As the 2021 college football season nears, transfers have become a hot topic. In a new program, proven playmakers with substantial experience on the gridiron have the chance to not only bolster their new teams but up their draft stock. There is even the possibility of one player who made a splash via the transfer portal ending up as the Newcomer of the Year at the season’s conclusion.
Oklahoma has several transfer additions that can make an immediate impact in Norman. The Sooners filled several positional needs with elite players from other four-year colleges. 247Sports’ Kevin Flaherty ranked the top transfers in the Big 12 entering 2021 and two OU players cracked the compilation: running back Eric Gray and offensive lineman Wanya Morris.
Here is a breakdown of both players.
Wanya Morris, OT (3)
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A former five-star prospect, Morris was a Freshman All-American who had 17 starts at left tackle, including 12 as a true freshman. That gives him a strong chance to plug-and-play at the left tackle spot for the Sooners as well, protecting Heisman Trophy candidate Spencer Rattler and allowing Erik Swenson and Anton Harrison to compete at the other tackle spot. – Flaherty
The Sooners lost Creed Humphrey and Adrian Ealy via the NFL Draft, and players will have to step up in Bill Bedenbaugh’s line to solidify their leadership roles. Wanya Morris was an anchor in the run game for the Vols and will now protect Rattler’s blindside. He became one of the nation’s top true freshman offensive linemen in 2019, and his production continued in 2020.
With the Sooners’ staple guard/tackle counter, the offensive line sets the tone with athleticism at the line of scrimmage. The battle is won in the trenches, and Morris is poised for a stellar campaign donning Crimson and Cream.
Eric Gray, RB (2)
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Eric Gray played in nine games last year, led Tennessee in touchdowns scored, and ranked sixth in the SEC in both rushing yards and scrimmage yards per game. Over a 12-game season, Gray’s average rushing yardage production would have pushed over the 1,000-yard mark, and Brooks has topped 1,000 yards in each of his two college seasons. – Flaherty
Gray will join Oklahoma’s backfield and help create a dominant 1-2 punch with Kennedy Brooks. Brooks may be the prototypical workhorse and power runner through tackles, but Gray is the best pass-catcher of the room in Norman.
He will help elevate OU’s screen game out of the flat and can line up in the slot to create mismatches. Coaches and players have been impressed with Gray since he arrived, and his performance in the team’s spring game served as evidence. His short-area quickness was on full display, and he will be a player to keep an eye on come fall.