SEC's top 5 impact transfers in 2015
The past two weeks have served as a reminder to SEC fans that life happens.
Players commit. Players decommit. Players sign scholarships. Players transfer. It’s a never-ending cycle, but occasionally the scenery changes produce better-than-expected results.
Let’s take a look at five transfers who had a big impact on the SEC in 2015.
QB Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
Transferred from: East Miss. Junior College
2015 impact: Kelly, who started his career at Clemson, was the SEC’s version of Baker Mayfield. He led the SEC in passing yards (3,740) and was second in TDs (27). He and Laquon Treadwell formed the league’s most dangerous duo.
More important, Kelly began to answer questions of maturity that led to his dismissal at Clemson and even early issues at Ole Miss.
In one season he changed the question from: Is he a guy you want in your program to is he a guy your program can win without? Ole Miss might soon find out. Kelly has until Jan. 15, 2016 to decide whether he’s returning for his senior season or heading to the NFL.
LB Jake Ganus, Georgia
Transferred from: UAB.
2015 impact: Ganus likely would still be in Birmingham had the school never decided to disband the football program. That decision was overruled, but not until Ganus landed in Athens, where he quickly became a defensive force for a unit that wasn’t exactly in need of much help. Ganus stepped in and led Georgia with 96 tackles, good for 10th in the SEC.
He teammates and coaches certainly noticed his impact.
The Vince Dooley Most Valuable Player of the Year Award goes to Jake Ganus
— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) December 13, 2015
DB Blake Countess, Auburn
Transferred from: Michigan
2015 impact: Coaches often look to transfers to fill sudden, gaping holes. Countess did that — ably, as well — with 65 tackles and two interceptions splitting time between corner and safety in Will Muschamp’s defense. How valuable was Countess? He was named the Tigers’ defensive MVP.
“It meant a whole lot ― just from the respect of my teammates and coaches, that meant a lot to me. I wasn’t really expecting it at all, but it definitely meant a lot to hear my name called,” he told auburntigers.com.
WR Richard Mullaney, Alabama
Transferred from: Oregon State
2015 impact: Mullaney was the Tide’s security blanket, and while the stats weren’t eye-popping (34 catches for 308 yards), he and Calvin Ridley shared the team lead with 5 TD receptions. They were tied for ninth in the SEC, and those 5 TD passes matched Mullaney’s career output at Oregon State.
QB Greyson Lambert, Georgia
Transferred from: Virginia
2015 impact: Yes, Lambert is viewed by many as the poster child for what went wrong with Georgia this season. It’s an unfair label for several reasons. Chief among them: Where would the Bulldogs have been had Lambert not beaten Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta for the starting job? Those Bulldogs might not have been bowl eligible. Truth is, Lambert was among the top 7 starting QBs in the SEC this season, and he took care of the ball (11 TDs, 2 INTs) in an offense that was built around the running of Nick Chubb.