The transfer portal giveth and the transfer portal taketh. It’s true for teams. And it’s true for subdivisions. More than 80 FCS players have transferred to the FBS for the 2022 season, while 230-plus FBS players are heading to the FCS.
The number of FCS-to-FBS transfers this year has dropped considerably compared to the 150-plus players for the 2021 season. But still, several notable FCS All-Conference and All-American performers are heading to the FBS. These transfers are expected to make a difference in their new team’s success. One is even listed in the early college football betting odds to win the Heisman.
Below are the 10 best FCS-to-FBS transfers in 2022.
But first, a long list of honorable mentions: DB Jordan Perryman (UC Davis to Washington), DB Koby Perry (Austin Peay to UCF), DL George Tarlas (Weber State to Boise State), DB Chris Edmonds (Samford to Arizona State), DB Marcis Floyd (Murray State to West Virginia), WR Terrance Greene Jr. (Monmouth to James Madison), OL Tylan Grable (Jacksonville State to UCF), LB Colby Reeder (Delaware to Iowa State), DL Jacob Sykes (Harvard to UCLA), LB Shanon Reid (Illinois State to SMU), WR Caleb Snead (Campbell to Liberty), and LB Adrian Hope (Furman to Coastal Carolina).
10. Omar Brown (DB)
Northern Iowa to Nebraska
Brown has been one of the better cover corners in the FCS dating back to his freshman season in 2019. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder had 77 tackles, four tackles for loss, six interceptions, and five pass breakups and was named a HERO Sports Freshman All-American.
In the spring 2021 season, Brown recorded 30 tackles, one interception, and five pass breakups in seven games. Last year, he suffered a season-ending injury after playing in seven games. Brown still earned HERO Sports Sophomore All-American honors with 33 tackles, three TFLs, one interception, and three pass breakups.
9. Shaundre Mims (DL)
Charleston Southern to East Carolina
Mims is a disruptive defensive lineman at 6-foot and 276 pounds. He was named a 2019 HERO Sports Sophomore All-American, a 2021 spring First Team All-Big South selection, and a 2021 fall HERO Sports Third Team All-American.
Mims led the conference with 10 sacks in 2019 and added 12 TFLs. He totaled 22 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, and 1.5 sacks in four games during the spring. And last season, Mims recorded 58 tackles, 16.5 TFLs, and eight sacks.
8. Kobie Turner (DL)
Richmond to Wake Forest
Turner was a three-year starter and three-time All-CAA selection for the Spiders. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder led a stout defense and was highly productive for a big man.
In 2019, he totaled 71 tackles, 14.5 TFLs, and seven sacks. Richmond’s COVID-riddled spring season resulted in only four games played, and Turner totaled 19 tackles, six TFLs, and 3.5 sacks, earning CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Last season, Turner tallied 54 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, four sacks, and nine quarterback hurries.
7. Donovan Manuel (LB)
East Tennessee State to FIU
Manuel has collected postseason honors since being named to the 2019 SoCon All-Freshman Team. He earned HERO Sports Sophomore All-American accolades in the 2021 spring and was a Third Team All-FCS All-American in the fall.
At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Manuel is a steady presence in the middle of the field. Last season he totaled 124 tackles, 9.5 TFLs, three sacks, and two forced fumbles.
6. Ramon Jefferson (RB)
Sam Houston to Colorado
Jefferson overcame early obstacles in his collegiate career. After two stops at different colleges, he arrived at Sam Houston and became an FCS national champion in the 2021 spring season. Jefferson finished sixth in the FCS with 752 rushing yards while running for seven touchdowns in 10 games.
In the fall, he was named a HERO Sports Second Team All-American after rushing for 1,155 yards and 13 TDs. The 5-foot-10, 215-pounder is a physical runner who also has shiftiness and speed in space.
5. Tre’mond Shorts (OL)
East Tennessee State to LSU
Shorts is imposing at 6-foot-4 and 335 pounds. A four-year starter, he helped pave the way for ETSU’s No. 8 rushing offense in the FCS last season. Shorts was named a HERO Sports Second Team All-American.
4. Tyler Hudson (WR)
Central Arkansas to Louisville
Hudson was one of the best downfield threats in the FCS for three seasons as part of UCA’s explosive passing attack. The 6-foot-2 receiver received HERO Sports Freshman, Sophomore, and 2021 Second Team All-American honors.
He had 55 catches for 975 yards and 12 TDs in 2019, 50 catches for 845 yards and seven TDs in 2020, and 62 catches for 1,242 yards and eight TDs in 2021.
3. Jared Verse (DL)
UAlbany to Florida State
Verse dominated the FCS level in 2021, becoming one of the more feared edge rushers during the spring season. The HERO Sports Freshman All-American racked up 22 tackles, 10 TFLs, and four sacks in just four games.
The 6-foot-4, 247-pounder was at it again in the fall. Verse tallied 52 tackles, 11.5 TFLs, 9.5 sacks, and 13 quarterback hurries. After entering the transfer portal, he received offers from the likes of Texas, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, USC, Miami, and several more before signing with Florida State.
2. Antwane Wells Jr. (WR)
James Madison to South Carolina
Wells became a fan favorite for the JMU faithful as a true freshman in the spring 2021 season. “He could go down as one of the best receivers in program history … if he sticks around for four years” was the general thought.
Wells was an FBS-level player, and even though the Dukes will become an FBS member in 2022 as they join the Sun Belt Conference, he entered the transfer portal. The Power 5 offers came soaring in from Louisville, Auburn, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Miami, and others.
Despite playing in only 22 games, Wells ranks third all-time at JMU in career receiving touchdowns (21) and ninth all-time in career receiving yards (1,853). He was a HERO Sports Freshman All-American in the spring and a Second Team All-FCS All-American in the fall. At South Carolina, the 6-foot-1 target will be catching passes from another transfer in Spencer Rattler.
1. Cameron Ward (QB)
Incarnate Word to Washington State
He played two seasons at UIW, earning HERO Sports Freshman All-American honors in the spring and Sophomore All-American honors last fall. He won the Jerry Rice Award as the top FCS freshman, and in his second season, he threw for 4,648 yards, 47 TDs, and 10 interceptions in 13 games.
Ward went from two D1 offers to quickly being one of the most electric players in the FCS. Now he’ll look to do the same in the FBS.