Thanks to a handful of rule changes, including two big ones for college football transfers, NCAA football is a different sport now than it was even three years ago. In 2019, the NCAA opened up the transfer portal, a centralized database where players seeking a new school could enter their names and—hopefully—find a new place to play. In 2021, under heavy political pressure, the association did away with two long standing policies. One was the ban on players taking money from third parties. The elimination of that rule opened the door for friends of various programs to use their wallets to lure both prep recruits and transfers. The second was the end of the national policy that required most transfers to sit out one season after arriving on a new campus. Now, they can make the leap and play right away.
There are two ways to talk about this new era. One is to fret about what it means for the future of college sports and how the long-term relationship between athletes and their universities will evolve. That’s important, but it’s not that much fun to talk about, and nobody will know the answer for years. The other path is to simply talk ball. Hundreds of players who played for one team in 2021 will play for a different one in 2022, and they’ll help shape the coming season. Here’s a straightforward list of the college football transfers with the best recruiting ratings, if you’re interested in such a ranking. But rankings aren’t everything—below is a selection of eight transfer players who I think are especially interesting to follow as the 2022 season gets going.
The Best College Football Transfers of the 2022 Offseason
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