The transfer portal has left an indelible mark on the upcoming college football season, and no conference highlights that notion more clearly than the Pac-12. Shortly after USC lured Lincoln Riley out of Oklahoma, a wave of players changed their mailing addresses to join him. The Trojans now have a mostly reloaded roster with new faces at multiple important offensive positions.
Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Even before transferring to USC, Caleb Williams featured on every shortlist of Heisman Trophy candidates for 2022. The move to the West Coast shouldn’t hurt his chances in that regard, as Williams will work with the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner (more on him below) as well as a reloaded backfield. And, of course, Williams already has proven successful under Riley during their time together at Oklahoma. Of all the quarterbacks to transfer this offseason, none will face a brighter spotlight than Williams. If he thrives, a trip to New York seems a near certainty.
Jordan Addison, WR, USC
While Williams’ transfer to USC seemed a fait accompli after Riley left Oklahoma, Jordan Addison’s move to LA didn’t always seem preordained. The star wideout won the Biletnikoff Award just this past season and might well have jumped to the NFL if he could. However, with one year remaining before he can declare, Addison decided instead to enter the portal, eventually landing with the Trojans to help form a potentially explosive connection with a Heisman candidate and a highly respected offensive head coach.
Cameron Ward, QB, Washington State
In the interest of avoiding an entirely USC list, Cameron Ward will take the third spot in the rundown. Ward joins Washington State as part of a de facto package deal with offensive coordinator Eric Morris, the quarterback’s head coach the previous two seasons at Incarnate Word. The joint move shares more than a passing resemblance to that of Bailey Zappe and Zach Kittley, the passer-OC combo that made the jump to FBS from Houston Baptist a season ago. Ward might not have the same name recognition as other Pac-12 transfers, but he has the potential to have one higher on-field impacts.
Key Pac-12 transfers projected to start Week 1
Jake Bobo, WR, UCLA (Duke)
Jacob Cowling, WR, Arizona (UTEP)
Jayden de Laura, QB, Arizona (Washington State)
Travis Dye, RB, USC (Oregon)
Ramon Jefferson, RB, Colorado (Sam Houston State)
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (Auburn)
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (Indiana)
Jackson Sirmon, LB, California (Washington)
Xazavian Valladay, RB, Arizona State (Wyoming)