon but Scott Frost has a job to keep so adding Purdy to compete with fellow transfer Casey Thompson is critical as is next season overall.
DL Mekhi Wingo, WR Kyren Lacy, RB Noah Cain, CB Greg Brooks Jr., Mekhi Williams-Garner, LSU — Brian Kelly has been very busy in the portal and we saw what transfers can do to a program immediately last year with Michigan State. A depleted LSU roster is being built for a run at perhaps nine or 10 wins next season?
CB Dwight McGlothern, LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas — Defensive coordinator Barry Odom is a smart guy and Arkansas is looking to break into the upper tier of the SEC West and if the Razorbacks do so it will be with defense. Both of these guys are from the SEC West and have a chip on their shoulders.
DB Jalen Kimber, RB Montrell Johnson, OT O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida — Billy Napier will be under pressure early as is the case with every Gators head coach since Urban Meyer. His two Louisiana transfers — Johnson and Torrence — are legit and Kimber comes from rival Georgia and will be a key for depth in the secondary.
WR Mario Williams, WR Brenden Rice, USC — Lincoln Riley needs offensive weapons and a former five-star in Williams and Jerry Rice’s kid are a good start. Now if he can only close on QB Caleb Williams.
2. WAY-TOO-EARLY PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN TEAM - OFFENSE
It’s way too early to look at next season but let’s do it anyhow. We'll start with my first-team All-American offense.
QB: Bryce Young, Alabama - An absolute no-brainer. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner will have to break in some new weapons at receiver and tight end but that doesn't change the fact that he's the best quarterback in college football.
RB: TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State - Henderson had a huge true freshman season and is poised for an even bigger role in Ryan Day's offense as a sophomore. One of the most explosive players in the country, he accelerates as fast as anyone in the open field making him a big threat in both the run game and as a receiver out of the backfield.
RB: Bijon Robinson, Texas - Was Texas underwhelming last year? Absolutely, but it wasn't Robinson's fault. He managed over 1,100 yards and 15 scores in only 10 games despite a lot of chaos surrounding him. Robinson should be considered among the favorites to lead the nation in rushing next year assuming full health with another year in Steve Sarkisian's system under his belt.
WR: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State - With Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson now off to the NFL, Smith-Njigba will assume the true No. 1 role, if he wasn't there already. His percentage of targets should go up even more, and as evidenced by his performance in the Rose Bowl and he's more than up to the task. He finished last season with more than 1,600 receiving yards despite being the nominal No. 3 receiver on a very talented Buckeyes team.
WR: Jordan Addison, Pitt - The Biletnikoff Award winner as a sophomore, Addison emerged as one of the best playmakers in the country in tandem with the rise of Kenny Pickett as one of the nation's top quarterbacks. Despite having a new quarterback (Kedon Slovis) and a new offensive coordinator coming in to replace Mark Whipple, Addison will still be among the most dangerous players in the nation.
TE: Brock Bowers, Georgia - Bowers had arguably the best freshman season for a tight end in college football history this past season - his 13 touchdowns were sixth in the country among all players and his 882 yards were third among all tight ends. He'll have an even bigger role in the offense this coming year.
OT: Braeden Daniels, Utah - Daniels anchored a Utes line that was among the best in the nation last season. Utah led the Pac-12 in rushing, and his run blocking grade of 90.4 was third-highest among Power Five tackles according to PFF, and his overall grade of 87 was fourth.
OT: Jordan McFadden, Clemson - Despite Clemson's struggles on offense this season, McFadden was the one constant throughout the year. He has the highest PFF grade from this past season among all returning Power Five tackles, grading out at 90.0 overall. So while there's plenty of uncertainty around him, we know that he'll take care of business.
OG: O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida - Torrence was outstanding for the past three seasons at Louisiana, where he helped anchor what was the most dominant line in all of the Group of Five. He's following coach Billy Napier to Florida this year, and even though it will be a step up in competition, if there's anyone who can handle it, it's Torrence, who graded out as the fifth-best guard in the nation last year per PFF.
OG: Andrew Voorhees, USC - PFF's top-graded Power Five guard from last season, Voorhees returns to USC for one more season where he'll be an asset to Lincoln Riley. In over 500 pass-blocking snaps last season, he allowed only one sack and two QB hits.
C: Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin - This was a tossup between Tippmann and Minnesota's John Michael Schmitz, but I went with Tippmann because I see him having a bigger upside. At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, he's massive for a center but moves exceptionally well. He finished the season as the fifth-highest-graded center in the country according to PFF, allowing only two pressures and zero sacks in his first season as a starter for the Badgers in 2021.
Flex: Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State - The ultimate Swiss Army Knife, Vaughn is simply devastating out of the backfield. The shiftiest player in the country, Vaughn makes guys look foolish without breaking a sweat. He finished fourth in the nation in total yards from scrimmage with 1,860 and looks more like Kansas State legend Darren Sproles every day.
3. WHICH PROGRAMS QUALIFY AS 'BIG OFFERS'?
Four-star offensive lineman Payton Kirkland recently announced that he received an offer from Alabama and was beyond excited about it. That got me thinking: What offers qualify as 'big' these days? It used to be USC under Pete Carroll and Florida under Urban Meyer but today? Here are the five big ones:
Alabama — The Alabama offer has been the gold standard in college football for more than a decade. That still stands in high school and the transfer portal.
Ohio State — When Ryan Day and company offer someone you can bet others will follow as the Buckeyes recruit as well nationally as any team in the country.
Georgia — The national champs have always held clout with offers but in the last many years it’s become an offer synonymous with excellence whether it’s a high school recruit or a target in the portal.
Clemson — Dabo Swinney is still the most selective coach in the country who has won it all when it comes to offers. If Clemson offers a kid, it’s a huge deal.
USC — Lincoln Riley is going to be picky at USC and offer players that fit what he wants to build there and the USC offer is as valuable as it’s been since Carroll was in place.