Connect with us

Sports

College football’s transfer portal is working … just look at TCU

Sonny Dykes was able to turn a 5-7 TCU team into a national championship contender on the fly thanks to the transfer portal.

News Agencies

Published

on

TCU went 5-7 in 2021, leading to the firing of legendary head coach Gary Patterson. The program had grown stagnant, just 23-24 the last four seasons, and appeared to be in need of a significant rebuild for new coach Sonny Dykes.

The situation was exacerbated when 15 players transferred out following the coaching change, including at least four high-end talents.

While the transfer portal — and the corresponding allure of name, image and likeness money — has been decried and vilified by plenty of people in college athletics, most notably that it serves to make strong teams even stronger, Dykes offers a different perspective, one of opportunity and quick fixes.

Advertisement

Namely, how the program’s turnaround from middling Big 12 program to 13-1 team that will play Georgia on Monday for the national championship, wouldn’t be possible without it. The transfer portal flows both ways, after all, so Dykes brought in 13 new players who added a dash of talent, plugged roster holes and produced necessary depth.

“Had we not been able to add those 13 transfers, you know, we would have been in trouble defensively,” Dykes told The Athletic.

In the past, Dykes would have needed multiple strong high school recruiting classes to get things back on track. TCU’s hope would have rested on Dykes’ deep ties within the state of Texas unearthing some gems overlooked by major programs.

Advertisement

Instead, here in the 2022 season, the transfer portal offered a more immediate impact and, per Dykes, broke down significant advantages that established powers previously enjoyed.

“In today’s college football world, it is a lot different assembling a team than it used to be,” Dykes said last week prior to TCU’s 51-46 victory over Michigan. “You used to rely on signing the recruiting class. You [then] redshirted the class if your program is good enough to do that. So all the programs that were good historically had an advantage because they didn’t have to play freshmen.

“Those teams [then] went to bowl games, got those 15 extra practices and got a chance to work those young players,” Dykes said. “There was only one way to acquire players, and that was through traditional high school recruiting.”

Advertisement

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 31: Linebacker Johnny Hodges #57 of the TCU Horned Frogs pressures quarterback J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines during the third quarter of the College Football Playoff Semifinal Fiesta Bowl football game at State Farm Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The TCU Horned Frogs won 51-45. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

TCU added linebacker Johnny Hodges via the transfer portal. Hodges leads the Horned Frogs with 81 tackles this season, including 8.5 tackles for a loss. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

In other words, schools such as TCU were tasked with a steep climb. That playing field is more level now, Dykes said, if only because the fear of a young talent transferring means there are fewer redshirts and thus hoarding of talent.

“In today’s world, it’s a lot different,” Dykes said. “You can acquire players [in] a lot of different ways. People don’t really redshirt as much anymore because if you do redshirt somebody, chances are, they’re not going to be there for very long.

Advertisement

“So what happens is, that opens the door for maybe non-traditional programs to be able to acquire players in a different way, which is kind of what we did.”

Dykes certainly would have liked to have kept some transfers — notably running back Zach Evans and linebacker Khari Coleman who went to Ole Miss, offensive lineman Tyler Guyton who left for Oklahoma and defensive end Ochaun Mathis who headed to Nebraska.

However, multiple other TCU players transferred down to Group of 5 or FCS programs, if anywhere at all. That opened scholarship space, which Dykes filled with 13 transfers who saw action this season. They came from name-brand schools (Georgia, Florida State) and upstarts (Louisiana, UConn) alike.

Advertisement

Some became major stars, such as linebacker Johnny Hodges who arrived from the Naval Academy. Others made significant contributions, such as SMU offensive lineman Alan Ali, Texas tight end Jared Wiley or UL Monroe cornerback Josh Newton. The others provided depth or bolstered reserves.

Whatever it was, Dykes was able to overhaul and strengthen a roster on the fly. The turnaround was historic … but perhaps not rare in the future. The old expectations, limitations and timelines no longer apply.

A program such as TCU can quickly put together a roster that can stand toe-to-toe with Michigan. And with the expanded playoff coming, access to championship opportunities will increase not just for, say, Big 12 programs, but Group of 5 schools also.

Advertisement

It’s possible that playing in a certain conference or two will no longer hold the recruiting importance (especially among transfers) that it once did.

“I’ve always believed that the cream rises and the more opportunities that schools outside of the traditional brands get, the more those schools can become traditional brands,” Dykes said. “I think you exclude them, it’s hard to break in. And I think this will give a lot of schools like TCU an opportunity to get in the mix and show what they’re capable of.”

Much of what was predicted about the transfer portal and NIL has not proven true. A lot of it was scare tactics or complaints from old-school coaches who aren’t happy having to deal with new challenges and dynamics when it comes to building a roster.

Advertisement

As for the belief that everything will simply make the rich get richer, well, here is TCU — no one’s definition of the rich — playing for the title.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Entertainment9 hours ago

Kylie Jenner reveals the name of her second baby

Kylie Jenner shares the name of her second baby. (Photo: Marc Piasecki/WireImage ) Kylie Jenner has finally revealed the name...

Entertainment11 hours ago

Sam Smith addresses rumor that they are secretly Adele in drag: ‘We’ve never been seen in the same room’

Rumor has it… that Adele and Sam Smith may have more in common than just their heavenly voices. Smith, who...

Entertainment12 hours ago

Martha Stewart Says Her Celebrity Crush Brad Pitt is ‘Aging Beautifully’: ‘He Looks So Great’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 09: Martha Stewart attends the iHeartRadio Z100’s Jingle Ball 2022 Presented by Capital One...

Entertainment12 hours ago

Brandon Lee’s Sister Endorses Newspaper Editorial Calling for Banning Guns on Hollywood Sets

Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee’s son) in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Barry King/WireImage) Barry King/WireImage Shannon Lee, the sister of...

Entertainment14 hours ago

Tori Spelling Says She Spent $400 on Denise Richards’ OnlyFans in 2 Days: ‘I Couldn’t Stop’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 07: Tori Spelling visits SiriusXM Studios on October 07, 2022 in New York City....

Entertainment15 hours ago

Buzz Aldrin gets married on his 93rd birthday to his ‘longtime love,’ Anca Faur

Iconic astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man to walk on the moon, announced Friday he spent his 93rd...

Entertainment17 hours ago

Jeremy Renner Says His ’30 Plus Broken Bones’ Will ‘Mend’ and ‘Grow Stronger’ After Snowplow Accident

Jeremy Renner attends the Hawkeye Los Angeles Launch Event at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on November 17, 2021....

Entertainment1 day ago

Joey Lawrence and Samantha Cope Welcome Baby Girl: ‘Overjoyed with Gratitude’

Joey Lawrence and Samantha Cope Joey Lawrence Instagram Joey Lawrence and Samantha Cope have welcomed their little one! The actor and...

Advertisement

Latest Sports

Sports44 mins ago

Chad Henne steps in for Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs fans chant his name after 98-yard TD drive vs. Jaguars

Chad Henne came through in a big moment for the Chiefs.

Sports1 hour ago

The Eagles really nailed this rebuilding thing

Not many Eagles are left from the team that won the Super Bowl in the 2017 season. Jason Kelce is....

Sports2 hours ago

Dearica Hamby says Aces ‘discriminated’ against her for pregnancy; WNBPA to investigate

"I gave everything I had, up until the disgusting comments that were made to me," Hamby wrote.

Sports2 hours ago

How Calvin Booth transitioned from NBA journeyman to Nuggets general manager

Ten years in the league and a thoughtful, observant nature have served Booth well as he emerged as an NBA...

Sports2 hours ago

Saquon Barkley wants to be ‘a Giant for life’ headed into free agency after playoff loss to Eagles

"I can't envision that being my last time in a Giants uniform."

Sports3 hours ago

Saints want more than a first-round pick for Sean Payton

Recently, former Saints coach Sean Payton said that his old team wants a mid-to-late first-round pick in exchange for the...

Sports3 hours ago

Australian Open: Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff ousted in fourth round

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek was eliminated from the Australian Open by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. Coco Gauff fell to Jelena Ostapenko.

Sports4 hours ago

Eagles rout Giants, advance to NFC title game

Some teams received more recent attention, but Philadelphia served up a reminder of how strong it is with a 38-7...

Technology Hot News

Technology3 days ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Technology4 days ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

Technology4 days ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

Technology4 days ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Technology4 days ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

Technology5 days ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

Technology7 days ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

Technology7 days ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...

Advertisement