What state produces the best college football transfers?
8-minute read on transfers by state
Understanding the college football transfer portal through statistics is essential for all parties involved, whether it’s analyzing the rate of entry or the significance of positions. The geographic background of transfers plays a critical role for both coaches and players. By utilizing AthLinkd’s database of 20,000 transfers, this article examines 2022 portal data to observe which home states have the most transfers (total and per capita) and talent (total and per capita).
PA | NJ | MD | NY | MA | CT | DC | DE | NH | RI | ME | VT
~1200 entries (15%)
Pennsylvania leads the pack in this region with over 300 annually. Following closely behind are New Jersey and Maryland, both at 250 transfers, which places them at #7, #10, and #12 respectively on the national rankings. New York sees a modest 200 transfers, putting them at #16, while the remaining states in the region have numbers under 100, with some even under 20, placing them in the bottom half nationally. However, Washington DC and MD stand out with high transfer rates per capita, both placing in the top 5. NJ, DE, and PA also rank high, placing inside the top 20, but the remaining states hover around average, with five of them sitting in the bottom 10.
In terms of overall talent, this region produced 15 five and four-star players, along with 417 three and two-star players. MD had the most overall talent, with PA leading the way closely behind, placing them #9 and #11, respectively on the national rankings. Only NJ managed to join them in the top 20, with the remaining states finishing in the bottom 10. Talent per capita was particularly impressive in DC and MD, placing them at #2 and #8 respectively. Only PA and NJ managed to finish inside the top 25, while the rest of the states fell towards the bottom of the national rankings.
NC | VA | SC | TN | KY | WV | Transfers by State
~1200 entries (15%)
North Carolina leads this region with roughly 350 annual transfers, placing them at a #5 nationally. Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee follow closely, with transfer numbers hovering between 250-200, ranking them at #9, #11, and #15, respectively. Kentucky sits in the middle of the pack with around 80 transfers, whereas West Virginia saw just north of 25 transfers, finishing #38 in the national rankings. The region also has a strong per capita entry, with NC, TN, VA, and SC all finishing within the top 16 nationally, with KY and WV making the top 30.
In terms of overall talent, this region boasts 16 five and four-star players, along with another 522 three and two-star players. NC, VA, and TN had the most overall talent, ranking #10, #12, and #14, respectively on the national level. SC and KY were at an average level, while WV ranked at #39. Talent per capita was uniformly above average, with all states ranking between 15-28 nationally.
FL | GA | AL | LA | MS | Transfers by State
~2000 entries (25%)
Florida led the way in this region with nearly 800 entries, placing them #2 position nationally. Georgia followed closely behind with roughly 600 entries, placing them at #3. Alabama and Louisiana saw between 275 and 225 entries, placing them at #8 and #14, respectively. Mississippi also finished in the top 20 with 150 entries. The per capita entry rate in this region is unmatched, with Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana finishing #1, #2, #3, and #4 nationally. Florida finished at #8.
This region produced an incredible 77 five and four-star transfers, along with an additional 1077 three and two-star recruits. FL, GA, AL, and LA finished #2, #3, #5, and #6 in overall transfer talent, with MS finishing at #17. Talent per capita was also elite, with all five states finishing in the top 10 nationally. AL ranked at #3, followed by GA at #4, LA at #5, MS at #7, and FL at #10.
OH | IL | MI | IN | WI | MN | Transfers by State
~1000 transfers (13%)
Ohio leads the way in this region with roughly 350 transfers, placing them at #6 nationally. Illinois and Michigan both saw between 250-200 transfers, placing them at #13 and #17, respectively. The remaining states of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all saw roughly 50-100 transfers, placing them around the middle of the pack. OH stands out with a top 15 transfers per capita, while the remaining five states sit between spots 22-36.
This region is home to six five and four-star transfers and 411 three and two-star recruits. OH stands out with a #7 ranking in total transfer talent, while MI and IL sit around the #20 mark. The remaining states hover between 28-34. Regarding talent per capita, OH takes the highest position at #17, while the rest fall somewhere between 25-36.
MO | AR | OK | IA | KS | NE | SD | ND | Transfers by State
~400 entries (5%)
The states of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma lead the way in this region with transfer counts over 100, placing them in the top half of states. MO boasts over 125 transfers while AR and OK hover around 100. Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska see between 25-50 transfers, which is slightly below average, while South Dakota and North Dakota have under 10 each, placing them in the bottom five. AR, OK, and MO all rank in the top 20 nationally for transfers per capita, with the remaining states finishing in the bottom half.
Despite its population, this region is home to 11 five and four-star transfers and 222 three and two-star transfers, which is a solid number. No state stands out in total transfer talent, with MO, OK, and AR ranking between 15-25 while the remaining states fall between 35-50. In terms of talent per capita, OK, AR, and MO finish in the top 15-20 nationally, while the other states place in the bottom half.
TX | AZ | NM | Transfers by State
~1000 entries (13%)
Texas is the clear standout with over 900 transfer entries, placing it first nationally. Arizona had a modest 100, placing it at #21, while New Mexico had under 25 entries, placing it in the bottom 10. In terms of per capita entry, TX ranked #12, AZ ranked #29, and NM ranked #44.
Regarding talent, this region produced 51 total five and four stars, along with 530 three and two stars. TX led the nation with the most total talent, while AZ finished at #8. NM was in the bottom 15. When it comes to talent per capita, TX finished at #9, AZ at #11, and NM at #32.
CO | UT | ID | WY | MT | Transfers by State
~200 transfers (3%)
Colorado leads with 100 transfers, ranking #20 nationally. Utah follows with over 50 transfers, making it #31, while Idaho had just under 25, placing it #42. Meanwhile, Wyoming and Montana saw under five transfers each, making them the bottom two nationally. UT and CO finished in the middle of the pack in per capita entry, with ID slightly below average, and WY and MT at the very bottom.
This region housed 3 five and four stars and 87 three and two stars. UT had an impressive output of total talent, ranking #13 nationally. CO finished at #33, while ID, MT, and WY were all in the bottom ten. UT performed incredibly well in the talent per capita ranking, ranking #6, while the remaining states all fell in the bottom 15.
CA | WA | NV | OR | Transfers by State
~700 transfers (10%)
California stood out with over 500 transfer entries, ranking #4 nationally. Meanwhile, Washington, Nevade, and Oregon had modest transfer counts of 50-75, placing them slightly below average. Entry per capita was particularly low in this region, with all states placing between spots 28-41.
This region housed 22 five and four stars and 347 three and two stars. In terms of total transfer talent, CA was the standout state, ranking #4 nationally. Meanwhile, NV, OR, and WA coincidentally ranked spots 29-31. Per capita talent was unremarkable in this region, with NV, OR, and WA hovering around spot 25 and only WA falling to #38.
HI | AK | International | Transfers by State
~100 transfers (1%)
Over 50 transfers hailed from international countries, which would rank #30 as a state. HI had just 50, making them #34, and AK had under 10, placing them #6. HI had a high transfer per capita, finishing #11 whereas AK finished in the bottom five.
5 five and four stars with 64 three and stars come from this group. HI scored high in total talent at #15 whereas international players would’ve been #22. AK finished bottom three. Incredibly, HI had the highest talent per capita in the entire country. AK was bottom five.
The college football transfer portal is a vast system that attracts athletes from near and far, as well as coaches attempting to recruit them. Geography plays a critical role in the transfer process, making it essential for athletes, administrators, and fans to be knowledgeable about the relevant statistics. However, for coaches, navigating the geography of the portal can be particularly challenging, but there are solutions available. Overall, geography is just one of the many factors to consider in the complex landscape of the college football transfer portal.
Per 2022 AthLinkd Transfer Portal Data
|wdt_ID||STATE||TOTAL ENTRY||ENTRY PER CAPITA||TOTAL TALENT||TALENT PER CAPITA|