While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.
Miami may offer the clearest example of this.
Quarterback D’Eriq King justifiably has garnered much of the attention in the Hurricanes’ preseason camp. The graduate transfer from Houston is one of the nation’s most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks when healthy.
But the Hurricanes also added former Temple defensive end Quincy Roche, who also will play a major role in determining whether Miami bounces back from its 6-7 finish last season.
Roche was the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year last season as he recorded 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. His presence will be even more important for Miami now that the Hurricanes won’t have Gregory Rousseau, who opted out of the 2020 season after collecting 15 ½ sacks last year.
Roche was a third-team selection on the preseason Associated Press All-America team. Rousseau had been a first-team pick.
“I think it’s no different than what I did at Temple, being a guy in the room that has to take control of the room,” Roche said. “There’s a lot of talent around. There’s a lot of talent in the rom. We’re so deep on defensive end. Obviously we’re going to take a hit with Greg (opting out), but it’s next man up.”
That group includes another transfer in Jaelan Phillips, who sat out the 2019 season after coming over from UCLA.
Here’s a rundown of other notable non-quarterback transfers who could make an impact on the college football season. This list reflects how Miami isn’t alone in hoping for contributions from multiple transfers this season. Previous schools are noted in parentheses.
TEXAS WR TARIK BLACK (Michigan)
Black dealt with injuries for much of his three seasons at Michigan but played 12 games last season and caught 25 passes for 323 yards and one touchdown. He joined Texas as a graduate transfer and has garnered plenty of praise in preseason camp. The Longhorns could use Black after losing Devin Duvernay (106 catches, 1,386 yards, nine TDs) and Collin Johnson (38-559-3) from last year’s team.
BAYLOR OT JAKE BURTON (UCLA)
Burton, a two-year starter at UCLA, decided to transfer to Baylor when the Pac-10 opted to postpone its season. He just enrolled at Baylor last month and may need some time to catch on, but he is talented enough to compete for a starting spot at right tackle. Baylor gave up 38 sacks last season.
FLORIDA STATE RB JASHAUN CORBIN (Texas A&M)
Although he played only two games last year before a hamstring injury knocked him out of the rest of the season, Corbin rushed for 483 yards in 14 career games at Texas A&M. He should boost a backfield looking to replace Los Angeles Rams second-round pick Cam Akers. When he was at Memphis, new Florida State coach Mike Norvell had a knack for developing outstanding running backs such as Darrell Henderson, Patrick Taylor and Kenneth Gainwell. Corbin also is a quality kick returner.
LSU LB JABRIL COX (North Dakota State)
Cox collected 258 career tackles – 32 for loss – plus 14 sacks and six interceptions while helping North Dakota State go 45-1 and win three Football Championship Subdivision titles over the last three years. He’s now trying to help LSU win a second straight College Football Playoff championship. LSU certainly could use him after its linebacker corps lost first-round draft picks K’Lavon Chaisson and Patrick Queen as well as third-round selection Jacob Phillips.
MISSOURI WR DAMON HAZELTON (Virginia Tech)
Hazelton is coming to Missouri as a graduate transfer after catching eight touchdown passes each of the last two seasons at Virginia Tech. Hazelton had 31 receptions for 527 yards last season after catching 51 passes for 802 yards in 2018. Missouri is Hazelton’s third school. He caught 51 passes for Ball State in 2016 before transferring to Virginia Tech. Missouri’s receiving corps also could get a boost from Keke Chism, a transfer from Division II Angelo State.
NOTRE DAME WR BEN SKOWRONEK (Northwestern)
Skowronek caught 45 passes in back-to-back seasons for Northwestern in 2017 and 2018 before an injury caused him to play just two games last season. The graduate transfer brings experience to a receiving corps that must replace Pittsburgh Steelers second-round draft pick Chase Claypool and won’t have Kevin Austin for at least part of the season due to a broken foot. Notre Dame also is hoping former Ohio State reserve safety Isaiah Pryor can help out the secondary.
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