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Transfer Portal — 12 Group of Five Players to Watch

With the transfer portal in full swing, here’s a look at 12 G5 players who should be hot commodities.

Transfer portal season is in full swing as the portal officially opened on December 5, with over 600 players having entered since the conclusion of the regular season.

Across the Group of Five landscape, over 100 players and counting have chosen to enter the portal — many of whom should garner Power Five interest.

With Early Signing Day less than two weeks away, here’s a look at 12 Group of Five standouts across UDD’s coverage area (AAC, Conference USA, Sun Belt) who should be hot commodities for programs throughout the offseason.

Rivaldo Fairweather: TE — FIU

Fairweather is a sizable target who is capable of playing in-line or out wide.
Michael Berlfein/FIU Athletics

At 6-4, 245-pounds and a 40-yard-dash timed between 4.46-4.50, former Florida International tight end Rivaldo Fairweather is a hot commodity on the transfer portal market. A former high school basketball player who switched to the gridiron late in his prep career, Fairweather is a raw talent who is still developing at the tight end position — but has shown flashes of superstar potential in three seasons at the G5 level. The South Florida native hauled in 54 receptions for 838 yards and five scores at FIU, including an eye-popping eight catches for 152 yards and three scores in his final contest with the Panthers. Fairweather holds offers from several schools including Auburn.

Grant DuBose: WR — Charlotte

NCAA Football: Duke at Charlotte
DuBose emerged as an excellent playmaker during two seasons at Charlotte.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After beginning his career at Division II Miles College, Grant DuBose burst onto the FBS scene in his debut game with a 118-yard, two-touchdown performance against Duke and never looked back. The 6-3, 205-pound DuBose has an NFL frame and was on the radar of pro scouts during his final season with the Niners, before choosing to enter the portal at the end of the season. In two seasons at Charlotte, DuBose recorded 126 receptions for 1,684 yards and 15 scores.

Austin Reed: QB — WKU

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 WKU at Florida Atlantic
Austin Reed looks to again win a starting QB job after being a standout during his first season at the FBS level.
Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Like DuBose, former Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed played in Division II, setting several records at D-II West Florida before transferring to WKU prior to the 2022 season. Following the massive shoes left behind by current New England Patriot Bailey Zappe, Reed threw for 4,249 yards and 36 touchdowns in his first season at the FBS level. At 6-2, 230-pounds, Reed fits the physical mold of a pro prospect and has shown the ability to compete and win a quarterback competition, beating out former West Virginia starter Jarret Doege to win the Hilltoppers’ starting job this season.

Ali Jennings: WR — ODU

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 29 Old Dominion at Georgia State
Ali Jennings looks to get back to the Power Five level after being a standout at Old Dominion.
Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A Biletnikoff Award watchlist member and First-Team All-Sun Belt nominee, Ali Jennings was a clear go-to target for Old Dominion in his two seasons in Norfolk. The 6-2, 200-pound Jennings began his career at West Virginia before transferring to ODU in 2021 and hauled in 116 grabs for 2,025 yards and 16 scores as a Monarch. Jennings has received offers from Pitt, Kansas and Washington State.

Tyrese Chambers: WR — FIU

Tyrese Chambers has been a standout wideout wherever he plays.
Michael Berlfein/FIU Athletics

The second Panther to make this list, all wideout Tyrese Chambers has done during his collegiate career is produce. Chambers was a Jerry Rice Award finalist at FCS Sacred Heart University where he 50 receptions for 811 yards — followed by his debut season at the FBS level where he broke several FIU records in hauling in 45 catches for 1,074 yards and nine scores in 2021. At 6-1, 190-pounds, Chambers is an established deep-threat, but also has shown the ability to catch in traffic and win one-on-one matchups against corners. Chambers holds several Power Five offers, including UCF, Arizona State, Maryland and Colorado.

Gunner Britton: OL — WKU

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 C-USA Championship Game - Western Kentucky at UTSA
Western Kentucky OL Gunner Britton has all of the physical tools to play at the P5.
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Western Kentucky has been a factory for Power Five offensive linemen over the past two seasons and Gunner Britton looks to be the next Hilltopper to make the jump. After serving as a reserve in his first three seasons, Britton started 12 contests this season and was named to Conference USA’s all-conference second team in his first year as a starter. The 6-6, 310-pounder will look to land in the Power Five in his final year of eligibility.

Tristan Driggers: LB — ULM

A versatile defender who is capable of playing in the box as a linebacker or as hybrid S/LB, Tristan Driggers recorded 63 tackles and three interceptions during his first season at the FBS level. The Texas native landed at Louisiana-Monroe after beginning his career in Junior College and already holds offers from Toledo and Coastal Carolina, but could garner Power Five interest.

Gaethan Bernadel: LB — FIU

Bernadel has been a tackling machine during his FIU career.
Michael Berlfein/FIU Athletics

Former FIU linebacker Gaethan Bernadel has been a tackling machine since earning a starting role midway through his true freshman season in 2021. The South Florida native had Power Five interest coming out of high school, but chose the Panthers as a three-star recruit and recorded 41 tackles in seven starts during his freshman year. In 2022, the 6-1, 210-pound Bernadel finished second in Conference USA in tackles with 103 and added eight tackles for loss. He’s shown versatility, playing in a 4-3 scheme in his first season and in a 3-4 defense last season.

Jimmy Horn Jr.: WR — South Florida

Jimmy Horn Jr. will bring an instant playmaker to whichever program he signs with.
Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

An electric playmaker, former USF Bull Jimmy Horn Jr. turned down offers from Power Five heavyweights such as Oklahoma and Georgia to sign with South Florida in December of 2020. The diminutive Horn Jr. is capable of playing in the slot as a wideout, taking carries out of the backfield and adding value in the return game. He racked up over 1,400 all-purpose yards during his time in Tampa and has several Power Five offers.

Davis Brin: QB — Tulsa

Tulsa v Ole Miss
Instant quarterback help could come in the form of Davis Brin.
Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Programs looking for a potential instant fix at the quarterback position will take a hard look at former Tulsa starter Davis Brin. The 6-3, 215-pound Brin started 22 contests over two seasons with the Golden Hurricane, throwing for 5,675 yards and 37 touchdowns. He’s also shown the ability to extend plays in the pocket by using his legs and could be a day-one starter wherever he lands.

Elijah Spencer: WR — Charlotte

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Charlotte at Illinois
Elijah Spencer is a dynamic playmaker.
Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The second Charlotte receiver on this list, Elijah Spencer followed up his Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2021 with hauling in 943 yards and nine touchdowns on 57 receptions in 2022. Spencer was a three-star recruit coming out of high school and is a dynamic athlete who can test defenses vertically, with room to develop at 6-1, 190-pounds. Spencer has three seasons of eligibility left and should land in the Power Five.

Jeremiah Byers: OL — UTEP

A three-year starter for the Miners, Byers brings a Power Five frame on the offensive line at 6-4, 335-pounds. Byers started at tackle for UTEP over the last two seasons and has experience playing across the line in his four years in El Paso. He already has publicly announced visits to Florida and Florida State and should garner extensive Power Five interest beyond those teams.