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  • Writer's pictureTravis Tyler

AAC transfers to watch 2021

Tanner Mordecai, QB, SMU

When Mordecai opted to play at Oklahoma after a prolific high school career, he found himself in a crowded quarterback room with Jalen Hurts and Spencer Rattler. With the departure of Shane Buechele, the Mustangs' quarterback job is wide open, and Mordecai should be considered the favorite. However, he will have to fend off extremely talented freshman Preston Stone.

Grant Gunnell/Peter Parrish, QB, Memphis

We've seen Gunnell have some promising yet inconsistent performances to start his career at Arizona. After a tough 2020 season, Gunnell is trying to regain his freshman form as he aims to follow Brady White at Memphis. Parrish appears to be in the mix as well. He brings a different dimension as a true dual-threat quarterback as opposed to the long and less athletic Gunnell, whose best asset is his arm. It will be interesting to see who the Tigers choose, and I think we may even see both this season.

Mark-Antony Richards/Isaiah Bowser, RB, UCF

Greg McCrae and Otis Anderson have moved on, so the Knights will need to find their running game, especially with Gus Malzahn running the show. Malzahn had one of the SEC's best rushing attacks during his most successful seasons at Auburn. Bowser was a large part of Northwestern's running game for three years with 1,300 rushing yards. He's built like a powerback but has the speed to be a threat whenever he sees the field. Richards has yet to play much offense in college but was a highly-recruited high school player and clearly fits what Malzahn wants since he brought him along to UCF from Auburn.

Big Kat Bryant, DE, UCF

Bryant could have been a late-round NFL Draft pick yet follows his former head coach, Gus Malzahn, from Auburn to UCF. After starting his career as a rotational pass-rusher for the Tigers, Bryant took hold of a starting job in 2019 and became an All-SEC performer in 2020. He mostly plays as a pass-rusher but has shown the ability to hold his own in coverage. He's a hybrid DE/OLB who should become one of the leaders on the UCF defense.

Devin Brumfield, RB, Tulane

Brumfield was expected to become the next great Utah running back after Zack Moss left for the NFL. However, he was quickly surpassed by freshman Ty Jordan and saw his role diminish. While last year's second-leading rusher, Cameron Carroll, returns, Tulane could still use Brumfield's help at the position. We'll see if the change of scenery leads to a breakout year for him.

Ra'Von Bonner, RB, Temple

Bonner ran for 825 yards during his time at Illinois and enters a situation with no clear frontrunner at running back. He also has similar numbers to Temple's leading rushers from last year. After opting out of 2020 due to COVID concerns, there's plenty of opportunity for a guy that spent four years in a Power 5 program.

Grant Calcaterra/Nolan Matthews, TE, SMU

These are the two best options to be named the next tight end at SMU. Calcaterra's name should be quite familiar to most of you. He has been an integral member of the Oklahoma offense as a receiving tight end and earned an All-Big 12 selection in 2018. He temporarily retired due to concussion issues but has decided to return to the field. Matthews has seen limited playing time in his only college season but possesses the rare combination of size, athleticism, and speed as a receiving tight end.

Jordan Johnson, WR, UCF

With most of the Knights' receivers departing, Johnson could be the next great one for the program. He committed to Notre Dame and spent much of the 2020 season on the bench after being the No. 3 receiver recruit in the country. He can easily make an impact for the Knights from day one.

Seth Green, WR/TE, Houston

Green was an interesting player at Minnesota. He's built much like a tight end at 6'4" 240 lbs and joined the program as a quarterback. The Gophers used him mostly as a WIldcat quarterback and an occasional receiver. Houston's roster lists him as a tight end and I'm interested to see how he performs now that he will be playing the position for which he best fits. He'll likely be the No. 2 tight end behind Christian Trahan and should make an impact for the Cougars.

Devontae Dobbs, OT, Memphis

Dobbs was one of the top recruits in Michigan State's 2019 recruiting class but rarely saw the field despite the team's struggles on the offensive line. Following the coaching change to Mel Tucker and the culture shift that came with it, Dobbs decided to transfer. He can be an immediate starter at Memphis and has pro potential.

Julian Barnett, CB, Memphis

Barnett was also one of the most heralded recruits in the 2019 Michigan State recruiting class. He was an Under Armour All-American with the ability to play well on both sides of the ball and chose the Spartans over several other premier programs. He began his career as a receiver and displayed great promise with his play as a freshman. It was widely thought that he would take over as a starting corner during Mel Tucker's first season, but he was mysteriously missing from all phases of the game except for some special teams plays when the season began. Once given the chance, Barnett can be a special player.

Xach Gill, DL, Temple

Rotational player on North Carolina's d-line. Temple loses both Daniel Archibong (NFL) and Ifeanyi Maijeh (transferred to Rutgers) at defensive tackle, clearing a sure path to the starting lineup for Gill. He'll get to show what he can do with an increased workload.

Jon-Michael Terry, LB, Tulsa

A one-year starter at Oklahoma should provide plenty of value for a rising Tulsa program. Terry played in 42 games with the Sooners and made an impact as a reserve. He's not guaranteed a starting job at Tulsa, but a similar role should be the bare minimum expectation.

Christian Williams, CB, USF

Former four-star and top-200 high school player who played sparingly at Miami. USF deploys five defensive backs in its base defense, so Williams will get much more playing time. He has great size for a defensive back and should help on the back end.

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