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Outstanding SEC Transfers, High School Recruits for 2024

Nov 25, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Isaiah Bond (17) scores the game winning touchdown over Auburn Tigers cornerback D.J. James (4) during the fourth quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
© John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The transfer portal is a black hole in the college football universe, swallowing up talented players from one team and dropping them not so gently on the other side of the fence where the grass is sometimes lush and green, and sometimes not. College coaches spend more time maintaining their rosters now more than ever, with lots of eraser marks and lines scratched through players’ names on depth charts.

With that said, some teams have embraced the portal as a part of “doing business” more than other teams, filling positions of need and gaining much-needed depth. With no hard rules against multiple transfers by the same player, and the prevalence of name, image and likeness (NIL) within the game we love so much, college football has changed dramatically and some would argue for the worse. However, some teams have managed to thrive within this framework of change.

Read below to see the top Southeastern Conference transfers and top incoming high school recruits for each team.

Author’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series, with each article covering eight SEC teams.

LSU Tigers

Top transfer: WR CJ Daniels (From Liberty)

A second team All-Conference USA selection in 2023, Daniels, who is 6-foot and 179 pounds, hauled in 55 passes for 1,067 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those 10 TD catches led C-USA. Daniels fills a spot in the rotation with holes created by the departures of Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. to the NFL.

Top high school recruit: DL Dominick McKinley

Coach Brian Kelly went out and secured the signature on a national letter of intent from the top player in Louisiana in McKinley. A consensus five-star prospect, according to On3, McKinley—who is 6-foot-5 and 273 pounts —is the No. 13 overall recruit nationally and rated as the third best defensive lineman in the country. McKinley fills a great position of need as the Tigers are thin on the defensive line going into summer workouts, and later into fall camp.

Ole Miss Rebels

Top transfer: DL Walter Nolen (from Texas A&M)

The former No. 1 overall recruit and the No.1 defensive lineman in the Class of 2022, Nolen recorded 37 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and sacks for the Aggies in 2023. Nolen, who is 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, is an immediate upgrade to the Rebels defensive line, including fellow transfer Princely Umanmielen. The Rebels will most certainly be a more well-rounded team in 2024.

Top high school recruit: DL Kam Franklin

Franklin was ranked in the top 150, and top 25 at his position, according to 247Sports and was an early enrollee at Ole Miss. Franklin, who is 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, set a school record (Lake Cormorant, Miss.) for sacks in 2022 with 19, with 93 tackles, a fumble returned for a score and three blocked kicks.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Top transfer: OL Kadyn Proctor (from Iowa)

Playing as a freshman in 2023 for former coach Nick Saban at Alabama, Proctor earned first team All-SEC freshmen and freshman All-American honors. After entering the transfer portal in the wake of Saban’s retirement, Proctor returned to his home state of Iowa.

Later, with the home fires doused and the wildfire of NIL now a raging inferno, Proctor decided to head back down south and returned to Alabama to play for new Crimson Tide coach Kalen DeBoer. Proctor, who his 6-foot-7 and 318 pounds, will be counted on to keep QB Jalen Milroe upright and to open massive holes for the Crimson Tide rushing attack.

Top high school recruit: WR Ryan Williams

The Crimson Tide found a playmaker with elite speed inside the state line. Williams, who is 6-foot and 165 pounds, is a threat to score from anywhere on the field and accounted for 4,600 all-purpose yards and 65 touchdowns in his last two high school seasons in Saraland, Ala.

Georgia Bulldogs

Top transfer: RB Trevor Etienne (from Florida)

With 14 career rushing touchdowns to his credit in two seasons in Gainesville, Etienne rushed for 753 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2023, including a season-high 172 yards in a 29-16 win over No. 17 Tennessee. Etienne, who is 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, fills a position of need but has the dark cloud of a DUI and reckless driving charge hanging over his head like a summer umbrella. We will see how this situation shakes out and how it affects his playing status going forward.

Top high school recruit: Safety KJ Bolden

Coach Kirby Smart went out and signed the No. 1 safety in the country in Bolden, who is 6-foot- and 187 pounds. Ranked as the No. 13 overall recruit nationally by 247Sports Composite, Bolden played both offense and defense for Buford High School, one of the top 7-A programs in Georgia.

As a senior and MaxPreps All-American selection, Bolden made 33 tackles and 4 INTs for the defense. On offense, Bolden made 30 catches for 663 yards and 14 touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown. In addition, Bolden returned a couple of kickoffs for TDs.

Texas A&M Aggies

Top transfer: LB Nic Scourton (from Purdue)

As the No. 10 overall prospect in the transfer portal, according to On3, Scourton racked up 50 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 10 sacks on his way to second All-Big Ten Conference honors. Those sack numbers led the Big Ten and Scourton, who is 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, ranked in the top 10 in the FBS in that category. This is a homecoming for Scourton, a native of Bryan, Texas, which is just minutes away from the Texas A&M campus.

Top high school recruit: ATH Terry Bussey

The Aggies scooped up the No. 1 athlete and the No. 11 overall recruit in the country in five-star phenom Bussey. Bussey, who is 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, was a terror on the gridiron in Texas, accounting for more than 4,300 yards of total offense and 47 total touchdowns in his senior season. In his first three seasons at the prep level, Bussey played on defense and recorded 300 tackles and intercepted 24 passes.

Auburn Tigers

Top transfer: WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith (from Penn State)

An Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection in 2023, Lambert-Smith caught 53 passes for 673 yards and 4 touchdowns. Lambert-Smith, who is 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, will provide a talented and dependable target for presumed staring quarterback Payton Thorne.

Top high school recruit: WR Cam Coleman

A five-star prospect, Coleman was rated as the No. 5 overall prospect and the No. 2 wide receiver in the country by 247Sports Composite. Coleman, ,who is 6-foot-3 and 188 pounds, caught 61 passes for 1,372 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior at Phenix City Central High School in Alabama. Coleman led his team to a state title in the 7A classification and was a finalist for Alabama Mr. Football.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Top transfer: QB Taylen Green (from Boise State)

Making plays with his legs as well as his arm, Green passed for 1,752 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and 9 INTs. In addition, Green, who is 6-foot-6 and 221 pounds, rushed for 436 yards and 9 more scores and averaged almost 6 yards per carry. Green will battle for the starting job under center vacated by KJ Jefferson, who transferred to UCF.

Top high school recruit: DL Charleston Collins

Collins was a four-star prospect ranked in the top 100, according to the 247Sports Composite, and was the No. 1 overall player in the state of Arkansas. Collins, who is 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, wreaked havoc on opponents by racking up 115 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 12 sacks during his senior season.

Texas Longhorns

Top transfer: WR Isaiah Bond (from Alabama)

Bond was the No. 2 receiver for the Crimson Tide last season, catching 48 balls for 668 yards and 4 touchdowns. Bond, who is 5-foot-11 and 182 pounds, was the hero of the Iron Bowl last season, catching the game-winning TD pass from Jalen Milroe on fourth-and-31 from the end zone to beat arch-rival Auburn 27-24.

The Longhorns lost WR Xavier Worthy, WR Adonai Mitchell and TE Ja’Tavion Sanders to the NFL, so Bond fills one of the chairs vacated in the wide receiver room and will be a dependable target for quarterback Quinn Ewers.

Top high school recruit: Edge Colin Simmons

Simmons is a five-star recruit out of powerhouse Duncanville, Texas, and was rated as the No. 2 edge rusher and the No. 18 overall recruit in the country by 247Sports Composite. As a senior, Simmons—who is 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, racked up 52 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He finished his high school career with 44.5 sacks.

Continue to follow College Football Dawgs for part two of this series.



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