sunny.png
Monday July 26th, 2021 11:47AM

Alabama, Georgia among SEC powers scoring in transfer portal

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Southeastern Conference front-runners Alabama and Georgia upgraded their depth and talent, adding key players when the transfer floodgates opened wide.

Alabama landed inside linebacker Henry To’o To’o from Tennessee and ex-Ohio State wide receiver Jameson Williams. Georgia’s bounty included former LSU tight end Arik Gilbert and some much-needed defensive back help.

The two division front-runners were hardly the only SEC teams to land key pieces during the offseason with intraconference transfers now allowed to play immediately. The transfers have been a hot topic at this week's SEC media days.

Defending SEC East champion Florida added Daquan Newkirk (Auburn) and Antonio Shelton (Penn State) to the defensive front. Former five-star tailback prospect Demarkcus Bowman arrived from Clemson.

The impact wasn't all be good. Tennessee and LSU took hits.

Alabama and Georgia were considered national championship contenders before the portal opened. They just added more talent to teams already loaded.

To’o To’o, a two-year starter and defensive leader for the Volunteers, joins a group of linebackers that was already among the nation’s best. He was among the defectors after the firing of Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt for cause when an internal investigation uncovered NCAA violations.

The presumed front-runner in the SEC East, Georgia also hit the transfer jackpot.

The Bulldogs appeared to fill a need with two defensive back transfers — Derion Kendrick (Clemson) and Tykee Smith (West Virginia). But the big name was Gilbert, a former five-star prospect who caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns as an LSU freshman.

Gilbert, who initially settled on Florida as his destination, could help make up for the loss of wide receiver George Pickens to a knee injury in the spring.

“I think he’s going to be an All-Pro tight end, All-American, has a chance to be a first round draft choice,” said Ed Orgeron, LSU’s coach.

Georgia quarterback JT Daniels said Tuesday he was asked about Gilbert more than anyone else.

"I keep saying the same things: There are players that have great talent and like football and then there’s guys like Arik who have great talent and love football,” Daniels said.

The Bulldogs lost six players in the secondary, including a couple of transfers. They filled some of the void through the transfer portal. Smith started 17 games over the last two seasons at West Virginia and was a third-team AP All-America in 2020.

Kendrick was a first-team All-ACC pick for Clemson last season.

“We’re at a deficit just from scholarship numbers, not to mention experience,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “Those two guys bring an immense amount of experience.”

Auburn landed onetime LSU starting quarterback T.J. Finley, ex-Georgia wide receiver Demetris Robertson and former West Virginia defensive back Dreshun Miller.

Kentucky tried to beef up a passing game that has lagged behind the rest of the league. Former Nebraska wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson returned to his home state. The Wildcats lost some key players, including former starting quarterback Terry Wilson (New Mexico).

“He’s a difference maker," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said of Robinson. “He’s a guy that was electric this spring and you could feel his presence on the field.”

The Wildcats also added Penn State transfer quarterback Will Levis, former Ole Miss linebacker Jacquez Jones and most recently offensive lineman Dare Rosenthal from LSU.

New Tennessee coach Josh Heupel inherited a roster in transition. Tailback Eric Gray, defensive back Key Lawrence and left tackle Wanya Morris all went to Oklahoma. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, a 32-game starter who lost his job last season, left for Washington State. The Vols added former Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker and ex-Michigan passer Joe Milton among others.

Heupel, who added eight players since spring practices, said the transfer portal was “a double-edged sword” for the Vols.

“By the time I got there in late January, there were a large number of kids in the transfer portal,” he said. “At the same time, we’ve been able to add really quality individuals inside our program.”

Daniels, who transferred to Georgia from USC before last season, likes the portal.

"You get a lot of great players in the transfer portal that come and compete and are great people, I don’t see why you wouldn’t take advantage of it,” Daniels said.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Sports, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump inaugural committee head accused of being UAE agent
The chair of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee was arrested Tuesday in California on charges alleging that he and others conspired to influence Trump’s foreign policy positions to benefit the United Arab Emirates
4:58PM ( 2 minutes ago )
McConnell urges Americans: 'Get vaccinated' or risk shutdown
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is imploring unvaccinated Americans to take the COVID-19 shot
4:46PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Macron among 14 heads of states on potential spyware list
Amnesty International says French President Emmanuel Macron leads a list of 14 current or former heads of state potentially targeted for hacking by clients of the notorious Israeli spyware firm NSO Group
4:44PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Tom Brady, champion Buccaneers visit Biden at White House
Tom Brady embraced his inner comedian to deliver jokes at old friend Donald Trump’s expense when he and the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers visited President Joe Biden at the White House
4:07PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Group licensing: A new way for college athletes to cash in
North Carolina is launching a group licensing program that will allow current Tar Heels athletes to profit from official school merchandise
3:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
An Olympics like no other, Tokyo perseveres to host Games
This year's Tokyo Games will be an Olympics like no other
1:15PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Mullen, Gators adapting to life with new QB, playmakers
Florida coach Dan Mullen puts a positive spin on losing his three best offensive playmakers
5:46PM ( 23 hours ago )
Peyton Manning teams up with brother, ESPN for MNF MegaCast
ESPN has finally landed Peyton Manning as a “Monday Night Football” commentator
4:35PM ( 1 day ago )
Sankey joins call for change in college athletics oversight
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey is echoing a call for potential changes in how college athletics are governed
3:50PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
NCAA's Emmert: It is time to decentralize college sports
NCAA President Mark Emmert is suggesting it could be time for a decentralized and deregulated version of college sports
7:49PM ( 4 days ago )
Never left out again: Big 12 coaches like 12-team playoff
Big 12 coaches say they like the proposal to expand the College Football Playoff to 12 teams
5:13PM ( 5 days ago )
'Not bad for 55 years': Ohio coach Frank Solich retires
Ohio football coach Frank Solich is retiring after leading the program through 16 seasons of unprecedented success to focus on his health
2:38PM ( 6 days ago )
College Sports
Rice RB tackled off bench in the 1954 Cotton Bowl has died
Dicky Maegle, the Rice running back tackled in the 1954 Cotton Bowl by an Alabama player who came off the bench, has died
6:26PM ( 1 week ago )
Terry Donahue, winningest UCLA football coach, dies at 77
Former UCLA football Terry Donahue has died
11:20AM ( 2 weeks ago )
Former Georgia, Miami coach Richt says he has Parkinson's
Former Georgia and Miami football coach Mark Richt has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
3:25PM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Sports - College Football
McConnell urges Americans: 'Get vaccinated' or risk shutdown
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is imploring unvaccinated Americans to take the COVID-19 shot
4:46PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Macron among 14 heads of states on potential spyware list
Amnesty International says French President Emmanuel Macron leads a list of 14 current or former heads of state potentially targeted for hacking by clients of the notorious Israeli spyware firm NSO Group
4:44PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Off-duty DEA agent arrested on Capitol riot charges
A Drug Enforcement Administration agent arrested on charges stemming from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is accused of posing for photographs in which he flashed his DEA badge and firearm outside the building while off duty
4:39PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Stocks regain much of the ground they lost a day earlier
Stocks jumped on Wall Street Tuesday, making up much of the ground they lost a day earlier when worries flared about spreading cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19
4:30PM ( 29 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: $26B opioid settlement big step, but not the end
A $26 billion settlement between the three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and thousands of states and municipalities that sued over the toll of the opioid crisis is certainly significant — but it is far from tying a neat bow on the tangle of still-unresolved lawsuits surrounding the epidemic
4:24PM ( 35 minutes ago )