Graduate transfers are becoming more popular in college football, especially with senior quarterbacks. A graduate transfer is when a student-athlete has earned a degree, which frees them up to transfer without sitting out a year, as deemed by the NCAA.
One of the most popular instances of this was Russell Wilson and his move to Wisconsin his senior year. After starting his career with North Carolina State, the Wolfpack let him know they were going to name Mike Glennon the starter. Instead of having to waste his senior year on the bench, Wilson was able to transfer to Wisconsin to play his last year and even earned All-Big Ten by coaches in the conference.
While the transfer cycle has focused on players with names (like Jerry Rice Jr. and Jake Golic) or juniors that will start immediately (like Clint Trickett and Jameill Showers), the senior graduate transfers have been overlooked. Like in our Supplemental Draft special, Charles Sims tops off another list.
Charles Sims RB Houston->TBA
Size: 5'11” 205
Stats: 384 carries, 2370 rushing yards, 29 touchdowns
No one is really sure what Charles Sims is going to do or why he left Houston, but everyone knows he's got special talent. Sims confused everyone by leaving the Houston program on a whim. Rumors had him heading to California or West Virginia, but many think he will now consider July's Supplemental Draft. If he doesn't, still expect big things from Charles Sims, no matter where he plays his football. It wouldn't be out of line to say Sims would be a Day 2 pick value, as it stands today.
Nick Harwell WR Miami (Ohio)->Kansas
Size: 6'1” 193
Stats: 229 receptions, 3166 receiving yards, 23 touchdowns
Like Sims, Harwell has a shot at entering next month's Supplemental Draft. Harwell, who needed to earn a couple more credits at Miami (Ohio) before graduating, was arrested before he could complete them (thus earning his degree, freeing him up to play wherever he wants his senior year), and not his status with Kansas is uncertain. If he is not allowed to transfer, he is expected to enter the draft; if he is allowed, he'll stay in school another year. He was second in the nation in receiving yards in 2011, and he gained 870 yards in 2012, despite missing three games with a knee injury. Combining that with Jake Heaps, a former blue-chip high school prospect and Kansas's projected starter, could lead to massive production and the raising of his draft stock. At this point of the process, many believe Harwell is worth a Day 3 pick.
Tyler Patmon CB Kansas->Oklahoma State
Size: 5'11” 180
Stats: 146 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 6 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns
After earning All-Big 12 Academic First Team as a freshman, it was evident Patmon had real intentions to become a great student and athlete. It's no surprise that he graduated before his senior year. After starting off and on for his entire tenure at Kansas, Patmon made the move to Stillwater, to play for a Big 12 rival in Oklahoma State. With only four scholarship corner backs on the roster, Oklahoma State is more than welcome to add Patmon's 28 starts to their defensive back depth. If Patmon continues to perform well, like he did at Kansas, he could go from a prospect that is on the fringe of being drafted or not to solidifying himself as a 2014 NFL draftee.
Drew Allen QB Oklahoma->Syracuse
Size: 6'5” 235
Stats: 18 of 30, 160 passing yards
After backing up Landry Jones for a couple years, Drew Allen fell behind Blake Bell( the Tebow-esk weapon who's been used in wildcat situations recently) on the depth chart. Because of Bell, the last time Allen threw a recorded pass was in October of 2011. It became obvious to him that he wasn't going to get much playing time his senior year, so he decided to move on to Syracuse, which needed a new quarterback after Ryan Nassib joined the NFL ranks. While he is expected to win the starting job for the Orange, he needs to beat out sophomore Terrel Hunt. If the new coaching staff decides they need more of a mobile guy, Hunt could be their man; Drew Allen is more of a traditional passer. Everything depends on this year for Allen. If he gets draft and when it will happen will be answered by his actions on the field.
A.J. Barker WR Minnesota->Houston
Size: 6'1” 191
Stats: 31 receptions. 594 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns
Virtually all the playing time on offense that Barker's ever had was in 2012. The former walk-on was breaking out, (he even ended the year with a 135 yard two touchdown game vs Prudue) before an injury kept him off the field. From there, issues with head coach, Jerry Kill, about his injury lead to Barker leaving the program in November. He announced he was enrolling at Houston, but after a marijuana arrest the day before he was slated to start taking classes, Houston announced they didn't add him as a walk-on and they didn't offer him a scholarship. Barker's situation is very unique, and he needs to keep the momentum rolling from 2012, wherever he plays ball.