The main storyline of the off-season was the transfer portal and the daily appearance of famous names. The first four games of the 2022 college football season provided an opportunity to test the best transfer portal players across the country in their new programs. A couple of players on this list could be in New York as Heisman Trophy finalists, and a couple don’t quite live up to the hype.
Let’s check out the top 10 players from the 247Sports Transfer Portal rankings for 2022 as we prepare for week five of the season.
1. Caleb Williams, QB, USC (ranked 100)
The best player in the ranking of the transfer portal, Caleb Williams starts worthy of a Heisman finalist. In the first three games, the Oklahoma transfer brought eight touchdowns with no interceptions and an average QBR of 92.3. In a Week 4 fight against Oregon State, Williams didn’t have the same success. He completed only 44% of his passes for 180 yards and one touchdown. But Williams took care of the football and led the Trojans to a winning game (and a fourth-down clutch conversion). USC and Williams will play Arizona State at home.
2. Quinn Evers, QB, Texas (ranked 100)
Before getting injured in week 2 against Alabama, Quinn Evers looked as good as advertised after high school (and in our rankings). Evers completed 9 of 12 passes for 134 yards against the Crimson Tide and looked good en route to a huge disappointment. Euvers has demonstrated remarkable hand talent and composure at quarterback, as well as the ability to lengthen the game and unbalance. Evers (sternoclavicular sprain) is expected to return to the roster in the near future, possibly for this weekend’s game against West Virginia, but most likely on Oct. 8 against archrival Oklahoma.
3. Jordan Addison, WR, USC (rating 98)
wide receiver Jordan Addison, Biletnikoff’s winner for Pittsburgh in 2021, has scored a touchdown in every game for the Trojans so far. Addison has 21 catches for 337 yards and six touchdowns in a year. In Week 2 against Stanford, he caught seven passes for 172 yards and scored two goals, and in a Week 4 road win at Oregon State, Addison scored the game-winning touchdown in the final minutes. Addison was electrified after the catch and opened in the bottom of the field without problems. So far, he’s scored a touchdown in every game for the Trojans.
4. Jahimr Gibbs, RB, Alabama (ranking 98)
In four games for the Tide, Georgia Tech transfer Jamir Gibbs has 172 rushing yards (25 carries in total), making him second on the rushing team behind Jace McClellan. However, Gibbs made a huge contribution to the passing game with 17 receptions for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Gibbs is a dynamic talent with special cutting abilities and elite speed, and these traits show up in the open field. Gibbs and Alabama travel to Arkansas for the Week 5 game. While Gibbs leads the team’s masters in touching, can he get enough carries during Tide’s SEC sprint to include him in the Heisman conversation after many called him the dark horse of the preseason?
5. Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama (Rank 98)
Alabama cornerback Eli Ricks, a former LSU Tiger player and the portal’s No. 5 ranked player, has played little in Tide this season. Ricks started the year with what Nick Saban called “a little back problem.” Since then, he has been working with the second squad in defense. His number of snaps so far according to Pro Football Focus:
Week 1 vs. Utah: 38
Week 2 vs. Texas: None
Week 3 vs. Louisiana-Monroe: 23
Week 4 vs. Vanderbilt: 15
Ricks was a former California five-star in the class of 2020 and had five interceptions in two seasons at Baton Rouge. We’re curious to see what’s in store for the next couple of months for a player who was once considered a first-round castle.
6. Kingsley Suamataya, OT, BYU (Rank 96)
offensive tackle Kingsley Suamatia, a five-star recruit, hit the portal midway through his 2021 freshman season in Oregon. Back home in Utah, Oregon star transferred home to BYU after one season. Suamataya improved his Pro Football Focus rankings every week this year, scoring 68 points from 53 snaps in BYU’s 38-26 win over Utah State on Thursday. It looks like he’s really holding his own.
7. Jackson Dart, QB, Ole Miss (ranking 96)
After four games and a long battle with Luke Altmaier, USC transfer Jackson Dart is officially the starting QB for Ole Mies and Lane Kiffin. This season, he completed 62% of passes for 697 yards and five touchdowns against two interceptions. Dart looked like an explosive runner with over 200 yards on the ground (6.9 yards per carry), a trait he did not display in a single season in Los Angeles. This weekend, Dart and Ole Miss will face a big test when the Kentucky Wildcats come to town.
8. Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss (Rank 95)
Houston native Zach Evans, a TCU transfer, dribbled 59 times for 365 yards and four touchdowns for the Rebels. Evans is averaging 6.2 yards per carry and looking as good as advertised, even if he doesn’t even get ahead of Ole Miss in the snatch! Part of a backfield that ranks fourth in the nation in total yards, Evans has the perfect combination of power, elusiveness and vision with remarkable contact balance and the ability to force defenders to miss.
Evans’ status in the big game against Kentucky this weekend is in some doubt as he left last week’s game against Tulsa with a “health problem” after running for 48 yards and landing on 10 carries. If he fails to leave, Ole Miss will turn over to freshman Quinshon Judkins and SMU will transfer Ulysses Bentley (who did not play against Tulsa due to his own injury).
9. Mario Williams, WR, USC (Rank 94)
9th player in the ranking of the transfer portal, receiver Mario Williams looked great like a real freshman in Oklahoma before moving to USC. Williams hasn’t caught a ton of balls, but at times he has shown explosive catch-and-run ability and can make vertical passes. USC has plenty of mouths to feed the attacking side of the ball, but Williams can be a huge weapon when needed. He has 13 catches for 261 yards and one touchdown a year.
10. Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama (94)
Jermaine Burton This season, Alabama has certainly started slowly (12 interceptions, 155 yards, two touchdowns), but can break out at any moment, which is what the Crimson Tide is looking forward to. Maybe this weekend against the maligned secondary Arkansas?
A move from rival Georgia, Burton had 26 catches for 497 yards and five touchdowns last season for the national champions. Coming out of high school, Burton was the No. 9 wide receiver in the nation.