Pac-12 football transfers: USC and Oregon playmakers ready to make an immediate impact in a league fueled by QB turnover

The Pac-12 sees a major turnaround for the 2022 season as Lincoln Riley, Dan Lanning and Calin Deborre revamp the league’s coaching ranks at three of the league’s biggest brands in USC, Oregon and Washington, respectively. But the new faces in key places aren’t limited to coaches, as the league is also set to have a great deal of spin in the center midfield.

Half of the 12 Conference teams are likely to begin a transition to the first year of the quarterback, including the Trojans, Ducks and Husky. While University of Southern California’s Caleb Williams leads the group, who tracks Riley from Oklahoma, he’s just one of the few big-name signal callers who have made it to the West Coast to try and revitalize a league that is looking to snap up a five-year college game. Match dry.

Away from the QB site, USC has topped most of the league’s other portal news by bringing in some influential skill players amid a major transfer. But other programs have also selected some transfer talent to help strengthen their ranks ahead of the 2022 season.

With the countdown to kickoff still in progress, let’s take a look at the top five incoming Pac-12 transfers, followed by a check on the best transfer from each remaining team.

USC QB Caleb Williams

Williams met his prospective five-star rating after taking the starting position at Oklahoma Medicine in 2021 during his freshman campaign. Now he’s joining Riley at the University of Southern California to build on that initial success at a new conference. With so many playmakers around him, Williams should be one of the most productive quarterbacks in the country in his new environment. He completed 64.5% of his passes with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions in the OU last season, and that was in just seven starts. Now it will be his starting job from the start, and he will play a major role in determining how quickly the Trojans can return to the title race.

The Biletnikoff winner arrives at USC with 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore at Pittsburgh in the 2021 season. Addison’s decision to move—and the Pittsburgh Outsider’s frustration with alleged tampering by USC—made big headlines in this season and put it in the spotlight. As a predictable first-round pick for the NFL in 2023, Addison is a one-year rental for the Trojans, who will likely struggle to match their flashy numbers from last season in a system with plenty of guns. But his past relationship with Williams should help him adjust to a new order and new surroundings.

When fellow Oregon running back CJ Verdell went down with a season-ending injury midway through last season, Dye turned into a working horse without a problem. He finished his fourth season on the program with 1,271 yards on 6.0 yards per carry and 16 touchdowns while also adding 402 yards for 46 catches. Ironically, Day ran for 153 yards in Oregon’s win over Oklahoma, even though Riley at the time had already left for USC. Now, Riley and Dye will join forces as Dye uses the final season of his eligibility at a new school in Pac-12

Unlike Addison and Dye, who are on track to be superstars for only one year at USC, Mario Williams must have at least two years to develop within the USC program after following Riley from Oklahoma. The former five-star potential player had 35 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns when he was a freshman last season. He’s just one of several talented receivers on the roster, but he undoubtedly has the potential to shine and develop into an early pick by the time the 2024 NFL draft rolls around.

Buckle up as Bo Show heads west after a wild three-year layover in Auburn. The Knicks reunite with offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, whose OC was with the Tigers as a freshman in 2019. The Knicks were solid that year but didn’t make much progress after leaving Dillingham to join the Florida State team for the 2020 season. He will need to beat former prospects from the class. Four-stars Jay Butterfield and Ty Thompson to get the job, but the Knicks experience and knowledge with Dillingham make him the showrunner favorite for the Ducks team looking to avoid any withdrawal as Lanning takes over Mario Cristóbal.

The most important transfers for the remaining Pac-12 teams

  • Washington State – QP Cameron Ward: Mike Leach isn’t the coach anymore, but the Cougars turn to one of his subjects, Eric Morris, as their offensive coordinator. After leading Incarnate Word to the FCS Playoffs twice in four seasons as head coach, Maurice Ward brings with him from IC to play quarterback for WSU. Ward was the second All-American on the FCS level last season after throwing 4,648 yards and 47 touchdowns.
  • Washington – QB Michael Bennex Jr.: Penix must take on Dylan Morris and prospective Sam Huard. But given his acquaintance with new coach Calin Debore from their time together in Indiana, he must have had his leg up. If he can be the player he was in 2019 and 2020 with the Hoosiers, it would be a huge promotion for the Washington quarterback.
  • Arizona State – QB Emory Jones: Or Paul Tyson. Both players are able to transfer to quarterbacks from SEC schools, and one of them will replace Jaden Daniels, who transferred to LSU. Jones seems like a safer bet to win the job given his extensive experience with the Gators, even though that experience included 13 interceptions last season.
  • Utah — LB Mohamoud Diabate: With Florida going through a training transition, Diabatti decided to head west after making 89 appearances last season in his third year with the Gators. The former four-star potential player thrived as a fast paced player in limited movement during his new season before taking on a regular role in the past two seasons. His arrival should partially mitigate the losing sting of star linebackers Devin Lloyd and Navi Sewell.
  • Arizona – WR Jacob Cowing: The most famous transfer in Arizona State is quarterback Jayden DeLaura from Washington State. But what is QB without some decent receivers? Cowing is a UTEP transfer who had 69 passes for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns while earning a USA All-Conference first team honor last season. That should be an excellent target for De Laura.
  • UCLA – LB Darius Muasau UCLA is introducing a massive transfer class, which includes eight defensive players as the Bruins restart on that side under new coordinator Bill McGovern. Muasau looks like a sure bet to make major contributions after picking up the All-Mountain West first-team honor as the full-back for the past two seasons in Hawaii. He made over 100 tackles in both 2020 and 2021, including 11.5 sacks in those two seasons.
  • Stanford – S Patrick Fields: Strict academics pose a challenge to the Cardinal in recruiting crossovers, and this is reflected in the fact that there is only one thing noteworthy in the way. Fields is a two-time Honorable Mention of the All-Big 12 in safety with plenty of experience and pieces to help Stanford recover from a dismal defensive season.
  • California – LB Jackson Sermon: Sirmon earned honors from the All-Pac 12 in Washington last season while totaling 92 saves at full-back. Now, after changing the training of both Huskies, he will end his college career playing with his father Peter, who serves as Cal’s defensive coordinator.
  • Colorado – WRRG Snead: There’s nowhere to go but attack Colorado who ranked 126th in passing last season. Snead should help Buffalo make at least some headway on his arrival after picking up 133 passes for 1,564 yards during five seasons with Baylor. Between a red shirt season and the year of COVID, he earned one last season of eligibility to build the career season he enjoyed in 2021.
  • Oregon – RB Jamious Griffin: Oregon was in the mix of former USC quarterback and Georgia GT Daniels, who eventually landed in West Virginia. Otherwise, the beavers wouldn’t make much noise in the gate. Griffin ran for 370 yards and six touchdowns in three seasons at Georgia Tech and should provide the Beavers some depth.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: