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Top 5 Most Impactful B1G Transfer Portal Additions for 2024

Ryan Day Ohio State - B1G
© Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK

In the season ahead, the Big Ten Conference will appear much different from how it looked in 2023. Along with the addition of USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington as conference members, many of the rosters in the league have undergone makeovers. Here are five difference-makers acquired by B1G teams through the transfer portal in 2024.

5. QB Tyler Van Dyke (Miami to Wisconsin)

After impressing in his freshman season at Miami with nearly 3,000 passing yards and 25 touchdowns, Van Dyke was named the Atlantic Coast Conference's Rookie of the Year. Since then, however, he failed to live up to expectations. His shortcomings were likely attributable to the fact that he had three different offensive coordinators during his tenure as the Hurricanes' starting quarterback.

Tyler Van Dyke Wisconsin
© Mark Stewart / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Van Dyke should fare better under Wisconsin offensive coordinator Phil Longo's QB-friendly air raid system. While at North Carolina, Longo coached future NFL signal callers Sam Howell and Drake Maye. The Badgers will be looking for Van Dyke to return to his 2021 form which had him projected as a first-round NFL Draft pick. Wisconsin will face an early test when Alabama comes to town on Sept. 14.

4. S Kamari Ramsey (UCLA to USC)

Lincoln Riley and USC are looking to completely overhaul their defense with the move to the Big Ten, and that started with the hire of their cross-town rival UCLA's defensive coordinator D'Anton Lynn. A key piece of the UCLA secondary in 2023, Ramsey has Trojan faithful very excited for the upcoming season.

Kamari Ramsey
© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ramsey is a California native and was a four-star prospect out of Sierra Canyon High School in 2021. Last year with the Bruins he totaled 40 tackles along with 4 passes defended and an interception. The Trojan defense has a long way to go to satisfy the fans' expectations, and Ramsey figures to be a key part of that resurgence. He has been named to the 2024 Lott IMPACT Trophy watchlist.

3. QB Aidan Chiles (Oregon State to Michigan State)

Chiles followed his coach Jonathan Smith from Corvallis, Ore. to East Lansing, Mich., and he already has the Big Ten and the entire country on notice. In 2023 at Oregon State, the dual-threat 6-foot-4 true freshman only played sparingly as a backup behind Beavers starter DJ Uiagalelei but dazzled in his limited opportunities. Chiles passed for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns along with another 3 scores on the ground.

Aidan Chiles Michigan State
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Chiles is a fluid runner with the ability to make plays downfield. He has drawn comparisons from some in the recruiting industry to Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love. New Spartans coming with Chiles and Smith from Oregon State include tight end Jack Velling and center Tanner Miller. This QB/coach continuity positions the Spartans well and is bolstered by the return of talented skill players, including starting running back Nate Carter and incoming four-star wide receiver Nick Marsh. This cast should lead to points and wins for the Spartans this fall.

2. WR Evan Stewart (Texas A&M to Oregon)

A member of Jimbo Fisher's record-setting 2022 recruiting class, Stewart is one of the most talented young receivers in the country. In his first two seasons at Texas A&M, Stewart had limited production, totaling just over 1,100 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns through 18 games in the very complex offense run by Fisher. However, he is a significant B1G transfer portal acquistion.

Evan Stewart Oregon
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At 6-foot, 175 pounds, Stewart is a quick and explosive athlete, evidenced by his Texas high school track and field career. Oregon looks primed to compete for the Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff appearance in 2024. In that quest, Stewart will be a go-to receiver for new Ducks QB Dillon Gabriel.

1. S Caleb Downs (Alabama to Ohio State)

A five-star prospect out of Mill Creek High School in Georgia, Downs led Alabama in tackles last season with 107 while earning Southeastern Conference Newcomer of the Year to go along with the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year award. In addition to his incredible talent, Downs is very instinctual, detail-oriented and technically proficient in his craft as a defensive back. The Buckeyes are getting an elite defender with an incredible work ethic and a will to win at the highest level.

Caleb Downs
© Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Downs is a top-notch athlete who returned several punts at Alabama, including an 85-yarder for a touchdown. There are even several reports out of Columbus that Downs could take some snaps at running back. If Ohio State wants to run the B1G gauntlet and make the College Football Playoff this year, they will need Downs to be everything he was and more at Alabama.

B1G Transfer Portal Honorable Mentions

Ohio State and Oregon could have filled out all five spots in this article based on how they loaded up on talent through the portal. The Ducks added QBs Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma) and Dante Moore (UCLA) along with cornerback Jabbar Muhammad (Washington) and defensive tackle Derrick Harmon (Michigan State). Ohio State added a pair of QBs to an already stacked room in Will Howard (Kansas State) and Julian Sayin (Alabama). The Buckeyes also landed Ole Miss RB transfer Quinshon Judkins.

Will Howard Ohio State
© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Other incoming transfers to the Big Ten to look out for include a pair of new Penn State Nittany Lions: CB AJ Harris (Georgia) and WR Julian Fleming (Ohio State). DL Nate Clifton (Vanderbilt) is another addition to the USC defense that is seeking to reinvent itself, while S Jahmal Banks leaves Wake Forest to play for Matt Rhule at Nebraska.


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