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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pac-12 football: Winners and losers following five months of transfer portal insanity

By Jon Wilner Bay Area News Group

Since the end of the regular season, 243 football players have passed through the transfer portal on their way out of or into the Pac-12.

And more could follow.

With the May 1 transfer deadline fast approaching, we expect a handful of transfers – and perhaps multiple handfuls – in the final days before the window closes.

(Players who transfer after the deadline must sit out the 2022 season or receive a waiver from the NCAA.)

Where do teams stand at this point in the transfer cycle?

Here’s our look at the transfer portal winners based on the latest information in the 247Sports database.


Biggest gain: QB Jayden de Laura (from Washington State)

Biggest loss: WR Jalen Curry (to Buffalo)

Comment: The Wildcats have lost 21 players to the portal but few of significance. Meanwhile, a handful of additions could make a deep impact – not only on Arizona but on the shape of the South race. Atop the list is de Laura, of course, but he’ll have immediate help from receiver Jacob Cowing, who caught 69 passes for UTEP last season. Defensively, keep an eye on defensive end Tiaoalii Savea, a UCLA transfer and former four-star recruit who should bolster a position of extreme need.


Biggest gain: QB Bo Nix (from Auburn)

Biggest loss: TB Travis Dye (to USC)

Comment: Despite Dye’s departure and the exodus of offensive linemen, the Ducks are in positive territory at this point in the transfer cycle. Cornerback Christian Gonzalez, an honorable-mention all-conference pick last season at Colorado, is a major acquisition given the significance of the position. But after his impressive showing in the spring scrimmage, Nix must be considered the frontrunner for the starting job. The combination of a starting quarterback and cornerback is enough to vault the Ducks into net-positive territory.


Biggest gain: QB Caleb Williams (from Oklahoma)

Biggest loss: K Parker Lewis (to TBD)

Comment: The Trojans would be a portal winner if Williams were their only newcomer, but coach Lincoln Riley has completely rebuilt the skill positions with Dye (Oregon), Austin Jones (Stanford), Brendan Rice (Colorado), Mario Williams (Oklahoma) and Terrell Bynum (Washington). Defensively, USC has added three players, cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (from Colorado) and linebackers Shane Lee (Alabama) and Romello Height (Auburn), who should play significant roles in the salvage operation.


Biggest gain: LB Mohamoud Diabate (from Florida)

Biggest loss: DE Xavier Carlton (to Cal)

Comment: The combination of Diabate, who will face his former team in the season opener, and Gabe Reid (from Stanford), should help with the momentous task of replacing Devin Lloyd in the middle of the defense. The attrition from Utah’s two-deep has been limited – almost non-existent – as the program prepares to defend its conference title and make a run at the playoff.

Washington State

Biggest gain: QB Cameron Ward (from Incarnate Word)

Biggest loss: C Brian Greene (to Michigan State)

Comment: Ward not only offsets the loss of de Laura but could well be an upgrade given his familiarity with the offense deployed by new coordinator Eric Morris, who coached Ward last season. The Cougars have experienced significant turnover as measured by the quantity of departures (23). But other than losing Greene, a multi-year starter, the losses should have limited impact. The recent arrival of receiver Zeriah Beason (from Oregon State) adds a quality option to the passing game.

Not every Pac-12 school was as lucky, here’s our look at the biggest transfer portal losers.

Arizona State

Biggest gain: DL Nesta Jade Silvera (from Miami)

Biggest loss: QB Jayden Daniels (to LSU)

Comment: Tough to imagine a worse scenario for the Sun Devils, who lost their starting quarterback, top receiver (Ricky Pearsall) and most talented young defender (linebacker Eric Gentry) – and the exodus could continue for a program reeling from a recruiting scandal. Silvera’s presence bolsters what should be a stout defensive front. We considered quarterback Paul Tyson (from Alabama) as the newcomer likely to make the greatest impact, but his lack of experience (16 career attempts) creates uncertainty.

Oregon State

Biggest gain: TB Jamious Griffin (from Georgia Tech)

Biggest loss: WR Champ Flemings (to TBA)

Comment: Griffin is a former four-star recruit and quality addition; he’s also OSU’s only addition at this point. Coach Jonathan Smith had few scholarships available and (not surprisingly) took a selective approach to roster tweaking. That approach naturally places the Beavers at a net-negative in our portal calculation, even though the number of impact departures is low and focused on a single position, receiver, with the loss of Flemings and Zeriah Beason, who’s headed to Washington State.


Biggest gain: S Patrick Fields (from Oklahoma)

Biggest loss: TB Nathaniel Peat (to Missouri)

Comment: We feel confident predicting Stanford will never be a transfer portal winner – the admissions standards pose a major challenge for both undergraduate and graduate students. (Fields is the Cardinal’s only newcomer in this cycle.) Peat stands as the most significant departure instead of leading rusher Austin Jones, who left for USC, because of his big-play speed and success as a kick returner.


Biggest gains: LBs Grayson and Gabriel Murphy (from North Texas)

Biggest loss: LB Mitchell Agude (to Miami)

Comment: The attrition continues under Chip Kelly, with 18 players entering the portal (most of them on defense). But the Bruins have done well to minimize the losses. We selected the Murphy brothers, who committed to UCLA in early March, because of the two-for-one nature of their arrival and the deep need for edge rushers after Agude’s departure. Two more arrivals to watch: Gary Smith, a 320-pound defensive tackle (from Duke), and Raiqwon O’Neal, a former All-Big Ten offensive lineman (from Rutgers).


Biggest gain: QB Michael Penix Jr (from Indiana)

Biggest loss: WR Terrell Bynum (to USC)

Comment: Busy times in Seattle as first-year coach Kalen DeBoer attempts to upgrade his depth chart despite significant attrition on both sides of scrimmage. We hesitated to pick Penix as the top newcomer given that he might not win the job, but anyone with the potential to improve UW’s quarterback play is significant. Keep an eye on tailbacks Wayne Taulapapa (from Virginia Tech) and Aaron Dumas (from New Mexico). Defensively, linebacker Cam Bright (from Pittsburgh) is an important addition.