Skip to main content

Love it or hate it, the transfer portal's relevance in college football is here to stay. Moving forward, teams aggressive in the portal will win more games than those who are less aggressive in the portal.

2022 felt like the full unleashing of the portal for the first time. Hundreds of players entered, including dozens of impact players and starters. Where did the top 10 transfers land this rotation?

10. QB Dillon Gabriel, UCF to Oklahoma

Early in the 2021 season, Dillon Gabriel suffered a season-ending collarbone fracture. UCF's offense never recovered for the season and Gabriel left Orlando to play at Oklahoma. Don't let the absence of Gabriel last year let you forget his capability.

In 26 games at UCF, Gabriel amassed 70 touchdowns and a ridiculous 309 passing yards per game. He and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby have history and Lebby's previous stay (Ole Miss) was a heavily-rumored landing spot for Gabriel. When Lebby was hired by Oklahoma, Gabriel soon followed.

9. QB Cameron Ward, Incarnate Word to Washington State

Cameron Ward at Incarnate Word was, in short, unfair. In his time with the Cardinals, Ward passed for nearly 350 yards per game and tossed 62 touchdowns. He enters a Washington State who's reverting back to their roots. Under their previous coach, the Cougars shifted to a run-and-shoot, away from the traditional air raid.

However, for 2022, Wazzu will be returning to the air raid and Ward is going to get a workout. Plenty of questions surround Ward's ability to go from FCS Incarnate Word to the Pac-12, but the sky is the limit for this kid.

8. SAF Brandon Joseph, Northwestern to Notre Dame

If Joseph entered the NFL this past offseason, he had a strong argument to be a second-round pick at least. Instead, he returned to school and took his talents two hours east from Evanston to South Bend.

In the 2020 Big Ten Championship Game, Joseph stifled Ohio State's explosive offense led by star receivers Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and first-round quarterback Justin Fields. Notre Dame just watched All American safety Kyle Hamilton depart for the NFL and the addition of Brandon Joseph leaves little regression for next year.

7. EDGE Jared Verse, Albany to Florida State

Every now and then, a player at the Division-IAA (FCS) level stands out so much, be becomes a coveted player at the FBS level. Pass rusher Jared Verse is one of those players and the second in this circuit. He's a monstrous 6' 4", 250 pounds, and usually the most explosive player on the field.

In just 15 games with Albany, Verse collected 75 tackles– 21.5 for a loss– 14.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He's a stat monster and now heads to the ACC to terrorize opposing quarterbacks at a higher level.

6. WR Mario Williams, Oklahoma to USC

Oklahoma's two most explosive playmakers at the receiver position bolted for greener pastures following Lincoln Riley's departure. Mario Williams was the next great Sooner receiver in waiting, but he's taking his talents to Los Angeles.

He only had 35 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, but he pairs with Caleb Williams in SoCal. The chemistry between him, Williams, and Riley is a dangerous combination. Receivers coach Dennis Simmons came with Riley to the new staff despite USC being a recent WR factory.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

5. RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia Tech to Alabama

At Georgia Tech, Gibbs earned first team All American honors as a utility player. He's as dangerous as a returnman and in the receiving game as he is as a running back. Jahmyr Gibbs may be the most talented player to hit the transfer portal this season.

Running back was the lone "weak" skill position for the Alabama Crimson Tide. And now, it's not. Jameson Williams was the Tide's explosive returner, but with him parting for the NFL, expect Gibbs to step into that role. Buckle up, SEC West. The rich just got richer.

4. QB Quinn Ewers, Ohio State to Texas

No one has a higher ceiling on this list than former No. 1 overall recruit Quinn Ewers. So why does he fall down to fourth? We quite literally haven't seen one snap of him at a college level. While most No. 1 recruits pan out, not all of them do.

Texas potentially landed a three-year starter for their program. Ewers was such a big transfer that last year's starting quarterback Casey Thompson left Austin for Kansas State. There will be competition between Ewers and Hudson Card, but the Longhorns may have landed a star for many years to come.

3. OT Kingsley Suamataia, Oregon to BYU

Suamataia is a projected first-round NFL Draft pick. That projection comes via 247 (who compared him to the Browns' Wyatt Teller) after just one year at Oregon. He's a former five-star tackle and started all season in 2021 as a true freshman.

Now, he takes his talents to BYU. Suamataia is originally from Utah so returning back to the Cougars isn't the most surprising move. He stands 6' 5", 317 pounds, but also has the burst and athleticism necessary to be an elite offensive tackle.

2. CB Eli Ricks, LSU to Alabama

Ricks was named the top defensive back transfer per 247Sports. His decision was one of the most anticipated decisions of the 2022 recruiting circuit and Ricks chose to head to college football's title town.

Cornerbacks coach Jay Valai left Tuscaloosa for Oklahoma, but in comes Travaris Robinson, a stud hire and former NFL corner. In his days at Florida, Robinson helped develop household names like Vernon Hargreaves III and Matt Elam– All Americans and first-round NFL Draft picks. Ricks will further develop into an even bigger stud.

1. QB Caleb Williams, Oklahoma to USC

Alexa, what's the definition of "impact player?" As a freshman, Caleb Williams took the reins in a struggling Oklahoma offense and immediately flashed. His first meaningful play of the season was a 66-yard touchdown run against Texas.

USC hasn't had a star quarterback since Sam Darnold. Williams is a bonafide star who leaves Norman to be with Lincoln Riley. It's an already-proven hit and that hit joins even more talent in L.A.

Honorable mentions: WR Jacob Cowing (UTEP to Arizona), RB Travis Dye (Oregon to USC), WR Mitchell Tinsley (WKU to Penn State)

Want to join the discussion? Click here to become a member of the Killer Frogs message board community today!

Follow KillerFrogs on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest TCU news! Follow KillerFrogs on Facebook and Instagram as well. Download the KillerFrogs app on Google Play or in the Apple App Store.