Transfer Tracker: Ranking RB transfers for 2019-2020 cycle
The transfer portal has changed the college football landscape for good, altering recruiting strategies and allowing schools to plug in transfers at positions of need. With that in mind, Rivals.com will rank the transfers at every position for each transfer cycle. The rankings will be updated as new players enter the transfer portal and announce their destinations. The rankings cover any player that has transferred during the 2019-2020 cycle (Aug. 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020).
Next up on the list is the running back position.
TRANSFER RANKINGS: Quarterback
1. Trey Sermon -- Oklahoma to Ohio State
As a recruit: Sermon had his share of early offers and most assumed he was going to end up staying close to home in the SEC at either Tennessee or Georgia. But some injury concerns scared schools away and instead he ended up choosing Oklahoma over Oregon and others during the spring of his junior year.
At Oklahoma: Sermon stepped right into the lineup after arriving in Norman, rushing for 744 yards and five touchdowns. His workload increased in 2018 and he led the team in rushing touchdowns with 13 while also rushing for a career-high 947 yards. He took a step back in 2019 as his carries were limited and he ran for just 385 yards on 54 carries before suffering a season-ending injury in November. As a graduate transfer he will be eligible to play this fall
Farrell's Take: Sermon had good size out of high school but was also excelled in space and catching the ball which is why he was rated so highly. He had a solid start to his career at Oklahoma and showed he can be an impact Power Five runner. The fit at Ohio State could be a perfect one as he fills a huge need for the Buckeyes.
Impact Rating: 9.1 out of 10
2. Ricky Slade -- Penn State to Undecided
At Penn State: Slade worked his way into the rotation among a stable of elite running backs, rushing for 471 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground while also catching 13 passes for 117 yards over his first two seasons in Happy Valley. With Noah Cain and Journey Brown ahead of him on the depth chart, Slade entered the portal earlier this. year in hopes of finding a No. 1 spot.
Farrell's Take: Slade was a slasher out of high school who was also a dangerous pass catcher and it’s surprising to see him passed on the Penn State depth chart so quickly. He brings a lot of speed and elusiveness to the table and he’s a surefire Power Five impact guy, especially for a team that plays a spread.
Impact Rating: 8.5 out of 10
3. Lorenzo Lingard -- Miami to Florida
At Miami: As a freshman, Lingard played in six games and had 136 rushing yards and two touchdowns before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in October. He played in just two games as a sophomore in 2018 and didn't accumulate any statistics. Following the season he elected to transfer and quickly landed up the road in Gainesville.
Farrell's Take: Lingard was a five-star for many reasons but mainly for his size, balance, body lean and burst. He had all the tools to be a great one in college and physical skill should not hold him back. It appears to be more about how much he wants it. Florida is a great fit for him as it has been looking for an elite feature back for years.
Impact Rating: 8.1 out of 10
4. Jashaun Corbin -- Texas A&M to Florida State
As a recruit: Corbin had quite the recruitment, first committing to Tennessee before backing off that pledge, later committing to Florida State before once again de-committing and landing at Texas A&M with Jimbo Fisher.
At Texas A&M: Corbin saw the field quite a bit as a true freshman in 2018, rushing for 346 yards as well as recording 85 receiving yards. His numbers were expected to increase even more in 2019, but he was knocked out for the season just two weeks into the year.
Farrell's Take: Corbin was heavily recruited out of high school for his size and power, and he’s shown the ability to fall forward and gain extra yardage after contact. He could be an elite feature back but more likely he will be a solid fit and contributor at Florida State. A lot depends on how much that offensive line improves.
Impact Rating: 7.5 out of 10
5. Jatarvious "Boobie" Whitlow -- Auburn to Undecided
As a recruit: A high school quarterback, Whitlow didn't have a ton of options and looked set to decide between Tulane and UAB on National Signing Day in 2017. But a late offer from Auburn to play offense convinced him to sign with the Tigers.
At Auburn: After redshirting as a freshman in 2017, Whitlow stepped into the starting lineup and didn't look back, rushing for 1,550 yards and 16 touchdowns between 2018 and 2019. Whitlow seemed poised to compete for the starting job again in 2020, before he and the school had a "mutual parting of ways" in February.
Farrell's Take: "I liked what I saw out of Whitlow during his time at Auburn and he showed me he can be an above average running back at the highest level of college football. Speed was the main issue coming out of high school but he has power and size and he’s become much quicker."
Impact Rating: 7.4. out of 10
6. Ty'Zhawn Henry -- Texas Tech to Houston
As a recruit: Henry initially committed to TCU, only to back off that pledge during his senior year. After some looking around, he appeared bound for Oregon State, until a late spot opened up at Texas Tech, allowing him to stay in state.
At Texas Tech: Henry became an immediate threat in the Texas Tech offense, playing in 20 games over his two seasons in Lubbock, including seven starts. Over that span he ran for 681 yards and 11 touchdowns while also catching 44 passes for 282 yards and a score. Henry was also a dangerous kick returner, averaging nearly 25 yards per return in 2019. He surprised many when he entered the transfer portal earlier this year and will have two years remaining at Houston
Farrell's Take: "Henry was small but he had his dynamic moments in high school and was very hard to get a clean shot on. At Texas Tech he made an impact as a runner, pass catcher and as a return man so versatility is the name of his game. His lack of size is still an issue but at the Group of Five level at Houston he can be utilized well in a Dana Holgerson system. This is a solid fit."
Impact Rating: 6.8 out of 10
7. Brittain Brown -- Duke to UCLA
As a recruit: Brown raked up a number of offers as a recruit, including from Clemson and Stanford. However, he chose Duke in the spring of his junior year and stuck with the Blue Devils after a late push from the Cardinal.
At Duke: After redshirting in 2016, Brown had a breakout year in 2017, rushing for 701 yards and seven touchdowns. But that would be the peak of his time in Durham as injuries limited him to fewer than 500 yards combined over the next two seasons. Rather than stick around in a backup role, Brown elected to head west to UCLA, where he has a chance to start next season.
Farrell's Take: "Brown has always been an athletic and versatile running back, and it’s been more about injuries than a lack of skill at the college level. When he was healthy at Duke he showed he could be a feature back with a nose for the end zone. But shoulder troubles haunt him and his impact is lower than you’d think because of those question marks. That being said, he could have a very strong showing at UCLA in that offensive system."
Impact Rating: 6.7 out of 10
8. Chase Hayden -- Arkansas to East Carolina
As a recruit: One of the most prolific high school athletes in Tennessee over the past decade, Hayden won both the state's Mr. Basketball and Mr. Football awards. The son of former Tennessee running back Aaron Hayden chose the running back-friendly system by then-Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema over the Vols. He committed to the Hogs during the summer prior to his senior year.
At Arkansas: Hayden stepped into the lineup and immediately made an impact as a true freshman in 2017. He played in seven games and rushed for 326 yards with four scores before suffering a season-ending injury. After Chad Morris took over the head coaching job in 2018, Hayden shifted to more of an all-purpose role and had success, rushing for 251 yards and a score while catching 11 passes for 61 yards. Much like the Arkansas team as a whole, 2019 was a forgettable season for Hayden as he played in just three games, rushing for 39 yards and a score while catching four passes for 12 yards.
Farrell's Take: "Hayden was an attractive running back on the transfer market as a former 4 star because he can catch the ball out of the backfield and can make opponents miss in space. We liked his feet and burst which is why he was a Rivals250 prospect but he also had solid size for an all-purpose back. He showed flashes at Arkansas of his ability and I think he can be very good at East Carolina. He has Power Five ability and could do very well at the Group of Five level."
Impact Rating: 6.6 out of 10
9. Ronnie Walker -- Indiana to Virginia
At Indiana: Walker was in the mix at running back plenty over the past two years, rushing for 221 yards and two touchdowns while also recording 121 yards and a touchdown receiving. With his role not cemented for 2020 and perhaps a desire to return closer to home, Walker entered the portal and landed at Virginia.
Farrell's Take: "Walker is another versatile back who has decided to find a new home as he made a small impact at Indiana as a runner and pass catcher. He had good vision and was elusive out of high school and could flourish back closer to home at Virginia."
Impact Rating: 6.2 out of 10
10. Khalil Herbert -- Kansas to Virginia Tech
As a recruit: Herbert had mostly Group of Five and FCS offers but a late push from Kansas resulted in him committing to the Jayhawks in the run-up to National Signing Day in 2016.
At Kansas: Herbert worked his way into the lineup quickly after arriving in Lawrence and by his sophomore year in 2017, he was putting up good numbers for the Jayhawks, including 663 yards and four touchdowns in his second season. But the arrival of heralded recruit Pooka Williams saw Herbert's workload decrease his junior season. He started off 2019 with a bang, including a 187-yard outburst against Boston College, but he elected to redshirt after four games and preserve his final year of eligibility. During his career he played in 35 games and rushed for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns. Herbert enrolled at Virginia Tech for his final season in January.
Farrell's Take: "Herbert has good speed and solid size, and is much more polished as a runner than he was out of high school. He’s shown big-play ability here and there and will be a solid addition at Virginia Tech, where he should get more consistent playing time."
Impact Rating: 6.2 out of 10
11. Bradrick Shaw -- Wisconsin to California
As a recruit: Shaw had a number of options in the SEC, but the longer his recruitment played out the more Wisconsin became a viable option. In the end, the Badgers ended up winning out over Vanderbilt, landing his commitment just before Signing Day 2015.
At Wisconsin: After redshirting his first year on campus, Shaw impressed in 2016, rushing for 457 yards and five touchdowns. Heading into 2017 he seemed poised to be the Badgers next star at the position. But injuries sidelined him and opened up the door for Jonathan Taylor to take the starting position and never looked back. Shaw missed all of 2019, and returned as Taylor's backup in 2019. He finished his Wisconsin career with 938 yards and 10 touchdowns. Shaw entered the portal after being granted a sixth year of eligibility.
Farrell's Take: "Shaw was supposed to be the man at Wisconsin back in 2017 but an injury allowed Jonathan Taylor to take the role and run with it so to speak. Shaw has talent and has shown that at times as he’s a hard runner who runs low to the ground and can bounce off tackles. At Cal he should have a chance to make an impact although he will have to fight for time."
Impact Rating: 6.2 out of 10
26. Jalin Buie -- South Alabama to Undecided -- Impact rating 5.1 out of 10
35. Theo Anderson -- Buffalo to Undecided -- Impact rating 4.1 out of 10
The Transfer Portal continues to change the way college football programs recruit and mange their rosters so we here at Rivals.com continue to evolve our coverage. Each time a player of note enters the portal, we will examine their potential impact on the college football landscape and assign an impact rating, both when they enter the portal and when they choose a destination. The scale is from 1-10 and the description below explains the scoring scale.
1.1-4.0 — Not a big impact expected, likely a non-starter and down the bench depth player.
4.1- 6.0 — A solid impact can be expected in the right scenario and has the potential to battle for a starting job.
6.1-9.0. — A high impact player who won’t change a program but will certainly be a very good contributor and starter.
9.1- 9.9 — A very high impact player who should start the moment he steps on the field and will change the outlook of a program immediately.
10 — A franchise transfer who has a chance to be an All American and one of the elite players in college football.