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The 15 best players in the college football transfer portal - spring edition

Updated: May 6, 2023

May used to be a quiet time for college football fans, with spring ball wrapping up, and still months ahead prior to media days.

But in the new world of college football, a lot has changed, and May now means one thing: It's portal season!

The portal has officially closed for new entrants, but a lot of talent officially entered prior to the April 30th deadline.

Here are the 15 best players currently in the portal - and a reminder, make sure to follow our portal tracker at @CFBTransfers for all late-breaking portal news.

1. Zakhari Franklin, WR, UTSA: Franklin has been at UTSA for four seasons and has completely dominated during his time there before entering the portal. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver broke a lot of UTSA’s all-time receiving records. He had 262 receiving yards, 3,348 receiving yards, and had 37 touchdowns total. He also twice earned All-C-USA Honors too. Even with just one season of eligibility left, Franklin is the best player available right now.

2. Keon Coleman, WR, Michigan State: Coleman came to Michigan State as a two-sport athlete in both basketball and football. He decided to commit full-time to football and had a breakout season for the Spartans. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver had 58 catches, 798 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns last season as a sophomore and it helped him earn third-team All-Big Ten recognition. Coleman is a massive receiver that will be a big get for anyone in the portal.

3. Alton McCaskill, RB, Houston: McCaskill was the 2021 AAC Freshman of the Year before tearing his ACL last spring. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound running back had 961 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021. Colorado is seen as the favorite already, but many different schools are still in the mix.

4. Jeffrey Clark, DL, Georgia State: Clark did what anyone at a smaller school should do and that’s progress each year and get better and better. He redshirted in 2019 and has shown he’s only gotten better each year. In 33 career games, Clark has 92 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, and nine sacks. Clark should have a lot of teams interested in him because talented defensive linemen are in short supply.

5. Jordan Hudson, WR, TCU: Hudson followed Sonny Dykes from SMU to TCU, but as a former top-100 four-star recruit he didn’t see the field much. Despite his size at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds he was behind a very experienced wide receiving corps and only had 14 catches, 174 receiving yards and three touchdowns. SMU is seen as the frontrunner, but many schools are still in the mix.

6. Isaac Ukwu, DE, James Madison: Ukwu developed into a big-time pass rusher who earned All-Sun Belt honors last season. He’s 6-foot-3, 260-pounds and signed back in 2017. He missed two seasons due to injury, before finally starting in 2021. Last season was his best with 40 tackles, 36 pressures, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks. As a seventh-year senior, he already has public offers from Auburn, Colorado, Ole Miss, West Virginia, as well as South Florida among others.

7. Cam’Ron Johnson, OL Houston: Cam’Ron Johnson is a 6-foot-4, 305-pound lineman that just moved to the starting left guard spot last season and was good enough to earn All-AAC first-team honors after starting all 13 games for Houston last year. He’s a very highly sought-after transfer and is reportedly down to USC, Colorado, and Missouri. Missouri is one to watch because they just hired his old offensive line coach, Brandon Jones.

8. Gary Bryant Jr., WR, USC: Bryant is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound wide receiver that will be great in the slot or out wide for any team needing a receiver in the portal. He had 44 catches, 579 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns for USC in 2021, but he didn’t see much time last season. Oregon is the leader for him, but he could be a game changer for multiple teams too with two years of eligibility left.

9. Jordyn Tyson, WR, Colorado: Tyson was a surprising transfer out of Colorado after the year he had last season. He had 22 catches, 470 yards, and four touchdowns last season and did most of his damage towards the end of the season too before he got injured and only played in nine games. He can be a difference-maker for a lot of teams in the portal with three years left of eligibility.

10. Montana Lemonious-Craig, WR, Colorado: Craig was Colorado’s second-leading receiver last year with 23 catches, 359 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver was also the standout for Colorado in their spring game. He had a 98-yard receiving touchdown and finished with six catches and 168 receiving yards. He then entered the portal and was a hot commodity right away, with upwards of 20 offers in the portal.

Other names to know:

11. Payton Thorne, QB, Michigan State - UPDATE: Payton Thorne has committed to Auburn

12. Casey Thompson, QB, Nebraska

13. Tre'Quon Fegans, CB (Alabama)

14. Jalil Tucker, CB (Oregon)

15. Xzavier Henderson, WR, Florida

Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus


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