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Discussion: The Use (And Overuse) of the Transfer Portal by College Football Players

The time has come again. Transfer portal season is upon us, and now more than ever we are seeing an active portal take shape. Players from every school, every position, and every star caliber are all on their way to finding new homes. Good reasons, bad reasons, and just plain weird reasons, the portal does not discriminate. You want to leave for greener pastures? Do so, but are those pastures truly greener on the other side? Is the portal perhaps a bit... too active? Let's analyze.

The transfer portal was set up to allow college athletes to have a choice in where they go to school to play sports. If say, an athlete is not satisfied with the direction of their program or is not getting the treatment they want, they can transfer to a school that they feel is a better fit. For example, take a guy like Russell Wilson (Yes I know to some of you he's a bad example, we're not talking about today's Russell Wilson here. Talking college Wilson. HUGE difference) Wilson started his career at NC State. There, he spent 3 years amassing Over 650 completions, averaging about 60% completion rate, threw for over 8000 yards and 76 TDs ( Pretty solid accounting stats, but Wilson felt he needed a change of scenery. A bigger school with bigger direction, for a quarterback with bigger aspirations. He ended up transferring his senior year to Wisconsin to go play in the Big Ten. There, he had the best season of his college career, throwing for 3175 yards and 33 touchdowns on only 4 INTs. He earned first team Big Ten honors and was a Maxwell Award finalist. This move also positioned him to provide better positioning for the NFL Draft, of which we all know how that turned out.

Russell Wilson is an example of what the transfer portal SHOULD be used for, at least in my humble opinion. He saw that NC State wasn't really going anywhere, and that he wanted to take his talents to somewhere that would be a contender, because that's what he knew he was. I say he's an example of how the portal should be used, because as of late I've noticed a trend with college football players. Players aren't transferring because they don't like the direction of the program, they're transferring because they want to start somewhere and are upset when they're told they need to work for a starting position. That, or they're transferring because of NIL money, of which there is already an article on this page articulating my thoughts on that matter. What I want to focus on though is the ones that are transferring due to playtime.

I understand if you're a player that maybe got enticed by good recruiting and false promises of glory and starterhood, believe me I do, and I believe you have justified grounds for transfer, but the ones that very clearly are not putting in the WORK to become that starter and adjust to the landscape of Division I college football are the ones that this is addressed to. Believe it or not, the game does not get any easier if you transfer and will only get harder if you are to pursue NFL dreams. JT Daniels is a prime example of this. Quarterbacking at Georgia after being one of the most highly touted recruits in the nation only to lose your job because Stetson Bennett was the better QB. That is SAYING something too, as Bennett is the very definition of game manager (though he is quite good at it.) Daniels moved onto West Virginia after whining about not getting the starting role at UGA on the way out, where he proceeded to prove exactly why he was usurped in the first place. Instead of working for it, he transferred to a school he thought would have a good shot at making him shine only to be dead last in the Big 12 and being one of the worst quarterbacks in the conference.

This is my problem with the transfer portal being used how it is right now. It's the easy, Charmin Ultra Soft way of getting out of having any accountability for the way you play. Instead of working for a starting role after Deion Sanders showed up to Colorado and laid down the groundwork for a competitive program, most of that roster is making way for the guys he is bringing in from JACKSON STATE and transferring. Instead of trying his best to start over an above average at best quarterback in Stetson Bennett (Much like Tom Brady, a winner though which is why he gets so much recognition and respect) JT Daniels decides to be selfish and try his hand elsewhere. He was given shot after shot at Georgia and couldn't capitalize because of his work ethic and entitlement, not to mention he just straight up wasn't good enough. This is why they say stars don't matter in recruiting, because in the end everyone in that Georgia program is a five-star player. You have to prove you belong; such is the way of Division I college athletics. This is why the transfer portal is beyond crowded at the moment, in my opinion, because highly touted football players have this sense of instant gratification and entitlement that causes emotional outbursts. You haven't made it yet, in case you didn't already know, you need to work for it. Otherwise, you're going to get bludgeoned in the NFL. There's a reason only 2% make it that far...

I'd love to know your thoughts on the state of the transfer portal today though. Best answers will be featured in this coming Sunday's ScorchCast. Am I being too harsh? Perhaps I'm being not harsh enough? Is there a totally new take you have that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below.

Burn Notice: 10/10 Transfer Portal: So hot right now

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ScorchCast 5/20/2024 Enjoy this week's ScorchCast! Hope you enjoy the new approach to scripting.


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