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Three-Point Stance: Transfers, teams that should be wary, breakouts

Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with 10 major transfer impacts Week 1, five 1-0 teams that could still disappoint and some breakout players you probably haven’t heard much about.


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Kenneth Walker III
Kenneth Walker III (USA Today Sports Images)

It’s hard to watch a college football game these days without seeing a player from the transfer portal making a big impact. These guys all played big roles this weekend.

1. RB Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) - Walker exploded out of the gates with career highs in rushing yards (264) and touchdowns (four) against a Northwestern defense that we expected to be above average at least. The former Demon Deacon tailback wasn't the only transfer addition who helped the Spartans upset the Wildcats, but his debut was nothing short of spectacular.

2. QB Jack Coan (Notre Dame) - Badger fans are kicking themselves after watching Coan dismantle Florida State's defense for 366 yards and four touchdowns. The grad transfer quarterback looked right at home in Tommy Rees’ system, gelling immediately with TE Michael Mayer.

3. QB Bailey Zappe (Western Kentucky) - We knew when Zappe arrived from Houston Baptist alongside offensive coordinator Zach Kittley that the Hilltoppers would be playing some wide open offense, but even still, the numbers that Zappe put up in his first start were absurd - 28 for 35, 424 yards and seven touchdowns. Yes, it was against FCS UT-Martin, but nonetheless, those numbers are eye-popping.

4. QB Will Levis (Kentucky) - Levis kicked off his career in Lexington in style, absolutely annihilating a hapless ULM squad. He went 18-for-26 with 364 yards and four touchdowns, and had instant chemistry with another impact transfer, Wan'Dale Robinson.

5. DE Arnold Ebitekie (Penn State) - The former Temple Owl lived in Wisconsin's backfield all day on Saturday, routinely abusing the Badgers' offensive linemen. He recorded seven tackles, two TFL and a sack, but his biggest play may have been a blocked field goal in the second quarter to keep Wisconsin off the board.

6. WR Jameson Williams (Alabama) - The Ohio State transfer (who would have probably been fourth on the depth chart for the Buckeyes this season) stepped in seamlessly into Alabama's offense, catching four passes for 126 yards, including a scintillating 94-yard TD. He looked like a seasoned veteran against Miami, which had no answer for him, John Metchie, and the rest of the Crimson Tide receiving corps.

7. RB Zach Charbonnet (UCLA) - OK, I'm cheating a little bit here by putting together his Week 1 stats against Hawai'i with his ones from this weekend's contest versus LSU, but nonetheless, he's been a revelation in Westwood after transferring from Michigan. In two games, he has 223 yards and four scores on only 17 carries - that's an average of 13.1 yards per carry. He routinely broke off big runs against LSU, and was arguably the biggest reason that the Bruins were able to pull off the big upset over the Tigers.

8. DE Jermaine Johnson (Florida State) - The former Georgia Bulldog looked great against Notre Dame, anchoring a Seminole defensive line that only gave up 1.9 yards per carry. Johnson accounted for seven tackles, 2.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks, and was the best of the bunch in a tough loss for Florida State.

9. LB Quay Crouch (Michigan State) - Another new face on the Michigan State squad, Crouch stood out defensively. One of many former Tennessee players making an impact elsewhere, Davis was all over the field against Northwestern with seven tackles, a sack, and a TFL.

10. RB Tavion Thomas (Utah) - We knew there was going to be an open competition at RB at Utah, but few thought that Thomas, the Cincinnati transfer, would come out on top. He looked smooth against Weber State, rushing for 107 yards and two scores on only 12 carries.



Brock Purdy
Brock Purdy (Getty Images)

A 1-0 start is certainly better than the opposite but there are a few teams coming off Week 1 wins that need to be wary of their next few games.

Iowa, Iowa State — Both teams are coming off different kinds of performances in Week 1 as Iowa dominated Indiana and Iowa State struggled with Northern Iowa. Now one of them will be 1-1 as this is a tough, early season rivalry battle.

Oregon, Ohio State — Oregon struggled against Fresno State and Ohio State was tested against Minnesota and one of these teams will find themselves 1-1 after their battle and on the outside of the playoff for now.

Virginia Tech — The Hokies had the big upset over North Carolina but now they face an angry 0-1 West Virginia team with Notre Dame looming in a couple weeks.

Arizona StateUNLV should be easy enough but BYU, Colorado and UCLA after that will be hard.

Texas Arkansas is up next and this could very well be Steve Sarkisian’s first loss.

NC State — Furman is easy enough but a very angry Clemson team follows.

Michigan Washington is a tricky game after its embarrassing loss to Montana and Northern Illinois just upset Georgia Tech.

South CarolinaEast Carolina is no easy out and that Georgia defense follows.



Tyler Badie
Tyler Badie (Getty Images)

Finally, let’s take a look at some players you may not have ever heard of who will be making a name for themselves this season after big Week 1 performances.

1. RB Tyler Badie, Missouri — An undersized two-star from Tennessee is breaking out and just had a 200-yard game.

2. DB Riley Moss, Iowa — Moss was a two-star out of high school with one FBS offer from Iowa and he just outscored Indiana by himself with two pick sixes.

3. S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State — OK, Brisker isn’t unknown at least in the Big Ten so I’m cheating a bit but he should be a national name and dominated Wisconsin.

4. TE Greg Dulcich, UCLA — I keep pounding the drum for Dulcich as one of the best tight ends in the country and he keeps proving me right.

5. WR Dontay Demus Jr., Maryland — Demus was unstoppable against West Virginia and is arguably the best receiver you don’t know about.