The May 1 deadline for for college athletes in fall and winter sports has come and gone, and the uncertainty of who will enter the transfer portal from those should quiet down some for the next few months.
If a college student-athlete wanted to be immediately eligible in a fall or winter sport in 2022, he or she had to enter the transfer portal by May 1. They could still try to become immediately eligible for ’22 if they entered after that date, but to do so will take a waiver from the NCAA. Entering the portal prior to May 1 allowed for immediate eligibility for those competing in fall and winter sports, while it is July 1 for those participating in spring sports.
So, there was a flurry of activity in regard to the transfer portal up to May 1, but now that the first deadline has passed, the various school compliance officials who have to enter the information into the database can rest for bit.
What we learned was that more than 2,500 Division I scholarship football players entered the transfer portal from Aug. 1, 2021 to May 1, 2022 with another 1,500 men’s basketball players doing the same.
West Virginia saw five men’s basketball players and 20 football players enter the portal over the last eight months.
Of those, two of the basketball players have landed at Power 5 programs (Sean McNeil at Ohio State and Jalen Bridges at Baylor) and seven of the football players are moving on to P5 institutions (linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo to Colorado, defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor to Miami, defensive back Daryl Porter to Miami, wide receiver Sean Ryan to Rutgers, defensive back Jackie Matthews to Mississippi, wide receiver Winston Wright to Florida State and linebacker VanDarius Cowan to Maryland).
Though the transfer numbers from West Virginia seem incredibly large, in today’s transfer world, WVU was far from alone in witnessing such a heavy exodus. Just within Big 12 football, three other programs had 20 or more transfers, as Iowa State had 21, Kansas had 20 and Texas had 20. After that, Oklahoma State saw 17 players leave via transfer, Kansas State had 16, TCU 14, Oklahoma 13, Texas Tech nine and Baylor six.
Even national powers like Alabama and Ohio State had 20 transfers each, while Arizona State suffered a Power 5 high of 28.
While transfers had to enter the portal by May 1 to be immediately eligible next season, there is no deadline for them to pick a new school.
What we’ve seen so far from the other Big 12 schools is that Oklahoma, like WVU, has seven of its outgoing transfers so far who have committed to other P5 institutions, while Kansas, Oklahoma State and TCU have five bound for Power 5s. Texas and Iowa State have three each, while K-State has two and Texas Tech and Baylor both have one. All the Big 12 schools still have numerous uncommitted transfer portal entrants, though, so those numbers figure to go up.
Transfers are not only leaving Big 12 football programs, but they are entering too.
Every one of the league’s 10 teams already has commitments from incoming transfers. Texas Tech has the most with 13, eight of whom are coming from fellow Power 5 programs. TCU already has commitments from 11 incoming transfers, seven from P5s. Oklahoma is next with 10, five of whom attended Power 5s last year. West Virginia currently features eight incoming transfers (defensive lineman Zeiqui Lawton from Cincinnati, running back Lyn-J Dixon from Clemson, tight end Brian Polendey from Colorado State, defensive back Marcis Floyd from Murray State, placekicker Parker Grothaus from Florida State, defensive back/linebacker Jasir Cox from North Dakota State, quarterback J.T. Daniels from Georgia and defensive lineman Mike Lockhart) with four from Power 5s.
Kansas and Texas each have already brought in five transfers, with one of those to KU being a Power 5 player and four for UT having previously played at that level. Oklahoma has four incoming transfers to this point, and all of them come from other P5 programs. Oklahoma State and Iowa State have imported three transfers each, with one Cyclone and two Cowboys coming from Power 5 teams. Baylor is on the low end of the transfer train both in terms of outgoing and incoming, with two new Bears arriving from four-year institutions, one of whom was from a P5.
West Virginia still has room to add three more transfers to this class, probably a middle linebacker, a cornerback and the best available, and it won’t be alone, as every other Big 12 football program remains in the market for transfer pieces before the 2022 season.
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While the Mountaineer football program is dealing with 20 departures via transfer, the good news for West Virginia is that there weren’t even more.
Those on the outside anticipated that following the conclusion of spring practice on April 23 that there would be a few more WVU players jump into the portal before the May 1 deadline.
The addition of J.T. Daniels as a transfer from Georgia raised speculation that one or more of the three other scholarship quarterbacks at WVU – Garrett Greene, Will Crowder and Nicco Marchiol – would move on, but instead all three decided to remain at West Virginia.
No other Mountaineer joined the transfer portal after spring ball concluded either, leaving WVU with 63 scholarship players at this point. It has 15 other signees who are slated to join the team this summer, and then room under the annual cap for three more, meaning that if there is no further attrition, West Virginia will start the 2022 football season with 81 scholarship players (plus maybe another current walk-on or two who is awarded a grant-in-aid between now and then).
While the Mountaineers probably won’t hit the maximum FBS scholarship number of 85 this season, they will likely be much closer to that mark than they’ve been in many years.