Whether it’s freshmen or grizzled transfers, nothing excites fans on the cusp of summer camp like shiny new toys on their program’s roster. As teams pursue the Myth of the New Russell Wilson – that one player who will transfer in and provide exactly what your favorite school needs to compete for a conference title – here are a few familiar faces in new places that could have an impact on the 2013 season.
Charles Sims, from Houston to West Virginia – Sims was extremely productive for the Cougars, going over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and notching double-digit touchdowns in all three of his seasons. Because Sims graduated this spring, he’ll be eligible to immediately step into Dana Holgorsen’s offense (where elite backs have historically done damage). There are a ton of touches available with Tavon Austin and Steadman Bailey in the NFL, and I’m sure Sims will be the recipient of as many as he can handle. He may be joined in the backfield by another transfer, former Florida State quarterback Clint Trickett.
Aaron Lynch, from Notre Dame to South Florida – The five-star Florida native was a productive freshman in South Bend, accruing 5.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss coming off the edge. After sitting out a year in Tampa, Lynch finds his name on a lot of mock drafts as a potential high first-round pick, and he will almost surely be the star of Willie Taggart’s defense. Lynch will be able to tag team with senior Ryne Giddins (14.5 career sacks) for a pretty potent combination on the defensive line.
Jake Heap, from BYU to Kansas – For the second year in a row, Charlie Weis will be turning to a highly rated transfer at quarterback, this time going with Heaps, who was the top pro-style prospect coming out of high school. Last year’s experiment with Dayne Crist (who Weis had originally recruited to Notre Dame) didn’t work out, but if Heaps shows why he was once considered a blue-chip recruit, the Jayhawks could have a strong backfield. Joining Heaps will be tailback James Sims, who rushed for over a thousand yards in last year’s otherwise woeful campaign.
Amir Carlisle, from USC to Notre Dame – Carlisle received a hardship waiver and was eligible to play during the 2012 season, but an ankle injury kept him out the entire year. The tailback was impressing in spring practices, but a broken collarbone kept him out of the Blue-Gold Game. If healthy, Carlisle – who was a top 100 recruit that found playing time on a great Trojan offense in 2011 - provides a great option to replace Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood in the backfield or Robby Toma in the slot.
Jeff Luc, from Florida State to Cincinnati – Unhappy with his playing time and depth chart positioning on the Seminoles, Luc took his talents to the Queen City. Ranked as the top inside linebacker in the nation coming out of high school, Luc and returning starter Greg Blair (138 tackles and two picks in 2012) should serve as an imposing core to the Bearcats defense. Circle December 5 on your calendar, when Luc and Blair will be going against Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville in a game that could easily be for the American’s championship and BCS bid.
Tom Savage, from Rutgers to Arizona to Pittsburgh – It’s been a long journey for Savage, who was under center for one very good and one very bad season at Rutgers. He decided to transfer to the desert, arriving at the same time as Rich Rodriguez. Realizing his big arm/slow feet combination might not work out in the spread and shred offense, Savage decided to come back east, eventually landing with the Panthers. He could fit very nicely into Paul Chryst’s power rushing attack, alternating between hand-offs and deep play-action throws to Devin Street. Savage will probably be the starter for Pitt's Labor Day night opener against Florida State.
Who did we miss? What transfers are you excited about for the coming season?