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The 15 best players in college football's transfer portal right now - Version 3.0

Credit: Caleb Williams (Instagram)

Say this for college sports - whether you agree or disagree with the one-time transfer rule being put into place (and I think most of us kind of think it's the right thing at this point) what can't be denied is that it has unquestionably changed how we consume college football in the off-season.

The transfer portal is now a "thing," something covered no differently than high school recruiting, spring ball and fall camp.

Because of it, here at Aaron Torres Online, we're trying to be your one-stop shop for all things transfers.

We have our ever-updating transfer tracker. You can bookmark that page and come back for all the latest transfer news. We have a Twitter feed dedicated specifically to college football transfers - you can follow @CFBTransfers.

And beyond just the tracker - it is now time to rank the Top 15 players currently in the portal.

The crazy part is, we did this earlier in the winter, with Version's 1.0 and 2.0 and assumed we were done from there - only to see a new wave hit the portal following bowl games in recent days.

With that said, here is our list of the best players currently available - Version 3.0:

1. Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma: By now we all know Williams' story as the former No. 1 high school quarterback recruit in the country, who basically saved Oklahoma's season when it was falling apart, and has now decided to weigh his options following the Sooners' bowl game victory over Oregon.

And with his official entry into the portal on Wednesday, you could argue that Williams isn't just the best player in the portal right now but - between pedigree, on-field success and NFL future - that he is the best player to ever hit the portal.

We saw what Williams can do on the field this season, throwing for 21 touchdowns and just under 2,000 yards despite starting less than half the season for Oklahoma - not only living up to the high school hype, but in many ways surpassing it. It also means that whoever does get Williams next year is getting a quarterback who could elevate you to national title status. And the crazy thing is, unlike so many other great quarterbacks who are in the portal - you get him for two full seasons.

In terms of his next landing spot, it seems like just about every school in America could get involved, although you'd think USC (where Lincoln Riley coaches) would be one team with an inside track. Williams referenced a possible return to Oklahoma, but with the Sooners accepting a commitment from Central Florida transfer Dillon Gabriel, that seems less likely.

2. Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern: Joseph made the somewhat surprising decision to hit the portal in the week between Christmas and New Year's, immediately becoming the most coveted defensive player available.

He broke out as an All-American safety during the 2020 season, with six interceptions despite playing just nine games in a Covid shortened season, helping the Wildcats to a Big Ten West title. He added three more interceptions this season.

Right now his recruitment remains quiet, although you can assume that just about every major program in college football is interested in his services.

3. Mario Williams, WR, Oklahoma: Williams was one of the players who committed to Oklahoma in the aftermath of Caleb Williams committing in the summer of 2020 - so it probably shouldn't be surprising that he immediately jumped into the portal when Caleb Williams did so himself.

Williams is a former high four-star, Top 50 recruit in the class of 2021, who had 35 catches and four touchdowns in his only season in Norman.

After entering the portal Williams told 247 Sports' Hayes Fawcett he wants Caleb Williams "to be my quarterback" so it can be assumed that he will likely land wherever Caleb Williams does.

4. Jared Verse, DE, Albany: While he played at the FCS level the last few years, there's no doubt that Verse is one of the most coveted players to hit the portal this off-season - as he's picked up offers from LSU, Florida, Florida State, Texas, Oklahoma and USC among others.

And with good reason, as on the season he finished with 52 total tackles, to go along with 11.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks this season.

Recent crystal ball projections have him committing to Florida State - but nothing is official yet.

5. Kobe Hudson, WR, Auburn: Hudson's departure isn't without intrigue, as the star receiver entered the portal on Monday, but later said he was "kicked off the team" in a since-deleted Instagram post.

Whatever the case, Hudson remains an explosive playmaker that led the Tigers in catches last season with 44, to go along with a team-high four touchdown grabs and an average of 13 yards per catch.

It's seemingly too early to know where Hudson will end up, after hitting the portal just a few days ago.

6. Christian Beal-Smith, RB, Wake Forest: For the second year in a row, a high-profile Wake Forest running back has decided to enter the transfer portal. Last year it was a guy named Kenneth Walker - who went on to a near Heisman caliber performance.

This year it's Christian Beal-Smith, who led the Demon Deacons in rushing for each of the last two seasons, and a big reason that Walker elected to leave Winston-Salem in the first place.

He finished last year with 732 yards rushing and five touchdowns, while in 2021 had 604 yards and seven touchdowns.

Like Walker, he could be looking for a more featured role, as three different Demon Deacons had at least 500 yards rushing this season.

7. Casey Thompson, QB, Texas: When Quinn Ewers committed to Texas you knew there was going to be a trickle-down effect, and it happened just days later when Thompson hit the portal.

Yet for all the flack that the starting quarterback - and his teammates - got in Austin last year, Thompson was probably better than you remember. He actually led the Big 12 in passing touchdowns (24) while tossing for over 2,300 yards on the season.

According to The Athletic, Thompson is down to a final list of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Auburn, Indiana and Missouri. Considering that Oklahoma and Indiana recently took quarterback commitments, it seems unlikely he chooses either of those schools.

His father is of course Sooners legend Charles Thompson.

8. Cameron Ward, QB, Incarnate Word: Another small school star, Ward was one of the most prolific quarterbacks in all of college football last season - tossing for over 4,600 yards, with a staggering 47 touchdown passes this past season.

For those concerned about the jump up in competition for Ward, well, coaches don't seem to be all too concerned, as he's picked up offers from Ole Miss, Kentucky, Arizona, Virginia Tech and Indiana among others.

9. Joe Foucha, S, Arkansas: With the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility to everyone a season ago, it could lead to a lot of talented players hitting the portal over the next few weeks - and that's exactly what happened on Tuesday when Foucha decided to transfer after a storied career at Arkansas.

Foucha was a key cog on a Razorbacks squad that finished 9-4 this season, with across the board production that included 73 tackles and also had 7.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, five pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.

Because he entered the portal just a few days ago, it feels way too early to take a guess on where his recruitment will end up.

10. Isaiah Neyor, WR, Wyoming: They say "you're only as good as the company you keep" and since entering the transfer portal, the big, 6'3 Neyor has heard from some of the best programs - and offenses - in college football.

Neyor recently whittled his list down to three, with Tennessee, Texas and USC still in the mix, with a visit to Knoxville planned this weekend.

He finished last year with 44 catches and 12 touchdowns, helping Wyoming to a 7-6 season.

The next five on this list:

11. Antwaine Wells Jr., WR, James Madison

12. Tatum Bethune, LB, UCF

13. Taj Harris, WR, Syracuse

14. Jaxon Player, DL, Tulsa

15. Devonni Reed, S, Central Michigan

Players Previously on This List Who've Since Committed:

Quinn Ewers, QB, Ohio State (committed to Texas)

Eli Ricks, CB, LSU (committed to Alabama)

Dillon Gabriel, QB, UCF (committed to Oklahoma)

Zach Evans, RB, TCU (committed to Ole Miss)

Olusegun Oluwatimi, C, Virginia (committed to Michigan)

Jadon Haselwood, WR, Oklahoma (committed to Arkansas)

Jake Haener, QB, Fresno State (withdrew from the portal; will stay at Fresno State)

Theo Wease, WR, Oklahoma (withdrew from portal; will stay at Oklahoma)

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma (committed to South Carolina)

Terrence Lewis, LB, Maryland (committed to UCF)

Tanner McCallister, S, Oklahoma State (committed to Ohio State)

TiYon Evans, RB, Tennessee (committed to Louisville)

Myles Brennan, QB, LSU (withdrew from portal; will stay at LSU)

Miles Frazier, OT, Florida International (committed to LSU)

Jordan Watkins, WR, Louisville (committed to Ole Miss)

Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Georgia Tech (committed to Alabama)

Bobby Haskins, OT, Virginia (committed to USC)

Jacob Cowing, WR, UTEP (committed to Arizona)

Mitchell Tinsley, WR, Western Kentucky (committed to Penn State)

Lyn-J Dixon, RB, Clemson (committed to West Virginia)

Jacoby Windmon, LB, UNLV (committed to Michigan State)

Jack Miller, QB, Ohio State (committed to Florida)

Austin Stogner, TE, Oklahoma (committed to South Carolina)

Khris Bogle, DE, Florida (committed to Michigan State)

Jalen Berger, RB, Wisconsin (committed to Michigan State)

Tyrese Chambers, WR, FIU (withdrew from portal; will stay at FIU)

Adrian Martinez, QB, Nebraska (committed to Kansas State)

Tayvion Robinson, WR, Virginia Tech (committed to Kentucky)

Christopher Brooks, RB, Cal (committed to BYU)

Max Johnson, QB, LSU (committed to LSU)


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