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College Football Transfers: Who Are The Top Uncommitted Players?

The transfer portal window closes Jan. 18. However, some relatively big names– including 2022 starting QBs– remain uncommitted. Who are the top players up for grabs?

The new model for turning a college football program around is the transfer portal. All of a sudden, a four-win USC team can compete for Playoff berths in just a year and two-win Colorados can become overnight national attention-grabbers. While not everyone agrees with the portal, it's become important for player mobility. With mobility comes parity.

The transfer portal began as the wild west, but the NCAA announced a window open from Dec. 4 to Jan. 18 annually to help control the chaos. Jan. 18 represents the deadline to enter the portal, but a two-day compliance window means names may emerge as late as Jan. 20.

Let's go over the top remaining guys in the portal as of Tuesday.

Top Uncommitted Transfers: The Quarterbacks

Five QBs who began 2022 as starters remain available: Air Force's Haaziq Daniels, Oregon State's Chance Nolan, Ball State's John Paddock, Oklahoma State's Spencer Sanders, and Vanderbilt's Mike Wright. Sanders undoubtably gets top billing on the list, ranking 19th in 247Sports' transfer QB grades. He and Nolan both suffered season-ending injuries in 2022.

Daniels' recruitment will be interesting to watch, as his existing college tape is under the triple option system, which only service academies currently run. Paddock entered the portal as a graduate transfer and will have one year of eligibility remaining. 247 also doesn't offer a crystal ball prediction on any of the four.

While 2022 starting QBs may get the most attention in the portal, there's a few high-caliber non-starters, too. The highest-ranked one is LSU's Walker Howard– a former five-star prospect who red-shirted for the Tigers this year. 247 projects Howard to land with Ole Miss.

Another recent five-star, Washington's Sam Huard, hit the portal after Michael Penix Jr. announced his return to Seattle for 2023. 247Sports recruiting director Brandon Huffman projects Huard to be an "immediate power five starter" and notes his long family ties to high-level FBS and NFL play.

Top Uncommitted Transfers: Offensive Players

The quarterback position has the most remaining notable talent, with a majority of the running back and wide receiver transfers already committing. Backs to note include Utah's Micah Bernard and Baylor's Sqwirl Williams.

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Bernard was set to be the Utes' lead back after Tavion Thomas was injured and subsequently declared for the NFL Draft, but Ja'Quinden Jackson– a former five-star QB– appeared to be first on the depth chart in the Pac-12 Championship game. Williams, the Bears' top rusher in 2022, hit the portal after Baylor called in Oklahoma State lead back Dominic Robinson.

The top pass-catcher doesn't come in the form of a wide receiver, rather Georgia tight end Arik Gilbert. Gilbert was often overshadowed by All-American Brock Bowers and NFL Draft prospect Darnell Washington in 2022. He originally transferred to Georgia from LSU as a five-star transfer prospect.

Top Uncommitted Transfers: Defensive Players

Along the defensive line, Harvard's Truman Jones is one of the most-coveted transfers left on the board. He will play in the East-West Shrine game, was named an FCS All-Star, and was a unanimous all-Ivy League selection in 2022. Florida State and Michigan have both been tied to Jones this offseason.

Oklahoma's Clayton Smith and Michigan's Julius Welschof are other coveted edge players available. Smith is a former top-50 recruit from the 2021 cycle while Welschof landed on The Athletic's "Freaks List" this offseason. At 6' 6" and 270 pounds, Welschof still posts a blistering 4.6-second 40-yard dash. Smith has an enticing four years of eligibility left.

One of the later additions to the portal is Ole Miss defensive back Tysheem Johnson. A two-year starter in Oxford and Freshman All-SEC selection, Johnson reportedly garners interest from Miami and other big-name programs.

Like offensive skill positions, the talent remaining in the defensive portal is scant.

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