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Peak Perspective: 2023 Transfer Portal Winners and Losers

We examine the players added and lost for each team.

Love it or hate it, the transfer portal is alive and active in the college sports world, especially for football. This year, May 31 marked the deadline for when a player can enter the portal and still be eligible to play in the upcoming season. However, players are still joining new schools, so the start of July 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 looks 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.

Also, all numbers are accurate as of 7-4-23

Because not every team recruits transfers the same way, it’s not worth comparing teams to one another as we would for traditional high school recruiting (and even that has its flaws). Instead, it seems beneficial to describe what every team’s purpose appears to be when it comes to adding players in the transfer portal. This is what my observations are:

Teams that used the transfer portal more or as much as high school recruiting: Colorado State, Utah State

Teams that used the transfer portal as their primary recruiting avenue out of necessity: Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico

Teams that used the transfer portal in an attempt to land big-impact players: Fresno State, San Diego State, UNLV

Teams that used the transfer portal to fill specific needs: Boise State, San Jose State, Wyoming

Teams that cannot use the transfer portal: Air Force

Air Force

Number of Additions: 0

Notable Additions: N/A

Number of Losses: 20

Notable Losses: LB Cooper Roy, TE Liam Hoffmeyer, RB Tyler Stevens, DB David Eure

It’s hard to say the Falcons really lost much of anything in the transfer portal this year. The majority of their transfers were not players who played a key role on the field, although some players were former quality recruits. However, they get marked down because 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. While it may not end up a concern (and Falcons fans know this as well as anyone), it is still noteworthy.

Bottom Line: Losers (by default)

Boise State

Number of Additions: 7

Notable Additions: DB Titus Toler, DE Kivon Wright, DE Tyler Wegis, OL Ethan Carde

Number of Losses: 21

Notable Losses: DT Jackson Cravens, DE Isaiah Bagnah, DE Deven Wright, TE Tyneil Hopper

Boise State did not make the big splashes on paper like some others in the conference, but they identified their most significant needs and found quality players to fill those needs. They made a big step towards solidifying their defense, especially to create needed depth to their pass-rush and secondary. They also continue to fill gaps on the offense line through portal. On the other side of the equation, they lost a few starters or rotational players, but none would quality as devastating losses. Basically, they lost key contributors and added players who will play similar roles or exceed them, so they come out as a slight net positive heading into the season.

Bottom Line: Winners (slightly)

Colorado State

Number of Additions: 16

Notable Additions: WR Dylan Goffney, DL Matt Thomas, TE Dallin Holker

Number of Losses: 36

Notable Losses: WR Melquan Stovall, WR Ty McCullough, DL Devin Phillips, TE Tanner Arkin,

Last season, Colorado State’s plan of being Nevada 2.0 did not work out so well. They continued the near complete overhaul of the roster, losing roughly 40% of their roster for one reason or another. The players they brought in should fit their system well, and the offense can only improve upon last year’s showing. But the quality of the incoming players does not seem to match those that they lost.

Bottom Line: Losers

Fresno State

Number of Additions: 10

Notable Additions: QB Mikey Keene, LB Tuasivi Nomura, WR Jaelen Gill, WR Mikel Barkley

Number of Losses: 28

Notable Losses: WR Josh Kelly, DB Evan Williams, OL Bula Schmidt, DB Brayln Lux, DL Matt Lawson, QB Jaylen Henderson

Once again, Fresno State does fantastic work in the transfer portal. They were able to be a landing spot for many former top recruits and players from Power 5 programs. Even more importantly, they are plugging some key holes that will help the Bulldogs in their efforts to defend their conference championship as they head into 2023. However, those holes were created after many of their top returning players decided to leave for other opportunities. Last year, Fresno State’s good outweighs the bad, but this year, it seems like the opposite may be true.

This should solidify their depth and plug any holes the team may have had in their attempt to win the conference in 2022. On the other side of the equation, they had a few significant transfers, either those who played a role on last year’s team or some of their more highly-ranked recruits. All are key losses as current, and future talent has taken a hit, but the good outweighs the bad in this case.

Bottom Line: Losers


Number of Additions: 9

Notable Additions: DT Kuao Peihopa, LB Patrick Hisatake, WR Steven McBride, OL Joshua Atkins, DB Cam Stone

Number of Losses: 13

Notable Losses: DB Tiger Peterson, DB Tydrick Marsh

Compared to last offseason, Hawaii endured minimal transfer losses. This year, they brought in more players than they lost. More importantly, they developed a strategy of being an attractive destination for players with Hawaii ties who are looked for a second chance. This allowed them to land a number of former quality recruits this past offseason. A number of players should be able to make an impact, which will allow the program to take a step forward on the field come fall.

Bottom Line: Winners


Number of Additions: 16

Notable Additions: LB Jackson LaDuke, RB Sean Dollars, QB Brendon Lewis, RB Ashton Hayes, WR John Jackson, DE Adrian Jackson, OL Jason Rodriguez

Number of Losses: 19

Notable Losses: DB JoJuan Claiborne, OL Grant Starck, OL Aaron Frost, LB Jeremiah Bodwin, LS Austin Ortega

Nevada lost the bulk of its production from last season, and more players this past season. However, this year the coaching staff was prepared and was on the attack to add quality players to fill needs. This year, they succeeded, bolstering their ranks, especially at running back and in the trenches. It remains to be seen if they plugged enough holes, but it was a much better outcome for the program this time around.

Bottom Line: Winners

New Mexico

Number of Additions: 14

Notable Additions: DB Bryson Washington, DB D’arco Perkins McAllister, QB Dylan Hopkins, WR Caleb Medford, DB Marvin Covington

Number of Losses: 31

Notable Losses: WR Keyoneta Lanier, DB Adari Haulcy Jr, LB Cody Moon, LB Dion Hunter, DL Ian Shewell

Once again, Lobos are an example of good players on bad teams choosing to go and utilize their talents on better teams. It is challenging to build a program when the best players keep leaving, and there isn’t an obvious way to break the cycle. With all of that being said, New Mexico altered its approach this year in an attempt to lean into adding players from the portal with a purpose. They loaded up on defensive backs and brought in a quarterback and wide receiver combo in an attempt to jump-start their offense. Hopefully some things can go right for them.

Bottom Line: Losers

San Diego State

Number of Additions: 8

Notable Additions: LB Cody Moon, DB JD Coffey, WR Jalil Tucker, WR Raphael Williams Jr.

Number of Losses: 15

Notable Losses: DB CJ Baskerville, OL Joshua Simmons, DB Patrick McMorris, WR Jacoby Kelly, RB/WR Hassin Mahasin,

San Diego State has made a concentrated effort to add quality players at positions of need in recent years. This year, it was primarily big additions at linebacker and wide receiver. Unfortunately, they also suffered a few big losses, including three starters and two former top recruits. The additions and subtractions were pretty balanced, but the subtractions were pretty surprising.

Bottom Line: Losers (slightly)

San Jose State

Number of Additions: 7

Notable Additions: DB DJ Harvey, QB Jay Butterfield, OL Laakea Kapoi

Number of Losses: 10

Notable Losses: WR Isaiah Hamilton

San Jose State dipped into the transfer portal this offseason in hopes to reload after losing some keys players who exhausted their eligibility. They made a big splash at defensive back, as well as some intriguing additions at quarterback and offensive line. While the Spartans did suffer some losses, only one could really be considered a significant loss.

Bottom Line: Winners


Number of Additions: 19

Notable Additions: DB Jaxen Turner, LB Zavier Carter, DB Jalen Frazier, OT Jalen St. John, RB Vincent Davis

Number of Losses: 23

Notable Losses: OL Noah McKinney, WR Kyle Williams, DB Nohl Williams, RB Aidan Robbins, OL Leif Fautanu, OL Preston Nichols, QB Harrison Bailey, WR Deamikkio Nathan

Any team undergoing a coaching change is expected to undergo a lot of changes when it comes to players leaving through the transfer portal and then replacing those players who incoming transfers. It is safe to say the Rebels met those expectations. They lost their starting running back and top wide receiver, plus some of the top recruits their previous coach brought in. On the other end of the spectrum, the new coaching staff was able to take numerous former Power 5 recruits who were highly-rated and are now looking for a second home. This could work out well for the program, but it doesn’t change the fact that they lost a lot of talent.

Bottom Line: Losers

Utah State

Number of Additions: 10

Notable Additions: DB Malone Mataele, LB Gavin Barthiel, WR Colby Bowman

Number of Losses: 38

Notable Losses: RB John Gentry, OL Weylin Lapuaho, DE Daniel Grzesiak, DE Byron Vaughns, LB AJ Vongphachanh, DE Patrick Joyner, DL Philip Paea

The Aggies are no stranger to being active in the transfer portal, but went the wrong direction this year. After adding tons of transfers the past two seasons, there was a mass exodus this offseason, with at least five key starters leaving the team. Utah State will have to replace a lot of production on defensive at linebacker and on the edges and they weren’t quite able to find impact replacements at those positions. They did add some quality players, but it wasn’t enough to fully offset their losses.

Bottom Line: Losers


Number of Additions: 4

Notable Additions: RB Harrison Waylee, WR Devin Boddie Jr.

Number of Losses: 18

Notable Losses: DB Cam Stone, WR Joshua Cobbs, DE Oluwaseyi Omotosho, OL Deshawn Woods, OL Emmanuel Prengon

Wyoming again found some notable players leaving the team at the end of the year, but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as the previous season. They did lose a few starters, but added talent as well. Their losses were in the secondary, wide receiver, and in the trenches. Looking at the additions, they did well bringing in presumed starters at running back and wide receiver. The Cowboys did a good job mitigating their losses this transfer cycle.

Bottom Line: Losers (slightly)