Transfer Portal Free Agency

It hasn’t even been a week since the regular season of college football ended and the Transfer Portal chaos began. Over 2000 college football athletes have entered their names into the portal hoping for a new opportunity.

Although some might find a great opportunity to continue their education and careers, many will see their dreams come to an end. The transfer portal offers athletes a chance at a fresh start or even better visibility for scouts, however the risk an athlete takes might be even greater.

Players giving up a scholarship

A risk that is known and rarely considered is a player willingly giving up free tuition in hopes of obtaining a new one. In todays era of social media, college scouts have an easier chance at finding good talent anywhere across the country. At the same time, the competition for those scholarships have gone up as well.

Additionally, when a player enters his name into the transfer portal, the program he is leaving is not obligated to hold that scholarship until said player decides. The moment a player enters his name is the moment he is without a school,

Unfortunately, many of the student-athletes entering their names into the portal are not considering this as a major risk. Players see that they should be a sure-fire addition to any school that offers them. However, now that a player has college film, the evaluation process starts all over again.

That same 4-star player coming out of high school might be a 2-star college player and be without an offer from any school.

Total roster rebuild

In this era of college football a college program can remake their entire roster in one offseason. The new rules to Name, Image, and Likeness coupled with the transfer portal has made this possible.

Not to mention, new head coaches have an 18 month window to reconstruct their roster however they see fit. The only rule the NCAA has implemented is that the total scholarship roster must be at or below 85 players.

That list of 85 includes the new high school recruits as well. Because players are jumping from one program to the next so frequently, incoming new coaches don’t particularly know what they have.

The beauty of this arrangement is that new coaches can build out their roster to fit their scheme. Key positions like offensive linemen take time to develop. By adding in a veteran transfers this process can happen a lot faster.

Prime examples of reconstructing a roster in this era are Florida State and USC. FSU four biggest key players are all transfer students. 2-players came from Oregon, 1 from Louisville, and 1 more from Albany College. All four are the primary reason FSU is ranked #13 in the college football playoffs.

USC on the other hand was able to add a 2 future top-10 NFL draft picks. Quarterback Caleb Williams joined head coach Lincoln Riley to USC from Oklahoma. Riley recruited and coached Williams at Oklahoma. Wide receiver Addison Jordan was the other big addition.

(Photo Credit: ESPN)

Jordan transferred from Pittsburgh where he won the 2021 Biletnikoff award as the best receiver in the country. Speculation into his transfer leads to a possible NIL deal being the reason for the move. Fortunately, we will never know. USC currently sits at #4 in the college football playoff rankings.

The effects the transfer portal will have on college football will shorten the amount of time a coach has to rebuild his team.

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