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The 25 best players in college football's transfer portal - right now (Version II)


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.


The portal has been open for over a week now, with thousands of players entering. 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.


However, in addition to our portal tracker, we also ranked the 25 best players in the portal right now - with our first version coming out last week.


Well, since our first version, several players have committed. But also, several new players have entered.


Here's Version II of the "Best Players Available" as well as the recruiting buzz around them.


1. Devin Leary, QB, NC State


There may be no Caleb Williams in this year's portal class, a can't miss, program changing prospect. But, there are a bunch of good, veteran quarterbacks that can help teams win right now.


And of all that have entered the portal, Leary is the best.


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.


Leary is a hot commodity, and recently took a visit to Kentucky. There are reports he could go to Auburn this weekend as well.


2. Grayson McCall, QB, Coastal Carolina


McCall is by far the biggest name to enter the portal since the last time we did this list, as a multi-year starter who thrived under former Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell. But when Chadwell left Coastal to go to Liberty, McCall decided to move on.


At this point, the numbers speak for themselves with McCall, who finished this season completing 69 percent of his passes, with 24 touchdowns and two interceptions. This after throwing for 27 touchdowns a year ago and 26 in 2020, completing 73 percent of his throws.


Auburn will be the first school to try and woo McCall, as they have him visiting this weekend.

3. Ajani Cornelius, OT, Rhode Island


It might be a bit surprising to see an FCS player this high in the rankings, but based on the buzz he's creating, and the premium position he plays, the 6'5, 305 lb. Cornelius is justified in being ranked this high.


That's because, since entering the portal, Cornelius has received offers from virtually every major college football power, including Tennessee, Penn State, Oregon, Auburn, Nebraska, Florida, and earlier this week he also received an offer from Ohio State on Wednesday.


Cornelius, who earned All-CAA first team honors with the Rams this year, and graded as one of the best offensive linemen in FCS football according to Pro Football Focus, has visited Oregon and Nebraska in recent days. He is expected to visit Tennessee and Ohio State as well.


4. 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.


Earlier this month, Lovett was officially named an All-SEC second team performer.


Lovett's recruitment has been quiet in recent days, although he was linked to Alabama, Colorado and others early on in the process.


5. 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.


Not surprisingly, basically every major program in college football has reached out to Grimes since entering the portal, and he has already taken visits to USC, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.


There is no timetable on his commitment.


6. 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.


7. 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.


In addition, he is visiting Florida State this weekend.


8. 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 because of it, someone will take a risk.


Harris actually visited LSU earlier this week, with Colorado and Coach Prime, Deion Sanders, linked to him as well.


9. 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 has decided to look at options outside of Coastal and has certainly been a hot commodity.


It appears as though he will choose between Michigan and USC in the recruiting process.


10. 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.


He is visiting Miami this weekend.


11. Dorian Singer, WR, Arizona


It was a bit of a surprise to see Singer hit the portal, as he was the Pac-12's leader in receiving yards this season, to go along with 66 catches and six touchown receptions. But apparently with Jacob Cowing and freshman All-American Teitora McMillan, Singer has decided to look at other options.


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.


Right now, there are no real updates as to which schools he's seriously considering.


12. Rara Thomas, WR, Mississippi State


Whether it needs to be stated or not, Thomas did elect to leave Mississippi State before this week's news of the tragic passing of Mike Leach. And since he entered the portal has received plenty of interest from across the sport with offers from offers from Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Auburn, Ole Miss, West Virginia and Utah, among others.


Lane Kiffin actually visited with him on Thursday, and like McCall, he's expected to be at Auburn this weekend.


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

13. Chris Marshall, WR, Texas A&M


The second highly-touted member of the Texas A&M 2022 recruiting class to make this list, and the second one who left after several off the field incidents. Like Harris, Marshall was both suspended early in the season against Miami, and then indefinitely suspended a month or so later.


Still, Marshall was the No. 26 ranked prospect in the class of 2022 for a reason, and his talent speaks for itself, as he made 11 catches for almost 10 yards per completion as an Aggie.


Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports has already placed a crystal ball for Marshall to end up at TCU when it's all said and done.


14. Smoke Bouie, CB, Texas A&M


Bouie was yet another highly-touted recruit who got into trouble early on in the season at Texas A&M, getting suspended for the Miami game in Week 3. Yet unlike Harris and Marshall above, he bounced back nicely, and reports out of College Station are that this transfer was a genuine surprise for the Aggies.


The former high four-star safety recruit originally from Georgia had publicly discussed some homesickness issues however, and early reports seem to indicate he could return to his home state to play for the Dawgs.


He appeared in seven games this season for A&M.


15. 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.


Flowe is visiting Arizona this weekend.


16. 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.


17. Gavin Holmes, CB, Wake Forest


A new name to this list, Holmes was a two-year starter for the Demon Deacons, and a key cog on a defense that won 11 games in the 2021 season. On that season, he finished with 19 tackles, three TFL's, four pass break-ups and an interception, and followed it up with 23 tackles and nine PBU's in 11 games this season.


It's clear the talent is there, Holmes has become a priority since entering the portal.


He is the only player to officially receive an offer from Texas this cycle and is expected to visit soon. He also has offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Ole Miss, Washington and recently grabbed an offer from Colorado as well.


18. 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, and he did take a visit to UCLA earlier this week.


19. 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.


20. Kiyaunta Goodwin, OT, Kentucky


A new entry to the portal on Friday, this one is a bummer for Kentucky. Goodwin was the crown jewel of last year's class, as a five-star offensive tackle, who was the highest-rated recruit ever to sign with the school.


Despite the hype, Goodwin never saw consistent snaps for a Kentucky offensive line that struggled all year, although he did appear as a reserve in every one of their games this season.


As someone who just entered the portal on Friday, it's way too early to speculate where Goodwin ends up. He committed to Kentucky in a last minute decision over Michigan State a year ago.


Next group:


21. Walter Rouse, OT, Stanford

22. Aaron Anderson, WR, Alabama

23. Kyhree Jackson, CB, Alabama

24. Spencer Sanders, QB, Oklahoma State

25. JoJo Earle, WR, Alabama

26. Tommy Brockmeyer, OT, Alabama

27. Drew Pyne, QB, Notre Dame

28. Marshawn Lloyd, RB, South Carolina


Previously on this list and already committed:


Jahiem Bell, TE, South Carolina (committed to Florida State)

Dasan McCollough, LB, Indiana (committed to Oklahoma)

Ernest Hausmann, LB, Nebraska (committed to Michigan)

JQ Hardaway, CB, Cincinnati (committed to Kentucky)

Cade McNamara, QB, Michigan (committed to Iowa)

Erick All, TE, Michigan (committed to Iowa)

Traeshon Holden, WR, Alabama (committed to Oregon)




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