The National Football League is one of the most well-known leagues in North America. But what you may not know is that NFL players were once just as common on college football teams as they are today. With over 300 NCAA schools and more than 1,700 former NFL players playing for only a fraction of them, it can be hard to find out which school has the best chance at signing your favorite player next year. That’s where this website comes in; we gathered all relevant information from CollegeFootballTransfers.com and made it easy for anyone to look up their star quarterback–whether he went to Florida State or Alabama–or their top receiver who transferred from West Virginia last season without ever leaving my computer chair!
College football’s transfer portal has turned into NFL. College football players can now transfer to the NFL from college, and vice versa.
This summer, Shane Beamer had the chance to completely overhaul South Carolina’s team, and he seized it. Beamer, like other coaches, scoured the transfer site for players with experience who might help his team win more quickly than recruiting high school prospects.
Among the players he signed were former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler and tight end Austin Stogner, Central Michigan cornerback Devonni Reed, former Georgia running back Lovasea Carroll, and receiver Antwan Wells Jr.
In 2021 and 2022, more than 2,000 FBS athletes used the transfer site, which has become a supplementary recruiting tool for coaches around the nation. Beamer did what practically every other coach in the nation does: he took use of the amount and quality of the available resources.
In February, Beamer told reporters, “It’s never ending, and it’s just one of the million things you’re juggling.” “It’s an infinite ball of fun with the portal, your own roster, high school recruitment, and your staff.”
The ability for players to move once without punishment has sparked a free-agent frenzy, with college football rosters changing at a faster pace than they have in the past. To strive to develop the greatest roster possible, the site has introduced a whole new aspect to the assessment procedure.
One Power 5 personnel director described the transfer portal as “a s—- show.”
“Imagine if it were the NFL, and everyone was a free agent at the end of every season,” the personnel director said. “How can you develop a culture when you’re always rebuilding in the offseason? We’ve got to adjust our thinking to that of NFL clubs and change the way we do things.”
It involves more than just waiting for a player to enter the portal, reaching out, and hoping for the best. The assessment process, recruiting, avoiding fines for meddling with players who aren’t yet in the portal, and eventually succeeding with high-impact moves that may overhaul a team overnight all take a lot of time and effort.
The portal has created a chaotic new aspect of college football with four key components: organization, tampering, NIL, and recruiting. While the end result is the only aspect that is shown, the portal has created a chaotic new aspect of college football with four key components: organization, tampering, NIL, and recruiting.
The College Football Live team talks about how the college football recruiting schedule should be improved to fit better with the transfer site.
The need of planning is crucial.
Throughout the calendar, coaches have seen two waves with the transfer portal: after the season concludes and after spring ball. Players must submit papers to school compliance departments in order for their names to be included into the NCAA database, which keeps track of all transfer requests.
As new names are submitted, they appear in the database, and coaches may sift through the possible transfers as they arrive. Because there is no notification system in place, personnel staff are responsible for regularly monitoring the portal, Twitter, news outlets, and other sources to see whether players have been added to the portal. During the playoffs and spring, their concentration is usually dedicated to mining the portal and making sure they don’t miss any names that come in on a daily basis.
However, the process of assessing needs and determining who they want to target occurs before that.
Most schools now allocate someone from the recruitment department to keep an eye on the portal, but the people in charge of assessments are already overworked. The evaluators take notes on every player on the opposing team who appears on video as they prepare for opponents, whether it’s in the preseason or during the season.
They’re assessing them for the future games that season, as well as collecting a list in case any of them enter the portal.
“You’ve got over 200 teams, and any player on any of them may reach the portal at any time. It’s not like the NFL, where you never know whether a player will become a free agent or be cut “According to a personnel director. “With a list, we aim to stay ahead of the game as much as possible. ‘Hey, these are the running backs we’d be interested in if they ever made it through the portal.’ That is something we do for every role.”
Some utilize Google Docs to keep track of everything, while others rely on other sources like Pro Football Focus to assess players who don’t have a lot of snaps on video, but they’re continually accumulating lists of player evaluations they may or may not need.
While they attempt to figure out prospective moves, they’re also looking at their own squad for future voids. They can forecast when NFL-caliber players will go or when seniors will leave, but they can’t foresee when one of their own players would transfer or join the NFL draft early.
“There are really no guardrails,” USC coach Lincoln Riley told ESPN in February. “A player can leave 365 days a year if they wish.” “That’s simply the way things are right now. You can’t forecast everything, and it’s easy to go insane trying.”
Building excellent connections, having open communication, and what coaches are now calling recruiting your own roster are the only true safeguards they have against surprise transfers from their own squad. They must ensure that the key players are content and not on the lookout for new chances. Losing a player who doesn’t participate or hasn’t aided the squad isn’t always a negative thing if the scholarship can be utilized to assist the team win.
That doesn’t guarantee there won’t be any departures, but knowing where they could have a vacuum at various jobs lets the people department review and manage the portal more efficiently.
“We’d assess a group of folks we felt would be able to go through the gateway. So, midway through the year, we knew we’d have a need for someone in a certain role “According to one people director. “We’d basically go through and locate some players who were doing well at Group of 5 colleges and could be interested in transferring to a Power 5 school. Once we obtain that list, it becomes more difficult since they must enter the gateway because it is the only method to reach them.”
Once a player enters the portal — and assuming he hasn’t already decided where he wants to transfer before doing so — the institutions must balance the recruiting process with high school recruiters as well. Each program has a yearly restriction of 56 official visits, which include high school recruits and transfers.
The visits are all from the same pool and must be balanced, but the coaches have various approaches to the visits. A transfer has different aims and interests than a high school recruit who has three to five years ahead of him.
If a transfer has one year of eligibility left and wants to play in the NFL, the coaches aren’t going to give him the same visit as a high school recruit.
“That component of what we do and how visits go varies a lot,” one personnel director said. “Once November arrives, you should have a good sense of how many official visits you’ll devote to transfers, how many to high school students, and how many places in your signing class you’d want to be high school students or transfers. Sending the head coach on the road, regardless of where he goes, adds a much larger pool to the short time we have.”
Tom VanHaaren looks at how college coaches have adjusted their recruiting strategies to accommodate the plethora of athletes available via the transfer portal.
The act of tampering is a natural component of the process.
For the limited amount of gamers that don’t know where they’re heading when they enter the portal, this is how it’s handled. The three personnel directors who talked with ESPN for this report all agreed that the majority of the players they see on the portal have already made up their minds based on discussions they have with high school coaches, trainers, and handlers throughout the process.
According to one personnel director, 80 percent of gamers had made up their minds before visiting the site.
Schools are not allowed to approach a player until he has formally entered the transfer portal, according to NCAA regulations. That hasn’t prevented coaches and players from messing with the system and getting around it.
“An unknown concern that many don’t understand is that once a youngster crosses the portal, the school may quickly terminate his scholarship beginning at the end of the semester,” one personnel director said. “The difficulty is that you’re placing kids in a position where they’re aware of the danger, so any clever child won’t put his name in the portal until he knows he’ll have a place to go. You’ve created a scenario where schools aren’t permitted to speak with children before they enter the portal, yet no child wants to enter the portal until he knows where he’ll be attending school.”
As a result, high school coaches, handlers, and agents are receiving possible interest for their athletes from coaches at other institutions. Coaches are aware that other schools will be present, and they don’t want to be left out if an athlete decides where to transfer before his name is entered into the portal.
Coaches must engage in the transfer market in order to satisfy pressing demands, and they are ensuring that their roster vacancies are filled.
“I believe any school in America would say, ‘If a high school coach phones and asks if you would be interested in so-and-so if he reaches the portal,’ we would honestly respond yes or no,” one personnel director said. “Schools that contact high school coaches to say, “If so-and-so is in the portal, we’d be interested,” I believe that each person must choose where that line is comfortable for them. If a coach phones and you say, “Coach, we can’t comment on that until he reaches the gateway,” you’ll never catch anyone’s attention.”
The non-existent component
Players’ ability to profit from their name, appearance, and likeness has also been included into the gateway process.
If players at one school see teammates at another earning more money, they may feel compelled to move institutions in order to take advantage of those chances. It isn’t usually the primary cause for the move, but it has become a factor in the choice.
“I believe it is a significant component for these children. ‘Hey, this player could be hitting the portal, would you guys be interested?’ was one of the strange calls we used to receive “According to one personnel director. “‘Hey, this guy is about to reach the portal, here’s how much it’ll cost in NIL deals,’ says a lot of the calls now. ‘Do you want them to come?’”
“You’ve got over 200 teams, and any player on any of them may reach the portal at any time. It’s not like the NFL, where you never know whether a player will become a free agent or be cut.” Recruiting director for college football
According to the guidelines for name, image, and likeness, schools are forbidden to enable any NIL transactions, and they are not to be utilized as a recruiting inducement. Alumni organizations, boosters, and collectives have established legal mechanisms to bring in NIL agreements for athletes, regardless of market worth, without much supervision from the NCAA.
If a program lacks the required contacts to develop a NIL relationship with its players, it risks missing out on significant transfers.
In February, Riley remarked of NIL, “I believe the big increase has come now that recruitment has been competitive.” “It is a factor, and anybody who denies it is not paying attention. I believe it will continue to be another method for us to differentiate ourselves as a program. And that is exactly what we intend to accomplish.”
Recruiting is an ongoing process.
In a short amount of time, the portal has evolved into a crucial tool for clubs to develop successful squads, as well as posing new problems for coaches and personnel departments.
“I’m not sure whether it’s doubled the work, but it’s certainly increased the amount of work and information we need to know,” one personnel director said. “It’s double the number of prospects to evaluate and everything else that comes with a transfer prospect. It’s a continuously changing environment to which we must constantly adjust.”
The one-time transfer regulation has contributed to the confusion, but one of the personnel directors believes it will eventually help to slow things down. Players in college football have been flocking to the site to take advantage of the chance to transfer once without having to sit out a year.
However, since it is more difficult to quit a program after a player has used that transfer, there is a probability that such athletes may stay at their next destination longer than they did at their first. This is also being employed as a technique with the transfer portal, when coaches are willing to pass on a high school talent in the hopes of signing him later.
“We don’t always take the stance that we don’t want to be the first school to sign the child; we want to be the second,” one personnel director said. “High school recruiters have a great deal of influence since they may quit at any time if they are unhappy. Because they have this transfer exemption, there isn’t much we can do to keep them here.”
Because a player must wait out a year if they move and take advantage of the one-time transfer regulation, it seems unlikely that they will transfer again. It provides the coaches some control over the roster, allowing them to be more confident in their decisions, and it’s a good approach to use roster management.
It might indicate that transfers would slow down in the future, or it could just indicate that a fresh crop of younger players will cycle through the portal on a regular basis as their careers progress. Regardless, it has produced a chaotic environment that everyone is attempting to navigate and understand.
“It’s almost as if there are too many different avenues to add players at the same time,” observed one personnel director. “It’s easier for high school students because they already know where they’re at in the process. However, we have no idea who is coming in, who is available, when we may add them, or how to obtain them.”
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