Spring football was canceled, but the “transfer portal” (insert cool sound effect) is still functioning at maximum capacity. Hundreds of student-athletes have already or will soon find a new home and suit up for a different team in 2020.
The SEC attracts the best athletes in the country and is ultracompetitive. Unfortunately, there’s always a loser when competing for a certain position. So often these days, that means pulling up stakes and seeking greener pastures.
However, being the premier conference in the nation also makes it incredibly attractive to outsiders. The league sees as many players transfer in as it does transfer out.
Here are some 2020 transfers in the SEC who could have a big impact this fall.
Junior quarterback Jamie Newman — Wake Forest to Georgia
Jake Fromm is off to the NFL after four strong years in Athens, Georgia. The Bulldogs seem to be loaded at every position except quarterback.
Newman led the Demon Deacons to an 8-5 record in 2019. He threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns while running for an additional 574 yards and six touchdowns.
Newman has already received high praise without taking a snap, but he’ll have to prove it on the field.
Senior quarterback KJ Costello — Stanford to Miss State
Costello threw for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2018 for the Stanford Cardinal. He endured an injury plagued 2019, seeing action in only five games.
Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, who took over in Starkville, loves to throw the football and desperately needs a competent passer. This move gives the Bulldogs at least an opportunity to compete in 2020.
Junior quarterback Feleipe Franks — Florida to Arkansas
Franks led the Gators to a 10-3 record in 2018 throwing for nearly 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was injured early in 2019 and lost his starting job to Kyle Trask.
He’s never been considered a great quarterback, but quite frankly, anything would be an improvement in Fayetteville, Arkansas, these days. It’s going to be an uphill battle.
Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Joey Gatewood — Auburn to Kentucky
Obviously, Gatewood lost the starting gig to Bo Nix last season in Auburn and decided to bug out halfway through the year. He will have to sit out a year unless he receives a waiver from the NCAA.
Lexington, Kentucky is a great place for him to get the opportunity to show what he can do. If he lives up to billing, he could make the biggest impact of anyone.
Senior quarterback Jake Bentley — South Carolina to Utah
The Opelika high school star graduated a year early and was thrown into the fray in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2016 as a freshman. He threw for over 7,000 yards and 45 touchdowns in his career as a Gamecock.
He played only one game in 2019 missing the rest of the season because of injury. A change of scenery will probably do him good.
Junior running back JaTarvious Whitlow — Auburn to unknown
It’s a shame this relationship dissolved, but Boobee is moving on. His future destination is still unknown at this time.
Auburn is fortunate running back is one of its deepest positions. However, most of that depth is based on potential. Whitlow led the Tigers in rushing the past two seasons with 1,550 yards. It’ll be up to a host of underclassmen to prove they can step up and handle the job.