5 Impact CFB Transfer Targets Who Can Still Move This Offseason
High-profile names have transferred to new locations in the early portion of the college football offseason, but the beloved transfer portal isn't finished yet.
More talented players will be finalizing their decisions in the coming months, and a select group of them are immediate-impact prospects. The transfers aren't the "final piece" for a roster, but they sure can be valuable―especially if they're quarterbacks.
And there are two respected signal-callers on the board.
Our focus is on players who will be eligible in 2019, so a coveted talent such as Jaelan Phillips is not included.
Juwan Johnson, WR
Previous school: Penn State
Juwan Johnson had a breakout year in 2017, catching 54 passes for 701 yards. However, drops and injuries plagued his junior campaign at Penn State and led him to the portal.
West Virginia and Oregon quickly scheduled visits with the wideout. Johnson told Erik Skopil of 247Sports he wasn't ready to discuss a decision timeline or any potential future visits.
But a future in the Pac-12 sure feels right.
Oregon needs to replace 1,000-yard receiver Dillon Mitchell and recently missed out on 4-star talent Puka Nacua. Catching passes from a valued QB in prospect Justin Herbert would provide Johnson the spotlight he needs to rehab his draft stock.
Nick Starkel, QB
Previous school: Texas A&M
Nick Starkel split time with Kellen Mond in 2017, but the latter took control of Texas A&M's offense last season. Both are juniors, so leaving College Station is sensible for Starkel.
According to Travis L. Brown of The Eagle, Starkel will graduate in July with two years of eligibility remaining. Starkel told Josh Newberg of 247Sports that Ohio State, Florida State, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette are showing interest.
Since the NCAA granted Justin Fields a waiver, OSU is probably out of the running. Arkansas' addition of SMU transfer Ben Hicks doesn't exclude the Razorbacks, but it's worth mentioning.
If Starkel is eyeing a power-conference opportunity, the path of least resistance―that's just being smart―at Georgia Tech is ideal. The Jackets are shifting from a triple-option offense, so the quarterback room is loaded with runners first, passers second.
Florida State is also sensible given its barren depth chart, but Georgia Tech seems a great spot for Starkel.
Prediction: Georgia Tech
Parker Braun, OG
Previous school: Georgia Tech
Within a week of a report that signaled he would transfer, Parker Braun heard from several brand-name programs.
Ken Suguira of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Florida, Ohio State and Texas are interested in the offensive guard. Andrew Ivins and Brendan Sonnone of 247Sports added that Miami and Florida State, respectively, are pursuing Braun.
Not only do those schools have vacancies up front; Braun would be the most talented guard on nearly every roster anyway. Whether he chooses an ACC, Big Ten or SEC program doesn't matter; he'll start.
Braun's father is the athletic director of Suwannee High School in Florida, where his brother Joshua is a 4-star recruit. Those ties suggest he'll play in the Sunshine State.
Unless Miami's clearer path to a division crown―or transfer portal dominance―convinces Braun, Dan Mullen's impact and UF's proximity to the lineman's family may win out.
Josh Jackson, QB
Previous school: Virginia Tech
Where does Josh Jackson go next?
Despite the announcement of his exit in mid-January, little news has emerged about the former Virginia Tech starter. Jackson is a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility remaining.
Given his production as a redshirt freshman―2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns passing plus 324 yards and six scores on the ground―Jackson should be a valued target.
Josh Stirn of 247Sports notes Maryland has "looked into" adding Jackson, and QB-needy Florida State should be doing the same. Bowling Green is worth monitoring after it hired Scot Loeffler, who recruited Jackson to VT and coached with his father at Michigan.
As with high school recruiting, follow the visits. But without any trips completed or scheduled so far, it's unfair to throw a dart.
Jonah Jackson, OG
Previous school: Rutgers
When Jonah Jackson announced he'd be leaving the Big Ten cellar-dweller, interest came pouring in.
Ohio State scheduled a visit, while Oklahoma, Texas, Penn State, Iowa, Maryland, Pitt and Virginia all started chasing the offensive guard, per Bobby Deren of 247Sports. Alabama and Michigan soon followed, per Todderick Hunt of NJ.com.
Last season, Jackson earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. He has 29 career appearances in college.
The Buckeyes have consistently garnered the most attention as the leader for Jackson. That doesn't guarantee a future in Columbus, but it's where he's trending for now.
Prediction: Ohio State