Impact CFB Transfer Targets Who Can Still Move This Offseason
While the transfer portal has no shortage of options, the group of immediate-impact players is much thinner.
Most notably, three big-name quarterbacks are still undecided. Caleb Williams (Oklahoma), JT Daniels (Georgia) and Jaxson Dart (USC) headline the prime targets in the portal.
Beyond them, most of the noteworthy transfers are offensive talents, including running back Jarek Broussard (Colorado) who earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2020. Still, there are a couple of intriguing defenders on the board, too.
While the list is subjective, the main factor is previous production. The choices are ordered alphabetically.
Jarek Broussard, RB
Despite the shortened 2020 season, Jarek Broussard emerged as one of the nation's best stories.
Knee injuries derailed his senior year of high school and freshman season at Colorado. Then, he scampered for 895 yards—a sterling 149.2 per game—and five touchdowns in 2020, becoming the first player in CU history to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Broussard had a quieter 2021 campaign but still rushed for 661 yards at a respectable 4.7 yards per carry. Along with two touchdowns on the ground, he also caught 13 passes.
Even if he's not a featured runner at a new program, Broussard can be a solid complementary piece in the backfield.
JT Daniels, QB
College has been quite a journey for JT Daniels.
After earning 5-star status in the 2018 cycle, he made a rapid impression at USC. Daniels started 11 games as a true freshman and offered the potential to lead the Pac-12 program back to national prominence. But then, a knee injury stalled his 2019 campaign in the season opener, and he eventually transferred to Georgia.
Injuries, however, again sidelined Daniels. He was limited to four (fantastic!) games in 2020 and six appearances in 2021, and Georgia won a national title with Stetson Bennett under center—and he recently announced he'll be back in 2022.
So, Daniels will not.
Considering he threw for 1,231 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2020 and posted another 300-yard, three-touchdown game in 2021, Daniels is a valuable option. Hopefully the football-injury gods will have mercy on him next season, too.
Jaxson Dart, QB
Not unlike Daniels, Jaxson Dart turned heads at USC as a true freshman. While he didn't have quite as much production, Dart recorded 1,353 passing yards and 11 total touchdowns in six games.
The looming prospect of Caleb Williams rejoining former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, however, nudged Dart into the portal.
Since then, he's visited BYU, Oklahoma and Ole Miss. BYU has a quality returning starter in Jaren Hall, while Oklahoma landed UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel. Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss are still looking to replace Matt Corral, who is heading to the NFL.
Based on positional value and three seasons of remaining eligibility, Dart is easily the most coveted transfer after Williams.
Taj Harris, WR
After initially entering the portal in October, Taj Harris soon committed to Kentucky. However, the wideout ultimately backed off his commitment to the SEC school.
Lately, the rumor mill has remained pretty quiet. But the Syracuse transfer would improve most receiving corps.
Harris tallied 40 receptions for 565 yards in 2018 and 37 catches for 559 yards in 2019. He set career-high marks in 2020, snaring 58 passes for 733 yards and five touchdowns. Harris closed his Syracuse career with 16 catches in three appearances last season.
Ochaun Mathis, Edge
After holding a minor role in 2018, Ochaun Mathis developed into an important contributor for TCU's defense.
The edge-rusher provided 40 tackles with nine for loss and 2.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman. He then registered 46 stops with 14 in the backfield and nine sacks in 2020. Mathis notched 45 tackles, seven takedowns for loss and four sacks last season.
Few available transfers have impacted games like Mathis.
According to Mike Roach of 247Sports, Mathis is planning to "take things slowly" in his transfer recruitment because he's a June enrollee. Still, it's easy to see Mathis reuniting with former coach Gary Patterson, who accepted an off-field role at Texas.
Enock Makonzo, Hybrid LB/DB
Enock Makonzo has a truly remarkable football story.
After attending high school in Montreal, he spent two years at New Mexico Military Institute. Makonzo transferred to Coastal Carolina in 2019 but missed a majority of the season because of a torn left ACL. He finally broke through in 2020.
Playing a hybrid spot—called Spur, Viper, Striker or something else, depending on the program—Makonzo collected 76 tackles with 10.5 for loss that season. He followed that effort with 71 stops and 10 takedowns for loss in 2021.
Makonzo could be a sneaky-great addition to a Power Five defense, though he's also eligible for the CFL draft.
Tyler Steen, OT
Family could be a pivotal factor in where Tyler Steen lands.
Andrew Ivins of 247Sports noted the Vanderbilt offensive lineman's younger brother, Blake Steen, is an uncommitted prospect. Their father, Daris, told Ivins that Tyler and Blake aren't necessarily a package deal, but the thought is being considered.
No matter where Tyler chooses, though, that program will be adding a seasoned SEC tackle. He's a three-year starter who played right tackle in 2019 and left tackle in 2020 and 2021.
North Carolina State, Penn State and Tennessee have emerged as key teams of interest, per Michael Clark of 247Sports.
Caleb Williams, QB
And still, we wait.
Caleb Williams has no responsibility to confirm our speculation in any timeframe but his own. Since announcing in early January he'd enter the portal, though, the college football world has expected he'll join former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley at USC.
Maybe this decision is merely hours away. Perhaps a program like Ole Miss, LSU or Wisconsin pulls off the ultimate steal.
That uncertainty does nothing to diminish the value of Williams, who threw for 1,912 yards with 21 touchdowns to four interceptions last season. He also rushed for 435 yards and six scores, helping the Sooners finish with an 11-2 record.
In a small sample, Williams played like an All-American. He's the most impactful player in the transfer portal.