The college football offseason used to be just waiting on signing day and spring camp reports. Now there is much more news with the rampant movement of players in the transfer portal. Big-name players are moving to better opportunities and are having an immediate impact now that they can play right away. The first transfer portal deadline was 1/18/23, so let’s dive into the most Devy-relevant transfers for the 2023 season.
Sam Hartman, QB, 6’1” 210 lbs
- Transfer Destination: Wake Forest to Notre Dame
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking: 5th Overall; 1st QB
Sam Hartman had a health scare to begin this season but only missed one game and had his 2nd straight 30+ touchdown season. In 2022, Hartman had his highest completion percentage and quarterback rating. Although he had two very successful seasons, it was thought the offense at Wake Forest would not translate to the NFL.
At Wake Forest, they used late-read options to open holes for the passing game. Hartman is going to a Notre Dame offense that relied heavily on the run game in the past season. The hope is this is a great match. Hartman gets a more traditional offense to raise his stock, and Notre Dame gets a top quarterback to open up their offense.
Devin Leary, QB, 6’1” 215 lbs
- Transfer Destination: NC State to Kentucky
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking: 6th Overall; 2nd QB
In 2021 Devin Leary threw for over 3,400 yards with 35 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. So I was very high on him and thought he could be a sleeper quarterback for the 2023 class. He started slow, with only 1,265 passing yards in 6 games before he sustained a season-ending injury vs. Florida State.
Leary is transferring to Kentucky to prove himself in a tougher conference. Leary will have some of the most talented receivers in his career, with the young receivers Barion Brown and Dane Key at Kentucky. With a bounce-back year, I believe Leary could end up being a Day 2 draft pick in 2024.
Marshawn Lloyd, RB, 5’9” 212 lbs
- Transfer Destination: South Carolina to USC
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking: 45th Overall; 1st RB
Marshawn Lloyd was a top-level recruit but had terrible injury luck during his first two years at South Carolina. In 2022, he showed some of what he could do with over 700 total yards and 11 touchdowns. Lloyd now moves on to the high-powered offense with Caleb Williams at USC. He should get more room to run, and his receiving ability should be displayed well in the offense. With a huge year, he could be on the rise again on devy lists.
Hudson Card, QB, 6’2” 201 lbs
- Transfer Destination: Texas to Purdue
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking 12th Overall; 3rd QB
Hudson Card has been on the devy radar since he was a top 100 recruit committed to Texas in 2020. He could not beat out Casey Thompson in 2021 and was stuck behind Quin Ewers this past year. Card has thrown under 200 passes in two years but has shown flashes and has 12 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions in his career.
He is transferring to Purdue, who just hired Graham Harrell as their new offensive coordinator. At West Virginia, his offense averaged over 30 points last year and was top 20 in passing the three years at USC before that. Card should have the opportunity to raise his stock again in a pass-friendly offense in the Big Ten.
Adonai Mitchell, WR, 6’4” 190 lbs
- Transfer Destination: Georgia to Texas
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking 48th Overall 9th WR
Adonai Mitchell has not put up huge numbers while at Georgia. He has a little over 500 career receiving yards but has dealt with injuries that have slowed him down. Mitchell does, however, have 4 touchdowns in 4 College Football Playoff games. He has the talent and has shown up on the biggest stage. He will be a big addition to the Texas offense. Xavier Worthy has been inconsistent catching the ball, and Mitchell could prove to be elite in Steve Sarkisian’s offense.
Jaheim Bell, TE, 6’3” 232 lbs
- Transfer Destination: South Carolina to Florida State
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking 9th Overall 1st TE
With Spencer Rattler transferring in, Jaheim Bell was poised for a big year at South Carolina in 2022. The offense was up and down, and all his receiving numbers went down from 2021, even though he had much more rushing production.
Bell is transferring to an up-and-coming offense that will return Jordan Travis, who many have as a dark horse Heisman candidate in 2023. At Florida State, the third leading receiver in yardage came from the tight end, and Bell should be an upgrade at that position. Bell will not overtake Brock Bowers in 2024, but he is an intriguing prospect. The NFL is looking for more athletic tight ends, and he could be successful like Isaiah Likely was this past year.
JoJo Earle, WR, 5’9” 170 lbs
- Transfer Destination: Alabama to TCU
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking: 65th Overall; 13th WR
Many, including myself, were very high on Jojo Earle coming out of high school. He was part of a big wide receiver class for Alabama, but Earle only had 24 receptions in two years and never made a huge impact. He is now moving on to TCU for hopefully a more significant role. Sonny Dykes changed the TCU offense this past season and is a great offensive mind. Max Duggan is gone, but there is a big opening at wide receiver with Quinton Johnston going to the NFL. So here is hoping Earle can regain his Devy value in 2023.
Carson Steele, RB, 6’1” 215 lbs
- Transfer Destination: Ball State to UCLA
- 247 Transfer Portal Ranking : 85th Overall; 8th RB
Some casual college football fans may not know much about Carson Steele, but those that love Maction during the week know him well. The Ball State offense has heavily relied on Steele, and he has delivered. He has rushed for over 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns in the last two years.
UCLA is losing Zach Charbonnet and needs a replacement for next year. I am very interested to see how Steele will fair against better competition, but he will have a better-supporting cast. Steele is not necessarily devy relevant yet, but he is someone you should watch early next year because he could be a fast riser.