Eight top transfers to watch

Eight top transfers to watch

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Here are the eight top transfers to watch this year in college football:

WR Jordan Addison, USC/QB Caleb Williams, USC

Addison, from Pitt, and Williams, from Oklahoma, are the headliners to coach Lincoln Riley’s massive transfer haul, the best quarterback and receiver to switch teams, and they have plenty of company. They are joined by Oregon running back Travis Dye, Oklahoma receiver Mario Williams, Wyoming defensive lineman Solomon Byrd and Arizona State linebacker Eric Gentry, among others — an infusion of talent that has significantly raised expectations for the Trojans in Riley’s first year.

QB Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss

The former Utah high school Gatorade Player of the Year showed promise when called upon at USC as a freshman, throwing for 1,353 yards and nine touchdowns in 189 attempts. Now he will get a shot to run the show at Ole Miss for coach Lane Kiffin, who developed Matt Corral into a third-round draft pick.

Spencer Rattler, Quin Ewers (top right) and Caleb Williams (bottom left)
Spencer Rattler, Quin Ewers (top right) and Caleb Williams (bottom left)
AP (3)

The No. 1-overall prospect in the country drew headlines last year without even appearing in a game, enrolling early at Ohio State in part to take advantage of Name, Image and Likeness that wasn’t allowed for high school athletes in Texas. As a Longhorn, he has a year to prove he’s worthy of the hype before the arrival of hyped quarterback prospect Arch Manning, the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning.

QB Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma

The loss of Caleb Williams was predictable once Riley took the USC job, but Oklahoma did well to mitigate the damage. His replacement has a strong track record — Gabriel threw for 7,223 yards and 61 touchdowns his first two years at Central Florida before injuries ruined his season last fall — and will be reunited with his former offensive coordinator, Jeff Lebby.

RB Jahmyr Gibbs/CB Eli Ricks, Alabama

It’s apparently not enough that Alabama routinely sits at the top of the high school recruiting rankings, but Nick Saban has begun to make a habit out of landing top transfers, too. Last year, it was Tennessee linebacker Henry To’o To’o and Ohio State wideout Jameson Williams, and this year it’s Gibbs, a versatile running back from Georgia Tech, and an All-American defensive back in Ricks from LSU.

S Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame

The departure of Kyle Hamilton to the NFL created a void in the Irish secondary, one that the ball-hawking Joseph is expected to fill. A two-time All-Big Ten selection at Northwestern, Joseph racked up nine interceptions the past two seasons, production that is needed in South Bend.

OL Olu Oluwatimi, Michigan

One of the best interior offensive linemen in the country bolsters last year’s Joe Moore award winners as the nation’s top offensive line after the loss of two starters. Oluwatimi was a Rimington Trophy finalist a year ago at Virginia, the award given to the best center in the nation, and is durable, having started 32 straight games in his career.

QB Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

Rattler struggled and lost his job last year at Oklahoma, making it easy to forget that as a full-time starter in 2020 he threw for 3,031 yards, produced 34 touchdowns and tossed just seven interceptions. South Carolina would sign up for those numbers without thinking twice.

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