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Athlon Ranked The Top 100 Impact Transfers And 32 Underdogs Made The List

When a talented player needs a place to land, there is never a shortage of suitors. Underdogs do a very impressive job of salvaging reclamation projects and turning them into stars.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Athlon Sports is one of the better magazines at coming up with lists. Among those lists is the top 100 impact transfers for the 2016 season. Judging just how impactful a transfer will be with his new program involved so many variables that it becomes little more than a crapshoot.

Even so, 32 players from the AAC, Sun Belt, and Conference USA were named to this list. That includes three of the top 12 impact transfers for the upcoming season. Note: this list is only players that are eligible starting in 2016. Some had to sit out the 2015 season, while others are immediately eligible.

Sun Belt:

  • #99 Tyler Matthews to NMSU from Southern Miss: The four-star quarterback is headed to his third FBS program and will compete for the starting position.
  • #88 Conner Manning to Georgia State from Utah: Manning is a three-star quarterback that was buried in the depth chart at Utah.
  • #69 Kamryn Melton to Troy from Auburn: The three-star cornerback struggled with injuries while at Auburn.
  • #68 Chad Voytik to Arkansas State from Pittsburgh: Voytik is a four-star quarterback that threw for just over 2,200 yards in 2014.
  • #62 Cameron Echols-Luper to Arkansas State from TCU: The three-star wide receiver was a star at TCU in the return game.
  • #61 Kendall Sanders to Arkansas State from Texas: The four-star wide receiver is looking to pull his college career back together after off the field issues ended his career at Texas.
  • #54 Ukeme Eligwe to Georgia Southern from Florida State: The four-star linebacker was a key special teams performer for the 2013 FSU national championship team.
  • #10 Dee Liner to Arkansas State from Alabama: The best name on this list, Liner is a four-star defensive lineman that could not break into the Alabama defensive line on a regular basis.

Conference USA:

  • #95 Steve Donatell to WKU from Wake Forest: The three-star tight end played both sides of the ball during his career with the Demon Deacons.
  • #84 Jevonte Domond to UTSA from LSU: The four-star offensive lineman was expected to play an important role with the Tigers, but off the field issues ended his time with LSU.
  • #83 Davon Durant to Marshall from Arizona State: The four-star linebacker was expelled from Arizona State for off the field issues.
  • #77 Zack Greenlee to UTEP from Fresno State: The three-star quarterback threw for just over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns while with the Bulldogs.
  • #75 Ronald Lewis to Louisiana Tech from Arizona State: The three-star cornerback from Louisiana played sparingly at wide receiver. He is expected to play in the secondary in 2016.
  • #74 Jarrell Jackson to Louisiana Tech from Hawaii: Jackson saw little time on the playing field in 2014 with only three tackles. He transferred and sat out the 2015 season.
  • #72 Nick Dawson-Brents to WKU from Louisville: The four-star defensive lineman struggled to find consistent playing time with the Cardinals. He is a graduate transfer.
  • #59 I'Tavius Mathers to MTSU from Ole Miss: The four-star running back from Mufreesboro returns home for his final year. He transferred and sat out the 2015 season.
  • #56 Dalton Santos to Louisiana Tech from Texas: The four-star linebacker struggled with injuries, but is expected to be healthy for the 2016 season.
  • #55 Jordan Harris to Louisiana Tech from Iowa State: After making a huge impact in 2015 with over 70 tackles, the linebacker wanted to finish his career closer to home.
  • #40 Keith Brown to WKU from Louisville: One of three Louisville graduate transfers, the four-star linebacker is expected to start for the Hilltoppers defense.
  • #32 Jared Johnson to UTSA from Sam Houston State: After a record setting career at the FCS level, Johnson is expected to lead the Roadrunners behind center in 2016.
  • #27 Alec Morris to North Texas from Alabama: A highly rated quarterback out of high school, Morris could never get above #3 on the depth chart. He is expected to start this fall.
  • #12 Mike White to WKU from South Florida: A quarterback with over 2,700 yards passing his career, White is the projected starter to replace Brandon Doughty. He is the third highest rated underdog on this list.


  • #85 Chris Johnson to Houston from Baylor: Johnson saw limited playing time during his time at Baylor, but made starts in 2015. The graduate transfer is expected to be a wide receiver for Houston.
  • #66 Derrell Scott to East Carolina from Tennessee: The four-star running back sat out the 2015 season after leaving the Volunteers. He will have lots of company in the Pirates backfield.
  • #65 Jeffrey Coprich to East Carolina from California: The running back showed signs of brilliance, but could not stay healthy. He is a graduate transfer.
  • #60 Marquez Valdes-Scantling to USF from NC State: The three-star wide receiver had 44 career catches with the Wolfpack and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
  • #50 E.J. Levenberry to UConn from Florida State: The four-star linebacker made 60 tackles with the Seminoles. He sat out the 2015 season due to transfer rules.
  • #41 Philip Nelson to East Carolina from Minnesota/Rutgers: The Golden Gophers quarterback is on his third FBS program. He is expected to start in 2016.
  • #39 Avery Peterson to Cincinnati from LSU: The wide receiver struggled to find playing time during his time with LSU. He is the brother of NFL star Patrick Peterson.
  • #38 Jamil Kamara to Cincinnati from Virginia: The four-star wide receiver caught one pass with the Cavilers.
  • #28 Ra'shaad Samples to Houston from Oklahoma State: The four-star wide receiver caught three passes with the Cowboys.
  • #5 Duke Catalon to Houston from Texas: The highest rated player on this list, Catalon is a four-star running back that never saw action during his one year at Texas.