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Transfer Portal Update: Key Big 12 Departures

With the winter transfer window closed, many top Big 12 players are on the move

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NCAA Football: West Virginia at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Since the 2023 college football regular season concluded and the 2024 transfer window opened nationally on December 4th, over 1,900 players have entered their name into the transfer portal in search of new opportunities with a different program. The rules regarding transfers remain ever-evolving as the NCAA is engaged in continued litigation, as most recently multi-time transfers would be allowed to begin competing immediately, effectively eliminating transfer restrictions. Today, January 2, is the final day to enter the transfer portal until April 14 when another two-week window opens. Players can still make their decision about which program to join outside of this window, but no new players can enter the portal, calming the waters a bit for the next few months into spring practice. The transfer news will undoubtedly continue to pour in nation-wide, but after 30 days of the open window, let’s take a look back at the key departures for the new 16-team Big 12 Conference:

Arizona Wildcats:

Key Departure: QB Jayden de Laura. The Wildcats have a QB of the future in house as Noah Fifita demonstrated in the Alamo Bowl win over Oklahoma with 354 yards and 2 TDs. Given the relief for multi-time transfers, the former Washington State Cougar and four-star product will find a new home, likely searching for another QB1 opportunity after throwing for 1,120 yards and 10 TDs in 2023.
Others in Portal (9): WR Charles Yates, LB Ammon Allen, LB Daniel Helmull, DB Cruz Rushing, DB Canyon Moses, DB Isaiah Taylor, DL Orin Patu, DL Jason Harris, RB Stevie Rocker

Arizona State Sun Devils:

Key Departure: DL BJ Green. After leading ASU in sacks each of the last three seasons, he’ll make his way to the Washington Huskies for a senior campaign. He accumulated 13.5 sacks and 60 tackles in those three seasons in Tempe.
Others in Portal (14): WR Andre Johnson, WR Shawn Charles, WR Alonzo Brown, DL Ashley Williams, DL James Djonkam, DB Jordan Clark, DB Shawn Russ, DB Isaiah Johnson, OL Isala Glass, RB Javen Jacobs, QB Drew Pyne, TE Jalin Conyers, LB Dylan Devito, LB Will Shaffer

Baylor Bears:

Key Departure: TE Drake Dabney. After four years in Waco, Dabney will head to Fort Worth to join the Horned Frogs. In 2023 he led the Bears in receiving TDs and was second on the squad in receptions and yards.
Others in Portal (5): QB Blake Shapen, OL Timothy Dawn, OL George Malle, RB Qualan Jones, DB Alfonzo Allen

BYU Cougars:

Key Departure: None. Although the Cougars do have seven players looking for new homes, those players started zero games for BYU in 2023 and only combined to play in a total of 10 games. While BYU may not often be a hot transfer destination, it will also be better positioned to retain its team compared to others.
Others in Portal (7): QB Sol-Jay Malava, OL Dylan Rollins, OL Austin Riggs, DB Quenton Rice, DL Michael Daley, John Henry Daley, Dom Henry.

Cincinnati Bearcats:

Key Departure: TE Chamon Metayer. The four-star athlete from Miami, FL in the 2021 recruiting class had a nice breakout campaign in 2023, scoring 5 touchdowns on 23 receptions for 258 yards. He ranked as the No. 5 transfer Tight End and has committed to Deion Sanders and incoming Big 12 member Colorado.
Others in Portal (21): DB Sammy Anderson, DB Deshawn Pace, DB Oliver Bridges, DB Isiah Cox, DB Justin Harris, DB Byron Threats, DB George Udo, OL Mao Glynn, OL Luke Dalton, OL Cayson Pfelffer, WR Ty Perkins, WR Chris Scott, WR Donovan Ollie, RB Ethan Wright, RB Stephan Byrd, RB Myles Montgomery, DL Justin Wodtly, DL Jah-mal Williams, DL CJ Doggette, LB Dion Hunter, K Rory Bell,

Colorado Buffaloes:

Key Departure: LB Marvin Ham. The four-star from Michigan has been in Boulder for a long time, riding the roller coaster there since 2019. In 2023 he contributed 36 tackles and a sack. Colorado brought in one of the nation’s top transfer class, but didn’t have a huge exodus of outbound portal entries
Others in Portal (9): QB Kasen Weisman, DB Kyndrich Breedlove, OL Jeremiah McCrimmon, OL Van Wells, OL Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, TE Michael Harrison, TE Caleb Fauria, LB Eoghan Kerry, RB Anthony Hankerson,

Houston Cougars:

Key Departure: WR Matthew Golden. The 2nd Team All-Conference kick returner was a game changer in 2023 for the Cougs as a returner (2 TDs, 35.7 yards per return) and receiver (38 receptions, 404 yards, 6 TDs), which followed a terrific true freshman campaign in 2022. As a transfer prospect, Golden ranked top-30 overall and will make his way to Austin to join a Longhorn receiver room that will likely lose three starters.
Others in Portal (10): WR Ja’koby Banks, WR Dalton Carnes, DL Jamaree Caldwell, DL Chidozie Nwankwo, DL Amipeleasi Langi LB Aaron Willis, LB Chris Pearson, OL Tyler Johnson, OL Reuben Unije, DB Moses Alexander

Iowa State Cyclones:

Key Departure: TE DeShawn Hanika. Another Big 12 TE moving within the conference, the 2022 2nd Team All-Conference honoree is on his way home to Kansas. His senior season in Ames ended before it started due to the sports betting scandal that hit ISU, as he was accused of placing wagers on Iowa State basketball games, but will be clear to play in 2024.
Others in Portal (12): RB Eli Sanders, RB Cartevious Norton, OL Darrell Simmons, DL Kaden Sutton, WR Quaron Adams, WR Greg Gaines, DB Myles Norwood, DB Terrell Crosby, LB Carston Marshal

Kansas Jayhawks:

Key Departure: DL Gage Keys. As a redshirt sophomore in 2023, Gage played in 12 games and recorded 21 tackles with 4 QB hurries. He’ll make his 2nd transfer, going to Auburn after previously transferring to Lawrence from Minnesota.
Others in Portal (4): OL Armaj Reed-Adams, WR Tanaka Scott, WR Reece Thomas, TE Will Huggins

Kansas State Wildcats:

Key Departure: DB Kobe Savage. The ‘Cats have many high-profile outbound transfers who will make big impacts for new squads in 2024, but the two-time All-Big 12 2nd Team member Savage is a major loss, transferring to Oregon. In his two seasons in Manhattan, Savage contributed 115 tackles and six interceptions.
Others in Portal (14): QB Will Howard, QB Jake Rubley, QB Adryan Lara, RB Treshaun Ward, RB Christian Moore, RB Anthony Frias, WR Wesley Watson, WR RJ Garcia II, WR Xavier Loyd, DB Jordan Wright, DB Will Lee III, LB Collin Dunn, LB Jordan Perry, DL Nate Matlack

Oklahoma State Cowboys:

Key Departure: WR Jaden Bray. Departing after three seasons in Stillwater, Bray took a medical redshirt in 2022 following a solid 2021 season. In 2023 he bounced back with 30 receptions, 382 yards, and 2 TDs in 2023 as the Cowboys returned to the Big 12 Championship game. He’s committed to transfer within the conference, joining West Virginia.
Others in Portal (8): QB Gunnar Gundy, DB Lrdarius Webb Jr, DB Nick Session, DB DJ McKinney, WR Blaine Green, DL Ricky Lolohea, OL Tyrone Webber, RB Jaden Nixon

TCU Horned Frogs:

Key Departure: QB Chandler Morris. Regardless of how you feel about Josh Hoover’s future or the camp battles over the last two seasons wherein Morris beat out Hoover and eventual Heisman runner-up Max Duggan, TCU is losing its two-year opening day starting quarterback. Morris put up over 1,500 yards and 12 TDs with 5 interceptions while completing 65.5% of passes in another injury-shortened campaign. He’ll be forever a Horned Frog legend for his magical display in ending the Baylor Bears’ CFP dreams in 2021 with 531 yards of total offense and 3 total TDs in an upset win in TCU’s first game without Gary Patterson.
Others in Portal (10): WR DJ Allen, WR Cordale Russell, DB Javeon Wilcox, DB Randon Fontenette, DB Jaionte McMillan, DB Chace Biddle, DB Ishmael Burdine, DB Mason White, OL Jasper Lott, LB Zach Marcheselli

Texas Tech Red Raiders:

Key Departure(s): WRs Jerand Bradley, Myles Price, Loic Fouonji, and JJ Sparkman,. The Red Raiders bring elite five-star true freshman Micah Hudson to Lubbock, but its WR room will take a hit as four of its top experienced pass catchers. Price led TTU in receptions and TDs in 2023 and is headed to Indiana; Bradley was 2nd on the team in receiving yards while scoring 4 times and is transferring to Boston College; Fouonji was a 4-star top-15 player in Texas, but never developed into a threat at TTU, he is headed to Vanderbilt; Sparkman fell out of the rotation in 2023 after some promising moments including a TD vs. TCU in 2022 and a score in the 2021 Liberty Bowl.
Others in Portal (12): QB Tyler Shough, OL Monroe Mills, OL Set Martin, OL Matt Keeler, OL Jacoby Jackson, OL Landon Peterson, WR Nehemiah Martinez, WR Tyler King, DB Nate Floyd, TE Jayden York, P Brook Honore Jr, LB Jesiah Pierre

UCF Knights:

Key Departure: DB Corey Thornton. A four-year contributor for the Knights, Thornton earned 3rd Team All AAC in 2021 & 2022. In 2023 he led UCF in interceptions (3) and pass break ups (9) while making 27 tackles from the secondary. He has taken his talents to the Louisville Cardinals for his fifth season of college football.
Others in Portal (13): DL Josh Cellscar, DL KD McDaniel, DL Dallaz Corbitt, DL Keenan Cupit, DL Kervins Choute, LB Isaiah Paul, WR Amari Johnson, WR Tyler Griffin, WR Jaylon Griffin, QB Brady Shannon, RB Jordan McDonald, OL Drake Metcalf, DB Fred Davis II

Utah Utes

Key Departure: RB Ja’Quinden Jackson. A high four-star QB prospect out of Duncanville, Jackson started his career as a top-5 national QB recruit for the Texas Longhorns, but in his transfer to the Utes he moved to the ball carrier role. In 2023 Jackson led Utah with 797 yards on 5 yards per carry with 4 TDs. While Utah got good production from two-way star Sione Vaki, Jackson was the primary back when healthy.
Others in Portal (14): QB Nate Johnson, QB Bryson Barnes, QB Mack Howard, DB Jadon Pearson, DB Kenzel Lawler, DB Faybian Marks, DB Jocelyn Malaska, DB Darrien Stewart, DB JaTravis Broughton, LB Justin Medlock, LB Owen Chambliss, WR Makai Cope, WR Mikey Matthews, OL Hayden Erickson

West Virginia Mountaineers:

Key Departure: DL Tomiwa Durojaiye & Jared Bartlett. WVU’s top two sacks leaders from 2023 have entered the portal, together combining for 8 sacks last season. Bartlett spent five seasons in Morgantown, accumulating 134 tackles and 14 sacks. Durojaiye transferred in from Kentucky and spent just one year with the ‘Eers, earning 23 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Others in Portal (14): DB Keyshawn Cobb, DB Lance Dixon, DB Christion Stokes, DB Hershey McLaurin, DB Andrew Wilson-Lamp, DL Mike Lockhart, DL James Heard, RB Justin Johnson Jr, K Danny King, WR Ja’Shaun Poke, WR Davis Mallinger, WR Theo Grabill, WR Jeremiah Aaron, WR Cortez Braham