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The biggest winners in college football's spring transfer portal cycle


Credit: Auburn Athletics

It's nearly June, which means that college football's transfer portal cycle is starting to wind down.


While the spring cycle wasn't nearly as compelling as the winter cycle, there was still plenty of elite talent changing schools.


So, who were the biggest winners in this spring's transfer portal cycle? Let's take a look


Auburn Tigers


Hugh Freeze took over for the Auburn Tigers and had a roster makeover on his hands with Auburn needing to improve a lot. He attacked the portal a ton in the winter, and then hit it again in the spring session. They brought in Payton Thorne to compete with Robby Ashford for the quarterback position. Thorne of course led Michigan State to 11 wins two years ago and threw for 19 touchdowns for the Spartans this past season.


In addition to the quarterback position, Freeze has also upgraded the receiver corps. Caleb Burton is a former Top 100 prospect who played last season at Ohio State and Jyaire Shorter grabbed 11 touchdowns at North Texas. Jaden Muskrat also came in to help shore up the offensive line. They also added Jalen McLeod on defense in the linebacking corps. Auburn should be better based on these additions and it helps that no one else of note has left Auburn in the portal.




Miami Hurricanes


First, no significant Miami players departed during the spring period, even though there were rumors swirling about starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke leaving the program. So, that's an obvious positive.


Beyond that, Miami took to the portal in the spring to address their biggest issue: pass defense. Last season, Miami ranked dead last in the ACC and 121st among FBS teams with 8.3 yards per pass attempt allowed. So, they went out and grabbed Jaden Davis from Oklahoma and Jadais Richard from Vanderbilt to try and shore things up at cornerback. These are two immediate contributors to their secondary that will help it improve instantly. Then on offense, Ajay Allen comes over from Nebraska at running back and he should be able to fit into the rotation easily. Mario Cristobal and the Miami Hurricanes got better this spring.


USC: Lincoln Riley has become the new transfer portal king. He completely revamped the Trojans roster last year and has been very active this year. Bear Alexander comes in from Georgia as a big body to help USC on run defense. By the way, Alexander is officially on campus - and can't lie, the digs look pretty sweet.


Outside of Alexander, Emmanuel Pregnon should be a big boost and immediate contributor on the offensive line after emerging as one of the best interior offensive linemen in the Mountain West for Wyoming. Trequon Fegans was also added at cornerback to help the pass defense. USC got better in the spring, and we should expect Riley to be very active in the portal moving forward.


USC Trojans:


Lincoln Riley has become the new transfer portal king. He completely revamped the Trojans roster last year and has been very active this year. Bear Alexander comes in from Georgia as a big body to help USC on run defense. By the way, Alexander is officially on campus - and can't lie, the digs look pretty sweet.


Outside of Alexander, Emmanuel Pregnon should be a big boost and immediate contributor on the offensive line after emerging as one of the best interior offensive linemen in the Mountain West for Wyoming. Trequon Fegans was also added at cornerback to help the pass defense. USC got better in the spring, and we should expect Riley to be very active in the portal moving forward.


Louisville Cardinals:


Jeff Brohm arrived at his hometown school and has immediately began revamping this Cardinals roster to his liking. He loaded up on defense and added Keith Brown in the linebacking corps from Oregon, Cam Kelly and Storm Duck out of North Carolina in the secondary, and Marcus Washington from Georgia at cornerback to all help shore up the defense.


Lance Robinson from Houston and Eric Miller from Purdue were also added to help improve the offensive line for the Cardinals. Louisville improved a lot this spring from the portal.


Colorado Buffaloes:


It’s hard not to talk about Colorado and what Deion Sanders is doing when talking about the transfer portal. They lost a ton of players to the portal, but almost every single player they’ve added, especially in the spring, has been a quality player.


Alton McCaskill comes over from Houston and should start immediately at running back. Then on defense, Omarion Cooper, Bishop Thomas, and Travis Jay come over from Florida State with Cooper being able to contribute at cornerback, Thomas on the defensive line, and Travis Jay in the secondary at safety. Arden Walker also comes over from Missouri to help on the defensive line too.


The Buffaloes are undergoing a massive rebuild, but so far it looks like it can work.


Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus



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