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Transfer Portal Tracker: Key additions, notable losses for every SEC West school

Jesse Simonton05/07/22
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Ole Miss, LSU and Alabama all dominated the 2022 transfer portal, adding multiple starters at key positions on both sides of the ball.

With the May 1 deadline to enter the transfer portal and remain immediately eligible for the 2022 football season in the rearview mirror, it’s a good time to take a breath and reassess much of the movement for the programs within the SEC. 

Although the dust hasn’t completely settled just yet — more decisions on where to transfer remain in flux for some players — the most sought-after prospects have found a new home. LSU and Ole Miss were among the most aggressive schools nationally mining the portal for impact transfers, but Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas also did well adding multiple starters. Conversely, Auburn’s roster was pounded by the portal. 

Here’s a look at the notable comings and goings among SEC West schools:

ALABAMA

Key Additions: Tailback Jahmyr Gibbs (from Georgia Tech), corner Eli Ricks (from LSU), wideout Jermaine Burton (from Georgia), offensive tackle Tyler Steen (from Vanderbilt), wideout Tyler Harrell (from Louisville)

Notable Losses: Outside linebacker Drew Sanders (to Arkansas), wideout Agiye Hall (to Texas), tight end Jahleel Billingsley (to Texas), running back Camar Wheaton (to SMU), wideout Javon Baker (to Kentucky), linebacker Shane Lee (to USC), corner Marcus Banks (to Mississippi State)

Notes: The Tide landed three of the Top 10 players in On3’s transfer portal rankings, and all five additions could start for Alabama in Week 1. Gibbs is a future star, while Burton bet on himself in hopes of becoming a 1st Round pick. Although Alabama lost some talented depth, only Billingsley projected as a potential first-teamer in 2022. The Tide also remain in the mix for former Pitt wideout Jordan Addison, the No. 3 overall rated player in the transfer portal rankings.

ARKANSAS

Key Additions: Outside linebacker Drew Sanders (from Alabama), wideout Jadon Haselwood (from Oklahoma), defensive back Dwight McGlothern (from LSU), nickel/safety Latavious Brini (from Georgia), defensive lineman Landon Johnson (from LSU)

Notable Losses: Cornerback Greg Brooks (to LSU), safety Joe Foucha (to LSU), defensive lineman Solomon Wright (to Oklahoma State), tailback Trelon Smith (to TCU)

Notes: Razorbacks head coach Sam Pittman used his SEC connections and program’s strong culture to add multiple impact players for his 2022 roster, particularly on defense. Haselwood is a former five-star receiver who they hope can fill Treylon Burks’ role as KJ Jefferson’s top target. Arkansas probably lost the 2-for-2 trade with LSU, though, as Brooks and Foucha both had strong springs in Baton Rouge and are expected to be staples in the Tigers’ remade secondary. 

AUBURN

Key Additions: Quarterback Zach Calzada (from Texas A&M), defensive lineman Jayson Jones (from Oregon), quarterback Robby Ashford (from Oregon), linebacker Eugene Asante (from North Carolina), Dazalin Worsham (from Miami)

Notable Losses: Quarterback Bo Nix (to Oregon), defensive lineman Tashawn Manning (to Kentucky), defensive lineman J.J. Pegues (to Ole Miss), defensive lineman Tyrone Truesdell (to Florida), wideout Kobe Hudson (to UCF), defensive lineman Lee Hunter (to UCF), defensive lineman Ian Mathews (to Missouri), safety Ladarius Tennison (to Ole Miss)

Notes: In one offseason, Bryan Harsin saw eight defensive linemen/edge players leave the program. That’s bad. Worse, four of those players transferred to other SEC schools. The Tigers also saw their prodigal son Bo Nix seek a fresh start elsewhere, while their top wideout left to rejoin Gus Malzahn at UCF. Calzada and Ashford are both competing to become Auburn’s starting quarterback, and Jones was an important pickup for defensive line depth. The Tigers recently added Worsham, who did not record a single catch in three years at Miami but was an All-American recruit out of Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.)

LSU

Key Additions: Cornerback Greg Brooks (from Arkansas), safety Joe Foucha (from Arkansas), cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse (from Oklahoma State), defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo (from Missouri), quarterback Jayden Daniels (from Arizona State), corner Seyvn Banks (from Ohio State), tailback Noah Cain (from Penn State), linebacker Kolbe Fields (from South Carolina), offensive lineman Tre’Mond Shorts (from ETSU), offensive lineman Miles Frazier (from FIU), punter Jay Bramblett (from Notre Dame), wideout Kyren Lacy (from Louisiana Lafayette), corner Mekhi Williams-Garner (from Louisiana Lafayette)

Notable Losses: Cornerback Eli Ricks (to Alabama), quarterback Max Johnson (to Texas A&M), tailback Corey Kiner (to Cincinnati), defensive back Dwight McGlothern (to Arkansas), defensive lineman Landon Johnson (to Arkansas), wideout Trey Palmer (to Nebraska), linebacker Josh White (to Baylor)

Notes: Brian Kelly looked at his roster and said, “Nope. This isn’t why I left Notre Dame for the SEC.” The Tigers added 15 transfers this offseason, and likely aren’t done. LSU’s DBU will be Transfer-U in the secondary this fall, with as many as five newcomers on the first-team depth chart. Time will tell if either offensive line addition can survive the jump to the SEC, but the Tigers like what they’ve seen from Wingo, Lacy and others. Daniels could be LSU’s starting quarterback this fall

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Key Additions: Corner Marcus Banks (from Alabama), kicker Massimo Biscardi (from Coastal Carolina), wideout Justin Robinson (from Georgia), wideout Jordan Mosley (from Northwestern), offensive lineman Steven Losoya (from MTSU), cornerback Jackie Matthews (from West Virginia), corner Hunter Washington (from FSU)

Notable Losses: Wideout Malik Heath (to Ole Miss), linebacker Aaron Brule (to Michigan State), linebacker Rodney Groce Jr. (To Arizona State)

Notes: The Bulldogs had plenty of roster movement this offseason, but Mike Leach mostly added upgrades via the transfer portal — especially at corner, receiver and kicker. Mississippi State saw four players leave for Southern Miss, but the losses of Heath (13.0 yards per catch, five touchdowns) and Brule do sting. 

OLE MISS

Key Additions: Quarterback Jaxson Dart (from USC), tailback Zach Evans (from TCU), tight end Michael Trigg (from USC), safety Isheem Young (from Iowa State), offensive lineman Mason Brooks (from WKU), safety Ladarius Tennison (from Auburn), wideout Malik Heath (from MSU), pass rusher Khari Coleman (from TCU), defensive end Jared Ivey (from Georgia Tech), tailback Ulysses Bentley (from SMU), defensive lineman JJ Pegues (from Auburn), linebacker Troy Brown (from Central Michigan), wideout Jordan Watkins (from Louisville)

Notable Losses: Cornerback Keidron Smith (to Kentucky), tailback Henry Parrish (to Miami), quarterback/wideout John Rhys Plumlee (to UCF)

Notes: Only LSU has added more players via transfer than the Portal King, Mr. Lane Kiffin. The Rebels cleaned up this offseason, nabbing newcomers projected to start at tailback, tight end, wideout, defensive line, safety, offensive tackle, and linebacker. Not to mention Dart, who is a former 5-star recruit battling to replace Matt Corral at quarterback. The Rebels lost some depth pieces, but they absolutely came out on the better end of all the movement.

TEXAS A&M

Key Additions: Quarterback Max Johnson (from LSU)

Notable Losses: Wideout Demond Demas, quarterback Zach Calzada (to Auburn), tight end Baylor Cupp (to Texas Tech), cornerback Dreyden Norwood (to Missouri)

Notes: After signing the greatest recruiting class in modern history, the Aggies didn’t have a ton of room for transfers. Still, Jimbo Fisher held out a key spot for Johnson, who is in a three-way competition for the team’s starting quarterback job. Demas is a former five-star prospect who struggled with off-the-field issues.