Top 10 CFB Trades We Wish Could Happen
Although transfer rules are seemingly relaxing in college football, most players are still required to sit out a season.
But what if we could see stars on a different team? Inevitably, an exercise of this nature will upset some people. No way North Carolina actually trades quarterback Sam Howell. Of course not! Save any anger and use your imagination for a moment.
We've also prepared a handy FAQ section for you.
- Do you hate my favorite team? Obviously.
- Is this player likely to leave in reality? Probably not.
- Will any of these actually happen? No.
While the focus is on moving players to a different program, one blockbuster coaching move is also included.
Indiana WR Whop Philyor to Oregon
The trade: WR Whop Philyor to Oregon for OG Jonathan Denis, WR Bryan Addison and WR Kris Hutson
Stuck in a division with Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, Indiana has big dreams in a complicated reality. Once in a while, the Hoosiers have a legitimate star who doesn't get the spotlight.
Whop Philyor is the latest example, producing a 1,000-yard season for them in 2019.
Oregon would love to add a playmaker of his caliber. As the Ducks turn to Tyler Shough as Justin Herbert's replacement at quarterback, they're hoping for significant development at receiver. Philyor would steady a young group as a go-to option in the slot.
Clemson RB Lyn-J Dixon to Wisconsin
The trade: RB Lyn-J Dixon to Wisconsin for OL Logan Bruss
Wisconsin is known for prolific running backs and consistently strong development of offensive linemen. But the Badgers don't have a clear heir to All-American runner Jonathan Taylor.
Nakia Watson managed 4.5 yards per carry as a freshman, and Garrett Groshek seems better suited for a low-volume role. The Badgers would benefit from an explosive runner like Lyn-J Dixon, who scampered for 635 yards at a 6.1 clip at Clemson last season.
All expectations were Dixon would replace Travis Etienne after he declared for the 2020 NFL draft. Etienne, though, stayed in school.
Dixon is suddenly a luxury piece for Clemson, which has to rebuild the offensive line. Logan Bruss has started at both right tackle and right guard—fittingly, the most uncertain spots for the Tigers.
Wake Forest WR Sage Surratt to Miami
The trade: WR Sage Surratt to Miami for WR Jeremiah Payton, RB Jaylan Knighton, WR Michael Redding III
Miami has the foundation of a flashy scoring attack. Transfer quarterback D'Eriq King totaled 50 touchdowns through the air and on the ground at Houston in 2018, and new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee served as the OC for SMU's seventh-ranked scoring offense last year.
But the 'Canes could use a boost at receiver.
In just nine appearances as a sophomore, Sage Surratt racked up 66 catches for 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns. Comparatively, Miami's top two pass-catchers combined for 1,042 yards in 2019. The 'Canes should contend in the ACC Coastal anyway, but we've said a version of that for, what, 15 years now?
Wake Forest, meanwhile, needs to restock the offense after losing quarterback Jamie Newman to Georgia. Jeremiah Payton is a valued redshirt freshman, and the 'Canes recently brought in 4-star talents Jaylan Knighton and Michael Redding III.
Adding a proven contributor like Surratt wouldn't come cheap, but winning the Coastal again would help Miami more.
Florida State DT Marvin Wilson to Penn State
The trade: DT Marvin Wilson to Penn State for OL Caedan Wallace, OL Saleem Wormley, DT Cole Brevard
Not a glamorous trade, yet a useful one.
To the surprise of many, Marvin Wilson passed up the NFL and elected to play his senior year at Florida State. While the arrival of new head coach Mike Norvell has brought some excitement, the 'Noles are unlikely to make a championship-worthy leap this fall—in no small part because Trevor Lawrence and Clemson stand in the way.
Penn State must also compete with a perennial national title threat in Ohio State. However, the Nittany Lions are a bit thin at defensive tackle, and Wilson could address the void.
And, put simply, FSU needs blockers.
Cole Brevard would be the presumed long-term replacement for Wilson, so there's no question the 'Noles would be interested in adding a couple of promising young offensive linemen.
Mississippi State RB Kylin Hill to Florida
The trade: RB Kylin Hill to Florida for WR Trent Whittemore, WR Xzavier Henderson and QB Anthony Richardson
Pretty sensible, right?
Kylin Hill spent his freshman year at Mississippi State playing for Dan Mullen, who headed to Florida after the 2017 season. Hill earned a starting role in 2018 and has rushed for 2,084 yards over the last two seasons. But is Air Raid maestro Mike Leach suddenly going to run the ball? (No.)
Florida has an unsettled backfield after losing leading rusher Lamical Perine while returning Dameon Pierce and inexperienced depth. Hill would immediately become the featured back.
Send a couple of young receivers and a quarterback to help Leach build his offense, and Mississippi State should be happy.
Duke DE Chris Rumph II to Michigan
The trade: EDGE Chris Rumph II to Michigan for WR Giles Jackson, WR A.J. Henning, DE Braiden McGregor
Duke's struggles have made Chris Rumph II one of the nation's top under-the-radar players. Last season, he posted 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks with 48 pressures, per Pro Football Focus.
If we shift Rumph to Michigan, he's immediately under a bright spotlight on a consistently great defense.
Yes, Wolverines fans, we hear you: Kwity Paye and Aidan Hutchinson combined for 22.5 tackles for loss in 2019. But an elite defensive line has tremendous depth, and expected backups Taylor Upshaw and Luiji Vilain have nine career tackles.
Duke added Clemson transfer Chase Brice to take over at quarterback, and he needs some weapons. Giles Jackson can contribute on offense and special teams, and 4-star recruit A.J. Henning will be joining with the class of 2020.
TCU S Trevon Moehrig to Ohio State
The trade: S Trevon Moehrig to Ohio State for RB Marcus Crowley, WR Mookie Cooper and WR Gee Scott Jr.
Ohio State is stacked at skill positions on offense. TCU is not. Ohio State needs a safety. TCU boasts one of the nation's best.
Let's make a deal.
In 2019, Trevon Moehrig tallied 62 tackles with 11 pass breakups, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. He'd solidify a secondary that needs to replace NFL-bound safety Jordan Fuller and bolster the Buckeyes' hopes of a College Football Playoff run.
TCU, on the other hand, is desperate for offense. Star receiver Jalen Reagor left for the NFL, and running backs Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua were seniors. Trading a final season of Moehrig—a likely early departure—for an immediate starter in Crowley and much-needed receivers would be worth it.
Louisville WR Tutu Atwell to Auburn
The trade: WR Tutu Atwell to Auburn for WR Kobe Hudson, DE Zykeivous Walker, DT Jaren Handy, LB Octavius Brothers
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix assembled a decent freshman year, but the offense could use a little more electricity at wide receiver.
Hey, Tigers fans. Welcome to the Tutu Atwell Experience.
Listed at 5'9" and 165 pounds, he compensates for small stature with spectacular elusiveness. Last year, he amassed 69 catches for 1,272 yards and 11 touchdowns. He and Anthony Schwartz would give Auburn an absurd amount of speed to stress defenses, which would be especially helpful against Alabama and LSU.
The simple truth for Louisville is that Atwell may leave for the NFL after 2020, and a Clemson-sized obstacle is a problem. Losing him would sting, but gaining four prospects at positions of need would ease the pain.
North Carolina QB Sam Howell to LSU
The trade: QB Sam Howell to LSU for QB Myles Brennan, QB Max Johnson and OT Marcus Dumervil
Winning one national title is hard enough. During the BCS era, only 2011-12 Alabama has repeated as an uncontested national champion, so history shows the challenge of celebrating twice in a row.
It's a good problem. But it's a problem for LSU nonetheless.
Myles Brennan is slated to replace Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, and perhaps the fourth-year quarterback will thrive in his first season as the starter. It really could happen. But we also watched Sam Howell light up the ACC as a freshman in 2019.
Howell notched a 61.4 percent completion rate with 3,641 yards and 38 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He ranked second nationally with 21 scores on throws of 20-plus yards, per Pro Football Focus.
For anyone who likes points, the vision of him ripping downfield passes to LSU's All-American receiver Ja'Marr Chase is exciting.
North Carolina would receive immediate and long-term quarterbacks in Brennan and Max Johnson, as well as a potential starting lineman in Marcus Dumervil.
Cincinnati HC Luke Fickell to USC
The trade: HC Luke Fickell to USC for RB Markese Stepp, WR Kyle Ford, OG Jonah Monheim, LB Kana'i Mauga, LB Hunter Echols, CB Max Williams
After passing up a chance to take over Michigan State's program in February, Luke Fickell could be eyeing a bigger job. And it's quite possible—maybe even likely—that USC moves on from head coach Clay Helton next offseason.
Fickell, who has guided the Bearcats to consecutive 11-win seasons, would deservedly be a top candidate for the job because of that recent success. Also, former Cincinnati athletic director Mike Bohn now holds that same position at USC.
In this scenario, at least Cincinnati would get something in return.
While promoting defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach, the Bearcats would add a slew of talent on both sides of the ball to remain an AAC power for several years.