Top Transfers in the SEC in 2022
The SEC has been home to many star players over the years and many more potential stars join the conference as transfers for the 2022 season. Take a look at some of the top players transferring to SEC schools.
Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss
Dart was a heavily-recruited high school quarterback in Utah and took over the USC starting job part way through last season. He now joins a program at Ole Miss with a head coach known for his offensive pedigree and developing quarterbacks, who can help him harness his tremendous arm talent. As a sophomore, Dart is the favorite to win the Rebels' starting job and can be one of the top quarterbacks in the country.
Spencer Rattler, South Carolina
Rattler had a spectacular 2020 season for Oklahoma but quickly sputtered in year two as the starter. He was replaced by freshman Caleb Williams, who has also transferred from the program. South Carolina was desperate for a quarterback after starting a coach with remaining player eligibility at points last season. I'm not one of those who are high on Rattler as a player, but he definitely brings stability to a place that badly needed it.
Max Johnson, Texas A&M
Johnson joins A&M after throwing for over 3,800 yards in 18 games (14 starts) over a two-year period at LSU. With the coaching change at LSU, there was absolutely going to be some attrition. Max was a part of that as the son of former NFL quarterback Brad Johnson transfers to Texas A&M. He's a big left-handed quarterback like his dad and will have to beat out sophomore Haynes King for the starting spot.
Zach Calzada, Auburn
Speaking of A&M., last year's starter is off to Auburn. It appears Auburn fans are not thrilled with their quarterback options. Bo Nix has now transferred to Oregon and the team is left with either TJ Finley--who did not perform well when called upon last season--or Calzada. Calzada's best game for the Aggies came in the upset win over Alabama. At 6'4", 210 lbs, Calzada has prototypical NFL quarterback size, but he has yet to string together multiple impressive games in a row at the collegiate level. If he wins the starting job for the Tigers and can unlock the next gear, the complaints from the fans should be settled quickly.
Jayden Daniels, LSU
Daniels may be part of a multi-quarterback system at LSU under new head coach Brian Kelly. After all, Kelly's Notre Dame team did operate that way for most of last season and LSU has some gifted quarterbacks. Daniels's gift is his speed. Many describe him as a dual-threat, but he has improvements to make as a passer before he can truly embody that type of player. It becomes an interesting case as Daniels was a three-year starter at Arizona State and has the potential to be a difference-maker. Still, the concerns about his passing ability are valid and he'll have to show tremendous strides to be the Tigers' full-time starter, but he will get plenty of time on the field regardless.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
Gibbs was the top running back in the transfer portal and gives Alabama a fantastic replacement for Brian Robinson. You watch Gibbs play and he demonstrates impressive vision with tremendous speed. He is also coming off the second-best season of any running back in Georgia Tech history. An accomplished running back like him will allow Alabama to restock its offense.
Zach Evans, Ole Miss
Evans is a former five-star recruit who has spent his first two years of college at TCU and was an immediate contributor for the Horned Frogs. As a freshman, he averaged a whopping 7.7 yards per carry--which was the second-most in a single season in TCU history and ranked second among all true freshmen in the country with at least 50 carries. His sophomore year was even better. Although Evans only played in six games, he ran for 648 yards and still averaged over seven yards per carry. We've seen what Lane Kiffin was able to do with Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner, and Evans is better than both.
Montrell Johnson, Florida
Louisiana's loss is Florida's gain once again. Johnson follows head coach Billy Napier from Lafayette to Gainesville after a phenomenal freshman season. As a freshman, he led the Ragin' Cajuns in rushing touchdowns and was second on the team in rushing yards. He was also named the Sun Belt Conference's freshman of the year. The scary thing is he still has three years of eligibility remaining and is just getting started.
Noah Cain, LSU
Cain played in 24 games over the last three years at Penn State, accumulating 790 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. His best season was his freshman year, during which he ran for 443 yards and eight touchdowns. It seemed he was destined to be a star for the Nittany Lions, but he battled injuries throughout the rest of his time in State College. If he can stay healthy, Cain has all the tools and ability to be a good starting running back for LSU.
Ulysses Bentley IV, Ole Miss
Ole Miss is about to have quite the tandem with the aforementioned Evans and now Bentley. Bentley, a transfer from SMU, was Co-Rookie of the Year in the AAC as a freshman in 2020 after leading the conference in rushing yards and scoring 11 touchdowns. In two years with the Mustangs, he ran for over 1,500 yards with 15 touchdowns. I would expect Bentley to take on a less powerful version of the Snoop Conner role while Evans gets used more like Jerrion Ealy.
Lovasea Carroll, South Carolina
It's a big deal when you can land someone from the defending national champs and that's exactly what the Gamecocks have here in the Georgia transfer. Carroll played defensive back for the Bulldogs but is listed as a running back on the South Carolina roster-- which he played in high school. Carroll was once rated the No. 56 running back in his recruiting class and has a chance to earn significant playing time this season.
Ramon Jefferson, Kentucky
With the off-the-field stuff concerning Chris Rodriguez, the Wildcats will need to have plenty of insurance in their backfield. The recent pickup of Jefferson increases that depth tenfold. Jefferson ran for over 1,000 yards as a freshman at Maine in 2018 before transferring to Garden City Community College and eventually Sam Houston State. In two years at SHSU, he led the team in rushing and was an All-Conference performer. It's entirely possible he gets buried on the depth chart, but he should at least crack the rotation after rushing for nearly 4,000 yards in his career thus far.
Jermaine Burton, Alabama
Many are expecting a breakout year from Burton after limited use at Georgia and it is probably part of the reason we saw guys like Agiye Hall transfer to other programs. Coming out of high school, Burton was a top-100 recruit and ranked 15th among all receivers. At Georgia, he played in 24 games and had over 400 receiving yards in both seasons. He's more talented than that and should benefit from more opportunities in the Alabama offense.
Jadon Haselwood, Arkansas
Haselwood is coming off his best season at Oklahoma after posting a career-high 39 catches for 399 yards and six touchdowns. He honestly could have had more, but we all know quarterback play was shaky at times for the Sooners and they opted to emphasize the running game just a bit more. The Razorbacks lose Treylon Burks-- a player who had about 800 more receiving yards last season than any other Arkansas receiver--to the NFL. Haselwood will be relied on to carry that torch as he has a similar build and athleticism. We will have to see whether he lives up to it, but there is no doubt in my mind the Razorbacks landed a much-needed talent at receiver.
Bru McCoy, Tennessee
McCoy is one of those players that's really hard to figure out. It's not necessarily that you don't know what to think of his play, but he's hardly been on the field. He initially committed to USC and enrolled early in 2017 but decided to transfer to Texas after just 17 days. Making things even stranger, he transferred back to USC after spring practice. McCoy finally got on the field for the Trojans in 2020 before being suspended last season. The former five-star recruit has the size you love to see at the position, but we'll never know what he really is until he sees extended playing time.
Kyren Lacy, LSU
Lacy is another player who left Louisiana after Billy Napier took the Florida job. However, unlike some of his former teammates, he stays in-state and joins Brian Kelly's LSU program. Kayshon Boutte and Malik Nabors are the big names at receiver for the Tigers but don't be surprised if Lacy carves out a big role as well. He has over 600 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in his short career. While it may take some time for him to adjust to the SEC, Kyren Lacy is more than capable of contributing to the LSU offense.
Malik Heath, Ole Miss
Heath is switching sides in the Mississippi State-Ole Miss rivalry. While both offenses now favor the quarterbacks and receivers, Heath had an uphill battle in Starkville as he finished sixth in receiving last season and is coming off an injury sustained in a car accident in December. In Oxford at Ole Miss, he will slide right into the starting lineup next to Jonathan Mingo (once healthy) as one of few experienced receivers available as the team tries to replace Dontario Drummond, Jahcour Pearson, and Braylon Sanders.
Tyler Harrell, Alabama
Harrell recently announced his transfer from Louisville to Alabama despite some tampering accusations. While he only made 18 catches last season, he averaged 29 yards per catch and scored 6 touchdowns. He has the kind of speed the Crimson Tide need to try to fill in for Jameson Williams, but those past receivers will be difficult to live up to. Does Harrell have what it takes?
Jordan Watkins, Ole Miss
Another player departing Louisville. After playing in 10 games with limited production as a freshman, Watkins caught 35 passes for 531 yards last season. He has yet to reach his full potential and will have every opportunity to earn the slot receiver role for Ole Miss.
Antwane Wells, South Carolina
Wells became a top offensive player for James Madison almost immediately upon his arrival. He leaves the Dukes third in team history in touchdown receptions, ninth in receiving yards and ninth in career receptions. He also set the school's single-season receiving yards record. He's obviously a huge addition for a Gamecocks team that could use more receivers.
Michael Trigg, Ole Miss
The USC transfer is known as a terrific pass-catching tight end. He only spent one year with the Trojans, but it's the potential and high recruiting rankings that land him on this list. While he'll have to fight off a couple upperclassmen for playing time, Trigg has the most upside for an offense that has utilized the position well under Lane Kiffin.
Austin Stogner, South Carolina
Stogner was a useful weapon over the years for Oklahoma and instantly improves the South Carolina passing game. He's a surehanded receiver with a massive height advantage. I've always thought he was an underrated player and could be a future pro.
Tyler Stephens, Missouri
Another huge target at 6'6". Stephens transfers from Buffalo, where he had to wait his turn to become part of the rotation. As a backup tight end in 2021, he appeared in 11 games and made 15 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. That may not sound like much, but tight end production in college tends to happen gradually, In a Missouri offense that allows more opportunities at the position Stephens should put up bigger numbers. Plus, he has two years of eligibility remaining, so he can contribute beyond just 2022.
Tyler Steen, Alabama
Bama lands the Vandy transfer who should slide right into the starting lineup much like Landon Dickerson a few years ago. He's started at both tackle positions for the Commodores and has received All-Conference recognition for his efforts. Add in his obvious familiarity in the SEC and he checks most boxes.
Kamryn Waites, Florida
It's easy to see why teams like this kid. After all, he's 6'8" and weighs over 370 lbs! That kind of size is not easy to find and can be beneficial to a team. He spent his freshman year at Louisiana but only played in three games, so he maintains four years of eligibility. His familiarity with the coaching staff and openings on the offensive line make him a guy to watch for the Gators this season.
Miles Frazier, LSU
Frazier was not a highly-touted recruit out of high school yet quickly established himself as a capable Division I offensive lineman. He played more than 600 snaps and was named a Freshmen All-American. Frazier chose LSU over Ohio State and Florida State and figures to take over at one of the tackle spots.
Mason Brooks, Ole Miss
A key player for the record-setting offense at Western Kentucky last year, Brooks projects favorably onto the Ole Miss offensive line. He's a multi-season All-Conference performer and has been rated among the best blockers in the country. Big get for the Rebels.
Tre'mond Shorts, LSU
The FCS All-American from East Tennesse State has the ability to play both guard and tackle, making him a prime candidate to claim one of the open spots for LSU. He's started 41 career games and was part of a team that made a deep run in the playoffs. That kind of experience is extremely valuable to a team transitioning to new leadership.
Tayshawn Manning, Kentucky
Part-time starter for Auburn after fighting his way back from cancer. No one can question his toughness. However, he does not have a ton of playing time at the college level. Nonetheless, he's performed well when on the field and can help the Kentucky offense pave the way for a strong stable of backs and protect rising quarterback prospect, Will Levis.
JJ Pegues, Ole Miss
The Auburn transfer was seemingly used everywhere for the Tigers and was hard to miss on the field. He was listed as a tight end and was even used on kick coverage and occasionally on defense. He's built better for defense and that's where he fits at Ole Miss. It should give him much more national attention.
Landon Jackson, Arkansas
Jackson played special teams at LSU after being a top high school prospect from Texas. His 6'7" 275 lb frame makes for an intriguing player at defensive end. Obviously, he needs more experience, but don't be surprised if Jackson gets on the field quickly.
Jared Ivey, Ole Miss
Ivey also has tremendous measurables for a defensive end and could help make up for the departure of Sam Williams. The Georgia Tech transfer has displayed an ability to affect the game in limited playing time. If he improves as a pass rusher, Ole Miss has a great prospect on its hands.
Jordan Domineck, Arkansas
Domineck also comes from Georgia Tech. He spent a few more years in the program than Ivey and was a much better pass rusher. He might end up being a rotational guy for Arkansas but has plenty of value to add to the defense.
Mekhi Wingo, LSU
Fresh off an All-Freshman SEC season at Missouri, Wingo heads to LSU hoping to make an impact on the defensive front. Wingo started three games for Missouri as a true freshman and recorded 27 tackles. His eligibility is one reason for excitement, and he could be a top candidate to replace Neil Farrell Jr or Glen Logan.
Jayson Jones, Auburn
Big defensive lineman who figures to join the rotation this season. He played in 19 games as a freshman at Oregon with 19 tackles and two sacks. He was one of the top high school prospects in his recruiting class. He understandably transfers after the coaching change and has a chance to make a name for himself in the SEC
Darrion Henry-Young, Kentucky
Transfers from Ohio State. Henry-Young is another player on this list because of his potential. While he barely saw the field at Ohio State, he was once the second-best high school recruit in Ohio. Kentucky has done well with highly-rated transfers who didn't pan out elsewhere. Maybe DHY can be the next.
Drew Sanders, Arkansas
Hard to find many transfers who played a starting role on the Alabama defense. Sanders filled in well for Christopher Allen when injuries hit last season. He played on the outside at Alabama and looks like a fantastic addition to put around Bumper Pool in the middle of the Hogs' defense.
Troy Brown, Ole Miss
One of the more underrated players coming from Central Michigan, It's interesting how many national media members expect big things from him, and I hope that doesn't cause him to worry about meeting expectations. Ole Miss has had to rebuild its defense to complement the offense, and Brown is a key cog for the Rebels at linebacker this season. He's coming off of back-to-back first-team All-MAC seasons and has totaled over 100 tackles in that span. Similar play in the SEC should catapult his draft stock.
Ty'Ron Hopper, Missouri
Hopper is one of the Florida players leaving after the coaching change, His presence at Missouri should give the Tigers' defense a ton of help. As a sophomore in 2021, Hopper recorded 65 tackles (10 for loss), 3.5 sacks, two pass breakups, and a forced fumble. Look for him to further emerge as a pass rusher at Mizzou.
Eli Ricks, Alabama
It is not often that you see an LSU player transfer to Alabama, but that is exactly what Ricks has chosen to do. He's played in 14 games while fighting injuries in his collegiate career and has amassed 20 tackles with four interceptions already. That's a great interception ratio and teams may stop throwing his way. He has NFL size and joins a program with a track record of developing those guys under the current coaching staff.
Sevyn Banks, LSU
Big grab for the Tigers as they land a former starting corner from Ohio State. Banks spent four years in Columbus--two as a starter-- and played in 36 games. He does not have many interceptions but he does have an impressive 13 pass-breakups. Brian Kelly seems to value bringing in experienced defenders as he builds his program. This move gives LSU another experienced player while also allowing Banks to show he's still an NFL talent.
Jarrick Bernanrd-Converse, LSU
Bernard-Converse looks to be the starter opposite Banks-- forming one of the top coverage duos in the country. After losing Derek Stingley Jr and Cordale Flott to the NFL, a veteran presence was needed, and LSU landed two of the top options on the market. Bernard-Converse has played in 51 games in his career with over 200 tackles and a whopping 23 passes defender. Clearly has the ability to make a difference at LSU.
Marcus Banks, Mississippi State
Mississippi State has had plenty of success developing corners and gets a former top recruit from Alabama. Banks was the No. 8 corner in Texas in the 2019 recruiting class but never got on the field much for the Tide. All he needs is a chance to play and he may end up being the next in a line of great college corners to play for the Bulldogs which includes Darius Slay, Johnthan Banks, Jamal Peters, and Martin Emerson.
Greg Brooks Jr, LSU
Brooks was a staple in the Arkansas secondary for three years. He played in 34 games with over 100 tackles, 12 pass breakups, and four interceptions. That's pretty great production that the Razorbacks could struggle to replicate. Arkansas's loss is LSU's gain as Brooks Jr joins Jarrick Bernard-Converse and Sevyn Banks in the corner competition. .
DJ James, Auburn
Add another big-time player to the Auburn secondary. James played an immediate role upon joining Oregon as a freshman in 2019. In 2021, he had career-highs in tackles, interceptions, and passes defended. He has great instincts and becomes the lead candidate to replace Roger McCreery-- who heads to the NFL. The Auburn secondary has been strong for years, and James should make it even stronger.
Devonni Reed, South Carolina
Reed was a four-year starter at Central Michigan and will try to make a similar impact at South Carolina. In 43 games at CMU, he accumulated 287 tackles and three interceptions. He joins South Carolina as a graduate transfer. My biggest question is if he can transition well from the MAC to the SEC, but he has had a successful career so far.
Ladarius Tennison/Isheem Young, Ole Miss
Tennison mostly played special teams at Auburn and developed a reputation s a hard-hitter. Young has had a better career so far as 2020 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year in the Big 12 and Freshman All-American. Young seems like the better bet here, but both are entering from exemplary programs.
Latavious Brini, Arkansas
Former Georgia assistant Sam Pittman lands a former Bulldog. Brini is one of the top safeties in the country and had a big role on Georgia's national champion defense (starting 11 games). Arkansas already had NFL prospect Jalen Catalon on the back end, and adding Brini next to him makes a strong secondary entering 2022.