In college football, transfers happen with regularity. Be it a lack of playing time, off-field issues or family matters, players don’t always finish their careers where they start. Some SEC teams are better than others at taking advantage of players that hit the JUCO circuit, while others have lost several would-be impact players over the last several years. Let’s take a look at which programs have done the best with transfers and which have lost the most.


  • Auburn — The Tigers got one of the best individual and team seasons in the last decade by taking a chance on Cam Newton, once a Florida Gator. Newton left the program amid some legal troubles and spent a year at Blinn College, winning the NJCAA national title before going to Auburn for a year in 2010, leading the team to a national title. Since Newton, the Tigers have gotten big boosts from several other transfer players. D’haquille Williams and Cameron Artis-Payne, two of the leaders of the 2014 Tigers, both came to Auburn from junior colleges. Quarterback Nick Marshall followed a path similar to Newton’s, starting his career at Georgia before a year at JUCO, followed by two successful years running Gus Malzahn’s offense. Other players like DaVonte Lambert and Corey Grant have been contributors after transferring in as well.
  • Ole Miss — While the Rebels haven’t had quite as many impact players as Auburn transfer in during the Hugh Freeze era, they’ve still been greatly aided by them. The most prominent among them is Bo Wallace, who owns the school’s total yardage record after coming over from East Mississippi Community College. He’s also brought in Lavon Hooks, Jeremy Liggins and Tee Shephard in recent years. The Rebels should get another boost at quarterback with JUCO transfer Chad Kelly, a former Clemson Tiger. Ole Miss also signed touted defenders Tony Bridges and D.J. Jones to help bolster the already talented defensive side of the ball.


  • Florida — Over the last few years, the Gators have seen their share of touted quarterback recruits leave campus before finding success elsewhere. There is of course Newton, who could well have been the successor to the Tim Tebow era had he remained in Gainesville. Tyler Murphy and Jacoby Brissett have both found starting jobs in the ACC, while former starter Jeff Driskel left the program for Louisiana Tech this offseason. The Gators have also lost a fair share of offensive linemen to transfer over the last few years, compromising their depth up front.
  • Georgia — The Bulldogs have lost several impactful players over the last several years, and many of them have been for reasons other than playing time. Marshall, a defensive back at Georgia, was dismissed from the team. So too were Josh Harvey-Clemons, Isaiah Crowell, Ty Flournoy-Smith, Zach Mettenberger and several others. Georgia’s been able to overcome most of its losses, but for a team that’s been very close to the pinnacle some of them might have been able to push the Dawgs over the top.

Win some, lose some

  • Alabama — One of the problems with Nick Saban’s recruiting dominance is that some talented players get squeezed off of the depth chart and decide to transfer out. That problem has been borne at running back, where Dee Hart, Alvin Kamara, Altee Tenpenny and Grant have all left in recent years. The Crimson Tide also lost quarterback Phillip Ely after the 2013 season, hurting their depth at the position in 2014. Of course, Alabama has brought in its share of transfers that have made a splash. Perhaps the biggest among them is Terrence Cody, but Jesse Williams and Quinton Dial both contributed to championship teams, while Jarran Reed, D.J. Pettway and Leon Brown were all vital players in 2014. Jacob Coker, who came to the Crimson Tide from Florida State, is expected to lead Alabama at quarterback in 2015 after sitting behind Blake Sims in his first year on campus.