Just when I thought this past week was going to be a slow week for the transfer portal, lo and behold, the second wave had kicked off! Over the past two weeks, as spring games have been played and practices have come to an end, players have a good idea of where they are on the depth chart and will be looking to decide what they will do next with their college careers. Add in the fact that to achieve immediate eligibility for first-time transfers, and a player must enter the portal before May 1st. This means the next couple of weeks will be a wild ride for college football, and we will see plenty of huge names that we weren’t even considering!
As for what we can find in this week’s report: our top-rated available QB on the transfer market has found his home with the country road; a former 5-star running back has gone group of 5 after one season at Alabama; A potential lead running back for LSU hits the portal, and finally a spring game darling wide receiver from 2021 becomes our top-rated available wide receiver. As always, there were plenty of other names of interest that will also be touched on, and we’ll finish with the top available players at each position.
Note: Transfers for this report occurred between the dates of April 6th and April 18th, 2022
JT Daniels: Georgia → West Virginia
The saga of JT Daniels looks to have decided upon the setting for his final chance, with the Mountaineers of West Virginia. The ride here for Daniels has had plenty of ups and downs throughout the years. Daniels was one of three consensus 5-star quarterbacks in 2019, behind only Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, which is some excellent company to be in.
However, Daniels’ path has been quite unlike the other two. Daniels was the only one of the three to start immediately as a true freshman, but his first year with the Trojans was less than spectacular. Daniels threw for 2,672 yards on 363 attempts in his freshman year, with a 14/10 TD/INT ratio. Many were hoping Daniels would return for an improved sophomore season, but Daniels tore his ACL in the season’s first game. By season’s end, coach Clay Helton elected to stay with Kedon Slovis as the starter, and Daniels promptly entered the portal.
Daniels landed at Georgia, which already had Jamie Newman as its presumptive starter. Newman would later opt out of the year due to COVID, and Daniels would eventually get the start late into the 2020 season once he was medically cleared. In his four starts, Daniels had Georgia’s passing game looking more explosive than it had in years, passing for 1,231 yards, 10 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. Daniels was the presumptive starter going into 2021, but nagging upper-body injuries kept him off the field and Stetson Bennett would hold onto the job as the season progressed. After winning the national championship, Daniels knew there wasn’t a way that Bennett would be benched, and thus transferred as a grad transfer.
Daniels landing at West Virginia makes sense, given that he had a previous relationship with OC Graham Harrell, who was the offensive coordinator for Daniels at USC his sophomore year. While Daniels didn’t play due to injury, he’s very familiar with Harrell’s air raid system. West Virginia did not have a clear starting QB, as Garrett Greene didn’t inspire confidence and true freshman Nicco Marchiol still seemed quite raw. Daniels comes in with veteran experience and is now the presumed starter. This is Daniels’ last chance to recover NFL stock and this air raid system should provide plenty of opportunities for him to put up some stats. Think the best-case scenario being Will Grier from 2018. Daniels should provide a decent fantasy option for CFB fantasy in 2022, so long as he can stay healthy.
Camar Wheaton: Alabama → SMU
It’s not often you see a powerhouse like Alabama lose a 5-star RB from their roster, but when you recruit the position like they do, it’s bound to happen. That’s what it looks like happened with true freshman, Camar Wheaton, who will be a redshirt freshman this year. Wheaton was the #3 RB in the 2021 freshman class, and the #34 overall player, earning him a 5-star rating in the 247Sports Composite.
In a year where Alabama was injured up and down the depth chart at RB, one would have hoped that this meant a guy as talented as Wheaton could see the field. Unfortunately, Wheaton was one of the RBs Alabama lost before the season even started, due to a torn meniscus injury. After the season was over, only Brian Robinson has left the Alabama RB room, which meant Wheaton was still behind Roydell Williams, Jase McClellan and Trey Sanders. In addition, Alabama added star Jahmyr Gibbs out of the transfer portal. This left Wheaton as the RB5, and with talented freshmen like Jamarion Miller and Emmanuel Henderson coming in the next year, Wheaton saw that his future was elsewhere.
Almost as soon as Wheaton entered the portal, many experts were quick to mention that SMU was on the table, including 247sports.com’s Steve Wiltfong. Our own Matthew Bruening called it “the worst kept secret of the offseason.” At one point, people were wondering if something had changed, since he still hadn’t announced. But no, he eventually made the announcement official.
This was a huge landing for SMU, who had lost their previous stud RB, Ulysses Bentley IV to the portal last month. The Mustangs still have UNT transfer Tre Siggers, who performed well last year when Bentley was injured, but he one has one year left of eligibility. SMU needed their RB of the future, and they got him in Wheaton. Last year was a disappointment for the SMU running back room in CFB fantasy, due to Bentley getting injured.
However, with a full year of health, I fully expect Wheaton to become the lead back for this prolific offense and have plenty of touchdown opportunities, bringing the position back to CFB fantasy relevance. I don’t expect Wheaton to be an every-week starter for CFB fantasy this year. Given the right matchup, he’ll be a wonderful play during tough matchups for your starters or during bye weeks.
Corey Kiner: LSU → Cincinnati
Here we have the second 2021 freshman leaving a powerhouse and joining a Group of 5 team. Corey Kiner was in the transfer portal for less than 12 hours before he settled on Cincinnati as his destination. In a world where tampering of rosters isn’t legal, there’s definitely some questionable things going on here. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Kiner was the #10 RB in the class of 2021, and as a true freshman, he was able to put up 324 yards and two touchdowns on 79 attempts, as well as catching two balls for 10 yards. With Tyrion Davis-Price NFL-bound, and John Emery Jr still MIA, it looked as if Kiner was set to get a good share of the backfield this year for LSU.
Of course, things can never be that simple. Ed Orgeron was let go at the end of the season, and in came Brian Kelly to fill his place. Kelly has been known for run-heavy offenses in the past, but at the end of the day, he wasn’t the coach who recruited Kiner. Not long into the off-season, former 4-star running back Noah Cain was recruited out of the transfer portal to LSU, creating another mouth to feed in the backfield. If that wasn’t bad enough for Kiner, John Emery Jr. has seemed to have reemerged during the spring, and is reportedly receiving a large share of the carries and is the clear first team back. Add in fellow freshman Armani Goodwin stepping up and the once-promising future for Kiner seemed to be fading at LSU. Thus, after the spring, Kiner entered the transfer portal and within 12 hours found his new home.
I have been ranting and raving all off-season regarding the Cincinnati backfield. Specifically, the fact that we were getting zero information out of it. Every beat writer’s article focused on the QB positions and the secondary, but never mentioned the RB situation. Even coverage of the spring game this past week had little mention of the backfield. This struck me as very strange, considering that losing Jerome Ford is as big of a loss as Desmond Ridder, and who would take his place should be a massive talking point.
Well, it certainly looks like we have our answer in Corey Kiner. Cincinnati taking him to be their star RB should not surprise anyone. Their current stable, including Ryan Montgomery and Charles McClelland, wasn’t inspiring anyone, and Cincinnati has developed a good enough reputation that they could market themselves as a premier destination for an RB transfer. The perfect one landed in their lap. Kiner is from the city of Cincinnati and has quickly been welcomed as a hometown hero. Kiner, with this transfer, has escaped the uncertainty that was the LSU backfield for this season and has landed somewhere that is vocal about the fact that he will be their star moving forward. This is a massive stock-up for Kiner. Ford finished as the RB17 in 2021 for CFB Fantasy, and I could see Kiner, in this role, reaching the same finish. At worst, I think he’s a top 36 RB, due to the combination of his talent pedigree and the Cincinnati offensive system.
Agiye Hall: Alabama → ???
Our last major transfer for this report is the least surprising transfer of the off-season. Everyone knew that when Bama brought in the extremely talented receiving class of Ja’Corey Brooks, JoJo Earle, Agiye Hall and Christian Leary in 2021 that not all four of them would finish their college careers in Tuscaloosa. However, given the excitement around Hall after his monster spring game his freshman year, I don’t think many would’ve expected Hall to be the one.
That certainly changed as the season went on. Despite his impressive spring game, Hall was still only a true freshman, and players like John Metchie, Jameson Williams, and Slade Bolden still had plenty of experience on him and he wasn’t likely to break that lineup. However, that didn’t stop Hall from being vocal about his displeasure on social media. Hall would eventually get his chance, as Alabama lost both Metchie and Williams in their run to the national title.
However, when on the field, Agiye dropped several key passes that put Bama in worse positions. Saban would later call out Hall and several others (not by name) when he spoke about a couple receivers complaining about their playing time and not performing when they had their chance. Hall stuck it out during the spring, hoping to break the starting lineup with Metchie, Bolden, and Williams all off to the draft. However, a new starting lineup was emerging in Georgia transfer Jermaine burton, as well as fellow 2021 signees JoJo Earle and Ja’Corey Brooks, leaving Hall on the outside looking in once again. This led to him starting up his antics again, and eventually being let go from the Bama program, quickly followed by him entering the portal.
While Hall’s antics have certainly become well known, his talent is certainly undeniable. He was rated as the #5 WR in the 247 sports composite for the class of 2021 for a reason. The aforementioned spring game in 2021 showed exactly how high Hall’s ceiling is as a freshman, and he can only grow from there. While I knocked Hall’s performance in the national championship, he also flashed on the two catches he did make, both going for 25+ yards and making the best defense in the country look foolish on both. Despite his clear maturity issues, Hall’s talent makes him interesting enough to follow where he lands.
The most rumored school right now is Texas, as his former primary recruiter is now the WR coach at Texas, who immediately followed Hall on social media following Hall’s entry into the portal. Personally, this would not be a great landing spot for CFB fantasy, as Texas seems to already have their two outside guys in freshman phenom Xavier Worthy and Wyoming transfer Isaiah Neyor, who has been explosive during camp. So unless Hall is willing to play in the slot, he’d likely be in the same situation he was at Bama. Even if he’s the slot, he’s still likely the WR3, which makes him unplayable for CFB fantasy purposes.
A more interesting landing spot, to me, would be the Miami Hurricanes. Hall is from the South Florida area, so moving back closer to home makes sense. In addition, Miami has a desperate need at WR, which was highlighted in their spring game. If Hall wanted somewhere he could start immediately and have a true impact, South Beach is where I would start.
Additional Transfers Worth Mentioning
Brady McBride, QB: Texas St → Appalachian St
Last report I included Brady McBride and was very vocal about how I had very little interest as to where he landed. Now, he’s made his way over to the Mountaineers of Appalachian St, and I still have very little interest. Incumbent QB Chase Brice, formerly of Duke and Clemson, is coming off a season in which he finished as the CFB Fantasy QB40, throwing for 3,337 yards, 27 TDs, and 11 INTs, while rushing for 71 attempts for 149 yards and three touchdowns. It’s very unlikely that McBride poses any kind of threat to Brice here, and I doubt we can even call him the next man up after Brice runs out of eligibility here. For you locos who still have McBride stashed on your roster, dump him.
Doug Brumfield, QB: UNLV → ???
Normally, I would have ignored this transfer, but enough CFF analysts seemed excited by this move that I figured I’d give him some time. Brumfield is a former 3-star QB from 2020 freshman class, ranked as the #53 Pro-style QB. Brumfield earned the start for the Rebels as a redshirt freshman for the first three games, but was sidelined due to an “undisclosed upper-body injury”. Fellow freshman Cameron Friel took over the job from there and never let go. Now, Harrison Bailey has come to Vegas, and the writing was on the wall for Brumfield. As always, the landing spot is key here, but if Brumfield stays G5 and stays out west with some of the offensive systems out there, he could be interesting.
Dylan McDuffie, RB: Buffalo → Georgia Tech
It was going to be hard for Dylan McDuffie to land somewhere and not have me call for everyone to fade him. The situation he had at Buffalo was just too perfect. As the lead back from a school with one of the heaviest run biases in the country in a conference like the MAC that plays poor enough defense, he doesn’t have to be good to succeed. Unfortunately, McDuffie didn’t see it that was and has now landed at Georgia Tech. GT already has Dontae Smith and Hassan Hall as their 1-2 punch, and I don’t think McDuffie is talented enough to overtake either. The best-case scenario is that McDuffie is part of RBBC, which will limit his touches all the same, in addition to GT having to play from behind constantly. He’s a drop in every league format.
Marquise Irving, RB: Minnesota → ???
Many of us have been concerned with Mohammed Ibrahim’s return from injury, given that his time away, as well as Treyson Potts getting injured, has allowed for multiple backs on Minnesota’s depth chart to get carries and experience last season. However, since then, Cam Wiley and Ky Thomas have transferred, and the latest back to join them is Marquise Irving. Many kept calling for Irving to take the stop spot when Ibrahim and Potts went down. He never was moved from his pass-catching change of pace back role for the Gophers. Looks like he doesn’t want to continue in that role and has decided to look elsewhere. I’m personally not very high on Irving, but I know plenty of people who are. I’ve heard rumors of him going to Iowa, which would make for an interesting dynamic between him and Gavin Williams.
Cody Brown, RB: Miami → ???
Brown made news last year when he flipped near signing day from the Tennessee Volunteers to the Miami Hurricanes. As a freshman, he saw early work when almost the entirety of Miami’s RB room was injured, leaving only him and Jaylen Knighton. As a freshman, he took 34 carries for 139 yards and three touchdowns. However, injured running backs like Donald Cheney Jr. are returning and the new coaching staff have added Ole Miss RB Henry Parrish through the transfer portal. In addition, the Miami staff has recruited a favorite RB freshman of the site, Tre’Vontae Citizen, to the team. All this combined for several reasons for Brown to realize he was going to be buried on the depth chart this year. As to where he can go, many have pointed to him returning to Tennessee, where they are thin at RB currently.
Tyler Harrell, WR: Louisville → ???
I’ve been one to hype up Tyler Harrell as a CFF option for Louisville this year, after being impressed with his performances late into last season, including the bowl game against Air Force. Harrell is one of the fastest players in CFB, with some speculating that he is able to run a 4.2 40-time. Normally, this transfer would fly under the radar, but within minutes of him entering the portal, CFB Twitter exploded with rumors that Harrell was bound for the Crimson Tide of Alabama. If Harrell does indeed find himself in Tuscaloosa, I would expect him to be a depth piece, behind the trio of Burton, Earle, and Brooks, for this year. But once he’s made his way into that starting line-up, the skies the limit is there for his CFF potential.
Caleb Chapman, WR: Texas A&M → ???
Many CFF analysts expect Evan Stewart to buck the reputation of Texas A&M WRs not living up to their potential. However, that reputation hasn’t been unearned over the years, as their top receivers from the past several years have not panned out. Another example is now former 4-star receiver, Caleb Chapman now entering the portal. Chapman was the #60 WR for his class in 2018, and during his time at Texas A&M, has caught 28 balls for 413 yards and three touchdowns. Injuries have plagued his time with the Aggies, likely leading to him dropping on the depth chart for more reliable options. Chapman has shown flashes of talent, so him landing at a Texas G5 school and succeeding there isn’t outside the realm of possibilities. Think about schools like Houston, SMU or North Texas.
Steve Jenkins, WR: UNLV → ???
Jenkins is the second Rebel to make this report today. Last year, Jenkins led the rebels receiving room, with 46 catches for 694 yards and four touchdowns. Many were excited to see what he could do with a better quarterback under center in Harrison Bailey. However, it looks as though Jenkins had other plans. I doubt we see Jenkins move up to a Power 5 school, but he’s another one who could stay out west and benefit similar to Brumfield.
Top Available Transfers
- Emory Jones: Florida → ???
- Doug Brumfield: UNLV → ???
- Peter Costelli: Utah → ???
- Marquise Irving: Minnesota → ???
- Cody Brown: Miami → ???
- Andrew Van Buren: Boise St → ???
- Agiye Hall: Alabama → ???
- Tyler Harrell: Louisville → ???
- Deion Smith: LSU →???