Sam Hartman Quinn Harris/Getty Images

2023 College Football Transfers Who Will Have Immediate Impact

David Kenyon

Thanks to the introduction of the transfer portal and one-time immediate eligibility, player movement has become a staple of the college football offseason.

That reality is most evident at Colorado, where new head coach Deion Sanders is practically turning over 75 percent of the roster. But several big-name programs—including Florida State, Michigan and USC, among others—have also brought in key reinforcements for the 2023 season.

Plenty of quarterbacks have headed to new spots too.

While hundreds of transfers will be impact players, our focus is narrowed to the biggest names and programs.

The Quarterbacks

Brennan Armstrong Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The most important position on the field demands its own section.

From a national perspective, the major name is Notre Dame's Sam Hartman. He set many records at Wake Forest but has since joined the Fighting Irish, who will likely be an AP Top 10 preseason team.

Hartman displaced Tyler Buchner, who has since transferred to Alabama. Buchner needs to beat out Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson in the fall but would certainly deserve a spot in this category if that happens. Spencer Sanders is also in a competition with Jaxson Dart at Ole Miss.

Brennan Armstrong (North Carolina State), Phil Jurkovec (Pittsburgh), Devin Leary (Kentucky), Tanner Mordecai (Wisconsin), Jeff Sims (Nebraska) and DJ Uiagalelei (Oregon State) all bring significant experience.

For good measure, former blue-chip recruits in a new spot are Hudson Card (Purdue), Jake Garcia (Missouri), Cade McNamara (Iowa) and Graham Mertz (Florida), among others.

Colorado's Overhaul

Shedeur Sanders Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

One notable omission from the previous slide is Shedeur Sanders, but he's the headliner of Colorado's roster reconstruction.

Sanders and two-way player Travis Hunter—the No. 1 overall recruit of the 2022 cycle—followed Deion Sanders from Jackson State. They are expected to be cornerstone pieces for the Buffs in 2023.

Wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. (South Florida), edge-rushers Derrick McLendon II (Florida State) and Sav'ell Smalls (Washington), defensive lineman Leonard Payne Jr. (Fresno State), linebacker Demouy Kennedy (Alabama), safety Myles Slusher (Arkansas) are just a sampling of the dozens of transfers who should contribute at CU next season.

Never before has a program undertaken this level of turnover. It's safe to say the Buffaloes, for better or worse, will be watched closely.

USC's Second Wave

Lincoln Riley Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Last year, USC's transfer haul featured quarterback Caleb Williams—the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner—and plenty of key contributors, such as Travis Dye, Jordan Addison and Mario Williams.

And the Trojans are living in the portal again.

Running back MarShawn Lloyd (South Carolina), wideout Dorian Singer (Arizona) and offensive linemen Emmanuel Pregnon (Wyoming), Michael Tarquin (Florida) and Jarrett Kingston (Washington State) are potential starters.

On the defensive side, linemen Bear Alexander (Georgia), Anthony Lucas (Texas A&M), Jack Sullivan (Purdue) and Kyon Barrs (Arizona) should be major parts of the rotation. Mason Cobb (Oklahoma State) and Jamil Muhammad (Georgia State) figure to start at linebacker, while cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace (Arizona) has the same expectation.

Oh, for good measure, throw in punter Eddie Czaplicki (Arizona State). He paced the Pac-12 in yards per punt last season (minimum 45 punts).

Florida State's Big Offseason

Mike Norvell David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While both Colorado and USC reshaped their rosters with transfers, Florida State used the portal to put the final touches on what was already an experienced roster.

Most notably, the team padded the defense. Braden Fiske (Western Michigan), Gilber Edmond (South Carolina) and Darrell Jackson (Miami) bolster the line, while Fentrell Cypress (Virginia) improves the secondary.

Florida State snagged two tight ends—Jaheim Bell (South Carolina) and Kyle Morlock (Shorter)—to surround quarterback Jordan Travis with more options. Jeremiah Byers (UTEP) and Casey Roddick (Colorado) will upgrade the blocking unit too.

Clemson remains the ACC front-runner, but FSU has positioned itself to compete this fall.

More Key Offensive Players

Dominic Lovett Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

First up, the playmakers.

Georgia's receiving corps lost Adonai Mitchell to Texas but added Dominic Lovett from Missouri. Dante Cephas (to Penn State), Ali Jennings (Virginia Tech) and J.Michael Sturdivant (UCLA) all should be key targets at their new programs in 2023.

Zakhari Franklin, a two-time 1,000-yard receiver at UTSA, is uncommitted but will be a valuable player wherever he winds up.

And now, the blockers.

Michigan has boasted one of the nation's best offensive lines in each of the last two seasons. Even if all three don't start, LaDarius Henderson (from Arizona State) and Stanford duo Drake Nugent and Myles Hinton have braced the Wolverines' unit.

Miami picked up Javion Cohen (Alabama) and Matt Lee (UCF) to reinforce its group up front, while Oregon added Ajani Cornelius (Rhode Island) and Junior Angilau (Texas).

Auburn needed to reinforce the O-line for head coach Hugh Freeze's debut season and landed three potential starters in Gunner Britton (from Western Kentucky), Avery Jones (East Carolina) and Dillon Wade (Tulsa).

More Key Defensive Players

Davison Igbinosun AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Several teams had a clear area to address in the portal.

Oklahoma is ready to unveil a new-look pass-rushing group that includes Dasan McCullough (Indiana), Rondell Bothroyd (Wake Forest) and Trace Ford (Oklahoma State).

LSU retooled its depth at corner, bringing in Denver Harris (Texas A&M), Zy Alexander (Southeastern Louisiana), Duce Chestnut (Syracuse) and JK Johnson (Ohio State). Two of them are likely to start, while the other two should be top members of the rotation.

Arkansas fortified the secondary with Baylor duo Al Walcott and Lorando Johnson, plus Jaheim Singletary (Georgia). Ohio State did the same with corner Davison Igbinosun (Ole Miss) and safety Ja'Had Carter (Syracuse).

From an individual perspective, key players are Oregon edge-rusher Jordan Burch, Auburn defensive tackle Justin Rogers, Iowa linebacker Nick Jackson, Cal corner Patrick McMorris and Florida safety RJ Moten.


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