The college football transfer portal was wild this offseason and here are the six college football programs that we see as the biggest winners.
There is no doubt that the transfer portal has changed college football the way we know it. It’s not quite free agency as some have called it, but it’s pretty darn close.
One thing the transfer portal does is help to distribute talent. Instead of the top teams collecting more of it, guys are going places where they can play. Others are following coaches and some are even taking advantage of a good freshman season to go somewhere else.
It’s also a way for some college football teams that have struggled or are struggling with traditional recruiting, to upgrade their talent. Michigan is a good example of that this year as NIL and Jim Harbaugh’s NFL interests led to the 18th-ranked class in 2023.
Yet, the Wolverines were a big winner in the college football transfer portal and we rank the top six winners from the winter transfer window. These aren’t exactly according to the team rankings either and here’s a look at six teams that did the most to improve in 2023 because of the portal.
6. Notre Dame football
The Irish only brought in three transfers this cycle but Notre Dame football landed one of the most significant in former Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman.
Hartman was ranked as the No. 1 quarterback available in the transfer portal and it was clear that Notre Dame football needed an upgrade. Spencer Sanders and Hudson Card were named as possibilities but the Irish got the cream of the crop in Hartman.
Devin Leary might be a better NFL prospect, but Hartman is highly productive and he could have been headed to the NFL draft this year. Instead, he’ll be playing for the Fighting Irish, who is a bona-fide playoff contender in my book because of their new starting quarterback.