College football's most important transfers for the 2016 season

Two of the four starting quarterbacks in the College Football Playoff were transfers.

The quarterback with the most passing yards in the SEC? A transfer.

The ACC Defensive Player of the Year? Yup, a transfer.

You get the point. Transferring has rejuvenated careers from coast to coast. Baker Mayfield did the "shake and bake" to a breakout season for Oklahoma. Jake Coker delivered a national championship to Alabama after winning a ring with Florida State as the backup to Jameis Winston. Chad Kelly led Ole Miss to 10 wins, two years after he was kicked off the Clemson team. Jeremy Cash left behind Ohio State and became an All-American at Duke. Every Power 5 conference had at least one quarterback transfer starting.

As transferring has grown in popularity over the last several seasons, following all the moves has become a season unto itself -- joining fall practice, the actual games, recruiting and spring ball as another part of the calendar. In the last month alone, several high-profile players have announced their intentions to transfer, from Trevor Knight to Kyle Allen to Kyler Murray to Barry Sanders Jr. There was even a player, QB Sheriron Jones, who announced he was transferring from Tennessee to Colorado... then announced he was transferring back to Tennessee a few weeks later. They join a large list of players who have switched schools since 2015.

So who has the biggest chance to make an impact in 2016? Glad you asked.

1. QB John O'Korn, Houston to Michigan

O'Korn sat out 2015 because of NCAA transfer rules and is primed to take over for outgoing senior Jake Rudock (a transfer himself!). At Houston, O'Korn threw for more than 3,000 yards and was American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2013. Given the lofty expectations for the Wolverines in 2016, O'Korn could follow Mayfield and Coker as transfer quarterbacks to make the playoff.

2. QB Trevor Knight, Oklahoma to Texas A&M

Knight, who lost his starting job to Mayfield this past season, is immediately eligible to play for the Aggies as a graduate transfer and will complete with Jake Hubenak for the starting job once spring practice begins. As the Sooners starter in 2013, Knight threw for 2,300 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. But he enters a situation with major question marks. Three quarterbacks have transferred out of A&M over the past two seasons, including Allen and Murray. Can Knight solidify the spot and make Kevin Sumlin happy?

3. QB Dakota Prukop, Montana State to Oregon

Prukop follows the footsteps of Vernon Adams Jr., who transferred from FCS Eastern Washington to Oregon last season. There is one major difference: Prukop is already on campus and will participate in spring practice, giving him an advantage Adams never had. Once practice begins, Prukop will compete with Jeff Lockie, Taylor Alie, Morgan Mahalak and Travis Jonsen for the starting job.

4. RB Duke Catalon, Texas to Houston

Catalon was an ESPN 300 prospect in the class of 2014 but redshirted his first year at Texas and then decided to transfer. Houston loses its top two running backs, Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson, opening up an opportunity for Catalon to win the starting job now that he is eligible to play.

5. DL Gerald Willis, Florida to Miami

Willis, ranked No. 42 in the 2014 ESPN 300, sat out last season because of transfer rules but was dominant playing on the scout team. With a new coaching staff, Willis has an opportunity to reach his potential. Has he left his baggage behind in Gainesville?

6. WR Geno Lewis, Penn State to Oklahoma

Lewis is eligible immediately to play for the Sooners and fills a major position of need. Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal, two of the Sooners' top three receivers, are gone and that will give Lewis the chance to win a starting job.

7. QB Luke Del Rio, Oregon State to Florida

Del Rio is on his third different Power 5 school (he started at Alabama) but this one could finally land him a starting job. He impressed the coaching staff on the scout team last year while sitting out because of transfer rules.

8. QB Kenny Hill, Texas A&M to TCU

Remember Kenny Trill? Hill sat out 2015 after transferring in from the Aggies, and is set to compete with Foster Sawyer for the starting job Trevone Boykin leaves behind. Hill was the hottest quarterback in the country to start 2014, but was benched by midseason and then suspended for violating team rules. Which version of Hill will we see with the Horned Frogs?

9. QB Riley Ferguson, Tennessee/junior college/Memphis

Ferguson was an ESPN 300 prospect in the class of 2013 but transferred out of Tennessee before ever taking a snap. After throwing 36 touchdown passes and averaging 326.9 yards per game at Coffeyville Community College, Ferguson signed with Memphis. New coach Mike Norvell needs a replacement for the prolific Paxton Lynch, and Ferguson could fit the bill if he beats out Brady Davis for the job.

10. DB Priest Willis, UCLA to Texas A&M

Willis, another ESPN 300 prospect in the class of 2013, appeared in 20 games with the Bruins but decided to transfer to Texas A&M last summer. After he sat out a year, Aggies coaches believe he can make an impact in the secondary - especially since both starting cornerbacks are gone.

Now here is a look at other prominent transfers

Eligible immediately

QB Patrick Towles, Kentucky to Boston College
QB Austin Appleby, Purdue to Florida
QB Alec Morris, Alabama to North Texas
QB Faton Bauta, Georgia to Colorado State
QB Troy Williams, Washington/juco/Utah
QB Richard Lagow, Oklahoma State/juco/Indiana
QB Johnny Stanton, Nebraska/juco/UNLV
QB Justice Hansen, Oklahoma/juco/Arkansas State
QB John Franklin III, Florida State/juco/Auburn
RB Trey Edmunds, Virginia Tech to Maryland
WR John Diarse, LSU to TCU
WR Derrick Willies, Iowa/juco/Texas Tech
WR Juwann Winfree, Maryland/juco/Pittsburgh
OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, Michigan to Washington State
OL Will Adams, Auburn to Boise State
DB Jayme Thompson, Ohio State/juco/Indiana
RB Tyren Jones, Alabama/juco/South Carolina

Sat out 2015 and now eligible

QB Asiantii Woulard, UCLA to USF
QB Ricky Town, USC to Arkansas
QB Danny Etling, Purdue to LSU
QB Darell Garretson, Utah State to Oregon State
DL Ondre Pipkins, Michigan to Texas Tech
RB Keith Ford, Oklahoma to Texas A&M
RB Squally Canada, Washington State to BYU
OL Darius James, Texas to Auburn
LB Cecil Cherry, Texas to USF
LB John Kenny, Iowa to Arizona
LB Courtney Love, Nebraska to Kentucky
LB E.J. Levenberry, Florida State to UConn
TE Greg Hart, Nebraska to Kentucky
WR Jamil Kamara, Virginia to Cincinnati
WR Avery Peterson, LSU to Cincinnati
WR Jordan Cunningham, Vanderbilt to North Carolina
WR Ra'Shaad Samples, Oklahoma State to Houston
DB Lamont Simmons, USC to Georgia Tech


RB Barry Sanders Jr., Stanford to ...
C Jake Raulerson, Texas to ...
RB Derrick Green, Michigan to ...
QB Davis Webb, Texas Tech to ...
QB Seth Collins, Oregon State to ...

Must sit out 2016

Kyle Allen, Texas A&M to Houston
Kyler Murray, Texas A&M to Oklahoma