Offensive Transfers That Could Have the Biggest Impact in 2022
After the frenzy of player movement to begin the offseason, several college football teams have picked up an immensely valuable piece for their offense in 2022.
Without question, the most notable additions will be taking snaps next season. That group includes former Oklahoma starters Caleb Williams (USC) and Spencer Rattler (South Carolina), USC signal-callers Kedon Slovis (Pitt) and Jaxson Dart (Ole Miss) and more.
By nature of the position they play, headlines will largely focus on them. However, a handful of running backs and wide receivers are also potential high-impact players right away.
The list, organized alphabetically based on school name, is subjective but values past production and expected role in 2022.
Jahmyr Gibbs and Jermaine Burton, Alabama
Welcome to another version of "the rich get richer."
After the 2021 season, Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. and wideouts Jameson Williams and John Metchie III each entered the NFL draft.
Robinson amassed 1,639 yards from scrimmage, while Williams and Metchie combined for 175 receptions and 2,714 yards. The trio totaled 39 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide's offense.
That production should be difficult to replace, but Alabama pilfered some Peach State schools for excellent replacements.
Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 1,206 yards, caught 59 passes for 768 yards and scored 13 touchdowns in 19 games at Georgia Tech. Jermaine Burton surpassed 400 receiving yards in both 2020 and 2021 for Georgia, notching eight touchdowns.
Even if they're not All-American players in 2022, Gibbs and Burton should be major contributors for the Tide.
Jadon Haselwood, Arkansas
Arkansas needs to replace Treylon Burks, who collected 66 catches for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Jadon Haselwood is a good start.
The former 5-star prospect played just three games in the 2020 season after he tore his ACL in the offseason, though Haselwood assembled a respectable year in his return. He pulled in 39 passes for 399 yards and an Oklahoma-best six scores in 2021.
Arkansas will be expecting Haselwood to immediately replace Burks as the primary target for KJ Jefferson.
Jaxson Dart and Zach Evans, Ole Miss
Gone are NFL-bound quarterback Matt Corral and running backs Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner. Rotational back Henry Parrish Jr. transferred to Miami, too.
Ole Miss will have an overhauled backfield in 2022, but there's a whole lot of excitement for the updated pieces.
Jaxson Dart is set to replace Corral, and the Rebels snagged TCU runner Zach Evans. Dart threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns in his USC debut after starter Kedon Slovis went down with an injury.
Meanwhile, Evans scampered for 1,063 yards and nine touchdowns on just 146 carries in 15 appearances for TCU.
Yes, Dart had a rougher time after the injury to USC wideout Drake London and dealt with a torn meniscus of his own, and a turf toe injury shut Evans down after six games. Still, they'll have a great opportunity to excel in Lane Kiffin's offense.
Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma
Unfortunately for Dillon Gabriel and UCF, a shoulder injury ended his 2021 season after three games. He'd thrown for 3,500-plus yards and 27-plus touchdowns in consecutive years.
Gabriel decided to transfer at the end of the campaign. He initially settled on UCLA, but just 18 days later, he pivoted to Oklahoma.
The losses for the Knights and Bruins, however, are a much-needed gain for Oklahoma. Though the Sooners knew Spencer Rattler would leave, the loss was significant nonetheless. The issues at quarterback were only exacerbated when Caleb Williams followed former OU coach Lincoln Riley to USC.
Considering his production, Gabriel figures to take the reins of the Sooners' offense immediately in 2022.
Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh
Similar to Dart and Gabriel, Kedon Slovis is headed to a program that has a vacancy behind center.
Pitt enjoyed the incredible rise of Kenny Pickett in 2021. After four unspectacular seasons, he put together a shocking breakout year, led the Panthers to their first-ever ACC championship and finished third in Heisman Trophy voting.
Slovis, on the other hand, watched his grasp on USC's first-string job slip away in 2021. The once-star freshman, put simply, needed a fresh start elsewhere and landed with Pitt.
Like his former teammate Dart, success is not a certainty with his new team. Slovis hasn't really impressed during the last two seasons, and now he'll be learning a new offense.
But it's absolutely going to help Slovis that Jordan Addison, the 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner, will be catching his passes.
Spencer Rattler, South Carolina
When a hyped player struggles, it's easy to consider them overrated or write them off. And, look, Spencer Rattler did not perform anywhere close to his Heisman-level expectations last season.
At the same time, he's still a quarterback who threw for 3,031 yards at 9.6 per attempt in 2020—his first year as a college starter. Rattler accounted for 34 touchdowns with only seven interceptions, leading the Sooners to a Big 12 championship that season.
Don't give up on Rattler just yet.
Besides, he's entering a South Carolina program that is desperate for an upgrade. Last season's QB carousel averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt with five touchdowns and seven interceptions in six games against above-.500 opponents. South Carolina went 1-5 in those matchups, and the lone victory was over East Carolina.
Rattler could be a driving force of the Gamecocks moving from a bowl qualifier to a real upset threat in the SEC.
Caleb Williams, Travis Dye and Mario Williams, USC
Let's be serious: It's not only three players.
Bobby Haskins started at left tackle for Virginia in 2021. Wide receivers Terrell Bynum (Washington) and Brenden Rice (Colorado) both finished second in receiving for their respective teams last season. They should all be contributors next season.
The key additions, though, will greatly reshape USC's offense.
Dual-threat quarterback Caleb Williams tallied 2,347 yards of total offense with 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions at Oklahoma. Teammate and slot receiver Mario Williams—a true freshman like his QB—caught 35 passes for 380 yards and four scores.
They'll link up with running back Travis Dye following a season in which he amassed 1,673 yards from scrimmage and totaled 18 touchdowns for Oregon.
As if Lincoln Riley wouldn't have provided a fresh outlook for the Trojans anyway, he's revamped the personnel at several positions.
Cameron Ward, Washington State
Washington State seemed to find a starter in Jayden de Laura. While the Cougs weren't terrific, they overcame a midseason coaching change to finish 7-6 and snapped a seven-game skid to rival Washington.
He provided an adequate 7.8 yards per attempt with 26 total touchdowns to nine interceptions.
However, de Laura transferred to Arizona—where he should also be a major upgrade.
Washington State still might've stumbled into a superstar with Cameron Ward anyway.
During the 2021 spring and fall seasons combined at Incarnate Word, he racked up 6,908 yards and 71 touchdowns through the air. Ward chose to follow IWU head coach Eric Morris to Wazzu, where he'll be serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The jump from a Football Championship Subdivision program to the Pac-12 could be challenging, but Ward's familiarity with Morris' offense gives him a strong foundation.