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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Tyler Nettuno

A running list of the biggest names to enter the college football transfer portal after the 2023 season

Editor’s note: This story was originally published Dec. 1 and has been updated.

The transfer portal era has entirely altered the roster-building process and offseason calendar.

Now, not only do you have to recruit high school talent, but you often must re-recruit your own roster as players seek greener pastures elsewhere.

On the other hand, it also provides teams with unprecedented opportunities to quickly plug roster holes with experienced players without relying on home-grown talent.

The 2023-24 transfer portal won’t officially open to non-graduate college football players until Dec. 4. Still, with a highly competitive transfer market and a race against the clock to secure top talent, many high-profile players have already announced their intentions to enter the portal.

Some have even reportedly already decided on their next stop.

Here’s a running list of the biggest names who have decided to enter the transfer portal so far.

Kansas State RB Treyshaun Ward

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Ward has never been the feature back in an offense, but he’s delivered solid production in stints at Florida State and Kansas State while splitting carries. He’s coming off the most productive season of his career as he totaled 643 yards and five touchdowns, and he’ll be one of the top running backs on the market.

Purdue WR Deion Burks (Committed to Oklahoma)

Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Burks was a bright spot in an overall rough Year 1 for Purdue under Ryan Walters. After hauling in 47 catches for 629 yards and seven touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore, he’s leaving the Boilermakers after a 4-8 campaign and should draw quite a bit of portal with multiple remaining seasons of eligibility.

Texas A&M QB Max Johnson (Committed to North Carolina)

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in all of college football having started 22 games in stints at LSU and Texas A&M. He spent most of his two seasons with the Aggies as a backup behind Conner Weigman, but following a season-ending injury to Weigman in September, Johnson started five games before injuries of his own derailed his season. A graduate transfer, Johnson has already committed to North Carolina.

Notre Dame OL Zeke Correll (Committed to NC State)

Syndication: South Bend Tribune

Correll has been a full-time starter on the interior for a very good Notre Dame offensive line over the last two seasons, and he’s seen quite a bit of game action in his five years in South Bend. Veteran, proven offensive linemen rarely hit the transfer portal, so you can bet Correll will be pursued by several top programs.

N.C. State QB MJ Morris (Committed to Maryland)

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Morris had a promising true freshman season in 2022, but he was expected to redshirt as a sophomore following the arrival of transfer quarterback Brennan Armstrong. However, N.C. State ultimately benched Armstrong for Morris, who started the next four games. Instead of finishing the season as the starter, Morris chose to redshirt, leading to much speculation that he would enter the portal, which he did following the season.

Baylor QB Blake Shapen (Committed to Mississippi State)

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Shapen had a personally respectable 2023 season despite battling injuries, but the Bears were a mess overall. Following changes to the offensive staff, Shapen — a starter since 2021 — chose to transfer and will be one of the more desirable quarterbacks available in his final year of eligibility.

Mississippi State QB Will Rogers (Committed to Washington)

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Rogers had one of the most prolific quarterback careers in SEC history running Mike Leach’s offense, but the Bulldogs’ move to a more run-focused offense under new (and since-fired) coach Zach Arnett didn’t really suit Rogers. Though he lost some luster in 2023, the graduate transfer would be a no-brainer add for any program that runs the air raid.

Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall (Committed to NC State)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

McCall was highly sought after last offseason when he entered the portal following Jamey Chadwell’s departure for Liberty. He opted to stay in Conway, but after missing much of the year with an injury, he’ll hit the portal after all.

Kansas State QB Will Howard

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season was the first Howard began as a starter at Kansas State, but he’s seen starting action due to injury in each of his four seasons in Manhattan. He rose to prominence after leading the Wildcats to a Big 12 title in the second half of 2022, and after totaling 921 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground during his career with the Wildcats, his rushing ability is a nice added bonus to his portal resume.

Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke (Committed to Wisconsin)

Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Van Dyke looked like a legitimate NFL prospect as a redshirt freshman in 2021, but his development at Miami was severely hampered by the fact that he’s had three offensive coordinators over the last three seasons. He’ll look for a fresh start to revitalize his career.

Oregon State QB D.J. Uiagalelei (Transfer to Florida State)

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Uiagalelei never quite lived up to his top-10 billing coming out of high school during his career at Clemson, and while he made some progress in an Oregon State offense that was better suited for him, he still suffered from many of the same issues. He’s moving on to stop No. 3 after Jonathan Smith took the Michigan State job, but it’s worth noting that all three of the Spartans’ scholarship quarterbacks entered the portal following Smith’s hiring.

Duke QB Riley Leonard (Committed to Notre Dame)

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Leonard had a very good 2022 season, and though his numbers in 2023 look fairly pedestrian, his importance to the Blue Devils’ offense was apparent in his absence as the team struggled down the stretch after a hot start. Leonard entered the portal with a no-contact tag (meaning only he can initiate contact with schools, not the other way around), and Notre Dame is reportedly a strong possibility for him.

UCLA QB Dante Moore (Committed to Oregon)

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA made waves when it flipped Moore, a five-star prospect and top-five overall recruit, from conference rival Oregon. He began the year as the Bruins’ starter but ultimately split time with Ethan Garbers after some struggles. Moore will enter the portal, where he may be the top overall prospect given his potential.

Washington State QB Cameron Ward

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Ward had a red-hot start to his second season at Washington State, and while the team struggled down the stretch in a 5-7 season, he remained productive. He joined the Cougars after turning in a prolific season at the FCS level with Incarnate Word in 2021, and he could be a dangerous player if he lands with a contender.

James Madison QB Jordan McCloud

Hannah Pajewski-USA TODAY Sports

After leading the Dukes to an 11-1 season that would have resulted in a Sun Belt East title if the team were eligible to win the conference, McCloud opted to enter the transfer portal after a season that saw him win Sun Belt Player of the Year honors. The former South Florida and Arizona quarterback will now finish out his career at his fourth school.

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel (Committed to Oregon)

Texas Tech QB Tyler Shough (Committed to Louisville)

A former Red Raider, Shough announced he’s transferring to Louisville, where he’ll be a seventh-year senior who also played for Oregon. Across five seasons between Texas Tech and Oregon, he threw for 4,625 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions with a 63.2 completion percentage.

Texas A&M DL Walter Nolen (transferering to Ole Miss)

Florida EDGE Princely Umanmielen (Committed to Ole Miss)

Florida RB Trevor Etienne (transferring to Georgia)

UTSA EDGE Trey Moore

South Carolina WR Juice Wells (committed to Ole Miss)

Texas A&M OL Chase Bisontis (Removed Name From Portal)

Arkansas RB Rocket Sanders (Committed to South Carolina)

Georgia QB Brock Vandagriff (Committed to Kentucky)

Clemson CB Toriano Pride (Committed to Missouri)

Toledo QB Dequan Finn (Committed to Baylor)

Kansas State DB Kobe Savage (Committed to Oregon)

Notre Dame OL Michael Carmody

Auburn QB Robby Ashford

Arkansas QB K.J. Jefferson

USC QB Malachi Nelson

One of the top recruits in the class of 2023 is heading into the portal as USC retools under head coach Lincoln Riley. Malachi Nelson didn’t see any action during his freshman year but he should be highly sought after yet again.

Florida State QB Tate Rodemaker

Georgia WR De'Nylon Morrissette

Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa

Tagovailoa skipped Maryland’s Music City Bowl win over Auburn, but his plans for the future weren’t clear at the time.

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