The 20 best players in college football's transfer portal right now - Version 2.0
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 and college basketball in the winter.
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 now, we unveil our "Top 20 list."
While the tracker is designed strictly to give you a running tab of all the players entering the portal, this list is designed to tell you who the best players are in the portal, where they may be leaning, or ultimately committing.
Understand that this will be changing throughout the winter, and off-season in general as more kids hit the portal and more players become available.
Here is Version 2.0 of the "best players in the transfer portal." If you missed Version 1.0 click here.
1. Quinn Ewers, QB, Ohio State: Given that we have seen Ewers take a total of two snaps in college - both hand-offs - I hesitated to move him to No. 1 on this list. But right before publishing, I had to do it simply because there is no position in sports more important than having an elite quarterback.
And if you believe the recruiting rankings, he was about as elite as they come out of high school.
Ewers was the No. 1 ranked high school player in the class of 2022, as a strong-armed, dual-threat difference maker out of the Dallas area, before deciding to reclassify and enroll at Ohio State this fall, where he was then ranked the No. 1 player in the class of 2021. Coming to Columbus late though, he saw action in a total of one game, taking two snaps against Michigan State.
Despite it, there is still belief that wherever Ewers ends up, he could be the type of player you build your entire program around, and if he reaches his ceiling, one who could win a Heisman Trophy before he leaves college football.
In terms of what's next, Ewers visited Texas Tech last weekend and had a brief meeting with TCU, who doesn't appear to be recruiting him any longer. He will visit Texas this weekend, the place that he is ultimately expected to land.
Remember, Ewers originally committed to Texas before decommitting and enrolling at Ohio State. Oh, and the NIL program Texas has established (which has some up in arms) certainly doesn't hurt.
2. Eli Ricks, CB, LSU: You could legitimately make the case that Ricks should be No. 1 on this list - and if so, you won't get argument from me. We moved Ewers slightly ahead simply because of the importance of the quarterback position.
Still, there's no denying Ricks' bonafides.
Ricks is a former five-star recruit and Top 20 player overall in the high school class of 2020, and a player who is seemingly tracking to one day be a first round pick in the NFL Draft. As a freshman last year he finished with four interceptions and 20 total tackles, and had one interception in 2021 before an injury cut short his season.
Ricks has publicly said he came to LSU to play for Ed Orgeron, so when Coach O was fired, it wasn't surprising that he elected to leave the school. Ohio State was believed to be the leader for Ricks' services, however Ryan Day announced that they wouldn't be adding anyone new at this time.
Instead, it looks like a race between Alabama, Georgia and the suddenly surging USC Trojans. Ricks visited USC this weekend, with his former high school teammate Domani Jackson, the nation's No. 1 corner in the 2022 high school class.
3. Dillon Gabriel, QB, UCF: In his two years playing under Josh Heupel at UCF, Gabriel was one of the most prolific quarterbacks in college football, putting up nearly 7,000 yards passing in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, with 32 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 2020.
Still, he never seemed like a natural fit under Gus Malzahn and following a season-ending injury early in the year, elected to hit the portal.
His recruitment got off to a bang last weekend, as Gabriel visited Ole Miss (it's not yet known if Jeff Lebby's departure for Oklahoma will play any role in his decision). Beyond Ole Miss, there are obvious ties to Tennessee (after playing two years under Josh Heupel), although with Hendon Hooker's presence that spot doesn't necessarily make sense. Originally from Hawaii, several Pac-12 schools would make sense as well.
4. Zach Evans, RB, TCU: Evans is a former five-star running back and one of the top high school running backs in the class of 2020, that was once committed to Georgia before ending up at TCU.
In two years at the school he showed off his explosive play-making abilities (averaging seven yards per carry and 13 yards per catch) but also seemed under-utilized this season, with just 92 total carries.
With Gary Patterson's departure he elected to enter the portal following the season. Like Gabriel, he visited Ole Miss last weekend, and this weekend is expected to visit Tennessee.
5. Olusegun Oluwatimi, C, Virginia: It was a crushing week for Virginia football, which saw three starters enter the transfer portal this week - none more crippling for the program than Oluwatimi.
Oluwatimi started all 12 games for Virginia this year, as a key cog on one of the nation's most explosive offenses - and was actually named a finalist for the Rimington Trophy on Monday, given to the nation's top center. He has one year of eligibility left.
While it's way too early to speculate on schools, It's worth noting that Oluwatimi's former high school coach is now part of the Maryland coaching staff.
6. Theo Wease, WR, Oklahoma: Wease is one of three high-profile Oklahoma skill-position players to enter the transfer portal since Lincoln Riley's departure, joining Jadon Haselwood (who committed to Arkansas over the weekend) and tight end Austin Stogner.
Unfortunately Wease missed all of this past season with an injury, but in 2020 he was nothing short of a star, tallying 37 catches, which was tied for most on the team.
To date, there have been no major updates on Wease's recruitment.
7. Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma: Unquestionably the biggest name in the portal, Rattler will also probably draw the most attention of everyone available.
One of the top high school quarterbacks in the class of 2019, Rattler's trajectory is well-documented. He led Oklahoma to a Big 12 title and Cotton Bowl win in 2020, throwing for 28 touchdowns, before losing the starting job to Caleb Williams midway through this season.
At this point, we know Rattler's limitations, but it is worth noting that again, he led OU to a Big 12 title last year, and was actually completing almost 75 percent of his passes when he was benched.
Early reports were that Arizona State would be a logical landing spot for Rattler, but there are reports that the Sun Devils - with Jayden Daniels likely returning for another season - aren't interested.
Twitter sleuths appear to have uncovered Nebraska as a potential landing spot. Current South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer spent time with Rattler at Oklahoma, setting up a logical connection as well.
8. Terrence Lewis, LB, Maryland: Lewis is an absolutely fascinating story, as he was rated the top linebacker in the class of 2021 and once committed to Tennessee before landing at Maryland. However, an injury in fall camp cost him his freshman campaign and he has now decided to transfer.
Lewis is originally from Miami, and you'd assume that the Hurricanes and most SEC programs would be involved.
9. Myles Brennan, QB, LSU: Poor Brennan just couldn't catch a break at LSU. After sitting behind Joe Burrow for two years, Brennan won the job to start the 2020 season throwing for 11 touchdowns and over 1,100 yards in just three games, before suffering a season-ending injury. He suffered a different injury before 2021 and never got to play at all this past season.
With Coach O out Brennan elected to hit the portal. Assuming he can stay healthy, he has a chance to be really good, at a high-major somewhere. In his final start at LSU all the way back in early 2020, he threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns against Missouri.
Brennan's recruitment is quiet, although Southern Miss appears to be making a strong push for the Mississippi native.
10. Miles Frazier, OT, Florida International: Frazier was a virtual unknown just days ago. But as the old saying goes, "You are the company you keep" and since entering the portal, Frazier's phone has been blown up by some of the biggest programs in college football.
Among the schools that have officially offered Frazier since he entered the portal include Texas A&M, Florida State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn.
He has had Texas A&M, Auburn, Florida State and NC State in for recent in-home visits.
11. Jordan Watkins, WR, Louisville: Louisville finished its regular season 6-6, but it's been a tough off-season since, with a few of their best players electing to leave the program.
No one is more prominent than the explosive Watkins, who finished second on the team in catches this past season (35), with four touchdowns. In the process he averaged a blistering 15 yards per completion.
Watkins is from Louisville and nearly committed to Kentucky out of high school, so it wouldn't be a shock to see him end up a Wildcat.
12. Taj Harris, WR, Syracuse: The weird, winding road of Taj Harris continues, as the former Syracuse transfer committed to Kentucky - only to decommit last week. Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones said there were eligibility issues with Harris going forward.
So now Harris is back on the market as an explosive wide receiver who led Syracuse with a team-best 58 touchdown catches last year, to go along with five touchdowns. He had 16 catches this year before deciding to leave the program.
13. Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Georgia Tech: Gibbs was one of the best running backs in the ACC this season and one of the few bright spots for Georgia Tech, before electing to enter the portal earlier this week.
He finished this season with a team-high 746 yards with an average of five yards per carry, before deciding to leave the school.
A former Top 100 prospect, he had offers from Alabama and Florida among many others coming out of high school.
14. Jack Miller, QB, Ohio State: While Ewers was obviously the most high-profile player to leave Ohio State this winter, Miller was actually the first Buckeye quarterback to hit the portal. With CJ Stroud a Heisman finalist, Kyle McCord (at least for now) entrenched as his back-up and highly-touted Devin Brown signed for next year, Miller moved on shortly after the season ended.
A former four-star, Miller had a total of 14 pass attempts this season, completing seven for 101 yards and zero touchdowns. It's also worth noting that he had a bit of trouble with the law, dealing with a drunk driving infraction.
Originally from Arizona, it's expected that he draw interest from mostly West Coast schools.
15. Austin Stogner, TE, Oklahoma: Yet another skill position player who decided to hit the portal following Lincoln Riley's departure, Stogner has been a key red zone target for the Sooners the last few seasons. He finished this past season with 14 catches including three touchdowns, this after grabbing 26 balls with three additional touchdowns last season.
Since entering the portal, Stogner has - not surprisingly - picked up significant interest. He'll visit Iowa State this weekend, where he could in theory replace All-American Charlie Kolar if he commits and has already visited South Carolina, where former Sooner assistant Shane Beamer is now head coach. He has also received early interest from Ohio State as well.
Other names to know:
16. Bobby Haskins, OT, Virginia
17. Tyrese Chambers, WR, FIU
18. Adrian Martinez, QB, Nebraska
19. Christopher Banks, RB, Cal
20. Max Johnson, QB, LSU
Players who were previously on this list that have already committed:
4. Jadon Haselwood, WR, Oklahoma (committed to Arkansas)
6. Jake Haener, QB, Fresno State (withdrew from the portal; will stay at Fresno State)
9. TiYon Evans, RB, Tennessee (committed to Louisville)
12. Lyn-J Dixon, RB, Clemson (committed to West Virginia)
14, Jacoby Windmon, LB, UNLV (committed to Michigan State)
15. Jalen Berger, RB, Wisconsin (committed to Michigan State