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Biggest recruiting wins of the transfer portal

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The 2024 transfer portal cycle hasn’t been short on drama. There were a lot of impact players who decided to transfer and that led to some intense, albeit, short recruitments. Take a look at the five biggest recruiting wins of the 2024 transfer portal cycle.


1. Caleb Downs - Ohio State

Caleb Downs
Birm/DTE


The coaching change at Alabama prompted Downs to take a look at his options. Ohio State and Georgia went head-to-head in this recruiting battle but the Buckeyes ended up landing a commitment from the 2023 SEC Freshman of the Year.

Georgia seemed like the favorite once it became clear Downs was leaving Alabama because the Bulldogs had just hired Travaris Robinson, who was Downs’ position coach the previous season.

Ohio State was able to overcome those relationships thanks to its efforts recruiting Downs when he was a high school recruit and now the Buckeyes have one of the best players in the country, regardless of position.

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2. Walter Nolen - Ole Miss

Walter Nolen


Nolen was the crown jewel of the historic 2022 Texas A&M recruiting class that featured six five-star prospects. His career got off to a solid start but he decided to transfer after the coaching change in College Station last season.

Despite his many options, Nolen narrowed his choices down to Oregon and Ole Miss. After visiting both schools, Nolen chose to transfer to Ole Miss, where Lane Kiffin and company have assembled one of the best transfer portal hauls in the 2024 cycle.

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3. Kadyn Proctor - Alabama

Kadyn Proctor


Proctor is such a talented player at one of the most important positions on the field that he would have made this list had he only transferred once this offseason. It’s been a whirlwind six months for Proctor. He transferred from Alabama to Iowa in the wake of Nick Saban‘s retirement in January.

Proctor, who is from Iowa and was originally committed to the Hawkeyes during his high school recruitment, ended up regretting his decision. In mid-March, rumors surfaced that Proctor had decided to transfer back to Alabama, which he made official shortly after the transfer portal window opened in mid-April.

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4. Cameron Ward - Miami

Cameron Ward
Young Kwak | Associated Press


College teams chasing after elite transfer prospects always have to contend with powerhouse programs but rarely do they have to recruit against the NFL. To an extent, Miami had to do just that with Ward.

The former Washington State and Immaculate Word quarterback seriously considered Florida State and Auburn and even declared for the NFL Draft. Ward did backtrack on that declaration in favor of a commitment to Miami in mid-January.

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5. Quinshon Judkins - Ohio State

Quinshon Judkins
Ole Miss Athletics


It was a pretty big shock to the college football world when Judkins announced that he would transfer from Ole Miss. Judkins had thrived in Lane Kiffin’s offense and he had become one of the best running backs in the nation. The Rebels tried to get him to come back but weren’t successful.

The early favorite to land his commitment was Alabama but a visit to Columbus left a lasting impression on Judkins. He went public with his decision to transfer to Ohio State shortly after Michigan won the national championship.

This article first appeared on Rivals.com, the leader in college football and basketball recruiting coverage. Be the first to know and follow your teams by signing up here.