Mountain West Connection has focused on the transfer portal this week and its impact on the Mountain West. In this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly,” we are going to take a look at how each team in the conference fared in the transfer portal.
The Broncos have been, and continue to be, hesitant to address too many needs in the transfer portal. But the Broncos needed immediate help in the trenches, and they got that with this class. If the spring game was any indication, Utah transfer Tyler Wegis is going to see significant playing time. The late addition of Iowa State transfer Howard Brown, will play a big part in strengthening a depleted interior defensive line.
The Bulldogs have some big shoes to fill on the offensive side of the ball and they attempted to do that through the portal. UCF transfer Mikey Keene is a skilled quarterback with invaluable experience and wide receiver transfers Mikel Barkley and Jaelen Gill should help to fill the holes left by Nikko Remigio and Jalen Moreno-Cropper.
The incoming transfers have a little bit of everything. It was clear that this team is focused on making every facet of their team better than they were in 2022. It also seems like Timmy Chang and his staff focused on bringing Hawaiian kids back to Hawaii to finish out their college football careers. I’m interested to see if Washington transfer Kuao Pelhopa can step in and make an immediate impact.
Nevada focused as much on the transfer portal as they did bringing in high school recruits. With 13 transfers coming in, Nevada hit the portal as hard as any team in the conference. It is clear that improving the offense was a major priority, with three running backs, two wide receivers, and a quarterback included in this class. Colorado transfer Brandon Lewis should have an excellent chance at winning the starting job, and John Jackson III has the potential to be a great wide receiver.
San Diego State
As of this writing, the Aztecs are only bringing in five transfers. But each of those transfers has the ability to play immediately. The additions of Tayvion Beasley and Jalil Tucker will shore up a secondary that struggled at times last year. I think the Aztecs did a nice job of addressing significant needs without going crazy in the portal.
San Jose State
The Spartans landing Oregon quarterback Jay Butterfield was one of the biggest surprises this year. Butterfield will serve as a backup this season, but he will be a very capable replacement for Chevan Cordeiro in 2024. The Spartans also got some nice help at cornerback with the additions of DJ Harvey and Jayvion Cole.
Blake Anderson has made the transfer portal a priority since becoming the head coach in Logan. I was a little surprised to see that the Aggies are adding only six transfers this cycle. Anderson once again focused on Power Five bouncebacks, and there are some really intriguing players in this bunch. Stanford transfer Colby Bowman has nice size at wide receiver and should be a nice option in the red zone.
It was clear that the offensive line was the number one priority for Jay Norvell and his staff. All three of the additions along the line are over 300 pounds; size was clearly the focus. However, I am not sure Henderson, Jervis, and Moss are going to be ready to make an immediate impact. I also think the Rams should have focused on landing some guys on the defensive line that could make a more immediate impact.
Whenever there is a coaching change, we can expect players to leave. The Rebels were a perfect example of that, as they lost a lot of very talented players to the transfer portal. I don’t think the Rebels did enough in the portal to make up for everything they lost. However, I do like the additions of Pittsburgh transfer Vincent Davis at running back and LSU transfer Zavier Carter at linebacker.
In the last few years, no team has been hit harder in the transfer portal than the Cowboys, losing multiple key players each year. The Cowboys added only three players from the portal, two wide receivers and a running back. I’m not sure if any of these additions have what it takes to make an immediate impact.
The Lobos are bringing in 10 transfers but have the 139th ranked transfer class according to 247Sports. There are some transfers like Bryson Washington and Marvin Covington that were highly recruited coming out of high school, but there wasn’t a lot of competition for them in the transfer portal. Danny Gonzales has one of the hottest seats in the country; he’s going to need this group of tranfers to exceed expectations in a big way.
The transfer portal does not benefit the Falcons in any way. If anything, it only hurts them. However, athletes know what they are signing up for when they commit to Air Force, and that is why they don’t lose as many athletes to the portal as other teams in the conference. Plus, there is the whole matter of national security and their commitment to our fine nation.
How did your team fare in the transfer portal? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.