Top College Football 2020 Eligible Transfers

Ever since Russell Wilson’s trailblazing move from North Carolina State to Wisconsin in 2011, many transfers have found a spark at their new schools and revitalized their college careers.

The last three Heisman trophy winners (LSU’s Joe Burrow along with Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield), played at more than one school, with Burrow possibly becoming a top overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft like his predecessors.

This upcoming college football season will bring in another large class of transfers looking to get more playing time or enhance their NFL Draft stock.

Below is a handful of players who should make an impact at their new schools. Each of the players listed are graduate transfers, meaning they earned their undergraduate degree at their first school, making them immediately eligible to play at their new college.

Check out also: “Total Power 5 Conferences Selected in the 1st Round“.

Trey Sermon (RB) – Ohio State

Class Height/Weight High School/Hometown 2019 Stats (Oklahoma)
Senior 6-0, 216lb Sprayberry HS/Marietta, GA 385 Rush Yards, 4 Rush TD, 7.1 YPC

The Buckeyes will be getting a much-needed boost in the run game after losing J.K. Dobbins to the NFL Draft and with Master Teague suffering an Achilles tear that could jeopardize his season. Sermon is coming off a knee injury suffered late in 2019 but should be primed for a 1,000 yard rushing season, a feat he has yet to accomplish in college.

KJ Costello (QB) – Mississippi State

Class Height/Weight High School/Hometown 2019 Stats (Stanford)
Redshirt Senior 6-5, 222lb Santa Margarita Catholic HS/Coto De Caza, CA (5 games) 1,038 Pass Yards, 6/3 Pass TD/INT, 61.1 Completion %

Like Sermon, KJ Costello got bit by the injury bug during his last season with Stanford. With an ideal pro quarterback frame at six-foot-five and a solid arm, Costello will spend his final college year under the tutelage of Mike Leach, whose air raid attack has led to his quarterbacks putting up video game numbers. If the California native can put up stats similar to those tallied by former Leach passers like Anthony Gordon and Gardner Minshew, Costello will surely catch the eye of NFL teams.

Jamie Newman (QB) – Georgia

Class Height/Weight High School/Hometown 2019 Stats (Wake Forest)
Redshirt Senior 6-4, 230lb Graham HS/Graham, NC 2,868 Pass Yards, 26/11 Pass TD/INT, 574 Rush Yards, 6 Rush TD

Newman has been covered in our Heisman Trophy odds and predictions article, as he is a dark horse pick for the award.

He will be working with a much more talented supporting cast than he had at Wake Forest, which should considerably raise his production floor. His mobility will also allow Georgia’s offense to be more creative with their play calls than they were with Jake Fromm under center.

D’Eriq King (QB) – Miami

Class Height/Weight High School/Hometown 2019 Stats (Houston)
Redshirt Senior 5-11, 195lb Manvel HS/Manvel, TX (4 games) 663 Pass Yards, 6/2 Pass TD/INT, 312 Rush Yards, 6 Rush TD

Like Newman, King has been highlighted in our Heisman preview with less favorable odds than the Georgia signal-caller.

The former Houston dual-threat passer has the potential to jump-start one of the worst offenses of the 2019 season, although doing so will be easier said than done if the Hurricanes are unable to tailor their offense to his strengths.

Chase Brice (QB) – Duke

Class Height/Weight High School/Hometown 2019 Stats (Clemson)
Junior 6-2, 230lb Grayson HS/Loganville, GA 581 Pass Yards, 4/1 Pass TD/INT

After sitting behind Trevor Lawrence for two seasons, Chase Brice will get a chance to pilot a Power Five offense.

The man best known for his pinch performance against Syracuse in 2018 cannot ask for a better mentor than David Cutcliffe.

The Blue Devils’ head coach is a well-known quarterback whisperer, having groomed the Manning brothers and Daniel Jones for the NFL. With his experience at Clemson combined with Cutcliffe’s tutelage, Brice could be the next Joe Burrow (on a smaller scale).

College Football Transfer FAQ

Do non-graduates have to sit out a year after transferring before becoming eligible to play?

In most cases, yes, athletes are usually required to sit out (where they may redshirt) one season before playing.

However, there are cases where the athlete can appeal for a hardship waiver or other means to allow immediate eligibility, with Justin Fields being a prime example when he transferred from Georgia to Ohio State.

Are there other notable players in the transfer portal who have not chosen a new school?

Yes, there are plenty of football players still “on the market” with headliners including USC quarterback J.T. Daniels and Penn State running back Ricky Slade.

Are there any potential rule changes with regards to transfers?

Yes, there is a proposal in place where starting in the 2020 academic year, players will be allowed to transfer once without having to sit out a full season.

A response from the NCAA was expected to be made this month, however, that decision could be pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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