College football’s 10 non-Deion spring transfer portal winners, from Alabama to USC

College football’s first spring transfer window closed on April 30. More than 650 FBS scholarship players entered the NCAA transfer portal in search of a new home during that two-week window. These recruitments tend to move quickly, but it seemed wise to wait a few weeks and see where these players committed before judging who won the spring cycle.

We have already written extensively about Colorado, the players it sent packing to the portal and the players Deion Sanders and his staff added to rebuild their roster. So let’s take a look at 10 more teams that were buyers in the spring transfer market and put together promising hauls.

New commits: QB Tyler Buchner (Notre Dame), DB Trey Amos (Louisiana), DB Jaylen Key (UAB)

Nick Saban and Tommy Rees made the fascinating decision to go get one more quarterback after spring ball and landed a pledge from Buchner two days after he entered the portal. The fact that he chose Alabama right away and canceled other visits to schools where he’d be a guaranteed starter tells you he must like his chances of winning the job. The Crimson Tide also won battles for two of the more coveted defensive backs on the spring market, beating Florida and LSU for Amos and then beating Florida State and Ole Miss for Key.


New commits: TE Var’Keyes Gumms (North Texas), TE Francis Sherman (Louisville), DL Anthony Booker Jr. (Maryland), DL Keivie Rose (Louisiana Tech), LB Jaheim Thomas (Cincinnati), DB A.J. Brathwaite Jr. (Western Kentucky), DB Jaheim Singletary (Georgia), DB Kee’yon Stewart (TCU)

The Razorbacks continue to do a terrific job of recruiting the portal under Sam Pittman and had several valuable additions in this spring cycle, particularly on defense. Rose, Booker and Thomas are going to make them better up front; all three had great options upon entering the portal. Singletary was a top-100 recruit in the 2022 class who could develop into a difference-maker. Gumms, a Freshman All-American at North Texas, should be a good addition for Dan Enos’ offense and proved he has upside as a pass catcher last season.


New commits: QB Payton Thorne (Michigan State), WR Caleb Burton (Ohio State), WR Shane Hooks (Jackson State), WR Jyaire Shorter (North Texas), OL Jaden Muskrat (Tulsa), DL Stephen Sings V (Liberty), LB Jalen McLeod (Appalachian State), LB Larry Nixon III (North Texas), DB Syrus Dumas (New Mexico State)

Hugh Freeze and Auburn’s new coaching staff were very active in terms of competing for top players in the spring portal window, and they had plenty of room to add players after 21 scholarship transfers departed this offseason. Freeze got the quarterback he needed in Thorne, a proven two-year starter, and picked up a trio of talented wideouts to boost the offense in Year 1. Hooks was Jackson State’s leading receiver last season, Shorter had 11 touchdown catches and Burton is a former top-100 recruit. On defense, McLeod and Nixon both have a chance to start right away.


New commits: QB Ben Finley (NC State), RB King Doerue (Purdue), RB Isaiah Ifanse (San Jose State), WR Taj Davis (Washington), WR Marquez Dortch (Mississippi State), OL Matthew Wykoff (Texas A&M), DB Patrick McMorris (San Diego State), DB Marcus Scott II (Missouri)

Don’t sleep on what Cal has been doing in the transfer portal this spring. The Bears have flipped their roster quite a bit this offseason and found some players who’ll make an immediate impact. McMorris was one of the best safeties in the Mountain West, having twice earned first-team all-conference honors. Wykoff and Davis will likely start right away, too, and Finley could push TCU transfer Sam Jackson for the starting quarterback job. Adding Doerue and Ifanse, who broke Montana State’s career rushing record (3,742 yards), will help complement Freshman All-America back Jaydn Ott.

New commits: QB Brady Allen (Purdue), TE Joey Gatewood (UCF), OL Vincent Lumia (Duquesne), OL Eric Miller (Purdue), OL Lance Robinson (Houston), OL Trevone Sylvester (Houston), OL Willie Tyler III (Rutgers), LB Keith Brown (Oregon), DB Storm Duck (Penn State), DB Cam’Ron Kelly (Virginia), DB Marcus Washington Jr. (Georgia)

Louisville’s new coaching staff did an impressive job of reloading this spring after 22 scholarship players departed via the portal this offseason. Their efforts to restock their offensive line with experienced newcomers stand out. These coaches know what they’re getting in Miller, and it’ll be interesting to see how many of those five new O-linemen earn starting roles. Allen, a former four-star recruit, is also plenty familiar with running Jeff Brohm’s offense. Duck and Kelly are proven starters who actually transferred twice this offseason, and Gatewood is now on his fourth school.


New commits: RB Logan Diggs (Notre Dame), OL Mason Lunsford (Maryland), DB Andre Sam (Tulane)

LSU is gearing up for a big run with preseason top-five hype in Year 2 under Brian Kelly. The Tigers had minimal attrition at the end of the spring but still picked up some premium talent that will help right away. Diggs is coming home after a breakthrough season with the Irish (1,033 total yards, six touchdowns) and could emerge as the Tigers’ No. 1 back. Lunsford, a two-year starter at left guard, can help solidify their offensive line. Sam is an interesting pickup, a veteran safety who went from McNeese to Marshall to Tulane and now LSU in a span of two years and will be a seventh-year senior.

New commits: RB Ajay Allen (Nebraska), WR Tyler Harrell (Alabama), DL Anthony Campbell (ULM), DB Jaden Davis (Oklahoma), DB Jadais Richard (Vanderbilt)

The Hurricanes landed some gems in the winter portal cycle and brought in a few more this spring who could develop into great gets. Recruiters were very high on the upside of Campbell, a 6-foot-7, 277-pound defensive end, when he became available. Allen flashed exciting potential as a true freshman before a season-ending injury, and Richard looked poised to start at cornerback for Vanderbilt. Harrell is one of the fastest receivers in college football but didn’t get a chance to show it in his lone season at Alabama due to a foot injury.


New commits: QB Bennett Meredith (Arizona State), WR Jahmal Edrine (Florida Atlantic), WR Corey Gammage (Marshall), OL Ben Farrell (Indiana Wesleyan), OL Luke Griffin (Missouri), OL Preston Nichols (UNLV), DL Malik Langham (Vanderbilt), DL Jeffrey M’Ba (Auburn), DB Markevious Brown (Ole Miss), DB Braxton Myers (Ole Miss), DB Marquis Wilson (Penn State), LS Daniel Hawthorne (Missouri)

Purdue has had 20 scholarship players enter the portal since its December coaching change, which freed up plenty of room for Ryan Walters and his staff to add to their roster entering Year 1. Gammage was a sneaky good find, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound wideout who was productive at Marshall (178 catches for 2,239 yards and 13 TDs) and had committed to Memphis. Edrine is coming off a good redshirt freshman season at FAU and gives Texas transfer Hudson Card another big target. M’Ba, the No. 1 ranked junior college recruit in the country in 2022, was another intriguing pickup.


New commits: WR Jordan Hudson (TCU), TE Micah Hilts (Texas State), OL Caleb Johnson (Notre Dame), DL Cam Robertson (North Texas), LB Kobe Wilson (Temple), DB Kyron Chambers (TCU), DB Keyshon Mills (Colorado), P Isaac Pearson (Texas)

SMU has shaken up its depth chart quite a bit entering Rhett Lashlee’s second season by landing 25 transfers. Hudson has the tools to be a big-time playmaker and help replace the production of second-round pick Rashee Rice. The top-100 recruit caught 14 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman and was previously committed to SMU before a late flip to TCU. Wilson was an important get for their linebacker room who should make an immediate impact, and the Mustangs were able to upgrade their depth in quite a few spots during this spring window.

New commits: OL Emmanuel Pregnon (Wyoming), DL Bear Alexander (Georgia), DB Tre’Quon Fegans (Alabama)

Alexander was one of the most talented young players to hit the portal this offseason. He’ll need to keep maturing and developing, but he could make a big impact up front for the Trojans. Pregnon emerged as one of the most coveted players in the spring portal window based on what he put on tape at Wyoming. He could move right into the starting spot at left guard if he’s healthy. Winning the battle for Fegans also led to a commitment from his younger brother Anquon, a five-star recruit in the 2025 class.

(Photo: Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images)