College Football Transfer Portal: Ranking the Top 18 NCAAF Transfers of 2022

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(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Aug 04, 2022, 4:54 PM
  • The 2022 season of the NCAA Transfer Portal ended on July 31, 2022.
  • The USC Trojans were big winners, landing arguably the top two prizes of the offseason in quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Jordan Addison.
  • College football fans saw more quarterback movement during the 2022 offseason than ever before.

I recently wrote about the 2,000 college football players who had put their names into the NCAA Transfer Portal in 2022

Such a staggering volume of player movement remakes the NCAAF odds market every week.

But regardless of whether you love the transfer portal or hate it, it’s probably here to say. Teams now devote massive coaching and recruiting resources to make the portal work as a net positive for roster development.

As I mentioned last week, the 2022 transfer portal year officially began on August 1, 2021, and ended on July 31, 2022.

So now that the transfer season is over, let’s look at some of the top players that moved through the portal in 2022.

Which College Football Players Transferred Schools This Season?

1 Caleb Williams: Transferred to USC from Oklahoma

USC has had some pretty good quarterbacks in the post-Pete Carroll era, but I’m not sure any of them are on Williams’ level. His arrival, in tandem with new coach Lincoln Riley, should give USC its best chance at a national championship in nearly 20 years.

2 Jordan Addison: Transferred to USC from Pitt

Addison won the 2021 Biletnikoff award with Kenny Pickett as his quarterback. Imagine what he’ll do for an encore with Caleb Williams throwing him the ball.

3. Olusegun “Victor” Oluwatimi: Transferred to Michigan from UVA

Oluwatimi has been absolutely slept-on as a significant addition this offseason. The UVA All-American and Rimington Award finalist is headed to Ann Arbor as a graduate transfer, replacing All-Big Ten anchor Andrew Vastardis.

4 Jarrick Bernard-Converse: Transferred to LSU from Oklahoma State    

Bernard-Converse will likely surpass 200 career tackles this season in Baton Rouge. He’s also got 24 passes defended and two picks. 

5. Tanner McCalister: Transferred to Ohio State from Oklahoma State

Another Oklahoma State elder statesman transferring to a top program, McCalister is an all-conference caliber safety with 124 career tackles.

6. Jahmyr Gibbs: Transferred to Alabama from Georgia Tech

Alabama was in the market for a running back. In Gibbs, it pulled off one of the great, if underappreciated, transfer market acquisitions.

Gibbs ran for 746 yards in an uninspiring offense at Georgia Tech last season. Imagine what he can do this fall.

7. JT Daniels: Transferred to West Virginia from Georgia

The history of West Virginia in the Big 12 has been pretty straightforward. When the Mountaineers have fielded a decent quarterback, they’ve been pretty good; when they haven’t, it’s been pretty ugly.

This offseason, Neal Brown and staff lured JT Daniels away from Georgia as a graduate transfer, finally moving off Jared Doege. 

Daniels isn’t perfect, but he’s probably one of the top quarterback prizes of the transfer market. As a result, WVU should be interesting again this season.

8. Cameron Ward: Transferred to Washington State from Incarnate Word

Another outstanding FCS player who’s transferring up without much national buzz, Ward posted 4,648 passing yards and 47 touchdowns last year at Incarnate Word.

The Southland conference isn’t exactly known for its defense; nevertheless, Ward is a nice grab for the Washington State offense.

9. Eli Ricks: Transferred to Alabama from LSU

Ricks has had an eventful year. He earned All-Freshman SEC honors in 2020 after a solid rookie campaign; however, Ricks hurt his shoulder in a game against Kentucky early last year. He elected to have season-ending surgery.

Ricks entered the transfer portal in late November, eventually choosing to play for Alabama this year – a fitting destination for a potential top-10 draft selection in next year’s NFL draft.

In May, Ricks was arrested in Mississippi and cited for speeding, driving without insurance and possession of marijuana.

This fall, we’ll find out if Ricks’ third year of college football is as up-and-down as his first two.

10. Kingsley Suamataia: Transferred to BYU from Oregon

The 5-star OL and former Oregon commit is relocating to Provo.

11. Antwane Wells Jr: Transferred to South Carolina from JMU

Wells is one of the great hidden gems on this list. James Madison was able to identify his talent early and keep him in Virginia; he rewarded them with 83 catches for 1,250 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2021. 

With the Dukes moving up to the Sun Belt and Wells’ stock higher than ever, JMU coach Curt Cignetti couldn’t keep big-time suitors away. So Shane Beamer and his staff pulled him out of Harrisonburg.

Wells will make a huge splash in the SEC this year.

12. Dillon Gabriel: Transferred to Oklahoma from UCF       

The one-time UCF star has an excellent chance to inherit the starting job in Oklahoma after the regime change.

13. Jermaine Burton: Transferred to Alabama from Georgia

The Georgia brain drain is very real after last year’s national championship. In addition to losing a ton of defensive players to the NFL Draft, the Dawgs will also lose Burton to Nick Saban and Alabama.

Burton recorded 26 catches for 497 yards last year. 

14. Mekhi Wingo: Transferred to LSU from Missouri

The highly rated sophomore defensive tackle posted 27 total tackles (and one pick-6!) last year for Missouri. He’s headed down the road to Baton Rouge. 

15. Mario Williams: Transferred to USC from Oklahoma

Many programs would kill to land a receiver with hands as good as Mario Williams, who departed Norman alongside Riley and Caleb Williams. 

At USC, though, Williams won’t even be the top guy in his position group.

16. Quinn Ewers: Transferred to Texas from Ohio State

It’s hard to know what to make of Ewers on this list. The 5-star quarterback and one-time top prospect of the 2022 class reclassified and enrolled at Ohio State a year early. He landed the first $1 million NIL deal, even though he was nowhere close to earning playing time for the Buckeyes.

Before he could even get through his first season, he left the team. Now, he’s at Texas.

Ewers is an immense talent and should challenge for a starting role with the Longhorns. But how much staying power does he really have in Austin – especially with Arch Manning right around the corner?

17. Jacob Cowing: Transferred to Arizona from UTEP

UTEP’s No. 1 receiver is moving to the Pac-12. At Arizona, he should be in a strong position to catch plenty of balls – the Wildcats have spent a lot of time playing from behind in recent years.

18. Jared Verse: Transferred to Florida State from Albany

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a growing trend of prominent FCS players transferring up to find starring roles at major programs. 

Verse was named CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year during the unorthodox FCS spring season of 2021. He tallied 21.5 tackles for loss in two years at Albany. Florida State will make good use of him.

NCAA Football Transfers: USC Odds Spike After Top Players Move West

Bettors who buy a USC ticket are coming in at the top of the market. There’s a tremendous amount of hype around the Trojans, and we haven’t even seen Lincoln Riley coach a game in Pacific Time yet. 

Still, it’s hard not to at least consider the Trojans after seeing how much talent they accumulated through the NCAA transfer portal.

At the BetMGM online sportsbook, USC is currently 20-to-1 to win the national championship.

What Is a G5 School in College Football?

In college football, the term Group of Five (G5) is a term that refers to five athletic conferences whose members are part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

What College Football Conferences Are in the Group of Five?

The Group of Five is composed of the following NCAAF conferences: American, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and the Sun Belt.

How Many Players Transferred From a G5 School to a Power Five School Last Year?

New data from the conclusion of the 2022 transfer portal season reveals that 123 G5 football players transferred to Power Five schools. That’s less than 20% of the total number of G5 college football transfers, which grew to 892 players.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.