The American Conference has proven itself as far and away the best Group of 5 conferences since its inception in 2013. Because of that some schools, UCF, Houston and Cincinnati, will be making the jump to the Big 12 soon.
Even without those programs though, the rest of the AAC still makes an extremely attractive option for Power 5 transfers looking for a new home. It also makes it fertile ground for smaller conference players to want to transfer to be a part of a bigger program and test themselves against the best competition outside of the Power 5.
The transfer portal has made the winter and spring seem like a quasi-free agency in the college football world. Players transferring from here to there in search of more playing time or some sort of stability. That was very apparent this offseason and the AAC benefitted greatly from the transfer portal.
Here are some of the biggest names that should be making an immediate impact in the AAC for their new programs this fall.
Camar Wheaton, RB, SMU Mustangs (Alabama transfer)
Wheaton was one of the top running backs in the 2021 recruiting class. He arrived to Alabama in the spring with much fanfare, but never played. In November 2021 Crimson Tide head coach said that Wheaton was still recovering from a knee injury. Wheaton left soon after and the Garland, Texas native ended up SMU. the 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back will have four years to be a featured player in Rhett Lashlee’s offense.
Tyler Johnson, OL, Houston Cougars (Texas transfer)
Johnson was rated as one of the top ten offensive linemen in the 2019 recruiting class. He played sparingly at Texas and after three seasons decided to move on. At 6-6, 315 pounds Johnson will have a good crack at one of the Cougars’ starting offensive tackle positions. Johnson is still unproven, but former top-rated offensive tackle prospects don’t come through the American conference every day.
Gerry Bohanon, QB, South Florida Bulls (Baylor transfer)
The first two players are projections, but Bohanon is a bit more proven. He threw for 2,200 yards and 18 touchdowns last season for the Bears. Bohanon missed the Big XII championship game with an injury, but returned to play in the Sugar Bowl. He joins a USF team that hasn’t had good consistent play from the quarterback position since Quinton Flowers. Bohanon also comes from a winning program and his experience will be a welcome addition to the Bulls locker room.
Key AAC Transfers
Corey Kiner, RB, Cincinnati Bearcats (LSU)
Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati (Miami, Ohio)
Kamarro Edmonds, RB, East Carolina Pirates (North Carolina)
Aapri Washington, CB, East Carolina (Buffalo)
Isaiah Winstead, WR, East Carolina (Toledo)
Cody Jackson, WR, Houston Cougars (Oklahoma)
Brandon Campbell, RB, Houston (USC)
Jamal Morris, LB, Houston (Oklahoma)
Jevyon Ducker, RB, Memphis Tigers (Northern Illinois)
Geoff Cantin-Arku, LB, Memphis (Syracuse)
Joseph Scates, WR, Memphis (Iowa State)
Joseph Bissinger, OT, SMU (Virginia)
Kelvontay Dixon, WR, SMU (Texas)
Owen Condon, OT, SMU (Georgia)
Beau Corrales, WR, SMU (North Carolina)
Theodore Knox, WR, SMU (Mississippi State)
James Gordon IV, LB, South Florida (Minnesota)
Zach Perkins, OT, South Florida (Maryland)
Ray Thornton, S, South Florida (Clemson)
Jatorian Hansford, DE, South Florida (Missouri)
Quincy Patterson, QB, Temple (North Dakota State)
Darvon Hubbard, RB, Temple (Texas A&M)
Brody Wiscarver, OT, Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Illinois)
Kobie Hudson, WR, UCF (Auburn)
Lee Hunter, DL, UCF (Auburn)
Terrence Lewis, LB, UCF (Maryland)
Kemore Gamble, TE, UCF (Florida)
John Rhys Plumlee, QB, UCF (Ole Miss)
Ryan Swoboda, OT, UCF (Virginia)