College football’s first – and most important – transfer portal closed last week.
While the quarterback transfer market wasn’t as exciting as last year, the numbers — 2,729 players hit the portal in December of this year compared to 1,617 last December — and the names — cornerback Travis Hunter (Jackson State to Colorado), wide receiver Dominic Lovett (Missouri to Georgia), edge Dasan McCullough (Indiana to Oklahoma), running back Carson Steele (Ball State to UCLA) and quarterback Sam Hartman (Wake Forest to Notre Dame) among them – were significant.
The portal is now closed until May 1, so it’s time to evaluate which teams have done the best. I spoke with coaches and human resource directors, including at the American Football Coaches Association Convention earlier this month, to review the biggest early cycle portal winners.
Here are eight teams they selected.
No program has generated more buzz for its portal prowess than the state of Florida, even among coaches outside of the ACC. The portal has become a focal point for the Seminoles, who leaned on several transfers from last winter – defensive end Jared Verse (Albany), wide receiver Johnny Wilson (Arizona State), running back Trey Benson (Oregon) – to begin their first season with 10 wins since 2016.
FSU has been active again, drawing potential difference makers from both Group of 5 and Power 5 programs, including some from within the ACC.