PAC-12 transfers to watch 2021
Jordan McCloud, QB. Arizona
As a result of Grant Gunnell's transfer, Arizona has an opening at quarterback. Will Plummer played well in three games last season and fellow transfer Gunner Cruz may have something to say about it, but putting McCloud behind center gives Arizona the best chance and makes the most sense. He has made 17 starts over the last two seasons and presents a dual-threat ability that PAC-12 offenses have been able to run well with in the past.
JT Shrout, QB, Colorado
Shrout is the only non-freshmen quarterback left on the Buffaloes' roster after the departure of Sam Noyer and is expected to be the team's starter in 2021. He spent most of three years on the bench at Tennessee but did make one start. We haven't seen him get a real chance yet, but this is it.
Sam Noyer, QB, Oregon State
Noyer took over Colorado's starting job last year and threw for over 1,000 yards in six games while playing his way to a second-team All-Pac 12 nod. He didn't light the world on fire, but he did bring stability to the position. After transferring to Oregon State, he enters a competition with Tristan Gebbia and Chance Nolan, who shared the job last year. I don't think any of those guys take this offense to new heights, but Noyer has as good a chance at the job as any of them.
Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
Charbonnet was a big-time recruit and great things were expected of him at Michigan. There were signs of greatness at times but never a full breakthrough despite receiving a good amount of playing time. His true freshman season in 2019 was his best season so far--amassing 726 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns and learning All-Big Ten recognition. His usage dwindled in 2020 and he now becomes RB1 for UCLA. Plenty of potential now that he's the main guy.
Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC
Ingram joins Vavae Malepaei in Los Angeles to form one of the country's top backfields. Ingram started 18 games for Texas and has 1,811 rushing yards and 515 receiving yards in his career. He averages right around 5 YPC, should take some pressure off Kedon Slovis and the passing game, and may even become a Heisman contender. One of the best backs in the country and a great addition for the Trojans.
Deshaun Fenwick, RB, Oregon State
Fenwick has limited usage so far in college but will get every chance to succeed Jermar Jefferson. Fenwick has the tools to be a productive back. In the worst-case scenario, he becomes a solid complement to BJ Baylor.
TJ Pledger/Chris Curry, RB, Utah
Pledger and Curry bring experience to an offense that badly needs it. Devin Brumfield was supposed to take over the load at running back last season but only saw 21 carries in four games and has transferred. Freshman Ty Jordan led the Utes in rushing but tragically passed away in December. Clearly, the Utes needed to find find a ground game. Pledger was a key role player in Oklahoma's loaded rushing attack with 964 all-purpose yards in 30 games (5 starts). Curry was part of the committee backfield at LSU and ranked among the top 10 high school running back recruits when he left high school. The two could form a great tandem with Curry being the power runner and Pledger being the change-of-pace speedster.
Theo Howard, WR, Utah
Howard is another guy that brings much need experience to the Utes' offense. Before he transferred, the team was going to have to rely on many, many inexperienced wideouts. Howard started his career as one of the top receivers for UCLA but did not make the same impact in his lone season at Oklahoma. He should help take some pressure off of Britain Covey and may even become the team's No. 1 receiver himself.
Giles Jackson, WR, Washington
Jackson is a smaller receiver with incredible speed. He hasn't seen a lot of time on offense, but he quickly made a name for himself in the Big Ten as an elite kick returner. I'd expect his role to start the same way at Washington, but he should get more of a chance with the offense as the season progresses.
Makiya Tongue, WR, Oregon State
Tongue went to Georgia after a high school career that made him a four-star recruit in Louisiana. He saw some time on the field as a freshman but didn't make an impact. Oregon State has little depth at receiver and the 6'2" Tongue is one of the most promising young players on the team. He should get a chance to be a key cog in the offense.
Jalin Conyers, TE, Arizona State
One of the best high school tight end prospects in 2020 transfers to ASU after one season at Oklahoma. Conyers is a massive player at 6'4" 250 lbs and has the athleticism to line up at various positions in the offense. He should form a good tandem with Curtis Hodges and could make this Sun Devil passing game more dangerous.
Ishmael Sopsher, DT, USC
Sopsher was unable to earn his way into the lineup at Alabama. USC has a need at defensive tackle after losing both Marlon Tuipulotu and Jay Tufele to the NFL. Seems like a perfect scenario for an underappreciated player to make a name for himself.
Travez Moore, DE, Arizona State
Moore is a hybrid DE/OLB with tremendous pass-rushing skills. He was a highly-rated JUCO player and became a rotational player for the Tigers' National Championship defense. At Arizona State, he's likely to be a starter and will get every chance to prove he can play at the next level.
Elijah Jones, CB, Oregon State
Jones is an experienced corner who played in 19 games at Kansas. With Nashon Wright and Isaiah Dunn both heading to the NFL, the Beavers need an experienced player to plug into the position. Jones hasn't won the job yet, but I would hope he can beat the freshmen out for it.
Isaiah Rutherford, CB, Arizona
A former top high school player who was part of a winning program at Notre Dame. While he didn't get much playing time, he was a round a winning culture and is a great guy to bring into a rebuilding project like Arizona. He'll get a chance to start for the WIldcats and can be a key figure in the rebuild with multiple years of eligibility remaining.
Patrick O'Brien, QB, Washington
O'Brien is journeyman in the college game, briefly holding the starting job at various times throughout his career. His best year was by far 2019 when he threw for 2,803 yards and 13 touchdowns but also had seven interceptions. His inconsistencies and inability to stay healthy for a full season have held him back. He'll need to buck that trend to win the Washington starting job but he's a great candidate to finally breakthrough if given the position.