There are over 2,500 college football players in the transfer portal according to Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz while speaking with reporters on Tuesday. Miami has thrived in the transfer portal since it was instituted in October 2018 but even Manny Diaz has concerns about the ability to transfers.
Miami has signed more transfers than it has lost in recent seasons, but Football Bowl Subdivision programs are allowed to sign only 25 players per class. If a college football program losses more than 25 players to graduation, players leaving early for the NFL or transfers they are unable to exceed that number.
FBS allows 85 scholarships per program. Diaz is concerned with programs not at the 85 scholarship limit and what would happen if they were short at a position group. Miami was able to add cornerback Tyrique Stevenson as a transfer from Georgia in January. Miami has six scholarship CBs during spring practice.
Malik Curtis, a 2021 signee will arrive later this season and is expected to play CB. If Miami had not added Stevenson they would be extremely thin at CB. Miami has also added defensive end DeAndre Johnson to add experience at edge rush and wide receiver Charleston Rambo to add speed, as transfers during the 2021 offseason.
“If we stay stuck at 25, players can leave your team but you don’t have players to replace them. It’s going to be very hard to field a football team. The best thing we can do is have a program where players want to stay. I think players are here for the right reasons.”
The points Manny Diaz has about transfers if valid. The 25 scholarship limit per class was established to keep programs from hoarding players per class. The elite programs lose players to the NFL more often and potentially are not always at the 85 scholarship limit. The solution for Diaz at Miami is to improve the culture.
Prior to 2020, Miami lost multiple players to the NFL early in recent seasons. The majority of those players were not selected in the early rounds of the NFL Draft. Tight-end David Njoku was the last Miami player selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft when he was selected 29th overall by Cleveland in 2017.
Four Miami players from the 2020 team decided to forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. Nineteen returning starters for Miami indicate that Diaz is creating a program where players want to stay. Quarterback D’Eriq King and DE Zach McCloud are returning for their sixth seasons of college football.
Offensive tackle Jarrid Williams will play his seventh season of college football in 2021. The second point by Diaz is critical. Too many Miami players in recent seasons seemed to want to be at Miami as a springboard for the NFL. Having players dedicated to the Hurricanes will help the program and the players’ future success.
One of the biggest priorities for Diaz when he was elevated to head coach was changing the culture. That appears to have been changed quickly. If Miami continues to have success on the field, the Hurricanes should be able to continue adding talent through the transfer portal. Miami needs to avoid losing transfers.