Skip to main content

Transfer Portal Will Again Play Vital Role for Arizona State in 2022

After a season where the Arizona State Sun Devils saw a drop in recruiting success, the transfer portal will once again prove to be vital to improve the roster.

As of late, so much has been made about the talent departing from the Arizona State Sun Devils via the transfer portal.

Following NCAA investigation news breaking in the middle of June, 12 Arizona State players (six since November) have entered the transfer portal and found new homes. 

While the investigation is likely not the sole cause of each player leaving, there's no denying the role it's played in the big picture of retaining talent. 

The recruiting trail has also been impacted, as four recruits from Arizona State's 2022 class have decommitted from the program since June. 

As of early national signing day, the Sun Devils had the second-worst recruiting class in the Pac-12. While more recruits are expected to sign on the traditional signing day of Feb. 2, it's clear Arizona State has to catch up in the race of adding talent to the roster.

There's one clear path the Sun Devils will need to emphasize, and it's one they've seen success with already: The transfer portal. 

Thanks to the COVID redshirt year of 2020, players now have extra eligibility to play more college football than ever if desired. On top of the transfer portal granting immediate eligibility for first-time transfers, players can indeed come and go as they please if they're not happy with their current situation.

The transfer portal hasn't been kind to Arizona State. However, the Sun Devils have helped make up ground in recruiting by utilizing talent that entered the portal. 

In 2021, the Sun Devils saw contributions from transfer players such as receiver Bryan Thompson, tight end Jalin Conyers, safety DeAndre Pierce and offensive linemen Henry Hattis and Kellen Diesch.

Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards knows precisely how big a role it will play for ASU moving into 2022. 

“This portal thing is real. We’re not done by any stretch of the imagination bringing in players,” Edwards said on Tuesday. “We have about eight now that have committed to us, high-school kids as well — we’re going in the portal looking for another 12 guys. So this team will look a lot different than it does right now.

"We need some experience at certain positions. We know that. We’ve reached out to a lot of players and there’s some interest and now it’s just a waiting game. You have to recruit them too a little bit, so that’s part of it and we understand that. We’re going to have an opportunity to bring in some guys that can help us.”

After losing a good amount of talent through graduation, decommits or transfers, it appears as if the portal will once again be utilized by Arizona State to keep the roster in shape as much as possible. 

The early stages of that process has already begun, as the Sun Devils have added talent such as Missouri tight end Messiah Swinson, Mississippi State linebacker Rodney Groce and Illinois safety Derrick Smith through the portal.

However, Edwards and Co. know there's plenty of work to be done in order to field another competitive roster for 2022. 

There's no denying the avenue they'll take to do that.