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Transfer Tuesday: Matching players in portal to perfect fit

Caylin Newton
Caylin Newton (AP Images)

With the 2019 college football season officially in the books, names from all across the country are pouring into the transfer portal on a daily basis, with pretty much every program in the country being impacted.

The timing of the increasing growing number of players in the portal comes just as the Early Signing Period closed. WIth that in mind, we take a look at some of the schools that didn’t quite finish like they hoped on the recruiting trail and play the match game with players in the portal to find the best fit.

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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

ARKANSAS - WR Tre'Shaun Harrison

As a recruit: A Washington native, Harrison originally committing to Willie Taggart when he was the coach at Oregon. Once Taggart left for Florida State, Harrison followed suit, taking his time to look at some other options before eventually signing with the Seminoles.

At Florida State: Harrison saw action as a true freshman in 2018 and appeared to be taking a step towards a breakout in 2019. Despite the up and down quarterback play for the Seminoles, Harrison had 27 catches for 289 yards and two touchdowns while playing in all 12 gamed for FSU. Shortly after the conclusion of the season, he entered the portal. He will have at least two years of eligibility remaining at his next school.

Why it’s a match: Given the recent hiring of Kendal Briles at Arkansas as offensive coordinator, it would appear a reunion could be very possible. Harrison was just coming into his own in Briles’ offense and would fit nicely among a talented stable of receivers in Fayetteville.

MISSOURI - QB K.J. Costello

As a recruit: One of the top quarterbacks in the nation, Costello had his share of options before committing to Stanford during the spring of his junior year.

At Stanford: Costello redshirted his first year on campus before eventually taking the job from Keller Chryst midway through the year in 2017. As the full-time starter in 2018, Costello had a career year while being named the second team All-Pac-12 quarterback. But injuries derailed his 2019 campaign as he was in and out of the lineup all year. With former five-star Davis Mills impressing as his replacement, Costello elected to transfer for his final year of eligibility. In his career, Costello is 494-of-790 passing for 6,141 yards, 49 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Why it’s a match: With a new coach in place, the Tigers are now on the hunt for a new quarterback. Graduate transfer Kelly Bryant had mixed results in 2019, but there isn’t much depth on the roster at the position, so expect the Tigers to be active on the market. Will Costello listen, especially considering he will be in high demand?

USC - DE Adam Plant

As a recruit: Plant had a pretty interesting recruitment, emerging later in the process than some and not really garnering a large number of offers. He committed and signed with Arizona, only to later ask out of his National Letter of Intent following the dismissal of Rich Rodriguez. He later ended up at TCU, where he enrolled as part of the 2019 class.

At TCU: Plant didn’t take long to work his way into the playing rotation in Fort Worth, appearing in all 12 Horned Frogs games in 2019 and recording three total tackles. Plant played 111 total snaps, including 20-plus against Texas and Purdue. He announced his intentions to transfer this week and will have three years of eligibility remaining at his next school.

Why it’s a match: USC was heavily in the mix for Plant as a high school prospect and could use a player of his skills to help bolster the defensive line. The problem is, Plant might already have his mind made up as a rumored transfer to UNLV is on the table. Considering USC’s small signing class, the Trojans will be active on the transfer market even if they don’t try to land Plant.

VIRGINIA - QB Caylin Newton

As a recruit: Despite being the younger brother of NFL quarterback Cam Newton, a three-star ranking and having a prolific high school career, Newton didn’t have any FBS scholarship options and instead signed with FCS program Howard.

At Howard: Newton quickly became a star for the Bison, leading the school to an historic upset victory over UNLV and winning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year award in 2017. In 2018, he was the MEAC’s Offensive Player of the Year and came into 2019 with even higher expectations. But Howard’s season went south and coach Ron Prince was accused of mistreating players, leading several to leave the team and preserve a year of eligibility, including Newton. Set to graduate, Newton will be eligible next season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Why it’s a match: This one is a bit of a stretch considering how many quarterbacks the Cavaliers have on the roster, but after Bryce Perkins transferred in and turned into a star, could the school look that way again? Newton is an intriguing option and would certainly garner quite a bit of buzz for the school heading into 2020.

VIRGINIA TECH - RB Jashaun Corbin

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 decommitting 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 in the year.

Despite a rather thin running back room in College Station, Corbin announced he would be entering the transfer portal last week. He will have at least two years of eligibility left at his next school.

Why it’s a match: While there’s not obvious connection between the two sides, Virginia Tech didn’t have a back rush for more than 750 yards and Corbin is looking for an opportunity to be the feature back. Expect schools like FAU to be heavily in the mix to land Corbin, but he would be a nice fit in the Hokies' offense.