Is the transfer portal about to become extremely active with group-of-five conference prospects entering the transfer portal in pursuit of a power-five school?
Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy opened the dialogue on Twitter for the topic on Wednesday, July 15th, in response to Central Michigan’s tight end, Troy Poljan, announcing that he was entering the transfer portal.
Not surprising since he lost opportunities to “play up” against Big Ten opponents Nebraska and Northwestern. Might see a wave of G5 prospects choosing to do the same. https://t.co/tJGdVvsRsW— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) July 15, 2020
Poljan, a redshirt senior, is considered a top-twenty-five tight end prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft class by multiple NFL Draft sites (including Mark Jarvis’ NFL Draft Database and The Draft Network) and is considered a potential late-round draft pick with a good performance in the 2020 season.
As Nagy pointed out in his tweet, Central Michigan lost power-five out-of-conference opponents in both Nebraska and Northwestern with the Big Ten’s announcement that canceled all out-of-conference games. Players, like Poljan, depend on those big match-ups to show NFL scouts attending (and later on tape) how they can play with NFL-level-talent.
Angry NFL Scout Vet echoed the sentiments shared by Nagy, but expressed doubts that many will be successful in their ventures transferring this late in the process.
It would not shock me. The only issue here is that with limits and not knowing if we have a season players may not have much chance to play at all. He also won’t have much time to learn a new system. This would require a P5 who needs a good starter at TE. https://t.co/ITfzHCLzKG— AngryNFLScoutVet (@AngryScoutVet) July 15, 2020
To add to Angry Scout’s point, if all out-of-conference games are canceled this season, that would buy most teams an extra month before they start league play. Games normally start the first week in September would now be (likely) starting the first week of October.
There are several borderline prospects that need the power-five games to showcase their skills and pull the attention of the NFL in their direction. Prospects like Appalachian State Zac Thomas, Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah Mitchell, and MTSU safety Reed Blankenship are all gunning to be mid-round prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft, and are entering their final seasons of eligibility.
What I think what we could potentially see also is some senior players take redshirt seasons that haven’t already to wait for the 2021 season, much like former Houston quarterback D’Eriq King did last season before transferring to Miami. For some players that need a full season to really shine, it’s a good opportunity to train and get better for another year and maybe even transfer out next season.
We will be keeping an eye on all of this for certain. It’s a story that should get more interesting as the season progresses.