The transfer portal has created some interesting storylines around college football over the past few months. The SEC has seen its fair share of talented players enter the conference through the portal, so it has become one of the key components of putting together a solid roster.
No longer do we see teams keep spots open for the February signing period. Schools are now looking to their opponents for help, especially in the SEC. But as we enter the 2022 spring practice period, there are several teams that have benefited greatly from the portal during this cycle.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 rankings for transfer portal success for 2022.
- Ole Miss
The Rebels lost out on some key contributors on offense, especially with Matt Corral moving on to the NFL. But we can’t forget about the amount of talent lost at the running back as well. So the additions of RB Zach Evans, QB Jaxson Dart, TE Michael Trigg and WR Malik Heath should help the Rebel offense in 2022. The explosiveness of Evans out of the backfield or between the tackles is fun to watch. On defense, watch out for DL Jared Ivey and LB Troy Brown to make an impact this season, along with a few other pickups. This haul of transfers will no doubt help Lane Kiffin replace talent lost from last season.
2. South Carolina
The quarterback situation in Columbia last year was a wild one. The Gamecocks played four different guys during the season. Now with Spencer Rattler entering the program, they have some veteran experience. Playmaker Luke Doty is also returning for another year as well. The running back room is getting help with Christian Beal-Smith and Dante Miller. But one of the biggest additions could be lining up to block and receive. Oklahoma transfer TE Austin Stogner is heading to South Carolina with Rattler. These two are fantastic additions for Shane Beamer, who said they had to grab some guys from the portal during the offseason. Keep an eye out for WRs Khafre Brown and Antwane Wells as well.
The defense took a hit this offseason, with only six starters returning from the 2021 team. Brian Kelly has gone to work in the portal, trying to make up for the loss of Eli Ricks and Derek Stingley Jr. in the secondary. The Tigers have added four defensive backs during this cycle, including Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Mekhi Garner and Greg Brooks, which should help with depth and perhaps even starting spots. On offense, the addition of RB Noah Cain and wide receiver Kyren Lacy will certainly help as they figure out the quarterback position. Keep an eye on DL Mekhi Wingo, who transferred from Missouri. He will bring help in the trenches.
They were picky in who they went after, but found three additions who should help tremendously in 2022. Nick Saban went out and got the best available running back in the portal, Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech. He’s explosive and can be a bruiser as well, which will help the Tide’s rushing attack, especially with the loss of Brian Robinson Jr. to the NFL. At the WR position, Alabama lost Jameson Williams, John Metchie and Slide Bolden, but they went out and found playmaker Jermaine Burton from the team that beat them for a national championship. His speed and ability to make folks miss in the open field will be key for this Alabama offense in 2022. On defense, the Tide picked up cornerback Eli Ricks from LSU, who should help immediately.
It was practically all about the defense for Sam Pittman in the transfer portal, and Razorbacks DC Barry Odom went out and found some contributors for 2022: LB Drew Sanders, DB Dwight McGlothern and safety Latavious Brini. These guys should help this squad immediately, especially with LB Bumper Pool returning for the 2022 season. On the offensive side, this team had the tough job of finding a replacement for Treylon Burks, but they went out and snagged Jaden Haselwood from Oklahoma, which should bring a downfield threat to this offense.
Florida: The Gators needed to go out and find some help for what they missed out on with the recruiting. Billy Napier added Ohio State transfer QB Jack Miller, along with Louisiana RB Montrell Johnson, who is very familiar with the Napier offense. Add in offensive linemen O’Cyrus Torrence and Kamryn Waites, and this group picked up some much-needed depth.
Missouri: One of the biggest spots they filled was at running back, picking up Stanford transfer Nathaniel Peat to help a backfield that lost Tyler Badie, who set multiple records in Columbia. Eli Drinkwitz also added seven players on defense, which couldn’t come at a better time given how rough the unit was last season. There are reports that former Arizona State QB Jayden Daniels could end up at Missouri.
Some teams around the conference will make moves after spring practice is completed and the portal starts to get active again.