Will Transfer Portal change recruiting strategy of mid pack schools?

Redwood Forrest

Hall of Fame
Sep 19, 2003
10,586
280
107
74
Boaz, AL USA
I have been trying to figure out how the newest Transfer portal rules will affect recruiting in the middle of the pack teams. It seems to me Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M, Clemson and the teams who usually land top ten classes will continue to load up with talent and then lose some of it to the Portal. I was wondering if Miss State, Michigan State and Virginia, for example, will opt to save some money and energy in recruiting 4 and 5 stars by concentrating on 3 stars. After all they probably are not going to get many up front anyway and instead just hang out on the Portal and try to fill those slots with players looking for new opportunities to play. That would depend on the mindset I suppose. I mean, when you hire a HC from the fired loser ranks (see S.C. & Muschamp) you probably won't get much bang for your buck with 4 and 5 stars -- so why bother.

I would like to hear from you guys who follow recruiting closely on this kind of strategy.
 

buckeyeFB_

Bamanation Citizen
Jun 24, 2019
94
356
77
I think the new transfer portal rules will affect the recruiting strategies/approaches of everyone. I actually think the best programs (Bama, OSU, Clemson, etc.) will benefit from the new transfer rules just as much, if not more, than they will suffer from them though.

Your point about talented players potentially looking to transfer from a top-tier school to somewhere where they would play more/start right away is definitely something I think will take place. However, I also think you'll see an increase in the most talented players on lesser teams looking to transfer somewhere where they can still start but also compete for a title.

For example, before the 2019 season Jonah Jackson (who was a graduate transfer) transferred from Rutgers to Ohio State. Jackson was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Guard in 2018, and our only returning starter on our O-line was our Left Tackle, so Jackson realized he could come to OSU where he would still start, get better coaching under Greg Studrawa, and also have a chance to win it all. He was then named 1st-team All-Big Ten in 2019 and got drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft, so it worked out well for him.

I think the All-Conference level players on the middle-of-the-pack/lesser teams will now be more inclined to transfer to an elite program as soon as they get the opportunity if they know they don't have to sit out and they'd still essentially be a lock to start.
 

CB4

All-American
Aug 8, 2011
4,570
2,071
187
Birmingham, AL
I think the new transfer portal rules will affect the recruiting strategies/approaches of everyone. I actually think the best programs (Bama, OSU, Clemson, etc.) will benefit from the new transfer rules just as much, if not more, than they will suffer from them though.

Your point about talented players potentially looking to transfer from a top-tier school to somewhere where they would play more/start right away is definitely something I think will take place. However, I also think you'll see an increase in the most talented players on lesser teams looking to transfer somewhere where they can still start but also compete for a title.

For example, before the 2019 season Jonah Jackson (who was a graduate transfer) transferred from Rutgers to Ohio State. Jackson was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Guard in 2018, and our only returning starter on our O-line was our Left Tackle, so Jackson realized he could come to OSU where he would still start, get better coaching under Greg Studrawa, and also have a chance to win it all. He was then named 1st-team All-Big Ten in 2019 and got drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft, so it worked out well for him.

I think the All-Conference level players on the middle-of-the-pack/lesser teams will now be more inclined to transfer to an elite program as soon as they get the opportunity if they know they don't have to sit out and they'd still essentially be a lock to start.
Coach Saban made this point a few weeks back. He thinks the "rich will get richer". The more talented players on mid level teams will evaluate top programs like Bama, tOSU, Clemson, etc. to look for the opportunity to find a starting spot for a year or two. Get better coaching & development, play for a title and possibly improve their draft stock. I think CNS is pretty clear. Immediately eligibility for a grad transfer is one thing; a "one time, go where want and play immediately" is quite different. There is something to be said for commitment to your program and to your teammates.
However, CNS will be one of those that says "okay, if this his what you want, I'll take full advantage of it".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Con and buckeyeFB_

Redwood Forrest

Hall of Fame
Sep 19, 2003
10,586
280
107
74
Boaz, AL USA
After reading both responses I saw I had not considered the Junior College players. i suppose this will be the end of bringing them in since they can now get a FBS talented and experienced player to fill the spot.
 

B1GTide

TideFans Legend
Apr 13, 2012
37,751
24,343
187
After reading both responses I saw I had not considered the Junior College players. i suppose this will be the end of bringing them in since they can now get a FBS talented and experienced player to fill the spot.
The really talented players who are required to go the JUCO route because of their HS grades will always have a path back.
 

4Q Basket Case

FB|BB Moderator
Nov 8, 2004
6,553
4,041
237
Tuscaloosa
I think the mid-G5 teams will try the portal. Sounds great on the surface…pick up 3-and 4-star talent with which you would have had no chance when they were coming out of high school.

Problem is, not all who enter the portal do so for reasons as innocuous as getting squeezed out by 5-star talent, or a new HC has a philosophy that doesn’t fit their skill set.

It could be those things. But it could also be not wanting to put in the work in the weight room or classroom necessary to perform on the field. Could be they peaked early, and have hit their personal ceiling. Could be a sense of entitlement that wasn’t disabused by difficulty at the first school. Could be a locker room cancer. Could be an undisclosed injury. Could be a lot of things.

I’m reminded of a comment from a well-known assistant coach speaking to an alumni group on JUCO transfers. He said, “There’s usually a reason they had to go to junior college, and it’s not always just the grades…..its why they don’t have the grades to get into a 4-year program.”

Point being, there will be feel-good stories that get lots of publicity (think Jalen Hurts). But I think there will be far more stories, unpublicized, that have endings not nearly so happy.
 

CB4

All-American
Aug 8, 2011
4,570
2,071
187
Birmingham, AL
I think the mid-G5 teams will try the portal. Sounds great on the surface…pick up 3-and 4-star talent with which you would have had no chance when they were coming out of high school.

Problem is, not all who enter the portal do so for reasons as innocuous as getting squeezed out by 5-star talent, or a new HC has a philosophy that doesn’t fit their skill set.

It could be those things. But it could also be not wanting to put in the work in the weight room or classroom necessary to perform on the field. Could be they peaked early, and have hit their personal ceiling. Could be a sense of entitlement that wasn’t disabused by difficulty at the first school. Could be a locker room cancer. Could be an undisclosed injury. Could be a lot of things.

I’m reminded of a comment from a well-known assistant coach speaking to an alumni group on JUCO transfers. He said, “There’s usually a reason they had to go to junior college, and it’s not always just the grades…..its why they don’t have the grades to get into a 4-year program.”

Point being, there will be feel-good stories that get lots of publicity (think Jalen Hurts). But I think there will be far more stories, unpublicized, that have endings not nearly so happy.
My son was attending Ron Polk’s baseball camp in Starkville back in the 1990’s. In his wrap up at the end of camp (with parents in attendance), this was the exact point he made. His statement was “Your grades are up to you. I can’t do anything about it. You can be the best ball player I’ve ever seen and I can’t recruit you if you don’t have the grades. And in my experience, the vast majority of the time I question what effort I will get on the field if the effort isn’t made in the classroom. You guys going into you senior year, it may be too late. Sophomores and juniors you still have a chance. It’s up to you”.
 

Redwood Forrest

Hall of Fame
Sep 19, 2003
10,586
280
107
74
Boaz, AL USA
I heard on radio yesterday that some HC (they did not say who or what school) did not recruit any high school players this year but instead filled his entire incoming class with transfer portals. The entire class! Now how this turns out is going to be the question. There will be many "misfits" I am sure. I suppose time will tell.
 

4Q Basket Case

FB|BB Moderator
Nov 8, 2004
6,553
4,041
237
Tuscaloosa
I heard on radio yesterday that some HC (they did not say who or what school) did not recruit any high school players this year but instead filled his entire incoming class with transfer portals. The entire class! Now how this turns out is going to be the question. There will be many "misfits" I am sure. I suppose time will tell.
Rick Neuheisel had a great quote on recruiting.

He said it wasn’t the guys you didn’t get that hurt you. It was the guys you got who didn’t work out. Doesn’t matter the reason.

I have to think that, for most coaches, going through the portal, like going through JUCO, will result in far more misses than hits.

I know people will point out Jake Coker, Landon Dickerson and a couple of other transfers that worked out fantastically for Saban. And we have two highly touted transfers coming in this class (JMHO, but due to the circumstances leading to the transfers, I expect more success from To’o To’o than Williams).

But Nick Saban is an exception to a lot of rules, and this is one of them — and even his batting average is around .500 or so. Savion Smith, anyone? I also checked the scrimmage roster and found only two JUCOs, neither of whom are projected to be in the 2-deep. The fact that Saban has more hits than most on transfers doesn’t mean others will.

Occasional happy stories acknowledged, I think the transfer portal will be far less successful for both players and coaches not named Nick Saban than it’s hyped to be.
 
  • Thank You
Reactions: Con and BamaInBham

NoNC4Tubs

Hall of Fame
Nov 13, 2010
5,619
730
137
Rick Neuheisel had a great quote on recruiting.

He said it wasn’t the guys you didn’t get that hurt you. It was the guys you got who didn’t work out. Doesn’t matter the reason.

I have to think that, for most coaches, going through the portal, like going through JUCO, will result in far more misses than hits.

I know people will point out Jake Coker, Landon Dickerson and a couple of other transfers that worked out fantastically for Saban. And we have two highly touted transfers coming in this class (JMHO, but due to the circumstances leading to the transfers, I expect more success from To’o To’o than Williams).

But Nick Saban is an exception to a lot of rules, and this is one of them — and even his batting average is around .500 or so. Savion Smith, anyone? I also checked the scrimmage roster and found only two JUCOs, neither of whom are projected to be in the 2-deep. The fact that Saban has more hits than most on transfers doesn’t mean others will.

Occasional happy stories acknowledged, I think the transfer portal will be far less successful for both players and coaches not named Nick Saban than it’s hyped to be.
The difference is that Coach Saban also evaluates character... :cool:
 
Last edited:

GrayTide

Hall of Fame
Nov 15, 2005
17,526
3,173
187
Greenbow, Alabama
For those of us who have been around for quite a few seasons have seen transfers come and go, mostly go. It was rare that any transfer played much less was a contributor. This pretty much has been the same with JUCO players. Prior to the transfer portal CNS had very few transfers and just a handful of JUCO players. While I am no fan of the transfer portal; it is the way of the future for a lot of players and will be a big part of some programs' rosters.
 

JDCrimson

All-American
Feb 12, 2006
3,188
904
137
48
The programs who have routinely relied on JUCOs will probably also try their hand with the portal too and probably have the same results which is mixed and still will not achieve any roster stability.

There won't be enough attainable talent through the portal to field a championship team if you are perennial non-contender.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4Q Basket Case

bamaslammer

All-American
Jan 8, 2003
4,018
249
82
Argo, AL, St Clair
www.kirkwoodhouse.com
I think success at the mid tier is going to have to be about the team and stop focusing on "the guy". Yes a single guy can make a huge difference but if you did find a Bo Jackson in your 3 star recruiting haul he's going to be gone pretty quick and if you've based your program off his skills you're going to suffer.