10 College Football Trades We Wish Could Happen in 2013
What if Notre Dame could convince a team with two quarterbacks to send one its way? What could USC get in return if Marqise Lee was put on the trading block? What is a hefty check worth if a team wanted to try to shop for a certain player?
Of course, none of this will ever happen, but college football would be much better off if trades were involved. The concept is quite simple: It must benefit both programs, and both players must agree to the terms.
After all, these are still students we're talking about. If everything is a go, you hit the send button and make it happen.
Some players are stuck in horrible situations, playing for a lousy coach they didn't sign up for or stuck on the bench. Some programs are top heavy at one position but need help in others. Trades could help fix all of these issues and make the world a much better place.
Oregon Trades TE Colt Lyerla to Alabama for S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Why Oregon Would Be on Board
The Oregon offense will be just fine without tight end Colt Lyerla, who isn't used nearly as much as he should be. He has a skill set that could make him the best tight end in the country but takes a back seat to an offense that is designed to run the ball. Lyerla has only 32 receptions in two years with 11 of those resulting in touchdowns.
The Ducks won't miss Lyerla much and getting a solid safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would help fix the defense. The pass defense could certainly improve after finishing fifth in the Pac-12, allowing 229 yards a game. Oregon, of course, has the offense to reach the title game, but the defense is what is holding them back.
Why Alabama Would Be on Board
Is there anybody Alabama can't replace? Besides maybe A.J. McCarron, Nick Saban continues to find a way to retool without missing a beat. The Tide have a promising safety in Landon Collins, which would make replacing Clinton-Dix easy.
What the Tide don't have is an elite pass catcher at tight end. O.J. Howard has a chance to become just that, but he isn't proven like Lyerla. Alabama is without question the deepest team from top to bottom, and adding another offensive weapon for a potential championship run would put this roster completely over the top.
Tennessee Trades LB A.J. Johnson to Ohio State for CB Eli Apple
Why Tennessee Would Be on Board
Tennessee is moving in the right direction under new head coach Butch Jones. The recruiting is taking off, and the expectations are beginning to rise. But even Volunteers fans would tell you that miracles aren't going to happen overnight. It is going to take some time before this program is competing for an SEC title.
So getting rid of the team's top tackler and defensive player in A.J. Johnson for a promising recruit makes sense. Sure, losing Johnson would hurt, but the defense can't get any worse after being ranked dead last in the SEC last season.
Eli Apple is a potential shutdown corner who could play right away and help become a building block for what is to come.
We can't say the same for Johnson, who will be taking his talents to the NFL at the end of the year.
Why Ohio State Would Be on Board
Ohio State is being picked by many to reach the national championship. The offense looks to be in good hands, but that defense is extremely young. Only four starters are returning. This includes an entire new defensive line and a young linebacker corps that only has one familiar face coming back.
Johnson is a fast, athletic and physical linebacker who has years of experience playing in the SEC. He would not only be able to contribute right away, but he would also be a mentor to some of the younger guys. He would easily help make this defense more complete.
As for losing a top recruit in Apple, Urban Meyer has proven he has no problems landing elite players year after year. He could be replaced as early as this season.
San Jose State Trades QB David Fales to LSU for $5 Million
Why LSU Would Be on Board
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Zach Mettenberger did show signs of improving last season down the stretch. And yes, he should be even better with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron now on board. But LSU would be much better off having an elite quarterback that can get the job done rather than sitting back and hoping things change.
David Fales is one of the top quarterbacks in the country and will be looked at by NFL scouts. He threw for 4,193 yards and 33 touchdowns in his first season in Division I football. He is deadly accurate, is tough and has a high football IQ. He would replace Mettenberger in a heartbeat and give the Tigers a true passing game.
Surrendering such a large figure is a lot to swallow, but this is a program that has seen a lot of dollar signs over the years. The possibility of winning a national title is worth it all.
Why San Jose State Would Be on Board
It's tough losing your best player, but pretty much cancelling out the season in order to help build your program isn't something the athletic department would have to think about.
The Spartans won 11 games last season and finished ranked 21st in the AP Poll. That's just about as good as it is going to get. There won't be any BCS bowls or much national media attention even with David Fales on the roster.
An enormous check of $5 million would go a long way. Better marketing, improving the coaching staff and being able to make renovations to Spartan Stadium are just some of the things that can be done. The entire San Jose State program would benefit tremendously if it made this trade.
Miami Trades OT Seantrel Henderson to South Florida for DE Aaron Lynch
Why Miami Would Be on Board
Miami was absolutely terrible defensively, as it ranked dead last in the ACC with 486 total yards allowed a game. Even though nine starters return from that unit, expecting a drastic turnaround would be a miracle. Miami couldn't stop the run or the pass, and producing only 13 sacks on the season is simply not going to cut it.
Meet Aaron Lynch.
He was forced to sit out a season after transferring from Notre Dame, but he is an absolute beast. He fires off the ball, has incredible athleticism and can be that elite pass rusher this team needs. A defense that has an elite defensive lineman makes the entire group better.
Losing a future NFL player in Seantrel Henderson does hurt, but the Hurricanes are loaded offensively. It is the defense that is preventing anyone from picking them to win the ACC.
Why South Florida Would Be on Board
Whether you have Lynch or Henderson, the Bulls are only going to have him for one season. Both are on their way to the NFL after this year. Offensive line is much more valuable to a young team that is trying to find itself. Head coach Willie Taggart has generated some much-needed excitement to the program, but he doesn't have many offensive playmakers to count on.
South Florida allowed 21 sacks last season and only two of those linemen return. Defensively, the Bulls produced 25 sacks and a lot of experience returns up front. Lynch was more of an extra pickup who wasn't expected to be part of this team until he transferred. The defense will continue to be respectable at rushing the passer, but the main issues are on the offensive line.
You need to have protection for a young quarterback, and Henderson provides that.
USC Trades WR Marqise Lee to Florida for Two Top Recruits Named Later
Why USC Would Be on Board
Let's be honest, USC isn't going to win a national championship this season. The competition within the conference is too fierce, the quarterback issues are concerning, and there just isn't enough depth to give the Trojans a real shot. There are also play-calling issues that continue to drive the fanbase absolutely nuts.
So why not dump your best player in Marqise Lee to build for the future? It's not like he is going to win games by himself. He had 16 receptions and 345 receiving yards in a game against Arizona and the team still lost. He's also going to bolt for the NFL after this season.
Losing Lee may make this season a lot more dreadful than it has to be, but getting two top recruits from an SEC program would help fix some of the recruiting woes the program has been dealing with. This trade would pan out long term for USC.
Why Florida Would Be on Board
Florida needs playmakers. Well, here you are. Lee is the best receiver in the country and it isn't even close. He high points the ball with the best of them, catches everything thrown his way and can make things happen after the catch.
The Gators offense was stagnant, but all that would change once you put this future NFL player on the field. Just throw the ball up there, and he will go get it. Florida has the defense to win the SEC East but needs activity from its offense to be considered a true threat. This would get the job done.
The 2014 recruiting class for the Gators hasn't gotten off to a great start, but this is a school that has a great reputation of landing some of the best of the best. Letting USC snag a couple for a shot to win the SEC is a no-brainer.
Texas Trades RB Malcom Brown to Missouri for QB James Franklin
Why Texas Would Be on Board
Malcom Brown is quickly becoming the forgotten man in Texas. Running backs Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron have passed him on the depth chart, and the future isn't nearly as bright as it once was. Trading him wouldn't do much to this offense, but landing James Franklin would.
Franklin is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country when healthy. In 2011, he passed for 2,865 yards, rushed for 981 yards, and he scored 36 touchdowns. Keep in mind, he put up these numbers playing in the Big 12. Assuming he's healthy and back to his old form, Franklin would be a considerable upgrade over David Ash.
This move would make Texas a Big 12 contender and could save Mack Brown's job.
Why Missouri Would Be on Board
Now why in the world would Missouri trade Franklin if he's healthy and this good?
Because there is a lot of depth at the position with Corbin Berkstresser and Marty Mauk. Either one of those guys could hold down the fort, especially Mauk, who has a ton of upside and is the future of this football team. What the Tigers don't have is depth at running back, with Henry Josey still trying to overcome a torn ACL he suffered last season.
Although Brown isn't valuable to Texas, he is a talented runner who would provide a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield. The Tigers could qualify for a bowl game with this trade.
Texas A&M Trades OT Jake Matthews to Washington for DB Shaq Thompson
Why Texas A&M Would Be on Board
Do you really need a terrific offensive line with the way Johnny Manziel plays?
The guy can scramble and make plays with the best of them. Some of his best plays last season were when he had poor protection and had to find a way to make it happen. The better SEC defenses abused the Aggies up front, and that was with NFL tackle Luke Joeckel still on the roster.
Texas A&M needs defense and lots of it. While everybody is quick to jump on the bandwagon, there won't be a national championship coming to College Station with a defense ranked ninth in the SEC.
Shaq Thompson is a solid defender entering his second season and has star written all over him. He played in 13 games as a true freshman and racked up 74 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks.
This would be a great addition to a team chasing the defending national champions.
Why Washington Would Be on Board
Did you see the Washington offensive line last season?
The Huskies allowed 38 sacks, and it could have been a lot more if weren't for Keith Price's athleticism. Price is actually one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks the game has to offer, but he couldn't be effective playing behind a line that couldn't protect. Matthews is a legit lineman who could help this unit out a ton.
Washington is a dark horse to win the Pac-12 this season, and immediately fixing the offensive line makes those talks a lot more serious.
Georgia Trades RB Keith Marshall to South Carolina for CB Victor Hampton
Why Georgia Would Be on Board
Georgia is an SEC team that has enough offensive pieces to outscore Oregon. Yes, it is that serious.
Keith Marshall was effective last season, but Todd Gurley blew him out of the water. Gurley will continue to be the top back on this team and will make a case in his sophomore year as the best running back in the country.
With already a workhorse on deck, it is time to focus on the defense. The Bulldogs are missing eight starters and has major questions in the secondary.
Hampton is an aggressive corner who loves to get physical at the line of scrimmage. He has long arms and can develop into a solid cover man. The best part is that he hasn't given South Carolina his best yet.
Georgia needs its defense to match its offense. Hampton could help out immediately.
Why South Carolina Would Be on Board
As long as South Carolina has Jadeveon Clowney, the defense has a shot to be great. The offense? Well, not so much.
South Carolina continues to struggle finding a legit quarterback and now there are questions at running back with Marcus Lattimore bolting for the NFL draft.
Keith Marshall could step right in and be a star, as he averaged 6.5 yards per carry last season. He would also be a little more consistent not facing the possibility of somebody taking his starting job.
The Gamecocks would have a solid offensive weapon heading into the season.
Notre Dame Trades DE Stephon Tuitt to Michigan for QB Devin Gardner
Why Notre Dame Would Be on Board
Oh, it would be mighty difficult to convince Irish fans that Stephon Tuitt should be on the move. He is arguably the second-best defensive end in the country next to only Jadeveon Clowney. But much like last season, the Irish defense isn't made up of just one guy. Louis Nix, Sheldon Day and KeiVarae Russell all do their job effectively and make this unit one of the best.
The concern with the Irish is at quarterback. Tommy Rees should be fine as long as he manages the game well. But that style of play usually translates to close games and heart attacks. It's always better to have a playmaker and somebody who can go out there and win the game for you. That's what Devin Gardner is with his dual-threat ability and incredible accuracy.
Let the title talk begin in South Bend.
Why Michigan Would Be on Board
Michigan fans are actually excited about Gardner and most think he will be even better than Denard Robinson. While the future is bright for the young man, the future lies in the hands of true freshman Shane Morris.
The kid is an absolute stud and could start for many programs across the country right now. There would be little concern with throwing him into the lion's den as a first-year player.
What Michigan does need is a pass rusher. It finished with only 22 sacks, as guys had a difficult time shedding blocks and getting in the quarterback's face. Tuitt finished with 45 tackles and 11 sacks. His athleticism and quickness off the ball is unmatched. He would certainly help fix that issue and help make things interesting in the Big Ten.
Kansas State Trades S Ty Zimmerman to Clemson for WR Sammy Watkins
Why Kansas State Would Be on Board
Kansas State needs all of the help it can get thanks to only eight returning starters, which is the fewest in the country. There is only one defensive starter coming back and that is safety Ty Zimmerman. Might as well wipe the slate clean and add one of the best playmakers in the country.
The Wildcats were able to receive national attention when quarterback Collin Klein was able to make plays consistently and sometimes carry the team on his back. Sammy Watkins has the potential to do the same.
Watkins has 138 receptions for 1,927 yards and 15 touchdowns in just two seasons. He is a threat to score at any time and would help give Kansas State a fighting chance in the improved Big 12.
Why Clemson Would Be on Board
For the same reason Oregon would trade Colt Lyerla. Sure, Watkins plays a much larger role than the Ducks tight end, but the Tigers offense would be fine without him. We're talking about a unit that is coached by Chad Morris, has a Heisman candidate quarterback in Tajh Boyd and has a bunch of speedy young guys such as running back Roderick McDowell.
Part of the team that continues to lag behind is the defense. Finishing seventh in the ACC in total defense isn't good enough to turn the corner. Zimmerman is an All-Conference caliber player who finished last season with five interceptions and 50 tackles. He flies all over the field and has the potential to go in the first-round of next year's NFL draft.
Clemson would be taken a little more seriously with this addition.