UCF Football has had a great off-season in the transfer portal, and the good news continues to roll in. Western Kentucky offensive tackle Wes Dorsey and East Carolina cornerback Antione Jackson both committed to the Knights, boosting two areas that the team desperately needs help in.
Antione Jackson Has P5 Size and Speed
One of the new trends in the transfer portal is to pick up stars from G5 schools. Jackson and Johnson are a perfect example of this. UCF Football certainly has been utilizing this strategy, getting six of their twelve transfers from G5/FCS schools.
Antione Jackson is a 247.com 3-star cornerback from East Carolina who, in limited playing time last year, totaled 19 tackles, three pass breakups, and an interception. What makes Jackson so attractive is his speed and size. At 6’1″ 175 pounds, Jackson has the build and size to match up with Big 12-level receivers.
Wes Johnson Looking For the Right System
Similar to Antione Jackson, Wes Dorsey is a G5 transfer who shows a lot of potential and size. Graded at a 3-star, Wes Dorsey may be the kind of player who ends up playing much better than his recruiting grades show.
When he graduated high school, Dorsey was a 6’6″ and weighed 245 pounds. Today, he is 6’7″ and weighs 315 pounds. In other words, he is much larger than he was out of high school and certainly has the size to be an impact starter blocking for KJ Jefferson.
Dorsey has struggled at times, particularly in pass blocking, but his size and potential were too good for Gus Malzhan to pass up.
UCF Football’s Unique Approach
As mentioned above, UCF Football is going heavy in the portal on players that are coming from smaller schools. There could be a few reasons for this, but one possible reason is NIL. Players coming from G5 schools often may be just loooking for a better opportunity and more exposure. For some, they may be willing to take NIL at a much lower cost than other players who are already at a P5.
Another reason UCF Football may be taking this approach is to try to find the diamond in the rough. UCF and other Big 12 schools may struggle to pull in big P5 names, as those players often end up at schools like Michigan, Alabama, and Georgia. Since they can’t get those players, the hope is that there are a few G5 players that may be just as good, just under-the-radar players that either developed late and played for small schools in high school and were never recruited heavily.
Watch For Hundreds of Players to Commit This Week
More transfer portal players are finding their future homes this week as rosters are becoming finalized and players have a clearer view of where they may have the best opportunity to excel.
To this point, only 797 or the 2,059 players who have entered the portal have found a home. That means 61% of the players who have entered are still looking for a home. There is a tough balance for players between signing with a team too early and waiting too long to decide.
Players who jump in too early often end up with other transfers in the same position. Waiting too long can result in many teams finding their needs and no longer needing transfers. When this happens, some players never find a new home. Last year, 38% of the transfers never found a new team to play for.