College football isn’t quite as freewheeling as the transfer market in college hoops, but it still has a significant impact on rosters around the country. Graduate transfers in particular can provide a quick infusion of needed talent for a program with an unexpected hole at a position.
The ACC will have no shortage of such talent. Here are a few names to look for this spring and fall.
Damon Hazelton, Wide Receiver from Ball State to Virginia Tech
Damon Hazelton Jr. should provide a major boost to a position group without veteran leadership. The Hokies finished last season ranked 57th nationally in passing offense, and they lose top target Cam Phillips (964 yards, seven touchdowns). The other likely primary targets are sophomores Sean Savoy (454 yards, four touchdowns) and Eric Kumah (324 yards, two touchdowns). Hazelton reportedly impressed many in practice during his time as a redshirt last season. As a freshman for Ball State in 2016, he caught 51 passes for 505 yards and four touchdowns. Hazelton could earning a starting position and be a major factor as Justin Fuente continues to reshape the Hokie offense.
Bryce Perkins, Quarterback from Arizona Western College to Virginia
There’s a considerable void to fill with the departure of quarterback Kurt Benkert. He lead the Cavaliers to their first taste of success under Bronco Mendenhall with six wins and a bowl appearance in year two of the regime. They’ll sorely miss his 3,200 yards and 25 touchdowns. Among those vying to replace Benkert is JUCO transfer Bryce Perkins. After spending one year at Arizona State, the 6’3″ signal-caller lead Arizona Western to the JUCO National Championship Game. He gives them a far more mobile presence than the pro style Benkert and has already been impressing this spring. Perkins will likely start immediately and will have two years of eligibility remaining. His brother Paul is a running back for the New York Giants.
Jack DeFoor, Guard from Ole Miss to Georgia Tech
— GeorgiaTech Football (@GeorgiaTechFB) January 12, 2018
DeFoor left Ole Miss after massive upheaval at the program. Former head coach Hugh Freeze was forced to resign after a scandal involving escorts, and the team faces sanctions as well. It’s unclear when DeFoor can play as he’s seeking a waiver to be eligible immediately. If he doesn’t get it, he’ll sit out this fall. Whenever he plays, he’s going to give the Yellow Jackets an enormous player at 6’5″, 302. ESPN ranked him the 28th best guard prospect in the 2016 recruiting class. It’s no secret that Paul Johnson’s offense puts a premium on talented blockers for his ground game. DeFoor would give some added punch to a unit that finished 5th in rushing offense last season (307.4 YPG).
Venzell Boulware, Guard from Tennessee to Miami
— VENZELL BOULWARE (@Venzell55) January 10, 2018
Another big offensive lineman at 6’3″ and 306 pounds, Boulware will be a graduate transfer with two seasons of eligibility remaining. Rivals rated him a four-star recruit and the 11th best prospect at his position in 2015. He redshirted his first season then started three games and played in seven total for the Volunteers in 2016. He was recruited by Miami head coach Mark Richt coming out of high according to CanesInsight, now he will finally get to play for the successful coach. Richt, a Miami alumnus, is 19-7 in two seasons at the helm in Coral Gables. That includes 10 wins and an appearance in the Orange Bowl last year.
Follow me on Twitter @BestCates and follow @InsideTheACC for more Atlantic Coast Conference coverage.