Name the best transfer portal addition from each Big Ten team
The door to the NCAA transfer portal is, for now, closed. Student-athletes who wanted to play next season had until May 1 to register.
And while many players are still deciding where to go, the bulk of transfers have taken place. At this point, you feel safe declaring the biggest additions and subtractions for each Big Ten team.
Since we believe in starting on the right foot, today we will discuss the positives.
These are the best additions for every Big Ten team in 2022.
Illinois: QB Tommy DeVito (from Syracuse)
The Fighting Illini desperately needed to inject a spark into their passing game after finishing bottom of the B1G in passing yardage the past 2 seasons. DeVito can bring it.
DeVito never quite found his footing in an injury-riddled career at Syracuse. But he looked sharp in Illinois’ spring game. If he can stay healthy, he looks capable of doing what is asked of him in Bret Bielema’s heavy attack.
Indiana: QB Connor Bazelak (Missouri)
It may seem like it now, but it won’t be a 14-quarterback roster. Illinois and Indiana happen to be 2 of 3 Big Ten teams that will field new starters next season.
Due to extraordinary injury issues, the Hoosiers adapted 4 quarterbacks last season. Bazelak will hopefully provide the necessary stability. Last year, he finished 5th in the SEC in passing with an average of 231.6 yards per game, although his ratio of 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions could be improved.
Iowa: TE Steven Stilianos (Lafayette)
So the Hawkeyes, who could greatly use an upgrade at quarterback, instead added depth behind their best offensive player.
But it’s by no means a bad move, as Stilianos can still improve Iowa’s offense. They can be more creative with Sam LaPorta. Stilianos finished 3rd in receptions for FCS Lafayette last season despite only playing 4 games.
And he’s apparently one hell of a blocker. The Leopards averaged 128.8 rushing yards per game when he played and just 81.6 yards per game while he was away.
Maryland: WR Jacob Copeland (Florida)
Copeland will add to one of Maryland’s forces, joining Dontay Demus Jr. and Rakim Jarrett in the receiving corps.
Copeland had 41 catches for 642 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2021 before being traded after Dan Mullen was fired.
Taulia Tagovailoa will definitely have the firepower to be one of 3 All-Big Ten quarterbacks this season, and Copeland is one of them.
Michigan: C Victor Oluwatimi (Virginia)
Oluwatimi isn’t the sexiest player on this list, but in all likelihood he’s the best.
He was a 2nd team All-American at Virginia, and Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 2 running blocking center in the nation behind Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum. And you know Jim Harbaugh loves a great run blocker.
With Andrew Vastardis graduating, Oluwatimi will make an immediate impact in his only corn and blues season.
Michigan State: RB Jarek Broussard (Colorado)
The Spartans have added a pair of top running backs to this year’s transfer class, but I give Broussard a slight edge over former Wisconsin fullback Jalen Berger due to a superior record.
Broussard played for Mel Tucker in Colorado and will now finish his college career with Tucker at Michigan State. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 3 seasons as a Buffalo, including 6 games of 100 yards or more.
The replacement figures for Kenneth Walker III will be done via committee, but Broussard could be the centerpiece.
Minnesota: CB Beanie Bishop (Western Kentucky)
The speedy Bishop was 1st team All-Conference USA as a defensive back and an honorable mention as a kick returner.
In 2021, he finished with 43 tackles, including 6.5 TFL, along with 4 pass breakups, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and a touchdown.
Nebraska: DE Ochaun Mathis (TCU)
The obvious answer here — and maybe even the correct answer — is quarterback Casey Thompson. But I think Mathis has a higher ceiling because he can potentially bring the same impact to the Cornhuskers defense that we saw Aidan Hutchinson deliver to Michigan last year.
Mathis was 2nd in the Big 12 with 9 sacks in 2020. The Huskers were 12th in the Big Ten with 20 sacks last season. To me, that’s a bigger weakness than Nebraska’s passing game. Mathis could provide a solution.
North West: LB Wendell Davis Jr. (Pitt)
Davis will face off to fill the void left by Chris Bergin, who finished 2nd in the Big Ten with 141 tackles last season.
Davis appears to have made the most of his opportunities when he entered the court for Pitt, finishing with 27 tackles including 3 TFLs in 8 games last season.
It should be noted that this is not a homecoming for Davis. He is the son of former Chargers fullback Wendell Davis, not former Bears receiver Wendell Davis.
Ohio State: S Tanner McCalister (Oklahoma State)
McCalister switched OSUs with defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.
He started for the Cowboys the past 2 seasons, racking up 78 tackles, 3 TFLs, 10 pass breakups and one interception. Given his knowledge of Knowles’ plan, he will also be able to serve as Ohio State’s defensive field quarterback.
Penn State: WR Mitchell Tinsley (Western Kentucky)
Even without Jahan Dotson, Penn State’s passing game should be pretty powerful in 2022. Tinsley was a star player on Western Kentucky’s offense, catching 87 balls for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Between Tinsley, Parker Washington, Keandre Lambert-Smith and tight end Brenton Strange, quarterback Sean Clifford will have a full range of receiving weapons to work with.
Purdue: WR Tyrone Tracy (Iowa)
Going from attacking Brian Ferentz to attacking Jeff and Brian Brohm will be a shock to the senses for Tracy – not to mention a huge boon to her stats.
The Indianapolis native can be used out of the backfield, split wide, or a fusion of the two on jet sweeps. He had 36 receptions for 589 yards and 2 touchdowns as a rookie in 2019 before dropping to Iowa’s depth chart the past 2 seasons.
Tracy should be able to replicate or better those freshman totals this season.
Rutgers: WR Taj Harris (Syracuse)
The arrival of Harris is a real boost after the departure of Bo Melton in the NFL. He had 151 receptions for 2,028 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career with the Orange.
If Noah Vedral can give him the ball, the Scarlet Knights will be onto something.
Wisconsin: CB Jay Shaw (UCLA)
The Badgers tried to convince quarterback Caleb Williams, but were unsuccessful. Still, Shaw is as good a catch as anything you’d find fishing in the Northwoods.
In parts of 4 seasons at UCLA, Shaw had 87 tackles, 10 pass breakups, 5 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and a touchdown.
While the Badgers lost both starting corners a year ago, Shaw and Toledo’s transfer Justin Clark will both bring a veteran presence and likely both gain starting roles.