NCAA Transfer Portal Update: Florida State Seminoles, USC Trojans Cleaning Up

C.J. Stroud's Decision to Impact College Football Landscape During 2023 Season

Taking a Look at The Top College Football Players On the Move

The race for supremacy in college football will be determined in some ways by the players opting to return to college rather than declaring for the NFL Draft or the ones who used the NCAA transfer portal to join elite programs.

Here’s a look at the player movement as the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is upon us.

Georgia (+275) is the favorite to win the national title as the Bulldogs go for a 3-peat. Alabama and Ohio State are next at +550. There is a major gap between those three and the rest of the field with Michigan and Southern California next up at +1200.

There never seems to be a deadline when it comes to the transfer portal. However, most of the top players in the portal have already found their landing spot.

Saving the Best for Last

The Name and Image Likeness possibilities is creating options for top pro prospects.

There were rumblings about Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft, returning to play one more season at Ohio State. However, on the final day that players with remaining eligibility can declare for the draft, Stroud said he is headed to the NFL.

If Stroud had returned, that would have improved the chances of Ohio State making a run at the national championship. He left a seven-figure NIL deal at Ohio State to go into the draft.

Ohio State linebacker Tommy Eichenberg and Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse are among the players who could have gone in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft heading back to college and that was a big deal when it comes to NCAAF news. USC receiver Jordan Addison will also be in the draft.

‘Receiver Quentin Johnston of Texas Christian as well as TCU running back Kendre Miller are other top draft prospects yet to make their intentions known.’ —Draft Update: Just moments after this article was published, both Johnston and Miller declared for the NFL draft.

Stroud (+325) has the second-best odds to be the No. 1 overall pick behind Alabama quarterback Bryce Young while Johnston is rated as the top receiver in the 2023 draft class.

Roll Tide

Alabama missed out on the College Football Playoffs for the first time since 2019. However, when the NFL Draft kicks off in April, former Crimson Tide players could reign supreme.

More than one mock draft has edge rusher Will Anderson and quarterback Bryce Young going with the top two picks. That hasn’t happened since Penn State defensive stars Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington were the top two selections in 2000.

In 1984, receiver Irving Fryar and offensive lineman Dean Steinkuhler from Nebraska were the top two picks and had running back Mike Rozier not gone to the USFL, it would have been possible that former Cornhuskers would have gone 1-2-3.

More recently, Oklahoma had three of the top four selections in 2010 with quarterback Sam Bradford going first overall to the Rams.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was the third pick by Tampa Bay and offensive tackle Trent Williams went 4th to Washington.

Defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah were the No. 2 and 3 overall picks in 2020 behind only LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Seminoles Working the Portal

When looking at the NCAA transfer portal, Southern California had the top-rated class of incoming transfers heading into the 2022 season according to the 247sports.com site.

Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams was the headliner of the newcomers that had the Trojans in a position to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff field. USC currently has the No. 2 class this year with former Texas A&M defensive lineman Anthony Lucas and former Arizona receiver Dorian Singer the top-rated transfers coming to USC.

The only team ahead of USC is Florida State. Virginia cornerback Fentrell Cypress, South Carolina tight end Jaheim Bell and Western Michigan defensive lineman Braden Fiske will all be suiting up for FSU.

‘No coach has been busier than new Colorado coach Deion Sanders as there are 23 incoming transfers. Eight of them followed Sanders from Jackson State and that includes Travis Hunter, the top-rated transfer in the country.’

Once again, prominent quarterbacks are on the move with Sam Hartman going from Wake Forest to Notre Dame, Devin Leary transferring from North Carolina State to Kentucky and Hudson Card moving from Texas to Purdue.

It should be noted that five of the top seven NCAAF players in the current Heisman Trophy odds will finish their careers at a different school than where they began. Welcome to the world dominated by the NCAA transfer portal.

It starts with Williams. Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. began his career at Indiana, quarterback Bo Nix went from Auburn to Oregon, Quinn Ewers landed at Texas after losing the starting job at Ohio State to Stroud and then there is the aforementioned Hartman.

Looking At the Contenders

When looking at the odds to win the national title, there is little love for TCU despite the Horned Frogs’ run to the championship game.

TCU comes in at +5000 and that ranks just 15th. Texas is the only Big 12 team ahead of the Horned Frogs. As TCU proved in 2022 and Cincinnati demonstrated in 2021, there can always be surprises in the college football season.

Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan are among the front-runners after all three took part in the College Football Playoffs.

Southern California, Louisiana State and Clemson are other teams to keep an eye on.


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