Love it or hate it, the transfer portal is alive and active in the college sports world, especially for football. This year, July 1st marked the deadline for when a player can transfer to a new school and be eligible to play in the upcoming season. In the future, the football deadline will be May 31st. The deadline seems like a good time to review the additions and attrition for every Mountain West team. All 12 teams are categorized into transfer portal winners or losers, although those terms don’t tell the entire story. The higher the ranking, the more a team won or lost. The lower the ranking, the less of an impact the transfers appear to have.
Note: This post is looking solely at how a team did in regards to the transfer portal, regardless of the related factors. For example, teams that focused more on traditional recruiting may have put together a strong recruiting class and not fared well in the transfer portal because it wasn’t a focus.
1) Fresno State
Notable Additions: RB Jordan Wilmore, WR Ty Jones, DL Evan Bennett, DE Ryan Boehm, LB Tyson Maeva, LB Isaac Garcia
Notable Losses: WR Jamal Glaspie, QB Ben Wooldridge, DE Colby Warkentin, LB Deven Jarvis
Has any Mountain West team benefited from the transfer portal as well as Fresno State this past year? They hit the portal early and often to add impact talent at nearly every position. They filled some holes at linebacker and defensive line to add some formidable players on defense. On offense, they have two new weapons at their disposal to complement the weapons they already have.
As far as losses, the Bulldogs did have some players leave the program. A few of their higher-ranked recruits in recent years, like Glaspie, is disappointing to see. It won’t hurt them in the short term by any means, but some of the depth between their current and future talent has taken a hit.
Notable Additions: DL Connor Murphy, WR Jordan Jakes, RB Jayvaun Wilson, LB Kylan Willborn
Notable Losses: QB Kenyon Oblad, WR Randall Grimes, TE Alex Lines, DB Sir Oliver Everett
UNLV made several impact additions on both sides of the ball. They now have a talented player to impact the defensive line and also get new talent to help out in the linebacker unit. The offense also adds some new weapons at wide receiver and running back in hopes to establish some impact players that they were desperately missing last season.
The Rebel losses are a bit of a mixed bag. A few players were former starters, contributors, or other veterans who either fell out of favor or else didn’t fit the plans of the new coaching staff. While that is expected, it is never without consequence. What hurts more are the transfers from young players in recent recruiting classes, especially those players recruited by the new coaching staff. Leaving so quickly after the coaches identified them to be part of what they are rebuilding is frustrating. Specifically, one player was in the top ten players recruited to the MWC in his year.
3) Utah State
Notable Additions: WR Jamie Nance, LB Patrick Joyner, LB Justin Rice, LB Bryon Vaughns
Notable Losses: QB John Shelley, LB Maika Magalei, OG Karter Shaw, LB Elijah Shelton.
The Aggies seem to have a revolving door for a roster, as players have been coming and going at a frequent rate since the coaching change. That isn’t a surprise by any means, as it is a characteristic of most teams after a coaching change. No MWC team added more transfers than Utah State, all with varying degrees of talent and potential impact. Specifically, they added immediate talent at linebacker.
Meanwhile, their losses are high in quantity but don’t hurt too much in the quality department. They lose some experience, which would have helped the team. But, because they managed to hold on to their most productive players who entered the portal, the impact of the losses are minimal.
4) San Diego State
Notable Additions: Tyrell Shavers, Jalen Mayden
Notable Losses: RB Zidane Thomas, LB Jeffrey Blake, QB Carson Baker, LB Kobah Fuamatu
SDSU didn’t add a lot of transfers, but they made the ones they did out count. The two new additions are teammates, and as a quarterback and wide receiver, they are really a package deal. Even more important, both players come in to play key positions where San Diego State has traditionally lacked impact players. They have the potential to succeed right away.
It wasn’t all positives, as the Aztecs suffered some key losses as well. One was lost to the conference rival, and numerous others were promising recruits in recent recruiting classes. Three of those recruits play key positions in the San Diego State schemes, and two of them in particular were among the top-ranked players in their class.
Notable Additions: WR Marquis Spiker, OL Jacob Nunez, DB Isaiah Essissima, DB Chris Whittaker
Notable Losses: TE Henry Ikahihifo, WR Charles Ross, OL Cole Watts, DB Kieran Clark, OL Zac Welch, DL Chace Davis
Nevada added a number of solid transfers this past offseason to replenish their roster. For starters, they added a dynamic wide receiver who can likely become the next big playmaker in the passing game. They also raided a conference mate for another transfer. Also, they sport a new edge-rusher in their defense. Finally, they prioritized the secondary in an attempt to inject some new life and talent into their secondary. All in all, they fared well in the transfer portal in terms of additions.
Looking in the loss column, the Wolf Pack took a hit in their numbers. Not only did they lose a number of players, but they also lost quality players. Among the damage was one of the highest-ranked signees in the conference in his year, a few of the best recruits in their signing classes, a player who transferred to another MWC school, and a player who transferred after signing this past winter.
6) Boise State
Notable Additions: RB Cyrus Habibi-Likio, EDGE Andrew Faoliu, CB Caleb Biggers
Notable Losses: Dylan Hall, Khyheem Waleed, Brandon Hernandez, Donovan Clark
Boise State did not make the big splashes like some of their conference-mates listed above, but they identified their most significant needs and found quality players to fill those needs. They added a solid change of pace player at running back, a young and talented edge rusher to develop and deploy as depth, and also found a veteran cornerback to offset losing both of their starters. They lost a number of players to the transfer portal this offseason, but none were starters or players who saw the field. However, many were talented recruits who likely would have been in some kind of role in the next season or two.
1) Colorado State
Notable Additions: None
Notable Losses: QB Patrick O’Brien, WR Nate Craig-Myers, DB Keevan Bailey, DB Lathan Adams, QB Luke McAllister
Things were rough for the Rams this offseason as far as transfers went. It shouldn’t be a surprise as it is common when a new coaching staff comes in, but it still stings. CSU lost their starting QB, start slot receiver, one of their best recruits from the 2019 class who was a key contributor in the 2019 season, plus two of their top recruits from their 2021 class (yes, the one that just signed over the winter). They managed to avoid bigger losses, as their star TE and solid DE entered the portal but stayed with the team. The Rams seem content on rebuilding through recruiting and not transfers, so it’s hard to find bright spots here.
2) New Mexico
Notable Additions: OL Jack Buford, QB Terry Wilson, LB Jeff Blake, WR CJ Boone
Notable Losses: DB Eric Cuffee, WR Jordan Kress, RB Nathaniel Jones, WR Elijah Lily, WR Cedric Patterson
The Lobos were a bit tricky to place. Their list of additions looks pretty impressive, but only if everyone ends up starting, which is not a guarantee given their depth chart at some of these positions.
New Mexico’s losses are not surprising given the recent coaching change. However, it’s who is transferring that is the point. Most of the players listed are starters or at least rotation players poised for a prominent role this year. Having one of their own recruits transferring isn’t a good sign, and neither is having starters transfer out of the program. The Lobos get dinged here not necessarily for the quality coming in/out but for the roles of the players leaving.
Notable Additions: LB Solomon Turner, DL Zacchaeus McKinney
Notable Losses: WR Lincoln Victor, WR Quin Bright, LB Zach Bowers, DE Mason Vega, WR Melquise Stovall
The Rainbow Warriors added many P5 transfers, including a few who should immediately bolster their defensive ranks. The hope is that all of them are able to make an impact as soon as this season. However, their additions were not enough to offset their losses.
Hawaii has fallen subject to the coaching change transfer madness. Many of their players hit the portal since the end of the season, and even worse, many of these were players in or being prepped for big roles. Many were top signees in recent classes, and one was a previous transfer who is now transferring again.
4) San Jose State
Notable Additions: WR Charles Ross, RB Kenyon Sims
Notable Losses: DB Tre Webb, OT Justin Scrempos, WR Austin Liles
The Spartans are featured in the winner’s column, but more for their lack of moves than anything. They are one of the few teams in the conference that were not active in the transfer portal in either additions or losses. They added a few players, but their projected impact is minimal at this point. Similarly, they lose a three-year starter at defensive back and a few recruits with promising potential.
Notable Additions: None
Notable Losses: DL Alonzo Hall, WR Keshaun Taylor, CB Caleb Roberson
The Cowboys didn’t add any players from the transfer portal, which isn’t surprising as Coach Bohl is as old-school as they come. Due to this, they are at a net loss, even though their losses are devastating. These players were quality recruits and seemed poised to add some skill and athleticism to their ranks in a few seasons. Instead, they will not suit up for Wyoming.
6) Air Force
Notable Additions: None
Notable Losses: QB Cameron George, QB Jameson Wang, DB Jadon Pearson
It’s hard to say the Falcons really lost much of anything in the transfer portal this year. However, they are listed under the “losers” category for two reasons. First and foremost, they did not have any additions, so they are at a net loss due to that, even though they more than makeup for the losses in recruiting every year. Secondly, some of their losses were focused on the quarterback position, which didn’t have the best depth last year and now takes another hit this year. While it may not end up a concern, it is noteworthy.