Transferring schools has to be a pretty stressful/exciting time in a person's life especially when you are considered a top college athlete. Some transfer because they want to be closer to home; others, a better opportunity to get playing time. Then, of course, there are the ones that we have gotten more accustomed to seeing, the kid who graduates and wants to further his education somewhere else while getting to continue his athletic career.
Most of you have seen my transfer list I have been compiling since this time last season (if not, here you go). There have been some guys that have blossomed into potential stars with their new team and others who are still seemingly buried on the depth chart. I want to cover a few of the bigger names that have made the move to a new school and give an update on how they are progressing.
Let's start by one of my personal favorite players, Darren Carrington II. This one was very difficult for me when I heard the news that he was leaving Oregon. In mid-July, Carrington was kicked off the the team following a DUI arrest. Nonetheless, Carrington was shown the door and has made his way to Salt Lake City to play for the University of Utah. It somewhat surprised me to see him pop up so quickly at another PAC-12 school but I do know that head coach Kyle Whittingham is a no nonsense type of coach and will expect him to be on his best behavior from the get go.
Ok, enough about Carrington's flaws. I want to talk about what he brings to the football field. His stats are not eye-popping from his time at Oregon but that was more of an indictment on the offense that they ran than on Carrington himself. He flashed his athleticism every time his stepped foot on the field for the Ducks as their most explosive receiver. Unfortunately, the ball was spread around so much that we didn't get to see enough of him. I think that changes this year at Utah. From the early looks of things, Carrington is the best receiver the Utes have and it doesn't seem close. No disrespect to those guys but this guy brought a lot of hype with him to Salt Lake City.
This is very limited video and the team isn't in full pads but it seems that he is fitting in nicely with the Utes' passing attack. What isn't in question, however, is Carrington's playmaking ability. Also, if you look closely, you can see another guy on my transfer list, Cooper Bateman, throwing him the ball. Bateman still has a way to go to become the Utes' starting QB but in college football you never know.
Now let's head east to the great state of New Jersey. This one is right in my guy Andrew Katz's backyard. Rutgers has gotten themselves a gem in running back Gus Edwards. Edwards, a transfer from the University of Miami, is immediately in line to at least push for the starting job with the Scarlet Knights. Incumbent running back Robert Martin may have something to say about it but Edwards is the better athlete of the two and from the early reports, Edwards is the favorite to start.
Before landing at Rutgers, Edwards was looking to remain in the ACC with schools like Pitt and Syracuse on his list. However, Miami blocked his transfer to schools on the team's schedule for the upcoming season. Makes sense, I wouldn't want to play against a guy that just left our program. So the rule worked out in the favor of both parties as Edwards gets to be close to home at Rutgers. Head coach Chris Ash has given nothing but praise talking about Edwards saying,
He's a big back, 230 pounds, got great speed, he's got great balance. He's also demonstrated really good ball security. The ball has not been on the ground with Gus. He's willing (to block) in pass protection, and (has) been a great addition.
It is always a good thing when a guy can do it all from carrying the ball to being a good pass protector. Keep an eye on this guy this year folks. He could easily be one of the biggest sleepers in the B1G this year and maybe even one of the biggest sleepers in all of college football.
If you are Nebraska fan, this next one should get you excited for the new season. I read of this transfer a little over a year ago and to be honest, I was not very excited about it, but quarterback Tanner Lee's transfer from Tulane may actually work quite well for the Huskers in 2017. Lee, once a standout at Jesuit High School in Louisiana, Lee definitely looks the part standing at 6'4, 220 lbs and has experience ---albeit not really great experience, but experience nonetheless. At Tulane, Lee threw 23 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in 19 starts for the Green Wave. This is nothing to get excited about at face value, but if when you consider the offensive scheme and the caliber of athlete he was working with, then it's a little easier to overlook. Now that he is in Lincoln, he should have a much better chance for success under head coach Mike Riley. Couple that with some of the talent on this offense in players like De'Mornay Pierson-El and Stanley Morgan Jr. at wide receiver, and you may see something special.
Here is a look from the most recent live scrimmage and Lee shows his touch on the deep corner:
— Nebraska On BTN (@NebraskaOnBTN) April 15, 2017
If this fall camp is any indication on how Lee will look for Nebraska this season, then opponents may be in for a bit of a surprise. Lee has drawn the eyes of NFL scouts and well-known talent evaluators in the industry:
After seeing @HuskerFBNation QB Tanner Lee spin it yesterday, he will be a top NFL prospect for '18 or '19. Size, arm talent, intangibles.
— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) August 11, 2017
Finally, one player I think many people are sleeping on is now Oklahoma State wide receiver Tyron Johnson. Johnson, a former 5-star recruit, transferred to Oklahoma State from LSU just before the 2016 season kicked off and is now eligible for the Cowboys in 2017. He joins quite possibly the best WR corps in the nation with the likes of All-American James Washington, Jalen McCleskey, and Marcell Ateman. Oh, and let's not forget one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, Mason Rudolph throwing him the ball. The Cowboys' offense should be guns-a-blazin' (pun definitely intended) this season and even though Johnson isn't the go-to guy, he should still get plenty of looks.
In an interview with Kyle Porter, the publisher of the Oklahoma State centered blog "Pistols Firing", Johnson opened up about why he, in the end, chose Oklahoma State:
“I can’t catch enough balls in this offense. We throw the ball around all day in practice. Routes on air. Routes against defense. All day we’re catching the ball.
“It’s a great transition for me and a great switch for me. More balls get thrown around and more opportunities.”
Even with the limited game experience Johnson has at the collegiate level, his talent is undeniable. He may not be your starting lineup every week, but he definitely could work his way into your bench with the amount of potential targets he can get. Another thing to keep an eye on is the health of WR1 James Washington. He has elected to play through a sports hernia and if things get worse than they are, could miss time. If that's the case, Johnson's value immediately gets a boost. The best part of all of this is if you are in a dynasty league, where he still has three years of eligibility remaining in Stillwater. After playing as a freshman in 2015, he took his redshirt during the 2016 season when he sat out due to NCAA rules. This could be an absolute steal in a dynasty format.