When you think of the college football transfer portal, top headlines in 2023 include Colorado's overhaul, Sam Hartman to Notre Dame, Florida State's strong class, USC's incoming haul and a few other notable items.
There are so many other important moves, however.
After all, thousands of players headed into the portal this offseason. We recently highlighted several dozen of the most prominent talents, including Hartman and those overall classes. This time, we're digging a little bit deeper for some quietly impactful names.
The list is subjective but considers past production, perceived fit at a new program and expectations for 2023.
Phil Jurkovec, QB, Pitt
Phil Jurkovec has traveled a winding path in college.
After landing a 4-star billing, he enrolled at Notre Dame as the anticipated QB of the future. However, he left South Bend two years later and went to Boston College. Jurkovec found immediate success, throwing for 2,558 yards and 17 touchdowns to five interceptions in 2020.
During the last two seasons, though, Jurkovec has dealt with everything from a hand injury to a knee issue and a concussion. He missed 10 games between the 2021 and 2022 campaigns.
Jurkovec is now at Pitt, where he's reunited with former BC coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. and poised to improve an offense that ranked 79th in passing yards per game last year.
Treshaun Ward, RB, Kansas State
Florida State returns an experienced roster and landed a star-studded transfer haul, but Treshaun Ward is one of the Seminoles' few contributors who departed the program.
Last season, he opened the year as FSU's lead runner and rattled off a couple of 100-yard games. An injury to Ward allowed Trey Benson to take the featured spot, and Ward returned in a complementary role. He finished the season with 628 yards on a terrific 6.6 per carry.
And he's taking that production to Kansas State, which needs to replace All-American back Deuce Vaughn.
DJ Giddens had a strong freshman year as Vaughn's sidekick, scampering for 518 yards and six scores. Still, considering how much K-State wants to run the ball, Giddens and Ward can easily coexist in the backfield as the Wildcats aim to defend their Big 12 championship.
Andrew Armstrong, WR, Arkansas
Arkansas' pass-catching corps will practically be new in 2023.
Matt Landers paced the Razorbacks with 901 yards and eight touchdowns last season, while Jadon Haselwood had a team-high 59 receptions. They both went to the NFL. Top tight end Trey Knox transferred to South Carolina, and wideout Ketron Jackson went to Baylor.
But the SEC squad dipped into the FCS ranks to find a seasoned option; Andrew Armstrong caught 62 passes for 1,020 yards and 13 touchdowns at Texas A&M-Commerce last season.
Even thouugh the offense will be a run-first unit, Armstrong can quickly emerge as the Hogs' primary target.
Tre Harris, WR, Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin's offense needs to replace Malik Heath and Jonathan Mingo, who both grabbed 50-plus passes in 2022.
Tre Harris figures to fill one of those voids.
While at Louisiana Tech, he nabbed 41 receptions for 600 yards in 2021 and 65 catches for 935 yards last season. Harris scored a combined 14 touchdowns during those two seasons.
Ole Miss is also set to lean on Jordan Watkins and Dayton Wade, who held complementary roles last season; Harris isn't the lone wideout with notable experience. But the recent dismissal of Chris Marshall only increases Harris' value to the Rebels in 2023.
Oluwaseyi Omotosho, Edge, Oregon State
Following a 10-win season, Oregon State has dreams of competing for a rare conference title. Not since 2000 has the program shared the league crown, but optimism is high for 2023.
Oluwaseyi Omotosho may be a quietly impactful part of the chase.
As a redshirt freshman at Wyoming last year, he produced 46 tackles with 7.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks. Omotosho stood out as a high-energy edge-rusher and quickly attracted Oregon State in the portal.
Although the spring game is not necessarily indicative of results to come, Omotosho notched a sack and created pressure on multiple other plays. He should be a key piece of the Beavers' rotation in the fall—and is worth monitoring as a future NFL draft prospect.
Justin Flowe, LB, Arizona
Please keep Justin Flowe healthy, Arizona. I'm begging you.
When available, he's a "nose for the football" kind of player. Flowe racked up 14 tackles in the 2021 opener—but missed the rest of the year. He posted 35 stops in scattered snaps last season. Flowe only appeared in 12 games during his three years at Oregon.
Hopefully, a fresh start serves the linebacker well. Flowe made a great impression at Arizona in the spring and is expected to start alongside Jacob Manu.
The main challenge for Flowe will be balancing his aggressive nature and playing with the proper amount of control. At his best, though, Flowe absolutely has 100-tackle ability for Arizona's defense.
Just stay healthy, please and thanks.
R.J. Moten, S, Florida
Michigan won Big Ten titles and reached the College Football Playoff in 2021 and 2022. Throughout much of both seasons, R.J. Moten played an important role in the secondary. He generated 30-plus tackles and grabbed one interception in each campaign.
Looking ahead to 2023, though, the Wolverines are likely to lean on Rod Moore and Makari Paige at safety.
As a result, it's not a surprise Moten entered the portal after spring practice. He landed at Florida and bolsters a secondary that needs to replace both starters at his position.
Moten, who can also contribute at nickel, will provide much-needed stability to the back end of the Gators' defense.