Last season I (very stupidly) decided to track all of the transfers in power conference football and come up with a formula to try to objectively grade the entrants. It provided a way to judge the quality of the transfer haul for each school as well as compare that to what they may have lost in the portal. You can find my look back at how well it performed (pretty well if I do say so myself) from earlier in the week here.
I’m doing it again this year although now I’m doing it for every transfer. Again, stupid.
As a reminder, I have 3 main criteria being used for each player: Recruiting rating, Snaps above expected, and Weighted PFF grade.
The first of those is the most self-explanatory. I have each player’s 247 Composite rating when coming out of high school or JUCO. This is a proxy for raw talent and the logic for including it is that if two players had performed equally on the field to this point in their careers, you’d probably be more excited about getting the former 5-star than the former 2- star. It speaks to a higher athletic ceiling.
Snaps above expected first takes the total offensive/defensive snaps that player has played so far in their career per Pro Football Focus. I then compare that to how many snaps an average player might be expected to play coming from their recruiting class. A true freshman who has 0 career snaps is less damning than a 5th year senior who has never seen the field. Younger players also have more years of eligibility remaining so it’s a way to help weigh things in their favor as you’d rather add someone with more eligibility, provided they’re good. And if you didn’t think they were good, why did you add them?
The final element is weighted PFF grade. PFF may not have the perfect system but they’re generally able to identify when one player is much better than another and it allows us to use one number to compare across position groupings. I take a snap-adjusted total of each player’s PFF grade as the final component. Let’s say someone played 100 snaps with an 80.0 PFF grade as a freshman and 200 snaps with a 60.0 PFF grade as a sophomore and then entered the portal. Their final weighted grade would be 66.7 rather than 70.0 since they played more snaps as a sophomore so it consequently has a greater weight in the average.
The final grades are designed to be a self-contained reflection of the current transfer portal pool. If no one as highly rated as Spencer Rattler or Caleb Williams enters the portal this year then an overall worse player may get a higher overall score. That also means that scores may change over time in this tracker. That’s especially true for those currently in the portal because almost certainly we’ll see the premium transfers go in once the portal officially opens in a few days. That is scheduled to happen on Monday, December 5th but grad transfers can enter now while non-grad transfers can still publicly declare that they are going to put their names in on Monday.
For reference, last year a player with a grade of at least 60.0 was projected as a potential starter at their new power conference school.
Throughout the offseason I’ll be providing regular updates to a version of this article that lists all of the relevant information you need to keep up with the transfer portal from a Husky perspective throughout the ridiculousness that is portal season. I’ll be feeling out formatting so if you have constructive feedback if something could be listed more cleanly, let me know in the comments.
Uncommitted Players to Watch for Washington
These could include players at positions of need, from the region, previously recruited UW guys, or guys with ties to the Husky coaching staff. Washington last year added several transfers like Cam Bright who had no ties whatsoever to Washington before they committed but these are the ones who if they ended up on Montlake it wouldn’t be a surprise in hindsight.
Washington’s QB situation is likely in need of reinforcement with Michael Penix Jr. a likely draft entry and current (for now) commit Lincoln Kienholz considering a flip to Ohio State. There are a few good ones who played their college ball in the PNW previously. Tight end is also a need with 0 commits in the 2023 class. The 4 other players below are either from the state of Washington or considered the Huskies heavily out of high school albeit with a different coaching staff.
QB Hank Bachmeier from Boise State- 90.9
QB Chance Nolan from Oregon State- 85.7
TE McCallan Castles from UC Davis (and Cal before that)- 81.1
RB Byron Cardwell from Oregon- 75.9
WR Xavier Guillory from Idaho State- 56.5
S JD Coffey III from Texas- 47.0
TE Bradley Archer from Stanford- 35.4
In addition to the names above, here are some under the radar transfer candidates who I think might make sense for the Huskies even though they currently have no ties to Washington whatsoever.
S Brent Jackson from Bucknell- 66.2 (98 tkls, 3 sck, 4 int in FCS this year)
CB Charles Woods from West Virginia- 65.9 (87.2 PFF coverage grade in 2021)
DL Levi Bell from Texas State- 64.6 (65 tkl, 13 QB hits, 7 sack this year)
Pac-12 2023 Transfer Portal Standings
I count transfers from the beginning of August 2022 and so Washington’s 2 transfers included are Jordan Lolohea and Emeka Megwa who both officially entered the portal in between the start of the preseason camp and the regular season.
One of the byproducts of having a roster with a lot of highly rated players such as Oregon is that when they transfer out they tend to have high grades. RB Byron Cardwell (75.9) excelled as a backup to Travis Dye last year but fell behind a pair of incoming transfers in Eugene this year. Right behind him is wide receiver Dont’e Thornton (71.0) who was a top-60 national recruit 2 years ago and was 2nd on the Ducks in yards per route run but saw his playing time decrease after a few lost fumbles.
We’ve already seen 5 schools lose QBs to the portal this cycle. Oregon State’s Chance Nolan (85.7), Colorado’s Brendon Lewis (71.4) and Owen McCown (48.1), Arizona’s Jordan McCloud (41.4), ASU’s Paul Tyson (35.5), and Oregon’s Jay Butterfield (34.8).
UCLA is the only school to have already added a transfer with Penn edge rusher Jake Heimlicher. He led the Ivy League in sacks this year and the Bruins are hoping he’ll see instant success under Ikaika Malloe like Laiatu Latu and the Murphy twins did (sad face).
Stanford is the only Pac-12 school to lose their coach after the season ended so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they have been hit by the hardest portal. Although the way Stanford has treated the portal recently is for all their grad students to enter and then a few will come back. Still, between that and some of their highest ranked recruits looking around it will be a very difficult turnaround for the next head coach of the Cardinal.
Top Rated Uncommitted Transfers by Position
(position groupings listed by rough order of need for UW)
- Hank Bachmeier from Boise State- 90.9
- Brennan Armstrong from Virginia – 87.0
- Chance Nolan from Oregon State- 85.7
- McCallan Castles from UC Davis- 81.1
- Taylor Thompson from Charlotte – 58.2
- Landen King from Auburn- 42.4
- Al Blades from Miami- 75.4
- Gilbert Frierson from Miami- 69.7
- Charles Woods from West Virginia- 65.9
- Jonathan McGill from Stanford – 72.8
- Brent Jackson from Bucknell- 66.2
- Jason Maitre from Boston College- 59.0
- Jacob Lacey from Notre Dame- 67.9
- Devin Phillips from Colorado State- 65.6
- Levi Bell from Texas State- 64.6
- Stone Snyder from VMI- 66.6
- Eric Gilyard from Kansas – 62.2
- Justin Wright from Tulsa- 61.2
- Stephen Herron from Stanford – 76.6
- Andre Carter from Western Michigan- 66.8
- Anthony Cooper from Arizona State- 57.9
- Byron Cardwell from Oregon – 75.9
- Trevion Cooley from Louisville- 72.9
- Sean Tyler from Western Michigan- 68.8
- Dominic Lovett from Missouri – 82.4
- Deandrae McCray from Austin Peay – 77.2
- Jimmy Horn Jr. from South Florida- 76.2
Interior Offensive Line
- Avery Jones from East Carolina- 77.3
- Ben Hoitink from Penn- 66.8
- Ajani Cornelius from Rhode Island- 66.1
- Ben Coleman from California – 76.1
- Jake Hornibrook from Stanford – 67.7
- Gunner Britton from Western Kentucky- 62.4