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The 25 best players in college football's transfer portal - right now

Credit: Tony Grimes (Instagram)

The college football regular season may be over, but now that it's done, comes the exciting part of the calendar: That's right, it's transfer season, baby.

In a moment in college football history unlike any other, the portal opened on Monday - and with it, hundreds of names announced they would be leaving their schools.

You can follow all of the late-breaking news on our constantly updating transfer portal tracker here. Also, make sure to follow our transfer-specific Twitter @CFBTransfers.

Still, with so many names going into the portal, it's hard to keep track of them all.

With it, we've decided to put together a list of the 25 best players in the portal right now, with details on their recruitments, to help make life easier for you to follow.

1. Devin Leary, QB, NC State

To be clear, there is no Caleb Williams or Quinn Ewers in the portal this year (at least so far). In other words, the can't miss, five-star, can put a program on his back guy, like we saw Williams do this year at USC.

But while there may be no Caleb Williams, there are a ton of really good, veteran college quarterbacks who have decided to move on. And the best is Leary.

Leary is a multi-year starter who entered this season with real NFL Draft buzz, after throwing for 35 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 2021. Unfortunately, a pec injury sidelined him for more than half of the 2022 season, and now, rather than going pro will try and continue his career elsewhere.

Expect Leary to be in touch with just about any school that needs a big-time signal-caller, with Notre Dame looking like the early favorite to land him.

2. Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina

Like so many names to enter the portal these last few days, Grimes' decision to leave Chapel Hill was simply shocking.

One of the highest-rated recruits to ever commit to UNC, Grimes is a former five-star member of the class of 2021, who decided to reclassify and enroll in college during the 2020 Covid season. During his time at UNC he was a three-year starter, and in 2022, finished with 36 tackles, seven pass breakups, and one forced fumble.

Every major college football program in America will likely be reaching out to Grimes to try and convince him to come to their campus.

3. Dominic Lovett, WR, Missouri

Put simply, Lovett was one of the most dynamic playmakers in the SEC this season, finishing the year with 56 catches, for 846 yards and three touchdowns. Those 56 catches led the Tigers and were third most in the SEC, with Lovett averaging almost 16 yards per grab. It included a 10-catch, 162 yard effort against South Carolina earlier this season.

Oh, and on Tuesday, Lovett was officially named an All-SEC second team performer.

It's hard to gauge accurate information on Lovett's recruitment, but Alabama, LSU and Colorado are among the schools most linked to the speedy receiver.

4. Dasan McCollough, LB, Indiana

It's certainly been an interesting few years for McCollough, who originally committed to Ohio State, only to flip to Indiana after his father was hired by the Hoosiers. But after his father left for Notre Dame prior to last season, the highest-ranked recruit in Indiana history has decided to leave the school as well.

While in Bloomington, McCollough certainly showed off his talent, finishing this past season with 30 tackles, to go along with four sacks.

McCollough will be hotly recruited by most of college football, with early murmurings linking him to Oklahoma and Brent Venables.

5. Brennan Armstrong, QB, Virginia

Another quarterback that the average fan might not be totally familiar with, Armstrong orchestrated one of the most explosive offenses in college football two seasons ago.

In the 2021 season (Bronco Mendenhall's final at Virginia), the Cavaliers finished second nationally in pass offense, with Armstrong throwing for over 4,400 yards and 31 touchdowns. Unfortunately, those stats didn't translate under new head coach Tony Elliott this year, and now Armstrong will look to reboot his career.

The lefty should receive plenty of interest from across college football.

6. Fentrell Cypress, CB, Virginia

Another player who has elected to leave Charlottesville is Cypress, who earned All-ACC second-team honors this season. The grad transfer led the ACC with 15 pass break-ups, despite playing in only nine games because of injury.

Still, the talent is there, reflected by the interest in Cypress since he hit the portal, with Ohio State, Michigan Notre Dame and Ole Miss among many schools who are currently in pursuit.

7. Jahiem Bell, TE, South Carolina

Bell is certainly one of the most unique players in the transfer portal, as a player who was used as a Swiss army knife type player by the Gamecocks the last two years.

In 2021, Bell caught five touchdown passes, while in 2022 he was used as both a catch and run threat, grabbing 25 passes, and also finishing second on the team in rushing with 261 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Regardless, he is leaving Columbia and should receive plenty of recruiting interest.

8. Josaiah Stewart, OLB, Coastal Carolina

Stewart has been nothing short of a terror off the edge in his two years at Coastal Carolina. As a freshman in 2021, he finished the year with 15.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, only to follow it up this year with 10 TFL's and 3.5 sacks.

With Jamey Chadwell leaving Coastal Carolina for Liberty, Stewart appears as though he'll look at options outside the school - and should have interest from just about every major school in America.

9. Dorian Singer, WR, Arizona

Singer was one of the many surprises to hit the portal on Monday, as the Pac-12's leader in receiving yards this year announced that he would leave the school. And while the news isn't totally shocking given the Wildcats depth at the position with Jacob Cowing and freshman All-American Teitora McMillan, it also means that some team is going to get a dynamic playmaker.

Singer finished the season leading the Wildcats with 66 catches to go along with six touchdown grabs and a Pac-12 best 1,105 yards receiving.

Since entering the portal, Singer has already received offers from a who's who of college football programs, including Miami, Colorado, Penn State, Arkansas, and Arizona's biggest rival, Arizona State.

10. DJ Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson

At this point, we all know the bad in Uiagalelei's final two seasons at Clemson (including getting benched in the ACC title game), so instead, let's focus on the good.

Uiagalelei has a rocket for an arm, and his numbers were up across the board this season, completing 64 percent of his passes, with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The touchdown total and completion percentage were up significantly from a year ago.

Still, Uiagalelei is still very much a work in progress, and it's going to take the right coach, at the right school, to be able to bring out the best in the former five-star.

Right now it's tough to know where Uiagalelei will end up, although it's believed that he will try to head back closer to his Southern California home. It's also worth noting that his younger brother Mateo is a five-star edge rusher in the class of 2023, and some believe the two may be a package deal.

11. Spencer Sanders, QB, Oklahoma State

Another experienced signal-caller now in the portal is Sanders, who started parts of each of the last four seasons for Oklahoma State.

Sanders' best season came in 2021 when he completed 62 percent of his passes for 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and he has proven to be a dual-threat guy as well, rushing for over 600 yards in two season as the Oklahoms State signal-caller.

So yes, Sanders is experienced, but like with Uiagalelei there are some obvious flaws as well.

One, he isn't the most accurate of quarterbacks, having never completed more than 63 percent of his passes. He can be turnover prone, tossing at least eight interceptions in all four seasons of his career. And he's missed time as a starter in each of the last four seasons as well.

Still, someone will be getting a really solid college quarterback with his commitment.

12. Rara Thomas, WR, Mississippi State

Mississippi State is obviously a haven for wide receivers, but despite putting up gaudy numbers as a sophomore, Thomas decided to leave the school. Based on the number of schools to already reach out, he won't have trouble finding a new home.

On the season, Thomas led the Bulldogs with 46 catches, to go along with seven touchdowns and 646 receiving yards.

Since entering the portal, he has already received offers from Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Auburn, Ole Miss, West Virginia and Utah, among others.

13. Javion Cohen, OG, Alabama

Cohen might be the most accomplished offensive lineman in the portal, starting 25 games the last three seasons at Alabama. It included 11 of Alabama’s 12 regular-season games this year and 14 of 15 games during Alabama's title game run a year ago.

Yet after spending part of last summer away from Tuscaloosa at a rehab facility to focus on mental health, Cohen decided to leave Alabama.

14. Justin Flowe, LB, Oregon

It's been an up-and-down few years for Flowe, as the former five-star entered college football as one of the top prospects in the entire class of 2020.

Unfortunately, injuries plagued Flowe his first few seasons, as he played in just two games in his first two years of college football. This year he finally stayed healthy and showed what he was capable of, finishing with 35 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Based on his pedigree alone, expect plenty of schools to reach out.

15. Denver Harris, CB, Texas A&M

To call Harris one of the most "unique" players on this list would be an understatement.

Harris committed to the Aggies late in the process last winter, one of the final pieces of Texas A&M's historic 2022 recruiting class. And once he got to campus, he immediately found playing time, appearing in five games with three pass break-ups.

Unfortunately, those five games would mark the end of Harris' short career, as he was suspended for the Miami game in late September and was one of three players indefinitely suspended late in the season. Even before the indefinite suspensions, there were some videos posted to social media which didn't paint Harris in the most flattering light.

At this point, the talent with Harris is unquestionable, and someone will take a risk on it.

But it will be after some very careful vetting, following his time at A&M.

16. Tommy Brockmeyer, OT, Alabama

Much like Justin Flowe above, Tommy Brockmeyer was an insanely highly-touted high school player, who simply couldn't stay healthy in his two seasons in Tuscaloosa.

Brockmeyer was a national Top 10 prospect in the 2021 class, and one of Alabama's highest-rated signees, in one of the best classes Nick Saban has ever signed. Yet like Flowe, injuries have limited Brockmeyer, who really didn't see the field all that much over the last two seasons.

Originally from Texas, Brockmeyer has a twin brother James, who decided to stay at Alabama.

17. Traeshon Holden, WR, Alabama

Yet another member of the Alabama Crimson Tide on this list. And while some of the guys above Holden on this list were expected to leave Tuscaloosa, the sense I got is that Holden was one that caught at least some people off-guard.

That's because unlike most of the guys who've transferred from Bama (with the exception of Cohen), Holden was a guy who saw plenty of game action this year. He finished fourth on the team in receptions with 25, to go along with six touchdown catches. One of them even came in Alabama's most recent game, an Iron Bowl win.

Still, Holden's role did diminish a bit during the season (despite the Iron Bowl touchdown) and with Alabama likely pursuing portal talent at wide receiver again this off-season, Holden decided to leave.

Ironically, the school Holden has been most linked to in the process is actually... Iowa, where long-time friend Cade McNamara (formerly of Michigan) committed.

18. Hudson Card, QB, Texas

No one on this list - and maybe in all of college football - has a resume quite like Card's.

A former Top 50 recruit, he was named the starter two years ago at Texas, only to lose the job to Casey Thompson. Then, this past year he was perceived by many to be the leader in the race for the starting job, only to lose it to Quinn Ewers. He still ended up starting multiple games after Ewers got hurt this season.

Like so many other quarterbacks on this list, you kind of know who he is at this point. He probably isn't a guy who can carry a whole program. But he has proven the ability to compete and win games in a Power 5 conference.

Someone's quarterback room will be better with his addition.

19. Don'te Thornton, WR, Oregon

Like Flowe, Thornton was a surprise departure from Oregon, after a mostly successful season for the Ducks.

The former Top 100 recruit in the class of 2020, the big, 6'5 receiver came on late this season, finishing with 17 catches, including four, for 151 yards in a win over Utah in Week 12 of the season.

20. Erick All, TE, Michigan

All was a key cog on Michigan's Big Ten title winning team two season's ago, making 38 catches, including three touchdowns during that magical 2021 season. Unfortunately, he missed most of this season with a back injury that required major surgery.

All had some not so flattering things to say on the way out of Michigan, but regardless, someone will get a really solid tight end with his commitment.

Next group:

21. Ajana Cornelius

22. Dominic Richardson, RB, Oklahoma State

23. Carson Strong, RB, Ball State

24. JoJo Earle, WR, Alabama

25. Khyree Jackson, CB, Alabama

26. Drew Pyne, QB, Notre Dame

27. KaTron Evans, DT, Jackson State

28. Andre Carter, DE, Western Michigan

29. Clayton Smith, LB, Oklahoma

Marquee players who've already committed:

Cade McNamara, QB, Michigan (committed to Iowa)


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