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Top 5 Most Impactful G5 Transfer Portal Additions in 2024

Ryan Silverfield
© Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Group of 5 conferences create some of the most fun and entertaining matchups in all of college football. From the "Fun Belt" to "MACtion," true college football fans cannot get enough. This season, for the first time in history, a G5 team is guaranteed to make the College Football Playoff.

While the Power Four conferences are seemingly hoarding all of the top-end talent, the G5 actually added more players via the transfer portal this year from P4 schools than were added to the P4 from the G5. Below, we look at some of the biggest potential difference-making transfers in the G5 this season.

5. QB Tate Rodemaker (Florida State to Southern Miss)

A career backup at FSU, Rodemaker was thrust into the starting role for the Seminoles at the end of last season after Jordan Travis' devastating injury. At 6-foot-4, Rodemaker was a three-star prospect out of Valdosta High School in Georgia, where he played for his father. He has an accurate arm and strong football IQ, which led him to be Mike Norvell's first-ever commitment at FSU.

Tate Rodemaker
© Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun/USA TODAY NETWORK

Rodemaker struggled to see the field early in his career due to inconsistent play, eventually getting beaten out for the starting spot by Travis. He is hoping to revive his career as he competes for a starting role with the Eagles. One of the reasons Rodemaker chose Southern Miss was his relationship with coach Will Hall, who recruited Rodemaker as offensive coordinator at Tulane.

4. CB Denver Harris (LSU to UTSA)

Another one of Jimbo Fisher's heralded 2022 recruits, Harris made several appearances for Texas A&M in his freshman season. But he missed the last five games due to suspension. After transferring to LSU the following season, Harris continued to find himself in hot water. He was suspended again for fighting. Harris appeared in just 10 total games during his time in College Station and Baton Rouge.

Denver Harris

Harris is hopeful that transferring to UTSA will give him a chance to resurrect his once-promising career. Coach Jeff Traylor and the Roadrunners are excited to have a player like Harris in the secondary. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Houston native will be one of the most talented players on the roster.

3. RB Mario Anderson (South Carolina to Memphis)

A native of the Palmetto State, Anderson was not heavily recruited coming out of high school. He ended up at Division II Newberry College, located just northwest of Columbia, S.C.

After redshirting his freshman season in 2019 and missing the fall season in 2020 due to COVID, Anderson would go on to have a stellar career at Newberry. He was named first-team All-South Atlantic in 2021 and 2022. In 2022, he was named first-team All-America by the AP as he led the Wolves to a 9-2 record and a conference title. He was also a finalist for the Division II Heisman, known as the Harlon Hill Trophy.

Mario Anderson
© David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

After transferring to South Carolina in 2023, Anderson had solid production in a Gamecocks offense that often struggled due to poor offensive line play and questionable play calling. Anderson led the team in rushing with more than 700 yards and scored 4 total TDs. At 5-foot-9, 200 pounds, Anderson enters the Memphis program looking to be the next in line of great running backs that have left their mark on the school.

2. WR Mario Williams (USC to Tulane)

A consensus four-star prospect out of Plant City, Fla., Williams began his career at the University of Oklahoma. In his freshman season, he flashed for the Sooners, finishing with 380 receiving yards and 4 TDs. The next season, in 2022, Williams followed Lincoln Riley to USC. His production improved during his sophomore season, catching 40 passes for more than 600 yards and five scores. He is a quick, shifty receiver with the ability to make defenders miss in space.

Mario Williams
© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Williams hopes that he can break through that high ceiling after landing with Tulane. The Green Wave have a new coach in John Sumrall and a new QB in Oregon transfer Ty Thompson. Williams was selected as a preseason all-conference pick in the American Athletic Conference. Tulane will be looking to return to the AAC Championship game for the third year in a row.

1. QB Malachi Nelson (USC to Boise State)

Another member of Riley's offense finding a new home in 2024 is former five-star recruit Nelson, the fifth highest-rated QB in a stacked 2023 class. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound redshirt freshman was the heir apparent to Williams. After attempting just 3 passes last year, he will be leaving the bright lights of Los Angeles for bluer pastures.

Malachi Nelson
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 20-year-old Los Alamitos, Calif., native will be the highest-rated player ever in Boise State history. New Broncos coach Spencer Danielson and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter are thrilled to have a signal caller of this caliber on campus. They are looking to compete for a Mountain West Conference title and a CFP berth. Nelson has an elite arm and very natural throwing motion, reminding scouts of Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers. Both Nelson and the Broncos are hoping that his tools will translate into wins this upcoming season.

G5 Transfer Portal Additions Honorable Mention

Speaking of former USC Trojans, Georgia Southern coach Clay Helton brought in several new offensive weapons to Statesboro. They include former Indiana QB Dexter Williams II, Oklahoma receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton, and Auburn TE Tyler Fromm. An elite passing offense for the past few seasons at the G5 level, Helton and Georgia Southern hope that year three is the time to break through to the Sun Belt title game.

Clay Helton Georgia Southern
© Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News/USA TODAY NETWORK

Elsewhere in the G5, the Liberty Flames got good news when preseason first-team All-Conference USA QB Kaidon Salter decided to return to Lynchburg after he entered his name in the transfer portal.

Other notable transfers to the G5 include safety Patrick Smith-Young (North Texas to Old Dominion), WR William Fowles (Louisville to Appalachian State) and EDGE Mondrell Dean (Purdue to Miami of Ohio).


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