2022 was the year of the transfer portal. A flux of coaching changes, the ease of transferring, and increased awareness of the transfer portal gave us a basic version of college football free agency. According to 247Sports, TCU's transfer class ranks ninth nationally.
Their class is third in the Big 12, who was a big participant in this year's portal. Oklahoma (fourth) and Texas (eighth) scored higher in the rankings.
While the Horned Frogs watched several key contributors use the transfer portal to find new homes away from Fort Worth, they also were active in bringing new faces in. Head coach Sonny Dykes brought over a few recruits from SMU as well as one of the top players in the portal, offensive lineman Alan Ali. Ali is a top-40 transfer and was graded a four-star transfer prospect, per 247Sports.
The Frogs landed another four-star transfer, running back Emani Bailey from Louisiana. In total, TCU brought in 13 players via the transfer portal while losing seven to other schools.
The portal has brought about plenty of criticism. While some players have used it to garner an almost-NFL free agency (see: Jordan Addison), many decide to move schools because of changes in coaching staff. 20 players made a move in and out of TCU, mainly due to their first regime change since 2001.
Of the 10 highest-ranked transfer classes this offseason, five of them had at least one change to coordinator and four of those had complete turnover with their head coaching staff. The lone exception: Alabama.
USC topped the list– to no surprise– by landing star quarterback Caleb Williams and a host of excellent offensive weapons; a handful made the move from Oklahoma to USC to follow coach Lincoln Riley. Ole Miss, LSU, Oklahoma, and Alabama round out the top five.
TCU landed in the top 10 thanks to 11 three-star transfer prospects, winning by volume rather than splash signings (Alabama had just five total transfers in, all of which were four- and five-star transfers).
Legislation is in the works to contain Name, Image, and Likeness (a contributing factor to many transfer decisions). But love it or hate it, the transfer portal is here to stay. If teams want to succeed in the modern college football landscape, they're going to have to hit the portal hard.
Will TCU's success in the portal result in more wins? Those who watched their 5-7 finish last season certainly hope so.
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