Transfer Tracker: Looking at where the 10 five-star transfers landed
The Transfer Portal has changed the way college football programs operate and recruit and now it's a near-weekly occurrence to see big names hit the transfer market. As the 2020 season continues to roll out, we thought it would be worth taking a look to see where the 10 five-stars that entered the portal last cycle (Aug. 2019-July 2020) landed.
JT Daniels -- USC to Georgia
The former No. 4 overall player in the Class of 2018, Daniels entered the portal in the spring and after a hush-hush transfer recruitment, he landed at Georgia. His decision to pick the Dawgs was a surprise, especially considering that Georgia had already landed Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman. But after Newman opted out last month, it made Daniels' decision look much better. The only issue? A lingering knee injury dating back to last fall has slowed him with Georgia and it remains to be seen whether or not he will start this weekend.
Farrell’s take: No way I would have ever thought Daniels would leave USC and I expected a great career from him there. The ACL certainly didn’t help, but this was a kid just behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields in the 2018 class, so having Kedon Slovis have so much more success than Daniels at USC is puzzling. UGA is a big stage where he can show those talents again, but the pressure is on.
Antonio Alfano -- Alabama to Colorado
Alfano's career has been full of drama already and he's yet to play his first college snap. After signing with Alabama in 2019, he didn't make it through his first season with the Tide as he missed practice time in the early fall before eventually landing in the portal.
He then transferred to Colorado, partly to pair with then-Buffaloes coach Mel Tucker. But after Tucker left for Michigan State, Alfano ran into trouble again and was then dismissed from the Colorado program. After it looked like another transfer was in play, he worked his way back onto the team and was reinstated last month. However, the Pac-12 isn't slated to play until the spring, so his debut might have to wait until 2021.
Farrell’s take: Alfano is a mystery and no one knows if he will pan out because of his off-field issues. On the field he was a no-brainer five-star, a kid who could play DE or DT and just dominate people. But there were red flags even in high school and we probably should have seen this coming. Let’s hope he can right the ship.
Eyabi Anoma -- Houston to UT-Martin
Anoma actually started his career with Alabama, where he played in six games as a true freshman before he was dismissed from the team for off-field issues. He transferred to Houston, where he sat out 2019 due to transfer rules, only to be dismissed again earlier this year. With not much interest, he dropped down to the FCS level and landed at UT-Martin. The Skyhawks season was moved to the spring, so Anoma will have to wait for his next chance to see the field.
Farrell’s take: Another elite pass rusher out of high school who had the size, athleticism and length to dominate. Unlike Alfano the red flags weren’t there so we didn’t see this coming. He’s talented enough to have a successful FCS career and still get drafted.
Lorenzo Lingard -- Miami to Florida
One of the nation's top running backs in the Class of 2018, Lingard went into Miami with big expectations. But a knee injury his freshman season slowed his progress and he barely saw the field in 2019.
He elected to transfer last winter and quickly landed at Florida, where he won an appeal to be eligible this season. He isn't listed on the Gators two-deep headed into this week's season-opener.
Farrell’s take: Lingard was a huge get for Miami with size and explosive speed who was a player who could move the chains but also score from anywhere. His second chance is at Florida and he should have success there and be the big-time back they’ve lacked for years.
Justin Shorter -- Penn State to Florida
One of the top players in the Class of 2018, Shorter's career with Penn State started out promising but never really blossomed. He played in four games as a freshman in 2018 and then 10 games in 2019 before quitting the team late in the season. He quickly landed at Florida a few months later and recently received a waiver to be eligible to play this season. He is listed as a backup receiver heading into the Gators first game this weekend.
Farrell’s take: Shorter was a huge receiver with a great catch radius and the ability to dominate physically, but we never saw that at Penn State. Can he rebound at Florida? I’m not sold and he did have a big boom-or-bust label on him out of high school. If he wants it, he can be great.
Marcel Brooks -- LSU to TCU
Brooks was a contributor on LSU's national championship team as a true freshman in 2019 and most expected him to step into the starting lineup as a sophomore in 2020. But citing a desire to get closer to home in Texas, Brooks entered the transfer portal this offseason and quickly landed with the Horned Frogs. After getting a waiver to be eligible immediately, he's expected to be a major contributor for the Horned Frogs this season.
Farrell’s take: Brooks was a big out-of-state pull for LSU as a linebacker who could come off the edge and dominate as a pass rusher. He was physical and aggressive and we loved the way he hit. He was off to a solid start at LSU and he will be a huge star at TCU under Gary Patterson.
Cade Mays -- Georgia to Tennessee
Probably the most accomplished player on this list, Mays started 18 games over the last two seasons at Georgia while playing every position along the offensive line, including center. He was expected to anchor the Dawgs offensive line in 2020, but made the surprising decision to transfer following the 2019 season.
He quickly landed at Tennessee, his father's alma mater, to play alongside his younger brother Cooper, a Class of 2019 signee. His waiver to play was recently granted by the NCAA, but he has one more hurdle to clear, an SEC approval process, before he can suit up for the Vols this season.
Farrell’s take: Mays was a very physical and aggressive player out of high school who finished every block and played to the whistle. He was often overly aggressive in camp settings and ticked off a few opponents. He had a very good two years at UGA and I expect a seamless transition to the Vols. He has first-round potential.
Khalan Laborn -- Florida State to JUCO
The nation's No. 1 all-purpose back in the Class of 2017, Laborn was a virtual non-factor during his time at Florida State. At first he was buried behind a pair of other five-stars in Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers, but even when it looked like he could make an impact, injuries and off-field issues derailed his career.
His fresh start under new Seminoles coach Mike Norvell didn't last long as he was dismissed from the team over the summer. After interest from several Power Five programs, he elected to go the junior college route and is expected to play for Garden City Community College in Kansas.
Farrell’s take: LaBorn was a speedster who could catch the ball and added size and strength by his senior season. He showed flashes at FSU, especially in one amazing spring game, but never put it together. He’s a Power Five talent but can he stay healthy and keep his head on straight?
Jordan Anthony -- Michigan to TBD
Anthony was expected to be a star at Michigan but he never really got a chance to make an impact thanks to a combination of injuries and depth issues. He recorded just 14 tackles in his three seasons with the Wolverines before electing to transfer in late 2019. He didn't find a home, though, and re-entered the portal as a grad transfer last month. Once again, he's still looking for home for the 2020 season.
Farrell’s take: This one puzzles me because Anthony reminded me a lot of Jabril Peppers as he had success as a running back and on defense and seemed perfect to fill that role. He was a bit undersized but it didn’t matter much and he was a tackling machine. No clue what level he lands at.
Brenton Cox -- Georgia to Florida
One of the final five-stars in the Class of 2018, Cox went into Georgia with quite a bit of fanfare. He became a contributor right away and even started the Bulldogs Sugar Bowl game against Texas following the 2018 season. But the relationship between the two sides soured and he elected to transfer during camp prior to the 2019 season. He quickly landed at Florida, where he sat out 2019. Now eligible in 2020, Cox is expected to start for the Gators this weekend.
Farrell’s take: Cox was a big end who got better each time we saw him and developed into a five-star late in the process. He was raw but so physically gifted that early impact was expected. I think he’s going to be elite at Florida and will be disliked by Georgia fans.