The immediate eligibility rules and transfer portal have significantly changed how all 131 FBS college football teams build their roster, and that's certainly the case in the SEC. The conference was a big winner in acquisitions, as Ole Miss, LSU, South Carolina and Alabama are among the nation's best in transfer classes for the 2022 season. Not only does every coach have to recruit his own roster at the end of the year, but all programs have a chance to dip into the portal for help to bolster a roster in need of talent or to fill a specific position. The Gamecocks, Rebels and Tigers all added potential impact players and deepened other position groups with hefty portal hauls, while the Crimson Tide targeted a few specific needs to add to a team already picked as the preseason favorite.
How do the transfer classes for the 2022 college football season rank in the SEC? Athlon Sports has ranked all 14 SEC teams by the biggest impact of its transfers for this upcoming year:
SEC Football: Ranking the Transfer Classes for 2022
1. Ole Miss
Key Additions: QB Jaxson Dart; RB Zach Evans; WR Malik Heath; WR Jordan Watkins; TE Michael Trigg; OL Mason Brooks; DL J.J. Pegues; DL Khari Coleman; DL Jared Ivey; LB Troy Brown; S Isheem Young; S Ladarius Tennison
Key Losses: QB/WR John Rhys Plumlee; RB Henry Parrish; WR Jamar Richardson; TE DaMarcus Thomas; OL Bryce Ramsey; DL Quentin Bivens; DL Sincere David; LB Daylen Gill; LB Mohamed Sanogo; DB Keidron Smith; DB Tylan Knight; DB Jalen Jordan; DB JaKorey Hawkins
With quarterback Matt Corral and a handful of key players leaving off last year’s 10-win team, hitting the portal was the best path to keeping pace in the brutal SEC West for coach Lane Kiffin. The Rebels reeled in one of the most impressive – if not the No. 1 – transfer classes in the nation. Dart (QB) and Evans (RB) immediately bolster the outlook on offense, with Ivey, Young, Brown and Tennison all potential starters on defense this fall.
Key Additions: RB Jahmyr Gibbs; WR Jermaine Burton; CB Eli Ricks
Key Losses: QB Paul Tyson; RB Camar Wheaton; WR Javon Baker; WR Xavier Williams; TE Jahleel Billingsley; OL Tommy Brown; OL Pierce Quick; LB Shane Lee; LB Drew Sanders; LB King Mwikuta; LB Jackson Bratton; CB Marcus Banks
Quality, not quantity is the method behind Alabama’s transfer additions. The Crimson Tide added impact weapons on offense with Gibbs and Burton, while Ricks fills a key need at cornerback.
3. South Carolina
Key Additions: QB Spencer Rattler; RB Christian Beal-Smith; RB Dante Miller; WR Khafre Brown; WR Antwane Wells; TE Austin Stogner; DL Terrell Dawkins; DB Devonni Reed; DB Lovasea Carroll
Key Losses: QB Jason Brown; WR Keveon Mullins; OL Vincent Murphy; LB Kolbe Fields; LB Jahmar Brown; DB Dominick Hill
Rattler didn’t meet preseason expectations at Oklahoma last year, but a fresh start under coach Shane Beamer should help get his career back on track. The junior is one of the top impact transfers in college football this year, and the Gamecocks improved the supporting cast with the arrival of Beal-Smith at running back, along with Wells and Stogner in the receiving corps. Dawkins bolsters a defensive line losing Kingsley Enagbare.