Rating of Michigan football’s outbound transfers compared to the rest of the country

The Athletic ($) has published a fascinating story about the use of the transfer portal during the 2021-22 offseason. They tracked 2,000 different football players who entered the transfer portal and found that around 80% of players who entered found a new home. On average, Power 5 programs lost 16 transfers in the last calendar year.

‚ÄúThere were 1,054 scholarship players in this transfer cycle who left the Power 5 programs. So far, 88% have found a new home and 66% will be able to continue playing at the FBS level this fall, although fewer ‘a third ended up signing with another Power 5 school,’ wrote The Athletic.

Statistics show that only 32% of those transfers went to another Power 5 program. Group 5 schools was the most common landing zone at 34%, and 21% went to FCS or Division III. Yet 12% of Power 5 transfers that entered the portal currently do not have a domicile.

Interestingly enough, the SEC lost the most transfers, 241, but 89% of them ended up elsewhere and 71% found a home at the FBS level.

In the 2021 cycle, the Michigan Wolverines lost 12 players to the gate, including former four-star defensive backs Jordan Morant and Darion Green-Warren.

The transfers that ended up in the Power 5 programs are: Morant (Mississippi State), Cole Hussung (Louisville), Chuck Filiaga (Minnesota), Dan Villari (Syracuse) and Anthony Soloman (Arizona). To have five of the 12 total transfers to another Power 5 school is pretty impressive.

Sammy Faustin (UMass), Andre Seldon (New Mexico State), Nolan Rumler (Kent State) and Green-Warren (Nevada) remained in Division I, but at the Group of 5 level. And two players, Jack Stewart and Mahdi Hazime, remain without destination.

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The Athletic have also found that the earlier you enter the portal, the better. A whopping 86% of transfers in the November-January window have a new program to play for, and 29% were at the Power 5 level. Those who left Michigan were at 90% and 42%, respectively, during this period.

What does all this mean?

Other programs around the country promote what is happening in Ann Arbor. The fluidity of the transfer portal is great for the varsity athlete and the program. This is a new way to build the roster and put the power in the hands of players. But that doesn’t mean entering the portal isn’t risky.

Each of Michigan’s transfers went to a less superior program, even though some of them went to a Power 5 school. Now that probably means more playing time, a chance to start, and maybe even the possibility to become a star depending on the conference and the team.

Worse still, two guys are no longer fellows and Stewart was once a prospect with upside potential. After going to the portal in April, it looks pretty bleak for him to find a place to call home this fall.

So while the portal is a great option for players to find a better opportunity, it could also lead to their downfall. Even if a player doesn’t get the game time they were hoping for, at least they’re getting a quality education at one of the nation’s top schools in Ann Arbor. The risk is exponentially great for anyone who dives into the portal.

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