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The five biggest transfer portal winners in the Big 12

The transfer portal has continued to become a bigger and bigger part of how college football coaches build their rosters. Here are the five Big 12 programs that bolstered their 2022 teams the most via the transfer portal this offseason and some of their key acquisitions.


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Quinn Ewers
Quinn Ewers (USA Today Sports Images)

Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns went out and added key contributors through the transfer portal this offseason ahead of the second season of Sarkisian's tenure in the Lone Star State.

The headliner for Texas is none other than former five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers. Ewers arrives in Austin after signing with Ohio State in the 2021 recruiting class.

Ewers is the big prize for Texas, but the Longhorns added some intriguing players to the roster. Former Wyoming star Isaiah Neyor was expected to be an instant contributor out wide, but he suffered a season-ending injury in fall camp. That injury is a big blow to the Texas offense.

Aside from Neyor, Texas brought in former Ohio State defensive back Ryan Watts, Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley, and Alabama wide receiver Agiye Hall. Watts has a chance to carve out a role in the secondary, while Billingsley and Hall provide the Longhorns with more potential weapons in the offense.



Dillon Gabriel
Dillon Gabriel (AP Images)

Oklahoma saw some turnover with Lincoln Riley leaving for USC. The Sooners lost phenom quarterback Caleb Williams and playmaking receiver Mario Williams to the Trojans. Spencer Rattler and Austin Stogner are both gone, too, as the two are now at South Carolina.

However, Brent Venables did do a solid job of keeping things together and adding impactful players through the portal.

Dillon Gabriel is the obvious headliner. Coming over from UCF, Gabriel has thrown for 8,037 yards and 70 touchdowns on the collegiate level. Additionally, Gabriel has experience playing for offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, so there is already familiarity there. It is reasonable to believe that Gabriel puts up numbers in Norman.

Elsewhere, the Sooners added offensive lineman McKade Mettauer - a three-year starter in the Pac-12 - from Cal. Mettauer gives Venables and company a plug-and-play lineman to protect Gabriel up front.

Oklahoma brought in a pair of defensive studs in former Tulane standout Jeffery Johnson and former Hawaii defensive lineman Jonah La’ulu. Both are expected to play big roles for Venables this fall.



Marvin Grant
Marvin Grant (AP Images)

Jayhawks head coach Lance Leipold used the portal to rebuild his roster, adding instant contributors and potential starters on offense and defense.

The Jayhawks really attacked the secondary through the portal. Former Purdue safety Marvin Grant transferred into Kansas in May, providing Leipold a stud in the defensive backfield. Grant was a 5.9 four-star prospect out of high school and has a chance to be one of the best newcomers in the Big 12 this season.

Furthermore, Kansas also added linebacker Eriq Gilyard, cornerback Kalon Gervin and safety Craig Young. All three, like Grant, should make an immediate impact on a defense that is looking to take a big step forward in 2022.

On offense, Leipold and staff added running backs Ky Thomas – who is from the Sunflower State and led Minnesota in rushing last season – and Sevion Morrison, a former Rivals250 four-star prospect that is coming over from Nebraska.

It is clear that Kansas made some moves through the portal, and it has a chance to really pay off as soon as this season.




Emani Bailey
Emani Bailey (AP Images)

TCU, like Oklahoma, saw big names leave the program through the portal. Star running back Zach Evans is now set to play for Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss in the SEC. Defensive end Ochaun Mathis will rush the passer in the Big Ten at Nebraska.

Still, new head coach Sonny Dykes did bring in talent through the portal.

To help offset the loss of Evans, the Horned Frogs added running backs Emani Bailey of Louisiana and Corey Wren of Florida State. Wren has been dealing with injuries in camp, but Bailey has an opportunity to have a big role in Dykes' offense.

At offensive line, Dykes brought veteran Alan Ali from SMU. Ali started nearly 40 games for the Mustangs and should be a plug-and-play contributor up front. His addition is valuable for the Frogs.

On defense, safety Mark Perry leads the way. Perry comes over from Colorado after starting 12 games for the Buffaloes in 2021. He has impressed in camp at TCU and is a player that should make a major impact in Funky Town.




Adrian Martinez
Adrian Martinez (AP Images)

Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman has done an excellent job in Manhattan, and that continued in the transfer portal. The Wildcats did lose some contributors in the offseason, but Kleiman made up for that by adding former Nebraska signal caller Adrian Martinez.

Martinez has had an up-and-down career in college, so the change of scenery could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the former Rivals100 recruit. He can hurt defenses with his legs and gives the Wildcats another threat on the ground to go along with All-Big 12 rusher Deuce Vaughn.

K-State also added former Missouri safety Shawn Robinson for help on defense. All in all, the Wildcats did enough to be considered a winner due to the upside that Martinez has behind center.