Transfer Portal Palooza is underway. We've all heard the big names who have the portal, but who are some of the names that we aren't talking about who could make an impact in Provo down the road? Let's talk portal.
(Shoutout to Dr. Strange and all of his other Wizard friends. Without that transfer portal performance, we're all under the juristiction of Thanos right now.)
Names Everyone Talks About: Sam Leavitt, Kurtis Rourke, Taylen Green
According to hashtag sources, Leavitt and Green will both pay BYU a visit sometime this week. Both are visiting a number of schools, but BYU should be taken seriously. Either of them could end up in Provo and it wouldn't be THAT surprising, given where things are currently.
Rourke isn't being talked about as much, but we probably should pay more attention to him. He's a one-year guy at this point, but he's very good. He's been at a Ohio, not Ohio State, so the Big 12 would be a definite step up. But 7600 passing yards, 50 TDs to just 16 INTs, and 828 career rushing yards is nothing to scoff at. He can play at any level.
Will BYU end up with one of them? TBD. But all three names should be taken seriously.
Names. Nobody Is Talking About: AJ Swann, Brayden Schager, Matthew Sluka, Dequan Finn
At this point, I kind of feel like I'm going to will Swann to BYU on my own. I love his game. He's a former Elite 11 finalist and Under Armour All-American. He signed with Vandy, had some success as a passer, but was at Vandy playing against the rest of the SEC. He's also not being talked about nearly as much as some other names which means BYU might be able to find a bargain here. I think his game fits BYU so well.
Shager is incredibly intruiging to me. The Hawaii quarterback has thrown for thousands of yards and is a pretty good athlete. He's probably not the type you want to promise a starting job to, but he is absolutely the type that could go out and win a starting job at BYU. Sneaky name to pay attention to.
Sluka (who will heretofore be known as Big Daddy Slukes) can sling it. Holy Cross isn't exactly a football powerhouse, but Big Daddy Slukes can ball. 6000 (I'm rounding up a little bit - sue me) passing yards, 3500 rushing yards, and 97 total touchdowns? Sign me up. He will have no shortage of suitors, though.
Finn is great. Finn is a long shot. But BYU likes him and if they can get him, buckle up.
Every Other Position
Aside from the quarterback spot, there isn't a dedicated position that BYU MUST go to the portal to get this year. There are definitely some that they'd like to get, but not any super-duper must-get no matter whats. So we lump everything together and talk about a few guys.
Jack Kelly - Weber State
Before you stick your nose up at Weber State, let me remind you that Eddie Heckard was arguably BYU's best defender this year and he came from Weber. Jay Hill got some dudes to Ogden - and Kelly is one of those dudes.
So far he has offers from the likes of Oregon State, Houston, North Texas, UConn and a few other G5 schools. He's been in contact with BYU and I would be 0% surprised to see him pick up an offer from BYU. He's a really good linebacker.
He came from Kearns High School and was a bit of a late-bloomer. He's growing, he's faster than he used to be, and he knows the scheme Hill wants to run. Frankly, he could be the kind of player that we thought AJ Vongphachanh would be this year (no disrespect to AJV - but Kelly could be better than that). He's a very good player. If BYU does offer, I believe he pounces on it really quickly.
Amipeleasi Fifita - Houston
You might know him as Amipeleasi Langi Jr. His stats won't blow your skirt up, but let's face the facts - the Cougies need some help on the interior of the defensive line. Fifita would fit in well and while I don't think he's a future NFL guy, I do think he's an obvious upgrade over what's currently on the BYU roster.
He's big. He's strong. He would, at worst, be a solid rotational piece.
Kolbey Taylor - Wyoming
BYU loves lengthy corners and Taylor is exactly that. He's 6-4 and a freak of an athlete. He is the kind of guy that Jernaro Gilford dreams about having in his room. (The football film room, you sickos.)
Craig Bohl is retiring from Wyoming following their bowl game. The Cowboys might live in Laramie, but they have some talented dudes on that roster. Taylor is one of them and BYU has already expressed interest. There is no offer yet (that I know of, at least) but there is interest.
Nyquee Hawkins - Virginia Tech
Another corner, another very good player, and another would-be-upgrade for BYU. The Cougs have been in contact. He's a name to watch, at minimum.
Marcus Ratcliffe - San Diego State
Jay Hill knows he needs some safety help and, frankly, the realistic pool of safeties is pretty thin for BYU this year. That kind of makes Ratcliffe a must-get for me. He can really play.
BYU recruited him some out of high school and now they are pushing again. He would immediately push for starter reps.
Omarrion Aigbedion - Montain State
This dude is the real deal. He's got offers from Texas Tech, Boston College, Arkansas, and a bunch of other schools. For my money, he's one of the most talented offensive linemen in the transfer portal right now. He would be a Day 1 contributor at BYU. The Cougars have offered and are in touch. Work some magic, Brayden Kearsley.
Myles Norwood - Iowa State
Solid cover corner who plays with some physicality. I don't know how serious BYU is or is not right now, but I am paying attention to Norwood.
JC Davis - New Mexico
First-team All- Mountain West and a multi-year starter at center? SOUNDS LIKE A WIN TO ME! Brayden Kearsley is just a GA right now, but until BYU has a full time OL coach hired, Kearsley is the guy. He can relate to these kinds of dudes. Big opportunity for him to earn a future job by showing he can recruit the portal.
Are there other names to pay attention to? Of course there are. Could BYU end up with zero of these guys? Of course they could. It's the transfer portal in the NIL era. Things get weird.
But as of December 6, these are a few of the dudes I'm paying the most attention to.