Last Updated: Mar 04, 2013 10:57 AM
One of the more exciting facets of the college game (at least for me anyways) is players transferring to different schools. Most of the players are highly-touted recruits coming out of high school, but for some reason, things just don’t work out at the school they originally signed with.
Whether it’s because of coaching changes or a different offensive approach, players seek to find a better fit elsewhere.
Here is a look at some of the top transfers that will be eligible to play in 2013.
(Note: this is a list of notable transfers who have moved from one FBS school to another - some have made a pitstop at a JUCO in between. We'll publish a separate list of true JUCO transfers to watch soon.)
1. Jameill Showers, QB, UTEP (from Texas A&M)
This is a really nice get for new head coach Sean Kugler as he will begin his first season with the Miners. 2012 starting quarterback Nick Lamaison has since graduated so there was a massive need for a new QB and he got a good one in Showers. People forget that Showers was in line to be the Aggies starter before Johnny Football came and stole the show. That quarterback battle was not determined until fall camp either, so you know that Showers proved he could play in those practices. With Showers being eligible immediately, that gives UTEP some playmakers on offense to go along with receiver Jordan Leslie and running back Nathan Jeffery.
2. Gerald Christian, TE, Louisville (from Florida)
Louisville does not have many weaknesses on offense, especially with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater leading the show. But one position they lack playmakers at is the tight end position. Senior Nate Nord and junior Ryan Hubbell had 27 catches between the two, but neither is an impact player. That is where Christian comes in. The redshirt junior was a high-star recruit coming out of high school, and has good size/speed for the position. With a year already under his belt to learn the offense, look for Christian to assume the starting tight end role early in 2013 as he has the most ability in the group.
3. Pete Thomas, QB, NC State (from Colorado State)
This is going to be one tall challenge for new head coach Dave Doeren. When he arrived at Northern Illinois, he was the beneficiary of already having two ultra-talented quarterbacks on the roster in Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch who fit the offensive system to a tee. Thomas brings the experience as he has already started a handful of games in his career at Colorado State. He is a drop-back passer, though, and that may not be the direction that Doeren wants to go in. Sophomore Manny Stocker was the backup last season, and could be more of a fit.
4. Darius White, WR, Missouri (from Texas)
After making a minimal impact in two years at Texas, White will be eligible to play in 2013 after sitting out last season and is expected to play the X-Receiver position. White was yet another highly-touted recruit that did not live up to his billing early on. The 6’3”, 200 lbs. receiver will have a better shot at producing in a much livelier offense at Mizzou. White will have to make an impression on the coaches, though, as the Tigers return a bevy of tall, fast targets very similar to White.
5. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (from Wyoming)
This could be one of the most underrated additions of the entire year. Doctson played his freshman season at Wyoming where he got off to a blazing start with 35 receptions and five touchdowns. Doctson made the move to TCU where he is closer to family, but also for a chance to play on a much bigger stage. With leading receiver Josh Boyce off to the NFL, and hopefully a recovered Casey Pachall back in the lineup, Doctson should be starting from Day 1 and be a successful receiver for the Horned Frogs.
6. Brandon Williams, RB, Texas A&M (from Oklahoma)
Just when you thought that the Aggies could not be more loaded on offense. Not only does Texas A&M bring back the Heisman Trophy winner from last season, they bring back their leading rusher at running back, their top receiver, a future All-American left tackle, and now add not one, but two talented transfers at running back. Williams (Oklahoma transfer) and Tre Carson (Oregon transfer, listed below) will provide an added boost to a run game that already features the steady Ben Malena and talented sophomore Trey Williams. Will there be enough carries to go around? Add in another 150 carries for Johnny Manziel and there may not be. But Williams is talented enough to see the field quite a bit next year.
7. Justin McCay, WR, Kansas (from Oklahoma)
McCay transferred to Kansas after his freshman season at Oklahoma in which he only played in three games. He sat out last season with another fellow transfer (Jake Heaps, BYU) and both should assume starting roles for an offense that lacks playmakers. McCay is a bigger target at 6’2”, and should provide a nice option for Heaps, assuming he wins the starting job. If only the Jayhawks could find a serviceable passing attack to go along with James Sims, their stud rusher who returns for his senior campaign. Expect that to happen in 2013 as head coach Charlie Weis is too good an offensive mind to let this offense stall for long.
8. Nick Montana, QB, Tulane (from Washington)
This looks to be a very underrated pickup for the Green Wave. Maybe not as much from a fantasy standpoint, but for the fact that Montana brings a 38-3 record as a starting QB to Tulane, who has not done much winning as of late. That said, this is a quarterback friendly-offense that head coach Curtis Johnson employs, so this might be a good fit. With Ryan Griffin graduating, only a couple of freshmen stand in the way of Montana assuming the starting gig.
9. Aaron Green, RB, TCU (from Nebraska)
Green, a high-star recruit, sat out last season after transferring from Nebraska. With the departure of Matthew Tucker, there is a big hole left to be filled. Sophomore B.J. Catalon was a pleasant surprise last season as he filled in admirably, but he may not be ready to handle the full load of the carries. That is where Green will come into play. He displayed a great deal of promise at Nebraska, but was unable to be out Rex Burkhead or Ameer Abdullah for carries. Not many other backs in the nation would be able to either, though, as both are great rushers. Look for Green to provide a boost to the TCU ground game that struggled last year.
10. Devon Smith/Shawney Kersey, WR, Marshall (from Penn State)
Because of the Penn State sanctions, both will be eligible to play immediately, and should boost and already potent Marshall passing attack. This would be a better fit if each was about 3-4 inches taller, but both are talented enough to see the field right away. Gone from last year are Aaron Dobson, Antavious Wilson and Andre Booker who combined for 134 receptions in 2012, so both Smith and Kersey will have every opportunity to make an impact in 2013.
Others to Watch:
- Adonis Smith, RB, UNLV (from Northwestern)
- Ju’Juan Story, WR, TCU (from Florida)
- Jake Heaps, QB, Kansas (from BYU)
- Robert Clark, WR, Louisville (from Florida)
- Zeke Pike, TE, Louisville (from Auburn)
- Matt Milton, WR, Louisville (from Tennessee)
- Tra Carson, RB, Texas A&M (from Oregon
- Traylon Shead, RB, SMU (from Texas)
- Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn (was a defensive back at Georgia)
- Deon Long, WR, Maryland (from New Mexico)