One of the most recognizable features of StatsBomb is its radars. They serve as an extremely useful tool for various areas within a football staff. One area where their utility is immediately evident is in the recruiting and scouting departments. In the last recruitment cycle, many teams signed more players from the transfer portal than from high schools, and that number keeps growing. Transfer portal recruiting is fast and furious as players enter the portal, and sign with new teams within a few days. Teams need accurate, fast, reliable data more than ever to help in this new era.
StatsBomb radars can help teams cut through the fluff, and get actionable ideas of which players to recruit faster than ever. Let’s take a look at what our radars can tell us about the top 10 FBS to FBS transfers as defined by 247Sports:
10. Jordan Burch (South Carolina -> Oregon)
The University of Oregon is known for a few things. Bright, flashy uniforms, and high flying offenses. With Dan Lanning at the helm, defense might be taking a few steps forward. Corner Christian Gonzalez was drafted in the first round this past season, but the Ducks struggled getting to the quarterback. Oregon is hoping his athleticism off the edge will translate into more sacks than this past season where they ranked 115th out of 131 teams in sacks per game. Enter Jordan Burch. Burch had a very high pressure percentage this past season, to go along with an above average pass average length of engagement (ALOE). He also was successful in the run game though, and was above average in STS, true tackle %, and stop %.
9. Javion Cohen (Alabama -> Miami)
Our first (and only) offensive lineman of the transfer list. Transfer offensive lineman are in such high demand, and there is little data out there from other providers. This is one of the areas where the StatsBomb data really shines. Using the line engagements data, we are able to give offensive lineman actual metrics that can be used to analyze players. He was run behind at about an average rate, but Alabama sure had success running behind him. One of the best Guards in the country in run behind big play %, success %, and yards per rush. He also found success in pass protection as well. His 4.4 second time to pressure was one of the best in the country.
8. Dominic Lovett (Missouri -> Georgia)
Replacing a starting receiver that has scored TD’s in each CFP playoff game is not an easy task. With AD Mitchell leaving for Texas, Georgia has found a replacement in Dominic Lovett, at least in production. Lovett had an incredibly high target share for Missouri last season. That will most likely come down as he fits into an offense that has Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey, and others who are also playmakers. Georgia can expect to see Lovett create lots of separation at the time of catch, catch the ball at a high rate, and get a lot of yards after the catch.
7. Devin Leary (NC State -> Kentucky)
A fellow ACC transfer quarterback, Leary has left the conference for the SEC and Kentucky. The Wildcats are hopeful he has as much success as fellow transfer, and former Kentucky QB, Will Levis. Leary’s best trait from the 2022 season was his low pressure/sack percentage. This came with fairly average time to throw and air yards numbers as well so this wasn’t a case of just throwing screens and quick game. His above average success rate and INT %, paired with his below average CPOE, and way below average explosive play rate show a quarterback that doesn’t take many risks, and doesn’t make many mistakes.
6. Sam Hartman (Wake Forest -> Notre Dame)
Everyone will have their eyes on Sam Hartman at Notre Dame this season. Notre Dame is the first game of the 2023 season, people are wanting to see if Hartman’s success in the Wake Forest slow-mesh offense, and, well, it’s Notre Dame. People always watch Notre Dame. It’s a safe bet to say Hartman’s trait radar will look much different this season. Wake Forest’s unique offense led to Hartman having off the charts numbers in air yards per attempt as well as time to throw. Those numbers will probably come down under a new system, but will Hartman be able to keep up the performance numbers. His accuracy on deep passes led him to have a high CPOE despite the high air yards per attempt.
5. Devontez Walker (Kent State -> UNC)
The only way to start this paragraph is with a plea to the NCAA to let Walker play. I understand the rules for transferring, and why they exist. But this is a great example of the NCAA getting in its own way. Let the man play!
On to the football side of things. UNC needs a star wide receiver to fill the role that Dyami Brown and Josh Downs have played the last few years, and Walker was poised to do that. With a very symmetrical radar on the performance side, Walker performs above average in almost every category. He is especially lethal down the field. His high depth of target and explosive percentage show his ability in that area. With a new OC, Drake Maye will be looking for some receivers he can trust, and hopefully Walker can play this year to help him out.
4. Fentrell Cyprus II (UVA -> Florida State)
This breakdown might be a little biased because of my time spent at UVA, but Fentrell Cypress is one of the smoothest DB’s in the country. His ability to cover receivers and react to routes is top tier. And this shows up in his radar! His target separation (separation at the time of pass) was one of the lowest in the country, but his catch separation (separation at the time of the catch attempt) was one of the best in the country. His ability to break on the ball and disrupt the play makes him an ideal corner. Not only is he a great pass defender, he isn’t afraid to mix it up in the run game either. His tackling stats are also very good.
3. Ernest Hausmann (Nebraska -> Michigan)
Very rarely do you see Linebackers that are rated as high as Ernest Hausmann in the transfer portal. But his radar helps us see why that is. Simply put, he does a great job tackling. His Yards after Tackle Attempt (YATA) were among the best in college football last season. He also had a very high STS (see above) rate as well. As a Big 10 Linebacker, he will be asked to be involved in run stopping to a very high degree, and that is something he excels in. On top of his good play in the run game, he is an above average coverage player as well. He is expected to compete for a starting job this fall for the Wolverines.
2. Adonai Mitchell (Georgia -> Texas)
After an injury slowed down AD Mitchell’s 2022 season, he entered the transfer portal and ended up transferring back closer to home at the University of Texas. His radar is another case of small sample size, but you can see some major trends in his ability. As a big play threat, he had really high yds per catch, and a high percentage of explosive plays. Mitchell brings something to the table that has been missing in the Texas offense the past few years, the downfield big play ability.
1. Denver Harris (Texas A&M -> LSU)
Denver Harris was also a top 10 national corner recruit in the 2022 class, and ended up committing to Texas A&M. After a season with limited play time due to suspensions, Harris transferred to LSU where he is looking for a fresh start, and a new opportunity. LSU can expect good things based on his Freshman production. With a low target separation and catch separation, Harris showed he has the ability to stay with WR. He also had a high pass defended %. Small sample size caveat, but Harris showed that he has the ability to be a highly productive coverage player. Another telling thing from his radar is his Solo Tackle Success (STS) rate. With a high STS rate, Harris shows the ability to bring down ball carriers in 1 on 1 situations.
StatsBomb Radars run the world soccer transfer market, and they will do the same thing in college football soon. The combination of traits and performance, data science models, tracking metrics, and soon to be physical metrics as well (speed, acceleration, etc) make StatsBomb the premier tool for recruiting staffs around the country.