College football’s first spring transfer window closed on April 30. More than 650 FBS scholarship players entered the NCAA transfer portal in search of a new home during that two-week window. These recruits tend to move quickly, but it seems wise to wait a few weeks and see where these players performed before judging who wins the spring cycle.
We’ve written extensively about Colorado, the players it sent packing and the players Dion Sanders and his staff added to rebuild their roster. So let’s take a look at 10 more teams who were buyers in the fall transfer market and made promising moves.
A new covenant QB Tyler Buechner (Notre Dame), DB Trey Amos (Louisiana), DB Jaylen Key (UAB).
Nick Saban and Tommy Rees made the dramatic decision to go back one more quarterback after spring ball and secured a commitment from Buechner two days after entering the portal. The fact that Alabama immediately picked him up and canceled other visits to schools where he could be a guaranteed starter tells you he likes his chances of winning the job. The Crimson Tide won battles for two defensive backs in the spring market, beating Florida and LSU, then Florida State and Ole Miss, Ky.
A new covenant TE Var’Keyes Gumms (North Texas), TE Francis Sherman (Louisville), DL Anthony Booker Jr. (Maryland), DL KV Rose (Louisiana Tech), LB Jaheim Thomas (Cincinnati), DB AJ Brathwaite Jr. (Western Kentucky), DB Jaheim single (Georgia), DB Keon Stewart (TCU)
The Razorbacks continue to do an impressive job recruiting under Sam Pittman and had several valuable additions this spring cycle, especially on defense. Rose, Booker and Thomas are going to be better up front; All three had good options when they entered the portal. Singles was a top-100 recruit in the 2022 class who will develop into a difference-maker. Gums, a Freshman All-American at North Texas, should be a nice addition to Dan Enos’ offense and proved himself as a pass catcher last season.
A new covenant QB Payton Thorne (Michigan State), WR Caleb Burton (Ohio State), WR Shane Hooks (Jackson State), WR Jyaire Shorter (North Texas), OL Jaden Muskrat (Tulsa), DL Stephen Singh V (Liberty), LB Jalen McLeod. (Appalachian State), LB Larry Nixon III (North Texas).
Hugh Freeze and Auburn’s new coaching staff were very active in competing for key players during the spring portal window and had plenty of room to add players after 21 scholarship transfers this offseason. Freeze found the quarterback he needed in Thorne, a proven two-year starter, and picked up a trio of talented wideouts to boost the offense in Year 1. Hook was Jackson State’s leading receiver last season, Shorter had 11 touchdown catches and Burton is. Former top-100 recruit. On defense, McLeod and Nixon both have a chance to start right away.
A new covenant QB Ben Finley (NC State), RB King Doirou (Purdue), RB Isaiah Ifanse (San Jose State), WR Taj Davis (Washington), WR Marquez Dortch (Mississippi State), OL Matthew Wyckoff (Texas A&M), DB Patrick McMorris (San Diego State), DB Marcus Scott II (Missouri).
Don’t sleep on what Cal has been doing in the transfer portal this spring. The Bears reshuffled their roster somewhat this offseason and had some players make an immediate impact. McMorris was one of the top safeties in the Mountain West, earning first-team all-conference honors twice. Wyckoff and Davis could start right away, and Finley could push TCU transfer Sam Jackson for the starting quarterback job. Adding Doeru, who broke Montana State’s career rushing record (3,742 yards), and Efance will help complement freshman All-American tailback Jayden Ott.
A new covenant QB Brady Allen (Purdue), T Joey Gatewood (UCF), OL Vincent Lumia (Duquesne), OL Eric Miller (Purdue), OL Lance Robinson (Houston), OL Trevon Sylvester (Houston), OL Willie Tyler III (Rutgers); LB Keith Brown (Oregon), DB Hurricane Duck (Penn State), DB Cam’ron Kelly (Virginia), DB Marcus Washington Jr. (Georgia)
Louisville’s new coaching staff did an impressive job of reloading after 22 scholarship players walked through the portal this spring. Their efforts to restore their offensive line with experienced newcomers is evident. These coaches know what they’re getting in Miller, and it will be interesting to see how many of the five new O-Liners earn starting roles. Allen, a former four-star recruit, is familiar with running Jeff Brohm’s offense. Duck and Kelly are starters who have transferred twice this season and Gatewood is now a sophomore.
A new covenant RB Logan Diggs (Notre Dame), OL Mason Lunsford (Maryland), DB Andre Sam (Tulane).
LSU is gearing up for a big run in Year 2 under Brian Kelly with a preseason top-five boost. The Tigers were undervalued at the end of the spring but still picked up some core talent that will help right away. Diggs is coming off a stellar start against the Irish (1,033 total yards, six touchdowns) and could emerge as the Tigers’ No. 1 back. Lunsford, a two-year starter at left guard, will help solidify their offensive line. Sam is an interesting pickup, a seventh-year veteran safety who went from McNeese to Marshall to Tulane and now LSU in a two-year span.
A new covenant RB Ajay Allen (Nebraska), WR Tyler Harrell (Alabama), DL Anthony Campbell (ULM), DB Jaden Davis (Oklahoma), DB Jadace Richards (Vanderbilt).
The Hurricanes landed some gems on the winter entry cycle and could bring a few more to great strides this spring. Recruiters were very high on Campbell, a 6-foot-7, 277-pound defensive end, when he was available. Allen showed exciting potential as a true freshman before a season-ending injury, and Richard looks set to start at cornerback for Vanderbilt. Harrell is one of the fastest receivers in college football, but he didn’t get a chance to show off in his lone season at Alabama due to a foot injury.
A new covenant QB Bennett Meredith (Arizona State), WR Jahmal Adrian (Florida Atlantic), WR Corey Gammage (Marshall), OL Ben Farrell (Indian Wesleyan), OL Luke Griffin (Missouri), OL Preston Nichols (UNLV), DL Malik Langham (Vanderbilt ), DL Jeffrey M’Ba (Auburn), DB Marquis Brown (Ole Miss), DB Braxton Myers (Ole Miss), DB Marquis Wilson (Penn State), LS Daniel Hawthorne (Missouri).
Purdue had 20 scholarship players enter the fold after a December coaching change, giving Ryan Walters and his staff plenty of room to add to the roster heading into Year 1. The 220-pound wideout was productive at Marshall (178 catches for 2,239 yards and 13 TDs) and committed to Memphis. Adrian is a promising redshirt freshman coming in at FAU and gives Texas transfer Hudson Card another big target. M’Ba, the No. 1 junior college recruit in the nation in 2022, was another noteworthy pick.
A new covenant WR Jordan Hudson (TCU), T Micah Hilts (Texas State), OL Caleb Johnson (Notre Dame), DL Cam Robertson (North Texas), LB Kobe Wilson (Temple), DB Kyron Chambers (TCU), DB Keyshon Mills (Colorado). ) P. Isaac Pearson (Texas)
SMU threw down 25 turnovers entering Rhet Lashlee’s second season on the depth chart. Hudson has the tools to become a big-time player and replace the production of second-round pick Rashee Rice. A top-100 recruit, he caught 14 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman and previously committed to SMU before returning late to TCU. Wilson was an important addition to their linebacker class that should make an immediate impact, and the Mustangs were able to improve their depth at quite a few spots this spring window.
A new covenant OL Emmanuel Pregnon (Wyoming), DL Bear Alexander (Georgia), DB Trequon Fegans (Alabama).
Alexander was one of the talented young players who visited the portal this season. He will need to mature and grow, but he could make a big impact up front for the Trojans. Pregnon emerged as one of the most coveted players in the spring portal window, according to Wyoming’s tapes. If healthy, he could move to the starting spot at left guard. Winning the battle for Fegans also earned him a commitment from his younger brother, Ankun, a five-star recruit in the 2025 class.
(Photo: Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images)