Why the transfer portal figures to be busier than usual this week and what that means for Georgia football

Why the transfer portal figures to be busier than usual this week and what that means for Georgia football

The transfer portal has become a year-round topic in college football. Most college football coaches will tell you they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but it has become an important tool for roster construction and retention.

Some times have been busier than others, such as the weeks after the 2021 season came to a conclusion. Georgia saw eight players enter the transfer portal in the 10 days following the end of its championship-winning season, for example.

And this week figures to be very active in terms of players entering the portal. That’s because of the May 1 deadline for players to be eligible for the fall season. Players must be in the portal by that date if they are to be granted the one-time transfer exemption. Players could potentially transfer after that date, but doing so would require an NCAA waiver and it is not known how willing it would be to grant those.

It should be noted though that players do not have to be at their new school by the May 1 deadline. Further roster additions could come in the months of May and June, but a player must be in the portal by that May 1 date.

Georgia is no different than any other program when it comes to being impacted by the transfer portal. To this point, 11 Bulldogs who were previously on scholarship have entered the transfer portal. Only Clay Webb and Tymon Mitchell have not yet found a home, but neither entered the portal until this past month. Owen Condon is headed to SMU while quarterback JT Daniels recently announced he would be playing at West Virginia.

Related: Georgia reserve DL Tymon Mitchell places name into the transfer portal

The Bulldogs thought they might be losing tackle Amarius Mims to the portal as well, only for the talented tackle to reverse course and elect to remain in Athens. Mims is not the first Bulldog to do this, as outside linebacker Robert Beal once did the same. Beal ended up leading Georgia in sacks last season and should be a key defender for the Bulldogs this season.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked about the transfer portal following Georgia’s spring game. The coach made his feelings known on the matter and why he prefers not to chase after players because of it.

“We’re trying to create a culture of I want to be here and grow and get better,” Smart said. “Like you come to Georgia, you get developed. If I’m not the guy, at least I’m developing to be the guy, and we’ve got a lot, a lot of examples of guys that stuck around and became really good players, and Channing Tindall is a great example of that.

“That’s really my focus. It’s really not on who’s in it, who’s not in it.”

Related: A deeper look at Kirby Smart’s transfer portal comments after Amarius Mims returns to Georgia football program

Last year saw Georgia land three players out of the transfer portal in defensive back Tykee Smith, tight end Arik Gilbert and cornerback Derion Kendrick. Only Kendrick developed into an immediate contributor, yet Gilbert and Smith both return to the team this season looking to play bigger roles.

Based on the unofficial scholarship count for Georgia, the Bulldogs can expect to see some more attrition to the portal. Georgia must get under the 85-man scholarship count and per DawgNation’s unofficial tracker, Georgia sits at 89 scholarship players at the moment.

The Bulldogs also have some areas that could be addressed by the transfer portal. Coming out of spring practice, wide receiver and safety would be the two most obvious positions for Georgia to target. But Georgia has been selective about who it targets in the transfer portal, with Smart traditionally looking for Power 5 players to help improve the roster. Smith, Gilbert and Kendrick all came from Power 5 programs last season. Past transfers such as Daniels and Lawrence Cager also arrived from Power 5 programs.

One thing to note is that Georgia will not be able to land a player from an SEC school unless said player has graduated, as the conference deadline for intraconference transfers passed back on Feb. 1. That is how Jermaine Burton was able to land at Alabama and Jalen Kimber transferred to Florida.

Related: How to train Georgia football players fared this spring at 5 different SEC schools

Alabama has been active in the transfer portal this offseason, as it recently brought in Louisville wide receiver Tyler Harrell and Vanderbilt offensive tackle Tyler Steen. Even a program that recruits as well Alabama is not immune to having a few holes and addressing them through the transfer portal.

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