Tank Bigsby makes big decision on entering transfer portal

Chandler Vessels12/13/21
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers have persuaded star running back Tank Bigsby against entering the transfer portal, per Auburn Live’s Justin Hokanson. The news comes one day after it was reported the sophomore was expected to enter the portal.

“We had to sell him on our vision,” a source told Hokanson.

Bigsby came to Auburn in 2020 as the No. 39 overall prospect according to On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.

He lived up to the hype, immediately making an impact as a true freshman for Auburn. He rushed for 834 yards and five touchdowns, earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Bigsby also earned Second Team All-SEC honors as a freshman.

This season, Bigsby again was a key cog in Auburn’s offense. He ran for 1,003 yards and ten touchdowns on 207 carries. He also had 16 receptions for 116 yards.

Unfortunately, not all of the news from Monday was good, as the Tigers still lost quarterback Bo Nix to the transfer portal. The 2019 SEC Freshman of the Year spent the past three seasons as Auburn’s starter. He had ankle surgery that caused him to miss the final two games of 2021.

Auburn finished 6-6 in coach Bryan Harsin’s inaugural season to achieve bowl eligibility. However, they lost their final four games of the season. The Tigers are set to face Houston in the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 28.

With Tank Bigsby not entering the transfer portal, Auburn will hope to build on this season in Harsin’s second year.

Transfer portal background information for Bigsby, Auburn

The NCAA Transfer Portal, which covers every NCAA sport at the Division I, II and III levels, is a private database with names of student-athletes who wish to transfer. It is not accessible to the public.

The process of entering the portal is done through a school’s compliance office. Once a player provides written notification of an intent to transfer, the office enters the player’s name in the database and everything is off and running. The compliance office has 48 hours to comply with the player’s request and that request cannot be refused.

Once a player’s name shows up in the portal, other schools can contact the player. Players can change their minds at any point and withdraw from the portal. However, once a player enters the portal, the current scholarship no longer has to be honored. In other words, if a player enters the portal but decides to stay, the school is not obligated to provide a scholarship anymore.

The database is a normal database, sortable by a variety of topics, including (of course) sport and name. A player’s individual entry includes basic details such as contact info, whether the player was on scholarship and whether the player is transferring as a graduate student.

A player can ask that a “do not contact” tag be placed on the report. In those instances, the players don’t want to be  contacted by schools unless they’ve initiated the communication.

The portal has been around since Oct. 15, 2018 and the new calendar cycle within the portal begins each August. For example, the 2021-22 cycle started Aug. 1. During the 2020-21 cycle, 2,626 FBS football players entered the transfer portal (including walk-ons). That comes after 1,681 entered during the 2019-20 cycle and 1,709 during the abbreviated 2018-19 cycle. In comparison, 1,833 Division I basketball players entered the portal during the 2020-21 cycle after totals of 1,020 in 2019-20 and 1,063 in 2018-19.

For a complete list of players who have officially entered the portal, check out On3’s transfer portal tracker.