2022 Heisman Favorites Are Filled With Transfers

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Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams passes the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas.
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Sam Herder @SamHerderFCS Mar 09, 2022, 5:07 PM

The ever-changing landscape of college football hit another peak in the last year. From NIL deals to huge head coaching hires to massive names hitting the transfer portal, the off-the-field storylines seemed to be just as captivating as the on-field stories.

There is a free agency feel nowadays. The transfer portal gave players a better and more transparent process to look at other playing options. And the addition of the one-time transfer rule has allowed bigger names to change schools and not have to sit out a year. The college football odds shift in the offseason more now than ever before as big names head to other programs. 

USC, who went 4-8 last season, is tied for the fifth-best college football championship odds at +3500 thanks to landing several big transfers and the blockbuster hire of head coach Lincoln Riley.

It’s not just players buried in the depth chart entering the transfer portal. And it’s not just starters, either. Some of the best college quarterbacks will be wearing new jerseys in 2022.

Twelve of the top 25 Heisman favorites are transfers.

Two are running backs, and 10 are quarterbacks. Nine of those quarterbacks are 2022 transfers, while the 10th is a 2021 transfer. Adding to that dynamic, several of these transfer quarterbacks and their moves are connected, such as one player transferring in makes a player leave, or a team looks to replace a lost transfer with another transfer.

Here are BetMGM’s college football betting odds when it comes to transfers winning the 2022 Heisman Trophy as of March 9.

USC QB Caleb Williams Heisman Odds +800

Williams follows Lincoln Riley, his 2021 Oklahoma head coach, to USC in one of the biggest offseason storylines in recent memory. As a true freshman last season, Williams started the final seven games for Oklahoma and finished with 1,912 yards passing and 27 touchdowns to go along with four interceptions. He added 442 rushing yards and another six scores on the ground.

Texas QB Quinn Ewers Heisman Odds +2000

After one year at Ohio State, Ewers transferred to Texas. A five-star recruit, Ewers sat behind another young QB and 2022 Heisman favorite C.J. Stroud during the 2021 season.

QB JT Daniels Heisman Odds +2500

Daniels began his collegiate career as a true freshman starter for USC in 2018. A knee injury suffered in the 2019 opener ended his season. Daniels then transferred to Georgia in 2020, starting the final four games. Last year, he started three games but was hampered by a lat muscle issue. Stetson Bennett took over as the starter and led Georgia to a national title. 

In January, Daniels entered the transfer portal. As of March 9, he hasn’t announced his new school yet.

Pitt QB Kedon Slovis Heisman Odds +2500

Slovis entered the transfer portal in December shortly after Lincoln Riley was named USC’s head coach. Slovis took the reins as USC’s starter in 2019 after JT Daniels’ injury, which led Daniels to transfer to Georgia in 2020. Slovis then led USC to a 5-1 record in the shortened 2020 season. Last year, he threw for 2,153 yards, 11 touchdowns, and eight interceptions while splitting some starts with rising freshman Jaxson Dart.

Speaking of Jaxson Dart…

Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart Heisman Odds +2500

Another former USC quarterback, Dart split time as a true freshman in 2021 with Kedon Slovis. He was slowed down by injuries, notably a torn meniscus that caused him to miss time. Dart started three games, throwing for 1,352 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions.

Dart entered the transfer portal in January, a month after teammate Slovis and a week after Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams announced he was entering the portal. As all signs pointed to, Williams made USC his transfer destination at the beginning of February, a couple of days after Dart committed to Ole Miss.

South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler Heisman Odds +3000

Rattler was the 2021 preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after throwing for more than 3,000 yards and 28 TDs at Oklahoma in 2020. He was benched midseason, though, getting replaced by Caleb Williams. Rattler entered the transfer portal in late November, a day after his head coach Lincoln Riley was named USC’s new coach. 

Oklahoma losing its top two QBs leads us to our next name…

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel Heisman Odds +4000

The transfer connections keep on coming. After three years at UCF, Gabriel entered the transfer portal on Nov. 27. A couple of weeks later, he committed to UCLA but did not sign during the early signing period. On the same day (Jan. 3) of Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams entering the portal, Gabriel flipped his commitment to the Sooners and officially signed a month later.

Gabriel threw for 8,037 yards, 70 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions in 26 career games at UCF.

Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs Heisman Odds +4000

Gibbs heads to Alabama after two seasons at Georgia Tech. A two-time All-ACC selection, he’s totaled 1,206 yards and eight touchdowns in 19 career games.

Oregon QB Bo Nix Heisman Odds +5000

Nix was a three-year starter at Auburn before entering the portal and then transferring to Oregon for the 2022 season. Last year was cut short due to an ankle injury, but Nix still climbed the school record charts and ranks third in Auburn career passing yards with 7,251.

Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker Heisman Odds +5000

Hooker started his collegiate career back in 2017 at Virginia Tech. He started a combined 15 games in 2019 and 2020. Hooker transferred to Tennessee in 2021, taking over as the starter in Week 3 and throwing for 2,945 yards, 31 touchdowns, and three interceptions while adding 616 yards and five scores on the ground.

Washington State QB Cameron Ward Heisman Odds +5000

Ward is transferring to Washington State after two standout seasons at Incarnate Word and the FCS level. FCS-to-FBS transfers are not rare, but it is unique for one to already be this high in the Heisman odds. You can read more about Ward’s background here.

USC RB Travis Dye Heisman Odds +5000

Dye is transferring to USC after four seasons at Oregon. A two-time All Pac-12 honorable mention selection, he is coming off of a 2021 season where led Oregon in rushing (1,271 yards and 16 touchdowns) and receptions (46).

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About the Author

Sam Herder

Read More @SamHerderFCS

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.