Syracuse, NY – As college football teams return to campus for winter practice and the start of spring practice, now is a good time to take stock of the ever-changing rosters around the ACC .
The day of signing is behind us. Freshmen and transfers who signed up mid-year get an early jump to position themselves to contribute next fall. In Syracuse, eight new players joined the team, including the transfer of the Mississippi State quarterback Garrett shrader.
New transfer legislation is should be in place by the start of next season, although players such as Shrader, who were counting on immediate eligibility when changing schools, have already seen the NCAA delay a potential vote on new transfer rules last month.
Syracuse isn’t the only ACC school waiting for clarification on transfers. Almost all ACC teams on The 2021 calendar of the League, plus each of his four non-conference opponents has tapped into the transfer market to improve his roster.
Here’s a look at some impact transfers around ACC, as well as the other four schools SU will face next season:
QB Garrett Shrader (State of Mississippi); OG Chris Bleich (Florida)
Syracuse could deploy two SEC transfers this fall to two positions where greater productivity is required.
Shrader is expected to compete for the starting quarterback with two-year-old starter Tommy DeVito.
Bleich will dress after being sit down season 2020 because of NCAA rules.
OL Terrance Davis (Maryland); RB Christian Turner (Michigan); WR Casey Washington (Illinois); DB Chelen Garnes (Navy); BY Luiji Vilain (Michigan)
Wake Forest is recharging for 2021 with a group of returning seniors.
All-ACC first-team defensive lineman Miles Fox, a transfer from Old Dominion, heads the squad, which also includes Terrance Davis, a former Maryland top 100 rookie who missed the Most of the last two seasons due to injury.
Christian Turner, a transfer from Michigan, is there to help make up for the loss of Kenneth Walker, now at Michigan State.
Despite losing rusher Carlos Basham to the NFL and safety Trey Rucker to Oklahoma State, Wake Forest is returning most of a defense that battled injury last year.
“People talk about recruiting rankings, in my mind we got 10 transfers from four and five star graduates coming here, and none of them had to change addresses,” coach Dave said. Clawson earlier this offseason.
QB McKenzie Milton (Central Florida); DE Keir Thomas (South Carolina); RB DJ Williams (Auburn); WR Andrew Parchment (Kansas); TE Jordan Wilson (UCLA); DB Jammie Robinson (South Carolina); DE / LB Jermaine Johnson (Georgia); DB Brandon Moore (Central Florida); DB Jarques McClellion (Arkansas)
Florida State has one of the most intriguing quarterback situations in conference with the addition of Milton, who hasn’t played for two years after nearly having his leg amputated as a result of a horrible injury.
If he gets close to the player he was before his injury, the Seminoles can leap forward in the second year under Mike Norvell.
Defensively, FSU made several transfers from the SEC. Jammie Robinson was an All-SEC freshman two years ago. Assists specialist Jermaine Johnson recorded five sacks in seven games last year for Georgia.
QB / Athlete Shai Werts (Georgia Southern); C Bryan Hudson (Virginia Tech); OT Jarious Abercrombie (Tennessee); Saf. Kenderick Duncan (South Georgia)
Hudson’s addition bolsters an offensive line that is already sacking a large chunk of last season’s contributors, including goalie / center Cole Bentley.
Werts will come to Louisville to change positions from quarterback to more slasher who plans to line up with the receiver. He should help recoup some of the lost production of a dynamic trio of playmakers: Javian Hawkins, Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick.
OL Marcus Minor (Maryland); DB MJ Devonshire (Kentucky)
DJ Turner won All-ACC first-team honors in his first season with the Panthers since moving from Maryland last season.
They are banking on Minor, another product from Maryland, to replace Bryce Hargrove along the offensive line.
Pitt loses excellent rushers Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones to the NFL, but MJ Devonshire is a kid from western Pennsylvania via Kentucky who should make an instant impact in Pitt’s high school.
And, of course, Pitt got some good news earlier this offseason when quarterback Kenny Pickett announced his return for one more season. That can only be eclipsed by linebacker Phil Campbell, who brings back 141 tackles (15 for loss) and 10 sacks to a squad featuring rising star SirVocea Dennis, a Christian Brothers Academy graduate.
State of North Carolina
OL Chandler Zavala (D-II Fairmont State); DT Cory Durden (State of Florida); Saf. Cyrus Fagan (State of Florida); Saf. Derrek Pitts (Marshall); CB Darion Dunn (McNeese State)
NC State has secured a few transfers from Florida State, but it’s the guy from McNeese State who could end up having the biggest impact in 2021.
Dunn brings size and production to the state high school of North Carolina. He recorded 42 tackles, 11 stoppages and five interceptions as a performer at all conferences in 2019 under the guidance of former McNeese coach Sterlin Gilbert (now SU offensive coordinator).
Pitts is in his third school after starting his career in West Virginia. He landed an interception against Syracuse at Camping World Bowl.
RB Connor Blumrick (Texas A&M); C Johnny Jordan (Maryland); DT Jordan Williams (Clemson); Saf. Tae Daley (Vanderbilt); K Will Ross (South Carolina)
Virginia Tech must find a new quarterback after the transfer of Hendon Hooker (Tennessee) and Quincy Patterson (State of North Dakota).
The strength of the VT offense a year ago was its attack on the ground, and Jordan, one of the Big Ten’s top crosses last season, will be asked to anchor a revamped offensive line.
Blumrick is an intriguing widget who has played quarterback, tight end, and running back throughout his career.
Williams, the inside defensive lineman via Clemson, could join Jordan as the most impactful of the group. He left Clemson at the end of last season with 55 career tackles (9.5 for loss) and four sacks in three years.
Saf. Jaiden Lars-Woodbey (State of Florida); DT Khris Banks (Temple); BY Jake Byczko (UMass); LB Isaiah Graham-Mobley (Temple)
Boston College landed one of the biggest transfers in the country a year ago at Phil Jurkovec.
Jeff Hafley’s defense got some help in the scrum, but it’s safety Jaiden Lars-Woodbey who plans to play a big part in the secondary. He was among the top 40 national rookies in 2018.
Graham-Mobley has just wrapped up an injury-cut short 2020 season, but could help retool at linebacker with Max Richardson and Isaiah McDuffie for the NFL.
British Columbia also needs to plan ahead for the running back, as junior David Bailey, who led BC with 127 carries and 503 yards last season, entered the transfer portal Thursday morning.
Clemson hasn’t made any transfers, which underscores his depth of quality recruiting and a near-assured mindset that he already has everything he needs.
But, if we have to fill in a name here, let’s drop wide receiver Justyn Ross, who is dressing up this year after missing last season as recovering from a rare spine problem.
RB TJ Green (Utah); LB Rashaad Harding (Louisiana-Monroe); Saf. Skyler Thomas (Washington State); CB Duron Lowe (Texas El Paso)
Green helps fill the void left by Peytton Pickett’s transfer. The Flames backfield still sends back quarterback Malik Willis and rushers Josh Mack and Shedro Louis.
Thomas and Lowe can make a huge impact in the Flames high school. Thomas started 12 games for Washington State in 2019 and intercepted four assists.
Harding skipped the 2020 season but was productive as a junior, finishing with 60 tackles (eight for loss).
OL David Nwaogwugwu (Temple); DT Ifeanyi Maijeh (Temple); CB Patrice René (North Carolina); WR Josh Youngblood (Kansas State)
There are a few guys who could make an instant impact.
Youngblood enters the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year and All-American accolades as a returning man in 2019. Maijeh is a player who had a great second season, winning the All-AAC First Team in 2019 to help anchor the Owls’ defense line with Quincy Roche.
Syracuse turned to Rene to help fill a need for a cornerback following Ifeatu Melifonwu’s entry into the NFL draft.
OL TJ Jackson (Virginia Tech)
Jackson is a mountain guard at 6 feet 6 inches and 377 pounds. He comes to Athens, Ohio via Virginia Tech, where he opened the 2019 season as a starter.
Jackson is expected to play tackle in Ohio.
WR Mekhi Stevenson (UNLV)
Yes, even Albany operates the portal for instant help.
Stevenson arrives via UNLV, where he recorded 54 catches for 599 yards and six touchdowns in three seasons.
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