Transfer Portal Impact: Grading the SEC
MORE TRANSFER PORTAL IMPACT: Grading the Big Ten
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 to attend. 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 touched 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. Last week, 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.
This week, we are grading each Power Five conference based on the impact of the transfers gained or lost by each programs. Today we examine the SEC.
Note: Because the transfer portal isn't publicly available, all players listed are from media reports.
MORE: Ten biggest 2020 commits in the Southeast since NSD | SEC check-in
Subtractions: QB Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), OL Richie Petitbon (Illinois)
Currently in the Portal: S Kyriq McDonald
Players who entered the portal but returned to team: DE Eyabi Anoma
Grade: C -- The loss of Hurts was foreshadowed for nearly a year, but losing him to another playoff contender is still a blow. Managing to keep Anoma is a win for the Tide and the loss of Petitbon and McDonald shouldn't have much of an impact beyond depth at their respective positions.
Additions: QB Ben Hicks (SMU), QB Nick Starkel (Texas A&M), RB Trelon Smith (Arizona State)
Subtractions: QB Cole Kelley (Southeastern Louisiana), QB Ty Storey (Western Kentucky), RB Maleek Williams (FIU), WR Jonathan Nance (Missouri), LB Alexy Jean-Baptiste (FIU)
Currently in the portal: WR La’Michael Pettway, WR Jarrod Barnes, DT Billy Ferrell, LB Kyrei Fisher, LB Derrick Munson, DB Chevin Calloway, DB Nate Dalton, P Blake Johnson
Grade: B- -- The Hogs are losing a lot of players, but that's to be expected when there's a coaching change. Adding two proven starting quarterbacks makes their efforts in the portal a positive, especially if Starkel turns into a multi-year starter. It remains to be seen if any of the other players currently in the portal will return to the program.
Additions: TE Jay Jay Wilson (Arizona State)
Subtractions: RB Asa Martin (Miami), WR Nate Craig-Myers (Colorado State), TE Jalen Harris (Colorado), DT Jauntavius Johnson (Colorado), OT Calvin Ashley (Florida Atlantic)
Currently in the Portal: DB Jayvaughn Myers, LB Richard McBryde
Grade: C -- Losing Martin after just one season hurts, especially considering he has three seasons of eligibility left. Craig-Myers and Ashley were both viewed as major recruiting wins, and even though neither lived up to their high school billing, both could have had roles for the Tigers in 2019.
Additions: LB Jonathan Greenard (Louisville)
Subtractions: WR Daquon Green (Murray State), OL TJ McCoy (Louisville)
Currently in the Portal: DB Kylan Johnson
Grade: B - The Gators essentially traded Greenard for McCoy, a move that the school's coaches and fans will gladly take. Green never had the impact that Gators fans had hoped for, while McCoy moves on looking for a more consistent role. If Greenard is healthy, he could be one of the best additions in the conference.
Additions: TE Eli Wolf (Tennessee)
Subtractions: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State), TE Luke Ford (Illinois), DB Deangelo Gibbs (Tennessee)
Currently in the Portal: DB Tray Bishop
Grade: D -- Losing the former No. 2 overall player in the country hurts no matter which way you slice it, especially considering he has three years of eligibility remaining. Wolf is a nice addition, considering his experience and the team's need at tight end. Gibbs and Ford are former elite recruits that never really factored in for playing time during their time in Athens.
Currently in the Portal: RB Siheim King, WR Tavin Richardson, DE Kengera Daniel, DE Chris Whittaker, QB Danny Clark, DB Domonique Williams, OL Sebastien Dolcine
Grade: INC -- With so many players in the portal, it would seem like the 'Cats might get a low grade for the amount of defections without any replacements coming in. But none of the players have officially left yet and outside of Richardson, many of them won't be missed. Nevertheless, there's still a lot to be settled between now and the time the season rolls around.
Currently in the Portal: WR Drake Davis, DB Manny Netherly, DT David Cotton, DL Dominic Livingston, ATH Dantrieze Scott, TE Zach Sheffer, LB Layton Garnett
Grade: INC -- Names continue to enter the portal from the LSU roster, but none of the players have officially transferred. Many of the players in the portal were expected to compete for playing time down the road, so it will be worth watching to see if they return to school or land elsewhere.
Additions: K Corliss Waitman (South Alabama)
Subtractions: OL Blake Mitchell (Austin Peay)
Currently in the Portal: TE Christian Roberson, WR/RB Keith Mixon
Grade: C -- There hasn't been much roster turnover since Joe Moorhead took over in Starkville, which should be viewed as a good sign considering what has happened at some other programs in the conference. Losing Mitchell won't impact the team much and Waitman might be a nice addition to the special teams game.
Additions: QB Kelly Bryant (Clemson), QB Shawn Robinson (TCU), WR Jonathan Nance (Arkansas)
Currently in the Portal: None
Grade: A -- The Tigers not only got a quarterback for the present in Bryant, but a quarterback for the future in Robinson. Add in an experienced weapon in the passing game in Nance and the lack of any defections, especially considering the recent NCAA sanctions, and it's hard not to give the Tigers the highest grade.
Subtractions: DB Cam Ordway (Tennessee-Martin)
Currently in the Portal: RB Eric Swinney, OL Tony Gray, TE Gabe Angel
Grade: INC -- The Rebels haven't been very active on the market and have lost a little depth with the likely departures of the oft-injured Swinney as well as Gray and Angel. Gray might have had a chance to push for playing time this year and Ordway has seen the field in the place, but with the only defection heading to the FCS at this point it's hard to give a true assessment.
Subtractions: DE Shameik Blackshear (TCU)
Currently in the Portal: RB Ty'Son Williams, OL Jesus Gibbs, DB Nick Harvey, WR Korey Banks, DB Tavyn Jackson, DB Javon Charleston
Grade: C- -- The Gamecocks are likely to lose a lot of depth with the amount of likely defections, but right now Blackshear is the only player officially on the way out. Losing Williams would make an impact, especially considering the Gamecocks' lack of a true feature back in recent years.
Additions: DT Aubrey Solomon (Michigan), WR/DB DeAngelo Gibbs (Georgia)
Subtractions: QB Will McBride (Lamar), TE Eli Wolf (Georgia), DB Marquill Osborne (Charlotte)
Currently in the Portal: OT Drew Richmond, LB Austin Smith
Grade: B -- The Vols are one of the few schools in the country to have a former five-star coming in (Solomon) with another five-star likely headed out (Richmond). Solomon and Gibbs are both former big-name recruits and if both can manage to get cleared to play in 2019, could play a big role. Losing Wolfe to a conference foe hurts, and while Richmond has had his shares of ups and downs, losing him is a blow to the team's depth at an important position.
Subtractions: QB Nick Starkel (Arkansas), RB Charles Strong (Troy), WR Klyde Chriss (Prairie View A&M), ATH Jordan Moore (Houston), DB Montel Parker (Texas Southern)
Currently in the Portal: TE Kenyel McZeal
Grade: C -- The Aggies lost a handful of players without adding any, but the biggest loss is Starkel. The one-time starter was a very reliable backup, but obviously wanted the shot to be a starter again. Moore and Strong were both young players, so their decisions to leave after a short time on campus might also hurt down the road.
Additions: QB Riley Neal (Ball State), WR Justice Shelton-Mosley (Harvard), OL Rowan Godwin (South Alabama), DT Eddie Zinn-Turner (Marist), DB Cameron Watkins (Illinois)
Subtractions: OL Ean Pheifer (Louisville), OLJared Southers (Georgia Tech)
Currently in the portal: RB Josh Crawford, RB Jaire George, DL Darion DeBrossard, DB Zaire Jones
Grade: B+ -- This could easily turn into an A considering the amount of players the Commodores are bringing in at positions of importance. If Neal can step in a win the starting job and Wakins can have a big impact on defense the school's decision to gamble big on transfers could pay off in a big way.