The transfer market portal never stops and this week is on fire after the big bowls. Here are some news and notes including some rumors about QB Caleb Williams.
Let’s start with Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams. His favorites after high school were LSU and Oklahoma mainly for Joe Brady And Lincoln Riley respectively. He obviously chose OU, but Riley is now at USC and Brady is away from LSU and probably won’t go back to college football if he can get a job in the NFL. Clemson was also at the top of his list, but with DJ Uiagalelei returning I doubt they pursue much. Kiffin lane is intriguing to Ole Miss, Georgia is always in play, UCLA and Chip Kelly have emerged and Texas A&M is also interesting to think about. But you have to hire USC. How come? Name, image and likeness will play a big part here, and Los Angeles has a lot to offer beyond the QB developer he wanted in Riley. Yes, they have Jaxson Dart and a few others, but Williams would leave for the Trojans right away. The question is, how is your relationship now with Riley now that she left the Sooners all of a sudden? This is also where UCLA comes into play as a low-key dark horse because the quarterback’s situation is open and the offense is perfect for him and he’s in a big city where he could play against Riley if he so chooses. But can you cash in without a USC helmet in Los Angeles? This is a very good question. Georgia was mentioned very early and would have been interesting with Brock Vandagriff there. Remember that Vandagriff was initially busy in Oklahoma before giving up on staying at home in Georgia and then Williams slipped into his seat. And I’ve heard UGA tops his list as I dig deeper, but what would Vandagriff and 2023 # 1 Arch Manning do who wants to play like a real freshman and is leaning on UGA from what I hear? All of this is obviously speculation right now and OU is still in the mix, but Dillon Gabriel’s commitment makes me think they know they are out. Other schools could obviously emerge and this will come down to comfort with the offense and NIL and Los Angeles appear to be the epicenter soon.
Could Williams and 2021 five-star partner Mario Williams (no relationship) be a package for a school? I heard if they were it would be UCLA and not USC. But Williams is from Florida and the SEC and ACC will be on him too, so we’ll see. Williams made an early commitment to OU and was rumored to be looking at schools such as LSU, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida before sticking with his commitment. You can bet everyone will offer.
Keep an eye out for Tulsa DT Jaxon Player as they announced their last five for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Arkansas, and TCU this week. The 6-foot-0, 300-pounder had 15 tackles in a loss last season and won AAC honors for two years. It comes from Waco so it can give Baylor an edge, but keep an eye on Arkansas with a too Barry Odom leading the charge. He has also grown fond of the state of Oklahoma, so the Sooners and Cowboys are in the fray and his former teammate Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson was talking about the TCU and has a lot of friends there. He’s supposed to decide next week and he’s going to be a plug and play guy for someone. He wants to pay a few visits before deciding, but that seems dubious.
– Albany DE Jared Verse is expected to decide on more than 25 offers soon and many believe it will drop to the state of Florida or Tennessee. Verse visited both of them before the dead period and while Miami is in the mix too it looks like Noles or Vols. I’ve heard Jermaine Johnson’s success at FSU might be the factor here.
– Wyoming wide receiver Isaiah Neyor exploded on the portal when he entered and apparently will visit USC, Tennessee and Texas. Keep an eye out for the Longhorns here as they come from Texas and they have a new wide receiver trainer Brennan Marion who coached Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison last season at Pitt. They were lagging behind the others to offer, but with a WR Coach in place now they could be the team to beat.
– UCF has emerged as the favorite for wide receiver Ole Miss and former quarterback John Rys Plumlee with Indiana and others mentioned. Plumlee is an outstanding baseball player and wants to play QB again as he did Ole Miss before Lane Kiffin arrived, so these will be key factors.
– Some great recent signings from the portal that I like are LB Terrence Lewis for UCF and LB Braden Jennings for Kansas State. Both left Maryland and were heavily recruited after high school. Lewis is recovering from a knee and shoulder injury but I am told he is 100% ready to go, he just needs to get some mass. Jennings was solid as a freshman for Maryland and should immediately push for a starring role at Kansas State.