Three-Point Stance: Transfers, quarterbacks, breakout players
Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with his thoughts on some huge recent transfers, the top 10 quarterbacks heading to new homes through the portal and five players who could break out next season in the Big Ten.
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1. THOUGHTS ON RECENT TRANSFER MOVES
Transfer portal activity has slowed a bit since a sustained frenzy at the end of the college football season but there have still been some talented players finding new homes. Here’s my take on some of the bigger, recent announcements.
S Tykee Smith, Georgia – Smith can play free, strong or star in the Georgia defense and immediately gives the Bulldogs experience and a ballhawk in the secondary, an area where they needed help. It doesn’t get much bigger than this on defense.
WR Tahj Washington, USC – USC has big outside receivers and some sudden guys as well, but Washington is so hard to check from the slot that he could put up massive numbers. This gives Kedon Slovis even more options.
LB Itayvion Brown, Michigan State – Brown is a physical specimen who can play early at Michigan State. He can make an impact on a defense right away because of his size and ability to get after the passer. This is a superior talent.
WR Christian Fitzpatrick, Michigan State – Fitzpatrick might not be as good as his brother Dez but he’s bigger and could play either tight end or wide receiver for the Spartans. If used properly he will be a mismatch issues for many opponents.
QB Terry Wilson, New Mexico – New Mexico isn’t on the radar for many when it comes to football dominance but Wilson is a talent and should light up the Mountain West with his pass-run ability and SEC experience.
WR Melquise Stovall, Pitt – Stovall is sneaky strong and will be a difficult slot receiver to cover. Picture a player you can use on inside handoffs and short screens who will churn for extra yardage but can also stretch the field. He’s nearly 200 pounds on his short 5-foot-9 frame.
QB Jason Bean, Kansas – Bean is intriguing because he can extend the play and run and he can catch fire passing the ball at times. His completion percentage isn’t great and he makes some mistakes but Kansas needs the arm.
2. THE TEN BIGGEST IMPACT QUARTERBACK TRANSFERS
Despite not being able to take hosted visits and with much of the recruiting done over Zoom, transfer players have found new homes over the last several months. Here are the 10 transfers that will make the biggest impact this season, based on team needs, conference title aspirations and playoff picture.
1. McKenzie Milton, Florida State -- Milton has injury questions to answer but his leadership is unquestioned and his talent level was showcased at UCF before his gruesome career-threatening injury. Mike Norvell’s offense is quarterback-friendly for a quick decision maker and I expect Milton to put up nice numbers.
10. Ethan Garbers, UCLA — Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the guy at UCLA but Garbers will push him. Down the road he’s a nice pairing with Chip Kelly for his sneaky ability to extend the play and work outside the pocket.
3. FIVE BIG TEN PLAYERS THAT WILL STEP UP IN 2021
It's only the spring, and I’ll probably do this list again in the fall, but there are certain players I expect to step up in a big way this upcoming season. Here are five in the Big Ten.
3. LB Curtis Jacobs, Penn State — Jacobs is expected to step up and fill the SAM role. Brandon Smith will get a lot of the attention but Jacobs has great potential and will be pushed harder this season.
4. LB Micah McFadden, Indiana — McFadden is a leader and is expected to be bigger and more consistently physical this season which could mean big things on defense. Double-digit tackles for a loss and sacks are possible.