Instant Impact: Top 2017 graduate transfers
It’s been more than two months since National Signing Day, but that hasn’t stopped several college programs from adding talent to their rosters for the 2017 season. Thanks to the growing trend of graduate transfers, more instant impact players become available every offseason. This year plenty of big names have changed programs, several of which were also notable recruits.
We take a look at the five players we expect to have the biggest impacts this fall.
Transfer: USC to Pittsburgh
As a recruit: Browne was a five-star in the Class of 2013 and chose USC over offers from Alabama, Washington, Oklahoma and several others.
Why he’s a big addition: Browne never really found his way at USC, and after losing his job to Sam Darnold in 2016, elected to hit the transfer market. He’s stepping into the shoes of another transfer, Nathan Peterman, who left Tennessee only to thrive in the Panthers' system. Browne is expected to be the team’s starter in 2017 and pick up right where Peterman left off and hopefully play up to his once-lofty ranking.
Transfer: Clemson to Oregon
As a recruit: As a four-star in the Class of 2013, Pagano had offers from programs all over the country. He elected to go all the way from Hawaii to Clemson, a move that surprised some at the time.
Why he’s a big addition: Pagano was a big part of Clemson’s run to the national championship last year, but with former five-stars Christian Wilikins and Dexter Lawrence pushing for playing time, he elected to leave for Oregon in order to be an every down player. Oregon’s defense was among the nation’s worst in 2016, and Pagano immediately becomes the Ducks' best interior lineman.
Transfer: Cal to Oklahoma State
As a recruit: A three-star in the Class of 2013, Cochran had his choice of options but chose Cal over Arizona, Nebraska and Oklahoma, three programs he officially visited in the fall of 2012
Why he’s a big addition: Cochran started 16 games over three years at California and had his best year in 2016 while working at tackle. He’s expected to step in and start for Oklahoma State from day one, filling one of the few missing pieces on what’s expected to be one of the best offenses in the nation.
Transfer: Kentucky to Oklahoma
As a recruit: Badet was a three-star in the class of 2013 and had a number of Group of Five offers; however, Kentucky did a great job closing and landing his commitment over Wake Forest just prior to Signing Day.
Why he’s a big addition: Badet had a very productive career with the Wildcats and is coming off a 2017 season where he led Kentucky in receiving yards and led the entire SEC in yards per catch. His fit in the Oklahoma offense seems tailor-made and he’s expected to be a big part of the Sooners' passing game this fall.
Transfer: LSU to North Carolina
As a recruit: As a four-star in the Class of 2014, Harris had his choice of options, including Auburn, Ohio State, Alabama and others but elected to stay close to home with LSU.
Why he’s a big addition: Harris saw the field early with the Tigers and started 12 games as a sophomore, but after struggling to start the 2016 season, was supplanted by Danny Etling and elected to transfer this spring. He steps into an ideal situation at North Carolina, replacing future first round pick Mitch Trubrisky and having a chance to help his own NFL stock.