Hot Reads: Which Big Ten Teams Are Winning in the Transfer Market?
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Hot Reads: Which Big Ten Teams Are Winning in the Transfer Market?

January 29, 2020

Nebraska football had another departure this week, with running back Jaylin Bradley announcing his intention to transfer. He's the 11th Husker to enter the transfer portal since the start of the 2019 season.

Bradley's departure wasn't a big shock. After getting 24 carries as a freshman in 2017, he's had two in the two seasons since. That leaves Nebraska with five scholarship running backs, senior Dedrick Mills and four redshirt or true freshmen.

The Huskers' 11 departures* aren't the most in the Big Ten. Maryland and Rutgers have more right now, per 247's transfer portal tracker, as those programs try to reshape their rosters under new coaches and Michigan also has 11. This seems to be a theme in the Big Ten. It's more of an outgoing conference than an incoming one, though a few schools have made some notable additions already.

Here's a quick roundup of the comings and goings in the Big Ten so far.

* Note: I'm using the word departure here (and "out" below) for clarity, though players in the portal could still remain at their original school in some cases.

WEST

ILLINOIS – 5 out, 1 in
The Illini added former Miami safety Derrick Smith back in August. He was a good player for the Hurricanes and he'll be a linebacker for Lovie Smith. Probably a good one. This is a name you'll hear in 2020.

IOWA – 5 out, 1 in
Nice addition for Iowa in former Indiana offensive lineman Coy Cronk. He was a four-year starter for the Hoosiers before missing last season due to injury.

MINNESOTA – 7 out
The number is on the high end, but nothing here should be too damaging for the Gophers.

NEBRASKA – 11 out, 2 in
So far, there haven't been any real surprises with any of the Huskers' departures. Nebraska has added two interesting players (as walk-ons) from Colorado State––offensive lineman Nouredin Nouili and linebacker Zach Schlager.

NORTHWESTERN – 3 out
The Wildcats have some of the best returning production in the league for 2020 and that's even with the departure of wide receiver Bennett Skowronek. He's a good one and headed to Notre Dame for his final season.

PURDUE – 8 out, 1 in
The departures don't appear to be of any immediate concern. (The Boilermakers are also well-stocked for 2020.) Former Arkansas State safety Zac Tuinei is joining the program. He didn't play as a true freshman for the Red Wolves in 2019.

WISCONSIN – 5 out
The loss of wide receiver Aron Cruikshank to Rutgers raised some eyebrows. The Badgers are also losing a pair of linebackers who were buried on the depth chart.

EAST

INDIANA – 4 out, 1 in
Cronk is off to Iowa (see above) and quarterback Peyton Ramsey is also now in the portal. Ramsey has played a lot of football for the Hoosiers and will probably be an in-demand grad transfer, but it was clear last year Indiana was on board with Michael Penix Jr. at QB (he just didn't stay healthy). Indiana did add Stanford offensive lineman Dylan Powell.

MARYLAND – 16 out, 2 in
Some roster churn is expected with a new staff in place, but, man, Maryland has had a lot of players leave. Michigan running back Jordan Castleberry, a freshman in 2019, is incoming and Virginia Tech wide receiver DeJuan Ellis has been on campus since August. Neither seem like home-run additions at this point, but we'll see.

MICHIGAN – 11 out, 1 in
The Wolverines recruit at a consistently high level, which might explain reaching double-digit departures here. Michigan is adding former Michigan State linebacker Edward Warriner, son of Wolverines' defensive coordinator Ed Warriner.Edward appeared in a handful of games last season for the Spartans, mostly on special teams.

MICHIGAN STATE – 8 out, 1 in
The number of departures here isn't great timing-wise for a Spartan program that seems to be fading a little bit. The lone addition is Nolan Rossback, a long snapper from Illinois.

OHIO STATE – 3 out, 1 in
The Buckeyes seem to be impervious to talent drain. They can lose good players––like two former 4-stars––and be just fine. The one addition, former SMU tight end Corey Rau, is an interesting one. He was a highly recruited player in 2016 but never quite got it going with the Mustangs. Ohio State feels like a heck of an opportunity to turn things around.

PENN STATE – 6 out
There's some talent on its way out, but it was talent that wasn't having a huge impact in State College. Wide receiver Justin Shorter (Florida) was a 5-star recruit, outgoing defensive linemen Ellison Jordan and Daniel Joseph were 4-stars (and are still looking for new schools).

RUTGERS – 14 out, 6 in
Greg Schiano is getting to work in Piscataway. The Knights have added former Baylor quarterback Peyton Powell, Ohio State safety Brendon White (the 2019 Rose Bowl Defensive MVP) and three defensive tackles (from UCF, Michigan and Boston College). Schiano's going to raise the talent level there. Soon, there are going to be players opponents have to account for, which hasn't been the case at Rutgers for a while. If we must declare a Big Ten Transfer Winner at this point, it might be the Scarlet Knights.

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