The wildest transfer offseason in the history of college football has mercifully come to a close, and the Big 12 has been transformed as a result. Five Big 12 programs rank among the top 26 in the 247Sports Transfer Rankings, including flagship programs Oklahoma and Texas at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively.
Perhaps more than any other league in the nation, transfers will dominate Big 12 quarterback battles. Four new transfers are considered favorites to win starting jobs in the fall. Former transfers at Texas Tech, Kansas and TCU are still involved in quarterback battles.
All that to say, which transfers hit could play a major role in winning the Big 12 championship. Here are five transfer players who will have the biggest impacts on the 2022 Big 12 season, along with a key transfer from every Big 12 squad.
Texas QB Quinn Ewers
The case for Ewers is simple. When Ewers flipped from Texas to Ohio State as the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation, it doomed the Tom Herman era. Now, Steve Sarkisian will get a second life as Ewers returns to his home state for the 2022 season. While the quarterback battle remains open, Ewers is a heavy favorite to eventually take over the job and try to capitalize on top-five rankings in both high school and transfer signing classes.
Baylor DL Jaxon Player
The Bears already returned virtually every contributor in the trenches on both sides of the ball, but the Tulsa transfer Player ranked among the most disruptive defensive linemen on the market. Player accumulated 31 tackles for loss and eight sacks in four seasons with the Golden Hurricane, including 15 tackles for loss as a senior while playing primarily on the interior. Whether he lines up inside or outside, Player will pair with Siaki Ika to form a dominant defensive line duo in the Big 12. With key players gone at safety and linebacker, Player gives Baylor a new way to produce dominant defensive results.
Kansas State QB Adrian Martinez
Martinez ranks as one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football over the past four years at Nebraska, but also ranks as one of the most unpredictable. He had strong games in near upsets of Michigan and Michigan State, but threw a combined six interceptions to cost the Cornhuskers games against Purdue and Wisconsin. Luckily, K-State coach Chris Klieman has made a career of creating favorable situations for quarterbacks, and Deuce Vaughn is the best player Martinez has ever played with. If Kansas State can reel in Martinez's worst habits, don't be surprised to see the Wildcats become a dark horse Big 12 contender.
Oklahoma LB T.D. Roof
Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel could easily make this list, but offense hasn't been the primary issue in Norman. Oklahoma, over the past half a decade. Roof has been a journeyman over his collegiate career with stops at Georgia Tech and Indiana. However, Roof finally found his rhythm at Appalachian State, accumulating 67 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions. The Sooners lost five defensive players to the NFL Draft, but Roof should slide in and provide immediate disruption in a reloading unit. It doesn't hurt that Roof should know the system well – his father is defensive coordinator Ted Roof.
West Virginia QB JT Daniels
The Mountaineers have been looking for a quarterback since the instant Neal Brown joined the program, and Daniels ranked as one of the more proven options on the market. Daniels has thrown for nearly 5,000 yards in his career on 610 pass attempts at USC and Georgia combined, but teaming up with former offensive coordinator Graham Harrell at WVU gives him a chance to recapture his old form. The Mountaineers need to make major strides at receiver and on the offensive line, but Daniels raises the floor dramatically relative to the struggles of previous years.
Top transfers for remaining Big 12 teams
Iowa State -- LB Colby Reeder: The Cyclones lost numerous key defenders to graduation, but perhaps none bigger than star middle linebacker Mike Rose. Luckily, Iowa State might have his replacement in the productive Delaware transfer who posted 56 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions in just eight games.
Kansas -- RB Ky Thomas: The Minnesota transfer took over for Mo Ibrahim after the latter's season-ending injury and rushed for 824 yards and six touchdowns, including five 100-yard games. Thomas should fit perfectly next to Devin Neal to form one of the most intriguing backfields in the conference.
Oklahoma State -- OL Casey Collier: The Cowboys took a small transfer class after reaching the Big 12 championship game in 2021, but nabbed a strong piece in ex-USC lineman Collier to add some much-needed depth on the offensive line.
TCU -- OL Alan Ali: Ali followed Sonny Dykes across the Metroplex and immediately stakes his claim as the Frogs' most proven offensive lineman. The sixth-year senior from Fort Worth, Texas, has started 39 games on the interior offensive line in his career, and should allow returner Steve Avila to shift out to guard full time.
Texas Tech -- TE Baylor Cupp: The Brock, Texas, product was once the No. 1 tight end recruit in the nation at Texas A&M, but struggled to deal with injuries and fell behind Jalen Wydermyer in the rotation. However, if he can stay healthy, Cupp gives offensive coordinator Zach Kittley a scary, versatile weapon to help build the intermediate passing game around.