College Football 2012 Transfers to Watch

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Tom Savage, Cody Green and Tate Forcier will be names to watch in 2012.

Tom Savage, Cody Green and Tate Forcier will be names to watch in 2012.

By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)

Here's a look at the top transfers to watch for 2011.

Quarterbacks

Terrance Broadway (Houston to UL Lafayette) – Broadway ranked as the No. 16 quarterback in the 2010 recruiting class by Athlon Sports. Due to an injury to Case Keenum, Broadway was forced to make one start last year against Tulane. However, he did not hold onto the starting job and was replaced by David Piland for the remainder of 2010. Broadway applied for a waiver for immediate eligibility, but if that is denied, he should be the favorite to start for the Ragin’ Cajuns in 2012.

Tate Forcier (Michigan to ?) – Forcier was believed to be headed to Miami, but has backtracked and will revisit his transfer decision. In two years at Michigan, he threw for 2,647 yards and 17 scores, while adding 291 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Foricer is expected to transfer to a school close to his hometown of San Diego and recently revisited San Jose State.

Tyler Gabbert (Missouri to ?) – Gabbert had a legitimate chance to win the Missouri starting job in the fall, but decided to leave after James Franklin finished No. 1 on the depth chart following spring practice. Gabbert was not as highly-rated out of high school as his brother Blaine, but is still regarded as a solid prospect. Gabbert chose to transfer to Louisville, but had a change of heart shortly after committing to the Cardinals. 

Cody Green (Nebraska to ?) – With Taylor Martinez showing no signs of relinquishing the starting job, Green transferred with two years of eligibility. In two seasons at Nebraska, he threw for 657 yards and five scores, while adding 254 yards on the ground. Green has been rumored to be interested in Kansas State, Texas A&M, Tulsa, Houston, Baylor and Boise State, but has yet to finalize his next stop.

Tom Savage (Rutgers to Arizona) – With Nick Foles having one more year of eligibility, Savage and Matt Scott will be in position to battle for the starting job in 2012. Savage threw for 2,732 yards and 16 scores in two years at Rutgers, but lost his starting job due to injury last year. Savage ranked as the No. 9 quarterback in the 2009 recruiting class and was on track to develop into one of the Big East’s best passers before struggling last year.

Ryan Williams (Memphis to Miami) – Williams was thrown into the fire as a true freshman for a bad team last year and responded with a solid season. He passed for 2,075 yards and 13 touchdowns in 12 games and is a good fit for coordinator Jedd Fisch’s pro-style offense. Williams played high school ball just outside of Miami and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining. Unless Stephen Morris secures the job this fall, Williams will have a good shot to open as Miami’s starting quarterback in 2012.

Other

Jeremy Higgins (Utah State to Hawaii)

Running Backs

Mike Blakely (Florida to Auburn) – Blakely enrolled early at Florida this spring, but was forced to sit out due to injury. At the conclusion of spring practice, Blakely – ranked No. 11 by Athlon among running backs in the 2011 recruiting class – decided to transfer and will suit up for Auburn in 2012. Blakely’s arrival next year will give the Tigers a deep corps of rushers next season, including Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb.

Storm Johnson (Miami to UCF) – Hopes were high for Johnson at Miami, but he rushed for only 119 yards and one score last season. With Mike James and Lamar Miller returning for 2011, playing time would have been difficult to find for the sophomore. Johnson decided in mid-June to transfer to UCF, where he will team with Brynn Harvey and Latavius Murray to form one of the top backfields in Conference USA in 2012.

Others -

Drayton Calhoun (LSU to MTSU)
David Oku (Tennessee to ?)
Austin White (Michigan to Central Michigan)

Wide Receivers

D.J. Banks (Tulane to Louisiana Tech) – Louisiana Tech picked up a couple of transfers at receiver two years ago in Ahmad Paige and Tim Molton that didn’t work out, but Banks should change that trend. In two years at Tulane, he caught 54 passes and was a factor on returns. With coordinator Tony Franklin working to install a pass-first offense, Banks could be one of Louisiana Tech’s leading receivers in 2012.

Chris Dunkley (Florida to South Florida) – South Florida has landed a handful of transfers over the last couple of seasons, especially at the running back position. Dunkley has yet to play a down in college, but was rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals coming out of high school. The Bulls should have most of their receiving corps returning intact next year, but if Dunkley quickly picks up the offense, he should be one of the top four options in 2012.

Others -

Dwayne Difton (Connecticut to ?)
Austin Fuller (Virginia Tech to SMU)
Javares McRoy (Florida to Texas Tech)
D.J. Williamson (Michigan to ?)

Tight End

Morrell Presley (UCLA to ?) – Presley came to UCLA with a lot of hype, but failed to deliver on the field. In two years, Presley managed only 11 receptions for 63 yards. Suspect quarterback play was a significant reason for Presley’s inability to make an impact for the offense.

Offensive Linemen

Cam Feldt (Arkansas to North Texas) – Considering Arkansas’ need for linemen this season and Feldt ranking among the top 150 prospects by ESPN, it’s a surprise to see him leave for North Texas. Feldt should be able to figure prominently into the Mean Green’s offensive line next year.

Jordan Prestwood (Florida State to Notre Dame) – Prestwood was ranked as the No. 20 overall offensive lineman in the 2011 Athlon Consensus 100 and was a huge catch for Florida State on the recruiting trail. However, Prestwood decided to bolt Tallahassee for South Bend, despite not playing a game for the Seminoles. Expect Prestwood to compete for a starting job with Notre Dame next year.

Defensive Linemen

Forrest West (DE) (Colorado to NC State) – West led Colorado with 5.5 sacks last season and the reason for his departure from Boulder is a bit of a mystery. However, West will have an opportunity to contribute at NC State in 2012, especially with Jeff Rieskamp having one more year of eligibility and every team always looking for more depth up front.

Calvin Smith (DT) (New Mexico to ?) – Smith was a surprising add to New Mexico’s 2010 signing class, ranking as a four-star recruit out of Florida. Smith collected 13 tackles and one sack last year and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining at his next stop.

Other -

Tayo Fabuluje (BYU to TCU)

Linebacker

Devin Unga (Oregon State to BYU) – The Cougars will have two Pac-12 transfers at linebacker in 2012, with Uona Kaveinga eligible in 2011 after transferring from USC. Unga will walk-on at BYU and it’s uncertain how much of an impact he will have on the defense, after seeing limited action in two years at Oregon State. Unga transferred to BYU to be closer to his family and is a cousin to former BYU running back Harvey Unga.

Defensive Backs

Jonathan Dowling (Florida to Western Kentucky) – Dowling was dismissed from Florida shortly before the end of the 2010 season and will sit out 2011 as a result of NCAA transfer rules. Dowling was one of the top safety prospects in the nation last year, but saw limited action in his time in Gainesville. Expect Dowling to be an instant impact player for the Hilltoppers in 2012.

Brendon Felder (North Carolina to Pittsburgh) – Felder is the third defensive back transferring to Pittsburgh in 2012. The former Tar Heel did not play during his time at North Carolina, after suffering a torn ACL as a freshman. Considering he has yet to see the field, it’s uncertain how much Felder will contribute next year.

Demetri Goodson (Gonzaga to Baylor) – Of all of the transfers on this list for 2012, Goodson is probably the most intriguing. After three years on the hardwood at Gonzaga, Goodson is making the move to the gridiron as a defensive back. Goodson should provide the secondary with more speed and athleticism, but how much he can contribute will rest heavily on how fast he is able to make the transition from basketball.

Shamiel Gary (Wyoming to Oklahoma State) – Gary was a solid contributor for Wyoming, registering over 90 tackles in each of the last two years. Markelle Martin will be a senior in 2011, which leaves Gary with an opportunity to contribute to the Oklahoma State secondary in 2012.

Jordan Haden (Florida to Toledo) – A key factor in Haden’s decision to transfer to Toledo was the opportunity to play with his brother Josh in 2012. Josh is eligible in 2011 after his transfer from Boston College, but Jordan will have to wait a season. Jordan was regarded as one of the top 15 safeties coming out of high school and will be a factor for playing time in 2012.

Ray Vinopal (Michigan to Pittsburgh) – Michigan’s secondary was downright horrendous last year, largely due to inexperience and injuries. However, Vinopal should be a nice catch for Pittsburgh, after starting six games in Ann Arbor last season.

Others -

Cullen Christian (Michigan to Pittsburgh)
Vladimir Emilien (Michigan to Toledo)
Jay Fullam (Vanderbilt to Air Force)
Kolby Gray (Pittsburgh to Baylor)
JaJuan Harley (Florida State to MTSU)
Marcus Trice (Oklahoma to ?)

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<p> These players will have to wait a year to play at their new school, but should make an impact once they hit the field.</p>
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