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The most successful transfer ever?


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More and more in today's game, teams are full of transfers. That trend will do nothing but continue. More often than not, the success for them isn't extravagant, but at times it has been. What are the top transfers ever? Biggest impact?

In no real order:

Cam Newton: Florida ---> Auburn (via Blinn College) - Heisman winner, National Championship, 1st overall pick

Joe Burrow: Ohio State ---> LSU - Heisman winner, National Championship, 1st overall pick

OJ Simpson: City College of San Francisco ---> USC: National Champ, Heisman Trophy, 1st overall pick

Baker Mayfield: Texas Tech ---> Oklahoma - Heisman winner, #1 overall pick

Kyler Murray: Texas A&M ---> Oklahoma - Heisman winner, Made the college football playoff, 1st overall pick

Scott Frost: Stanford ---> Nebraska - 2x national champ, 3rd round pick

Troy Aikman: Oklahoma ---> UCLA - Pac 10 Player of the Year, Davey O'Brien Award, All-American, 1st overall pick

Roger Staubach: New Mexico Military Institute ---> Navy - Heisman winner, 10th round pick, All-American

Justin Fields: Georgia ---> Ohio State - Two Big Ten Championships, played in a NC, 3rd place Heisman runner-up, probably a Top 5 pick

Randy Moss: Notre Dame ---> Marshall (via Florida State) - tied a Jerry Rice record, freshman record for receiving yards, NCAA I-AA champ, record for DI-A touchdowns in a season, 4th in Heisman, 1st round pick

Russell Wilson: NC State ---> Wisconsin - Big Ten champion, 3rd round pick (maybe would have been a very late pick or undrafted before)

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Aaron Rodgers was a JUCO, as was Steve Smith (WR Utah/Carolina) and Chad Johnson.

Randy Moss was kicked out of school...and landed at Marshall, so I'm not sure if he counts.

Warren Moon was a transfer.

Keyshawn Johnson was a JUCO.

Walter Jones was a JUCO.

Alvin Kamara was another transfer/JUCO guy.

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25 minutes ago, MWil23 said:

Randy Moss was kicked out of school...and landed at Marshall, so I'm not sure if he counts.

He had to sit out a year due to transfer rules from Notre Dame after signing a LOI, so I loopholed it in. 

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3 minutes ago, MikeT14 said:

He had to sit out a year due to transfer rules from Notre Dame after signing a LOI, so I loopholed it in. 

I was actually thinking about Florida State...but yes, Notre Dame too! :) 

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Just now, MikeT14 said:

I think him and Cam are the front runners. 

Yeah I'd agree. I think Cam Newton was always supposed to be "The Man" though. He was just too dumb to go to regular college right off rip. That's why I think Burrow edges him out. Burrow was literally buried on the depth chart at OSU and was not destined for success. Decided to transfer and go from obscure maybe 6th-7th round pick to completing the trifecta (Natty, Heisman, #1 overall).

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Mayfield has the career, but Newton and Burrow were both better, as far as the one year.   It depends on what you're valuing more. They'd both edge out Murray in the one year department. 

Aikman was my first thought, when I saw the thread title, but I think he's more middle tier than top, after looking at the list. 

I wouldn't have Wilson too high.  He was great but didn't have the time, peak or overwhelming team success of the better cases.   

Frost has the team resume', but don't think he has the individual hardware to be at the top.  

Fields is sort of like Baker, if Baker hadn't returned for his senior year and won the Heisman.  As it is, I don't think he has a great case.

I didn't realize Staubach was a transfer, or that the Naval Academy even took transfers.  Learned something new.  Is it a transfer in the sense that we use the term, or is it a prep school they use to bypass their redshirt rules like they do now?  This is an interesting case.  Had he played his full senior year, he might be my answer, and just from a legacy standpoint, his name recognition is 2nd to none.  He is way before my time, so I would imagine his pro career has a lot to do with how much his name still echoes as a collegiate great, as well.

Moss is also unique.  I think I'm knocking him because of competition, but he very well could be the best player to do it, just hard to go greatest or most successful, when he is stacking up against these kind of resumes. 

OJ is another guy that I wasn't aware that he was a transfer, and I think this has to be my choice.  He covers the whole spectrum of career, peak, accolades and team success.  He could really be argued against the main selling point of everybody else's.   He has the legacy.  This is the answer, imo. 

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Saw the thread title and thought "surely it cannot be anyone other than Cam Newton"

But man.. some solid, solid college players on that list

Looking at some of the suggestions, I think my vote goes to Juice with a runner up to Cam and HM to Burrow

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10 minutes ago, Tk3 said:

Saw the thread title and thought "surely it cannot be anyone other than Cam Newton"

But man.. some solid, solid college players on that list

Looking at some of the suggestions, I think my vote goes to Juice with a runner up to Cam and HM to Burrow

Out of sheer curiosity, why Cam over Burrow? Burrow essentially shattered all of Cam's records, also won the Heisman, and also won a National Title. That 2019 LSU team is arguably one of the GOAT teams.

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26 minutes ago, Tk3 said:

Saw the thread title and thought "surely it cannot be anyone other than Cam Newton"

But man.. some solid, solid college players on that list

Looking at some of the suggestions, I think my vote goes to Juice with a runner up to Cam and HM to Burrow

This is how this thread idea started for me. And then I thought well crap, Joe Burrow almost did the exact same thing. From there "well I must be missing some people" 

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16 minutes ago, MWil23 said:

Out of sheer curiosity, why Cam over Burrow? Burrow essentially shattered all of Cam's records, also won the Heisman, and also won a National Title. That 2019 LSU team is arguably one of the GOAT teams.

It's a lot of things. On paper Burrow was clearly superior, and I could probably be convinced pretty easily to agree with you. But for me its this

  • Cam's season was while in was in college and at the absolute heights of my CFB fandom. I didn't care for him at all, but I was watching with much more energy at the time. That obviously is a bias for me and not an objective point, but it mattered when I made a snap decision
  • I slightly hold Burrow's first season with LSU and his low expectations against him, as opposed to Cam who was dominant his entire time with Auburn
  • Joe Burrow was part of a truly insane offense. He obviously should get a ton of credit for that, but it was definitely a system that was designed for him to succeed with players who would help him succeed. Burrow/CEH/Chase/Jefferson/Moss is an absolutely insane unit. Joe Burrow was a big part of that offense. But Cam Newton WAS his offense
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i once again present my favorite cam newton stat: the rest of the auburn offense in 2010 has combined for 0 career nfl carries and 0 career nfl catches and one offensive lineman has one single career nfl start

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