The growing uncertainty surrounding the transfer portal has forced the hand of the NCAA. For now, a one-year waiver for transfers is in place to help schools replace lost players.

The transfer portal has become a significant addition to college football recruiting so that schools are limited on how many transfers they can add to their team. Some coaches were worried this year about the sheer number of players leaving and how they could manage their scholarships. The reaction to the sheer number of players in the transfer portal from the NCAA is to set a one-year waiver for transfers that will help teams replace the talent lost.

Typically, college teams are permitted to add 25 new scholarship players to a school every year. That number includes all additions – high school prospects, JUCO transfers, and the transfer portal. This is to help limit schools from stockpiling talent. It doesn’t work against schools like Alabama or Ohio State, but it does overall help the system.

This year, with “super seniors” sitting on teams currently, potentially there will be crushing blows to schools losing a tremendous amount of talent. We’ve already seen an alarming number of players jump into the portal before playing their fifth game – thanks to the four-game redshirt rule.

We’ve spoken on here about mass exoduses of talent, like the one that Tennessee saw this offseason. To help combat that, the NCAA has added waivers for transfers.

What the new waiver for transfers will do

This new waiver approved by the NCAA division one council will add seven additional signings that a team can add to their new class of 2022. These seven additions will be limited to the transfer portal, both JUCO and portal talent. These seven additional signings cannot be high school prospects.

The philosophy behind raising the number of additions this year from 25 to 32 is that every school loses talent to the transfer portal. I believe that the average number of transfers per school this season in division one was around seven.

To me, this appears to be a trial run to see how it works and if it’s something that they will continue to allow. At the very least, it should be something that is considered. The transfer portal isn’t going anywhere. Now that it’s a significant part of the college football game, it only makes sense that an adjustment to these numbers has to be made.

The strategy this brings to schools this season in recruiting

There are two ways that schools can attack this new strategy. The way a school uses this new waiver should be noted – it will be the focus of the program’s future.

First, schools can infuse their team with youth. Twenty-five high school kids is a lot of youth to add. I think some schools, perhaps the smaller ones in the group of five, will take advantage of the opportunity to attempt to crush their numbers by recruiting heavily in high school.

Secondly, schools can add a ton of transfers in addition to the seven that they are allowed. Think of schools wanting to contend immediately for a National Title. These programs can target experience and look to add more polished players to their program to compete directly.

Schools will attack this, preparing to return to a 25 player limit in 2023. Coaches will love the versatility this gives them in the upcoming cycle for recruiting. Stay tuned to this story, folks. It’s about to get crazier than ever.

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By John Vogel

NFL Draft Analyst. Dad.

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