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Random Thoughts – Transfer Portal Edition – Volume XXV

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … How many Buffs listed as first-string in the CU Post-Spring depth chart came to Colorado by way of a transfer?

Seven months in, the new NCAA Transfer Portal is changing the landscape of college football … 

Related … “The fuzzy math of the NCAA Transfer Portal” … from The Atheltic

The first seven months of the Transfer Portal have been volatile.

Beginning on Oct. 15, 2018, transferring athletes could no longer be “blocked” by their school or coach. They needed only notify the departing school that then put their name in the portal — a secure database that has become a one-stop shop for roster enhancement.

Some have dispensed with the flowery language calling the portal college athletics’ version of “free agency.”

There are almost as many questions about the portal as FBS football players in it — 720 and counting (see Pac-12 breakdown, below).

A sampling of how some are reacting to the Transfer Portal, compiled by CBS Sports:

Kirby Smart, Georgia coach: “A lot of small colleges are saying, ‘I’ll just go recruit the portal and stop signing kids.’ … We would never do that because we’re not bottom feeders. I’ve talked to some guys at that level — I’m not going to repeat their names. They’ll say, ‘We’re just going to save all our scholarships. Instead of signing a 25-man class, we’ll sign five of the best high school players we can and then go sign 20 out of the portal.'”

Bill Moos, Nebraska athletic director: “I sat in a Big Ten meeting about eight, nine weeks ago. What worries me we’ll be sitting in this room in two years talking about free agency and salary caps. I’m going back to the ranch when that happens.”

Don’t know about paying players, but the Cornhuskers did take a hit in the transfer portal. Eleven Huskers entered the portal in the offseason, according to 247Sports.

Herm Edwards, Arizona State coach: “It’s caught a lot of kids by surprise in the fact that a lot of guys don’t have scholarships. There’s a little bit now, ‘Whoa, what just happened?’ I think they assumed their name is in the portal, ‘I’ll get a scholarship somewhere else.’ The unintended consequence has hit them in the face.”

One concern of coaches is roster depletion — not having enough players. Edwards has lost at least eight players to the portal, gaining only one, according to 247Sports. That severely impacts his ability to keep the limit of 85 scholarship players. Some coaches have quietly suggested programs get an extra scholarship for every player they lose to the portal.

Transfer Portal – How is the Pac-12 faring … (from 247 Sports):

  • Arizona … 13 players, six already transferred (one four-star; nine three-stars) … 0 coming in
  • Arizona State … 14 players, eight already transferred (one four-star; 11 three-stars) … 1 coming in (a two-star DT)
  • California … 3 players, three already transferred (three three-stars) … 1 coming in (a three-star safety)
  • Colorado … see below
  • Oregon … 7 players, two already transferred (two three-stars) … 2 coming in (a four-star CB and a three-star WR)
  • Oregon State … 6 players, one already transferred (a two-star) … 5 coming in (a three-star wide receiver, three-star quarterback, and a three-star linebacker (all from Nebraska); a four-star defensive end and a three-star offensive lineman)
  • Stanford … none
  • UCLA … 16 players, five already transferred (one five-star; two four-stars; one three-star) … one coming in (an unranked punter)
  • USC … 11 players, five already transferred (three four-stars; two three-stars) … one coming in (three-star WR)
  • Utah … 9 players, four already transferred (three three-stars) … six coming in (one five-star LB (from UCLA); one four-star LB; a three-star QB; a three-star OG; a two-star OG; and a two-star CB)
  • Washington … 5 players; one already transferred (three-star)
  • Washingotn State … 10 players, one already transferred (three-star) … one coming in (unranked QB)

Colorado … Six players, one already transferred …defensive tackle Israel Antwine to Oklahoma State; defensive end Tava Finau; linebacker Shamar Hamilton; linebacker Jake Yurachek; defensive back Hasaan Hypolite; and cornerback Kevin George …

And two transfers coming in – tight end Jalen Harris (from Auburn) and offensive lineman Arlington Hambright (from Oklahoma State) … (Defensive lineman Jauntavius Johnson from Auburn had made inroads into coming to CU from Auburn … but reportedly that is not working out).

Considering that Colorado is the only Pac-12 school with a new head coach this season, one would have thought that the CU roster would have been one of the most fluid in the conference.

Instead, the Buff roster has been relatively stable. There has been attrition, but attrition was going to be necessary regardless, as the CU’s potential roster was over 90 strong heading into spring practices (FBS teams need to be down to 85 by August 1st). The fact that only one player, defensive tackle Israel Antwine, jumped ship prior to the start of spring practices is a testament not only to the quality of the new coaching staff, but to the quality of the young men recruited to the CU campus.

Only three schools in the Pac-12 have had fewer players enter the Transfer Portal than has Colorado, while the Buffs have picked up several quality replacements (and will likely be more active in future years, when more scholarships will be available).

It will be interesting to watch how the Transfer Portal evolves over time …

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … How many Buffs listed as first-string in the CU Post-Spring depth chart came to Colorado by way of a transfer?

Answer … Eight players listed on the first team post-spring depth chart came to Boulder via the transfer route … Wide receiver Tony Brown; left guard Kary Kutsch; right guard Jack Shutack; tight end Jalen Harris; defensive tackle Jeremiah Doss; star backer Davion Taylor; left cornerback Mehki Blackmon; and right cornerback Delrick Abrams.

And that’s not counting several other players who will likely be starters this fall, including defensive tackle Mustafa Johnson, offensive lineman Arlington Hambright and safety Aaron Maddox.

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