Overwhelming Majority Of Players In Transfer Portal Have Not Landed Offers

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What happens when the NCAA gives football players an extra year of eligibility due to COVID, transfer portal free agency and an incoming freshman class of new bodies ready to grind it out for a scholarship? You have college football players without scholarships looking for a home.

According to Keith Grabowski, host of The Coach & Coordinator podcast, an astounding 72% of the players in the 2021 transfer portal do not have a home. Out of 1,074 players in the portal, just 299 (28%) have a school to attend on scholarship in 2021. According to 247’s unofficial transfer portal tracker — since the NCAA doesn’t allow us to see the actual portal — there are currently 126 quarterbacks in the 2021 transfer portal.

Add in a 25-man signing limit for NCAA member schools, and you have limited spaces available for transferring players.

Sports Illustrated reports though that the numbers may be skewed by walk-ons, who are also allowed to enter the transfer portal. “As of [late January], only 964 of the 1,500 FBS players in the portal garnered a recruiting ranking from 247Sports (a vast majority of the other 500 are walk-ons),” SI’s Ross Dellenger notes.

What happens to a majority of the players who do find a school? Most drop down a level. “Of the 299 Power Five players who have committed to a new school, 60% took a step down in level, their next destination a Group of Five or FCS school,” Dellenger writes.

Coaches have been predicting players will have nowhere to go and that appears to be happening sooner rather than later. Pete Thamel wrote in December that players using their COVID year are going to push out younger players who will further bloat the portal. Teams will be limited to the 85-scholarship and the 25-man incoming freshman limit. Do the math.

“I do think there are a lot of guys who’ll end up holding the bag without a place to go,” said Rivals.com Southeast recruiting analyst Woody Wommack told Yahoo!. “You have the class of 2021 signing, the most transfers ever and a senior class that isn’t going anywhere. That’s made it really cloudy.”

One Group of Five head coach painted a clear picture for parents out there: “If your son is in high school and he has a 2022 scholarship offer, he should commit right now.”

At this point, it appears that a vast majority of players who entered the 2021 transfer portal will have a serious problem finding the funding to attend a new school, and many run the risk of not playing football at all.

“I feel really bad for the 2021-22 high school kids,” an NCAA Division I football assistant coach told FootballScoop.com. “The COVID-19 impact and extra year of eligibility made it very difficult, and now adding the (expected) first year of NCAA free agency to that as well makes it the hardest time ever to be that ‘tweener’ kid.

“Extending the scholarship limits sounds great, but there’s maybe 20 schools in all of college football that could (financially) carry the burden of 25 extra scholarships for a period reaching possibly up to five years.”

NCAA quarterbacks in the 2021 transfer portal, according to 247:

  1. McKenzie Milton
  2. Austin Kendall
  3. Tate Martell
  4. Ryan Hilinski
  5. Ja’Quinden Jackson
  6. Jarrett Guarantano
  7. Jacob Sirmon
  8. Ethan Garbers
  9. Dylan McCaffrey
  10. Tyler Shough
  11. Chris Robison
  12. N’Kosi Perry
  13. Jawon Pass
  14. Patrick O’Brien
  15. Cord Sandberg
  16. Kasim Hill
  17. Garrett Shrader
  18. Tanner Mordecai
  19. Luke McCaffrey
  20. Jake Bentley
  21. James Foster
  22. Quincy Patterson
  23. Lance LeGendre
  24. D’Wan Mathis
  25. Peter Parrish
  26. James Graham
  27. Jace Ruder
  28. Grant Tisdale
  29. Jalen Mayden
  30. Hendon Hooker
  31. Cale Millen
  32. Micah Bowens
  33. Grant Gunnell
  34. Ty Evans
  35. Chandler Morris
  36. James Blackman
  37. Chase Brice
  38. Terry Wilson
  39. Sam Johnson
  40. Bailey Hockman
  41. Jack Coan
  42. J.T. Shrout
  43. Will Levis
  44. Kevaris Thomas
  45. Tee Webb
  46. Ben Bryant
  47. Rocky Lombardi
  48. Eli Williams
  49. Gunner Cruz
  50. Tyler Lytle
  51. Woody Barrett
  52. David Baldwin-Griffin
  53. Anthony Russo
  54. Alan Bowman
  55. Tucker Gleason
  56. Taylor Powell
  57. Jason Shelley
  58. Chris Katrenick
  59. Keon Howard
  60. Kade Renfro
  61. Charlie Brewer
  62. Stone Norton
  63. Darriel Mack
  64. Nik Scalzo
  65. Kaiden Bennett
  66. Devon Modster
  67. Kennique Bonner-Steward
  68. Kenyon Oblad
  69. Sheldon Layman
  70. Jakson Thomson
  71. RJ Harvey Jr.
  72. Stephon Brown
  73. Markevion Quinn
  74. Messiah deWeaver
  75. Clifton McDowell
  76. Jordan McCloud
  77. Asher O’Hara
  78. Jack Abraham
  79. TJ Goodwin
  80. Danny Clark
  81. Ryan Glover
  82. Parker McNeil
  83. Carson Baker
  84. Jeremiah Oatsvall
  85. Colby Suits
  86. Isaac Stiebeling
  87. Rhett Rodriguez
  88. Logan Holgorsen
  89. Marckell Grayson
  90. Isaiah Green
  91. Jason Bean
  92. Michael Bonds
  93. Chance Lovertich
  94. Carson Welch
  95. Andrew Brito
  96. Fred Payton
  97. Jack Smith
  98. Shai Werts
  99. Ben Wooldridge
  100. Jake Simmons
  101. Logan Bonner
  102. Mark Salazar
  103. Connor Adair
  104. Jason Brown
  105. Davis Shanley
  106. Devin Larsen
  107. Nick Moore
  108. Michael McFarlane
  109. John Bledsoe
  110. Chris Ferguson
  111. Vincent Amendola
  112. Nick Ast
  113. Jake Constantine
  114. Jack Dawson
  115. Westin Elliott
  116. Terrance Gipson
  117. Darren Grainger
  118. Drew Gunther
  119. Will Heckman
  120. Jack Kristofek
  121. Jack Lindsey
  122. Johnathan Mosley
  123. John Seter
  124. Colton Taylor
  125. Greyson Thompson
  126. Bailey Zappe

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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    • Yes indeed. This article doesn’t mention it but I am pretty sure if a player can’t land another spot he can come back to his school, that is assuming there is still a scholarship available at the old school.

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