Evaluating Michigan football’s outgoing transfers compared to the rest of the country


The Athletic ($) came out with a fascinating story on the use of the transfer portal in the 2021-22 offseason. They tracked 2,000 different football players who entered the transfer portal, and found about 80% of the players who entered have found a new home. On average, Power 5 programs lost 16 transfers in the last calendar year.

“There were 1,054 scholarship players in this transfer cycle who left Power 5 programs. So far, 88% have found a new home and 66% will get to keep playing at the FBS level this fall, although less than one-third ended up signing with another Power 5 school,” The Athletic wrote.

The stats show only 32% of those transfers went to another Power 5 program. Group of 5 schools were the most common landing zone at 34%, and 21% went to the FCS or Division III. Still, 12% of Power 5 transfers that entered the portal do not currently have a home.

Interestingly enough, the SEC lost the largest amount of transfers, 241, but 89% of them wound up somewhere else and 71% found a home at the FBS level.

In the 2021 cycle, the Michigan Wolverines lost 12 players to the portal, most notably former four-star defensive backs Jordan Morant and Darion Green-Warren.

The transfers who wound up at Power 5 programs are the following: Morant (Mississippi State), Cole Hussung (Louisville), Chuck Filiaga (Minnesota), Dan Villari (Syracuse) and Anthony Soloman (Arizona). Having five of the 12 total transfers get to another Power 5 school is rather impressive.

Sammy Faustin (UMass), Andre Seldon (New Mexico State), Nolan Rumler (Kent State) and Green-Warren (Nevada) stayed in Division I, but in the Group of 5 level. And two players, Jack Stewart and Mahdi Hazime, remain without a destination.

The Athletic also found the earlier you enter the portal, the better. A whopping 86% of transfers in the November-January window have a new program to play for, and 29% were at the Power 5 level. Those who left Michigan were at 90% and 42%, respectively, during that time frame.

What does it all mean?

Other programs in the country value what is happening in Ann Arbor. The fluidity of the transfer portal is a great thing for the college athlete and the program. It’s a new-age way of roster construction and it puts the power in the players’ hands. But that doesn’t mean going into the portal isn’t risky.

Each of the Michigan transfers went to a less superior program, even if some of them did go to a Power 5 school. Now, that likely means more playing time, a chance to start, and maybe even the opportunity to become a star depending on the conference and team.

Even worse, two guys aren’t on scholarship any longer, and Stewart was once a prospect with starter potential. After going to the portal in April, it’s looking pretty bleak for him to find somewhere to call home this fall.

So while the portal is a great option for players to find a better opportunity, it could lead to their downfalls as well. Even if a player isn’t getting the playing time they hoped for, at least they are getting a quality education from one of the best schools in the country in Ann Arbor. The risk is exponentially great for whoever takes a dive into the portal.

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