The transfer portal expanded this year to a 45-day window starting December 5th, and another 15-day window that begins May 1st. When the one-year wait period for transfers ended in 2018, we saw a significant rise in the numbers of players that have entered the portal and the numbers keep rising every year. This year is no exception and another record number of players will have entered this transfer portal before the window closes.
That can cause unease in every fan base, and certainly the Oregon Ducks fan base is not immune to this anxiety. We’re going to run down all of the transfers leaving and coming to the Ducks, and hopefully put you a bit more at ease while still grappling with the new reality of seeing so many players leave.
Buckner was a 3* edge. He did not play in any games this season.
Butterfield came to Oregon as a 4* recruit. He played one game and was 2-3 for 22 yards. Given his lack of playing time the past two seasons, this was not a surprise.
Cardwell was a 4* recruit that saw productive playing time in 2021 evaporate in 2022 as the Ducks sported a loaded RB room. He played two games this season and had 11 carries for 76 yards and 1 TD.
Dollars was a 4* recruit that did not play in 2021 due to injury. In 2022, Dollars played in 12 games. He ran 34 times for a net 188 yards and 1 TD.
Dollars was picked up a few days ago by the University of Nevada.
Flowe was a 4* defensive back that did not play in 2022.
Justin Flowe was a highly-touted 5* LB that spent an unfortunate amount of his Oregon career out with injury. This season he played 10 games with 35 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.
Jackson was a 4* linebacker that left the team before the start of the 2022 season.
LaDuke was a 3* linebacker that played in 12 games this season with 13 tackles.
LaDuke was picked up last week by the University of Nevada.
Matavao came to Oregon as a 4* tight end. He played in 12 games and had 10 catches for 134 yards and 1 TD.
Seven came to Oregon as a 4* running back. Early in the season it looked like he might break out as a receiver, and that never really materialized. He played in 7 games, receiving 7-11 with 67 yards and rushing 3 times for net -11 yards.
McGee has since transferred to Jackson State.
McNeil was a 3* edge that played in no games in 2022.
Russell was a 3* wide receiver that did not play in 2022.
This is a walk-on running back for Oregon this year. Safe to say the Ducks have been pushing that weight this offseason.
(Aaron Smith, FR, San Jose, Calif) pic.twitter.com/8e2sOF2QlV
— Matt Prehm (@MattPrehm) August 6, 2021
Smith was a 2* running back that did not play in 2022.
Snee was a walk-on punter that did not play in 2022.
Swinson came to Oregon as a 3* defensive lineman. In 2022, he played in 12 games with 8 tackles, and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Thornton was a 4* wide receiver that was one of the more productive players of those whom have transferred to date. He played in 11 games this season, with 17 catches for 366 yards and 1 TD.
Tilmon was a 3* tight end. He played in one game in 2022 and recorded no stats.
Walden was a 4* offensive tackle. He played in two games in 2022 and there are no statistics available for him.
What to make of this? Any kind of look at the players transferring so far reveals a group that for the most part comprised a small amount of production this season – Justin Flowe and Dont’e Thornton notwithstanding. The majority of player were not seeing much game time, and their entry into the portal would be the natural choice, because every player wants to play.
However, just because a player enters the transfer portal doesn’t mean his situation is going to improve and will realize his goal of more playing time. Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated reported that 54% of transfers enrolled at a new school, 41% have not found a new school, or are still looking for a school, or have transferred to a non-NCAA school, or left football. 59% of scholarship transfers picked up a scholarship at a new FBS school, and 8% left their scholarship and became walk-ons.
There will be a significantly greater number of transfers this time around, and it’s safe to say that the transfer portal will not pan out for half of them, and perhaps more than half. A very good, high-profile player will likely be able to improve their playing circumstances, but for the majority of transfer portal entrants there likely is no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s just the reality of college football.
Dan Lanning and Co. made excellent use of the transfer portal ahead of the 2022 season. The new reality in college football is that yes, you do need to recruit well, but wise use of the transfer portal in bringing talent is essential for winning programs. This is the new paradigm and it isn’t going anywhere. There is still plenty of time for the Ducks coaching staff to acquire talent in areas of need, and so they’ve only signed two players to date from the portal. However, these players are a known quantity and certainly address positions where the Ducks need depth.
Jacobs comes from Iowa, and was a 4* recruit in the 2019 class. He chose the Hawkeyes over Michigan State and Ohio State. He only played in two games this season due to a season-ending injury.
Jacobs has bulked up and is now listed as 6-4 and 238 lbs. With the departure of Flowe and Noah Sewell possibly entering the NFL draft, the addition of Jacobs looks like an excellent choice by Oregon.
Holden comes to the Ducks from the Alabama Crimson Tide. He entered Alabama as a 4* recruit, and is 6-3 and 208 lbs. Holden isn’t necessarily a deep threat but can use his height for red zone productivity, as evidenced by his 6 TDs in 2022. This was a critical need for Oregon, with Chase Cota leaving and the transferring of Seven McGee and Dont’e Thornton. The Ducks need to shore up the wide receiver room and this is a step in the right direction.