Traffic jam expected in CFB Transfer Portal

Oregon State Beavers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. Former Clemson QB on the move again.
Oregon State Beavers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. Former Clemson QB on the move again.

College football's 30-day winter transfer portal window officially opened for business Monday (Dec. 4) and there are indications it will move even more players than last year’s 2,100.

Players have until Jan. 2, 2024, to enter the portal for their one-time transfers. It doesn't mean they have to find their new schools by then -- or that they can't return to their previous schools -- but they have 30 days to decide whether they want to be in the portal.

A few of the quarterbacks who already are in the portal include Ohio State's Kyle McCord, Washington State's Cam Ward, Duke's Riley Leonard, Oregon State's DJ Uiagalelei and UCLA's Dante Moore.

 Even before the portal officially opened dozens of players declared their intention to enter. 

Among them:

Colorado OL Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan

Christian-Lichtenhan is a 6-foot-10, 315-pound junior, originally from Davis, California. He redshirted in his freshman season at Colorado in 2020, but played in five games along the offensive line during the 2021 season. He started in eight games in 2022, and was the starting left tackle this season for coach Deion Sanders. He is departing from an offensive line that struggled mightily in pass protection during 2023.

Washington State QB Cameron Ward

Ward transferred into the WSU program from Incarnate Word prior to the 2022 season, where he was a second team FCS All-American player and the Southland Conference offensive player of the year. He went 10-3 in 2021 with Incarnate Word and threw for 4,648 yards, 47 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

He continued that success in 2022 at Washington State and was an All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention player. He started all 13 games and threw for 3,231 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Arizona State QB Drew Pyne

After starting his career at Notre Dame, Pyne transferred to Arizona State last season. But because of injuries, he was sidelined for the most of 2023, only appearing in two games in September. In those two appearances, he threw two touchdowns and three interceptions. Pyne expects to have three seasons of eligibility left once he graduates with his degree.

South Alabama WR Caullin Lacy

The South Alabama wide receiver had over 1,300 receiving yards for the Jaguars this season to pair with seven touchdowns. He's in the portal as a graduate transfer.

UCLA QB Dante Moore

Moore was the No. 2 prospect overall in the 2023 class out of Detroit, Michigan. He originally committed to Oregon out of high school, but flipped to UCLA and signed with the Bruins. Moore appeared in nine games this season as a true freshman and threw for 1,610 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Prior to his commitment, he showed interest in Michigan State, Texas A&M, LSU, Miami and Michigan among others.

Oregon State QB DJ Uiagalelei

The former Clemson QB, who was one of the big names in the portal last season is planning to leave the Beavers. In his lone season in Corvalis, DJU was improved in almost every category compared this previous two seasons starting at Clemson. In 2023, Uiagalelei threw for 2,638 yards and accounted for 27 total touchdowns.

NC State QB MJ Morris and DT C.J. Clark

Morris, a sophomore, began the season as NC State's backup with plans to be a backup and redshirt. He ended up starting four games before opting to sit out the rest of the season to preserve his redshirt. Morris played last season as a true freshman after Devin Leary went out for the season with an injury. Morris has thrown for 1,367 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions, completing 57.8 percent of his passes during his career at NC State.

Clark was a starter on the defensive line for the Wolfpack. He had 22 tackles in 2023.

Clemson WR Beaux Collins

Collins, a junior, will be immediately eligible for his final year. He has caught 91 passes for 1,290 yards and 11 touchdowns over three seasons.

Duke QB Riley Leonard

Leonard, a junior, started all 13 games for the Blue Devils during the 2022 season and threw for 2,967 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had 699 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns and was an All-ACC honorable mention selection for his performance. He played in seven games this season, missing games because of a toe injury suffered against Louisville, and finished the season with 1,102 yards passing, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He added on four rushing touchdowns and 352 yards on the ground.

Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall

Coastal Carolina starting quarterback Grayson McCall entered his name in the transfer portal as a grad transfer on Wednesday. McCall dealt with an injury this season that allowed him to play in just seven games where he threw for 1,919 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions under new coach Tim Beck. McCall threw for 2,700 yards, 24 touchdowns and two interceptions in 11 games during the 2022 season. He has 10,005 career passing yards and 88 career touchdowns.

Duke DT Aeneas Peebles

Peebles, a graduate transfer, played 411 snaps this season, racking up four sacks, 40 total tackles and a forced fumble. He had 3.5 sacks over the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Indiana OL Matthew Bedford

Bedford, who started 10 games this season and played both right guard and right tackle, is the 17th Hoosiers player to enter the portal since Nov. 27, according to ESPN's Tom VanHaaren. That includes four of their starting offensive linemen. Bedford allowed just one sack in 2023.

Temple QB E.J. Warner

The Owls' sophomore quarterback is moving on after starting two years for Temple. He was AAC rookie of the year in 2022. In his career, he has thrown for 6,104 yards with 41 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Cincinnati DB/LB DeShawn Pace

Cincinnati defender Deshawn Pace announced that he will enter the transfer portal. He plays the STAR position for the Bearcats, a safety and linebacker combination, and led the team in total tackles in 2023 with 80 tackles. Pace also led the team in tackles for loss with 11 and had five pass breakups on the season.

Northern Illinois WR Trayvon Rudolph

Rudolph, who had 46 catches for 499 yards and two touchdowns this season, intends to enter the transfer portal, a source told ESPN's Pete Thamel. Rudolph caught 51 passes for 892 yards and seven scores in 2021.

Minnesota QB Athan Kaliakmanis

Kaliakmanis had 1,838 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while completing 53.1% of his attempts for Minnesota, which finished 5-7. He added two rushing touchdowns. He took over as Minnesota's top quarterback after starting five games as a freshman in 2022, going 3-2 with 946 passing yards and three touchdowns. He has two seasons of eligibility left.

Wake Forest QB Mitch Griffis

After replacing Sam Hartman, who transferred to Notre Dame last year, Griffis struggled this season. He went 124-for-207 for 1,553 yards with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions as Wake Forest finished 4-8. Wake Forest backup QB Santino Marucci also announced he would be transferring.

Purdue WR Deion Burks

A sophomore from Minnesota, Burks has decided to leave Purdue. With 47 catches for 629 yards and seven scores, Burks was the Boilermakers' leading receiver in 2023. Burks was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2021.

Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke and RB Donald Chaney Jr.

After an up-and-down career with the Hurricanes, Van Dyke entered the transfer portal, saying, "I am looking forward to the next chapter and what my future holds." A fourth-year junior, had been the starter since the 2021 season. He threw for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 games in 2021. His performance that season earned him ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Injuries and inconsistency hampered his next two seasons as Van Dyke threw 17 interceptions over the last two seasons and has played for three different offensive coordinators.

Chaney, a sophomore, had 478 yards rushing this season and two touchdowns. He was, at certain times, the Canes' feature back, and he had double-digit carries in three games and 106 yards against Georgia Tech and 85 yards against Florida State.

Notre Dame C Zeke Correll and DE Nana Osafo-Mensah

Correll, who started 10 games for the Irish this season, enters the portal as a graduate transfer and will have one year of eligibility remaining. Correll was a veteran presence on the Notre Dame line but missed the final two games of the season with a concussion. He was a four-star prospect, ranked No. 148 in the 2019 ESPN 300.

Osafo-Mensah started one game this season before finding a reserve role on the Irish defense. In five seasons in South Bend, he had 47 tackles and five sacks.

Boise State WR Eric McAlister

A sophomore receiver, McAlister had a big season for the Broncos in 2023. He had 47 catches for 873 yards and five scores. He averaged 18.6 yards-per-catch in 2023.

USC WR Raleek Brown

Brown, a sophomore who saw limited action in 2023, has decided to leave USC. He had only three catches on the year. He was a highly ranked recruit in USC's 2022 recruiting class. Ranked No. 64 overall, Brown was the highest-ranked offensive recruit in the class.

Indiana OL Matthew Bedford, Carter Smith, Kahlil Benson, Zach Carpenter

Part of an exodus of Hoosiers players after the firing of coach Tom Allen, Indiana has four of five starting offensive linemen entering the portal. Benson and Carpenter will be graduate transfers, while Smith and Bedford have multiple years of eligibility left.

Kansas State QB Will Howard and RB Treshaun Ward

Howard, who led Kansas State to a Big 12 title in 2022, has decided to move on as a graduate transfer. Howard led Kansas State with 2,643 passing yards and 24 touchdowns with eight interceptions, completing 61.3% of his passes. After sharing time with Adrian Martinez to begin the 2022 season, he emerged as the Wildcats' top quarterback for their run to a conference title. Howard, who will have one year of eligibility left, has 5,786 career passing yards with 48 touchdowns -- a team record -- and 25 interceptions, as well as 934 career rushing yards and 19 touchdowns.

Ward will move on as a graduate transfer after four seasons at Florida State before playing for the Wildcats in 2023. He has had more than 500 yards rushing in a season the past three seasons and 17 career touchdowns.

Baylor QB Blake Shapen

After starting 23 games over three seasons in Waco, Shapen has decided to transfer. As a true junior this season, he will have at least one season of eligibility remaining. He had 2,188 yards passing with 13 touchdowns in 2023. Shapen is a former four-star recruit from the Class of 2020.

Mississippi State QB Will Rogers

Will Rogers, who has thrown for 94 career touchdowns, is leaving Starkville after the Mississippi State coaching change. Rogers played in every game in the 2021 and 2022 seasons before injuries limited his 2023 season. In eight games this season, Rogers threw for 1,626 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. In four seasons with the Bulldogs, Rogers threw for 12,315 yards, completing 69.4% of his passes.

Michigan State QBs Katin Houser and Sam Leavitt; OT Spencer Brown

Houser, a redshirt freshman, who played in seven games this season, plans to transfer and has three years of eligibility remaining. He played in 11 games this season and finished with 1,132 passing yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions.

Indiana QB Brendan Sorsby

A day after the Hoosiers fired coach Tom Allen, their starting QB is moving on as well. Sorsby, who started parts of the 2023 season, played in 10 total games and finished with 1,587 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also had 286 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground. He was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2022.

Utah QB Nate Johnson

With Cam Rising returning for a seventh year and Bryson Barnes, who started for for most of the 2023 season also back, Utah freshman signal-caller Johnson has decided to move on. Johnson started three games this season, going 2-1, and accounting for 734 total yards and 12 touchdowns. From Clovis, California, he was a four-star recruit and ranked 93rd overall in the 2022 ESPN 300.

Texas A&M QB Max Johnson

Johnson, who started 12 games at LSU in 2021, then eight over two seasons at Texas A&M, is entering the portal as a graduate transfer. He was the Aggies' starter in 2022 for three of their first four games before being injured and redshirting. Johnson then battled Conner Weigman for the starting job this season. After Weigman was injured in late September, Johnson was again the starter for the next five games before injuring his ribs. In total, Johnson has thrown for 5,853 yards and 47 touchdowns over four collegiate seasons. Johnson was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2020, ranked No. 129 overall in the ESPN 300.

Texas Tech QB Tyler Shough

Shough started his career at Oregon before going to Texas Tech. He has accounted for 36 touchdowns in five collegiate seasons and was an ESPN 300 recruit in the Class of 2018.

Texas A&M WR Raymond Cottrell

 

Cottrell entered the portal after the firing of Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher. Cottrell, a freshman from Milton, Florida, had just one catch for 13 yards (it went for a touchdown) this season. A four-star recruit in the Class of 2023, Cottrell was the 23rd overall receiver in the class.

Rating Wide Receiver in portal

According to ratings by 247 Sports, college football's market on highest-rated wide receivers in the transfer market shifted considerably Monday following entries by South Carolina's Antwane Wells and Ohio State's Julian Fleming, among others.

According to 247Sports' player transfer rankings, there are six players available with an individual talent grade of 92.0 or higher, making it one of the 2024's most talent-rich positions so far.

Wide receivers come at a premium in the transfer portal. Players either seek for more lucrative NIL deals or better fits elsewhere offensively coming out of the 2023 season.

Here are the 10 best-available wide receivers as of Monday at 1 p.m. ET:

1. LONDON HUMPHREYS, VANDERBILT

The true freshman from Nashville CPA emerged as one of the team's top weapons on offense as a true freshman this year, making 22 receptions for 439 yards and four touchdowns. London Humphreys finished as Vanderbilt's second-leading receiver this season behind Will Sheppard. Multiple sources indicated to 247Sports that Georgia is Humphreys' most likely landing spot with Tennessee and Kentucky also expected to pursue the in-state product. A 6-foot-3 wideout who ranked as the state of Tennessee's fastest high schooler as a senior last spring, Humphreys broke out as a Power Five prospect late in the recruiting process after having quit football earlier in his career.

2. ANTWANE 'JUICE' WELLS, SOUTH CAROLINA

For the second consecutive season, South Carolina lost one of its top playmakers to the transfer portal after Antwane 'Juice' Wells entered. During the last cycle, leading rusher MarShawn Lloyd (USC) and tight end Jaheim Bell (FSU) left the program and now, Wells is on the way out in hopes of landing a more lucrative NIL deal, sources tell 247Sports. Wells, who caught three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown over three games in 2023, did most of his damage last season when he was South Carolina's top option offensively during Spencer Rattler's first campaign as quarterback.

3. DEION BURKS, PURDUE

Deion Burks told 247Sports that many schools are in touch and has no preference in the early going of his portal recruitment. Among those most interested include Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon, he said. Burks, who has seven career touchdowns over three seasons with the Boilermakers, caught 47 passes for 629 yards as a redshirt sophomore this fall, easily the top numbers of his career.

4. JULIAN FLEMING, OHIO STATE

The senior pass catcher managed 26 receptions for 270 yards across 12 games in a crowded wideout room with the Buckeyes. He was the No. 4 overall prospect and No. 1 wideout in the class of 2020 and saw action in 48 games during an injury-riddled career in Columbus. Fleming participated in Ohio State’s senior day activities against Minnesota on Nov. 18 and figures to be one of the most sought-after receivers in the portal. He caught 19 balls for 160 yards and a touchdown over his first two seasons as a Buckeye before breaking out as a junior last season, recording career-highs with 34 receptions for 533 yards and six touchdowns

5. TOBIAS MERRIWEATHER, NOTRE DAME

Tobias Merriweather is one of several Notre Dame pass-catchers to announce his portal intentions following the end of the regular season in a depleted room in South Bend. Per Irish Illustrated's Kevin Sinclair, Merriweather previously competed in track in the spring of 2022 back in Washington before enrolling at Notre Dame in June of 2022. His time to shine didn’t come until mid-October when his eye-popping 41-yard touchdown catch – his first college reception – was one of the few bright spots in a dark day for Notre Dame, losing to Stanford at home.

6. RALEEK BROWN, USC

Raleek Brown played in just two games this year following a promising true freshman season. Brown opted to redshirt this season, preserving his eligibility as he dealt with a hamstring injury, per the Orange County Register. Brown returned for USC's late-season tilt against Washington with starting running back MarShawn Lloyd out with an injury. On his first touch against the Huskies, Brown ran for a short touchdown. He finished the game with three carries for 16 yards as well as two catches for four yards. Despite having room to play and still qualify for a redshirt, Brown did not suit up for USC's final two games of the regular season.

7. RAYMOND COTTRELL, TEXAS A&M

Raymond Cottrell announced his intentions prior to Texas A&M firing coach Jimbo Fisher. Per GigEm247's Jeff Tarpley, the Milton (Fla.) four-star receiver was previously committed to Georgia, but did not sign early with the Bulldogs. Then, in early January, he flipped his pledge to the Aggies.  The 6-foot-2, 203-pounder was set to be an early enrollee and start classes in the spring but was not there when the rest of the freshman early enrollees moved in. However, he was officially able to enroll at Texas A&M although classes started over a week before his arrival.

8. WILL SHEPPARD, VANDERBILT

Will Sheppard finished this season with 47 catches for 684 yards and eight touchdowns. He ranked 12th overall in the SEC in receiving yards. Sheppard's numbers were down a bit from a 2022 campaign that saw him catch 60 passes for 776 yards and 9 touchdowns.  The 6-foot-3, 198-pound receiver is Vanderbilt's third departure at the position. He has plenty of suitors, joining former teammates London Humphreys and Jayden McGowan on the open market.

9. JOSH KELLY, WASHINGTON STATE

Josh Kelly racked up 61 catches for 923 yards and eight touchdowns this season, leading the Cougs in both receiving yards and touchdowns. A high-end NIL offer appears to be what is luring Kelly away from Washington State, sources told 247Sports. The 5-9, 172-pound Sharpe started his career at Houston and has two years left. Washington State, who has now lost two of its top 3 targets from this season, will be in search of replacements.

10. ERIC MCALISTER, BOISE STATE

Eric McAlister led the Broncos with 47 catches for 873 yards and five touchdowns this season. McAlister figures to be one of the 2024 portal cycle's top available pass catchers given his production at Boise State with three 100-yard games in nine starts this fall as a 6-foot-4, 200-pound sophomore. Best fits for McAlister include a group of Power Five programs in need of immediate help at the wide receiver spot,

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