The Big Ten Conference officials voted to postpone the 2020 season on Tuesday with hopes of playing in the spring. Shortly after, the Pac-12 did the same. Now, there will almost certainly be a ton of student-athletes who will be looking to transfer somewhere to play in 2020 if the ACC, Big 12, and SEC take the field this fall.
Ole Miss recently hired former Michigan staffers Devin Bush, Sr. and Chris Partridge as well as former Maryland head coach DJ Durkin. All three are accomplished recruiters who have ties all over Big Ten rosters.
So, with that said, let’s take a look at some current Big Ten rosters and pick out some potential impact transfers who could help the Rebels in 2020:
George Karlaftis — Strongside defensive end, Purdue
The hometown kid is probably not going to leave West Lafayette, but if he did, Durkin and Partridge’s defense would have an immediate bonafide threat coming off the edge. The First-Team Associated Press Freshman All-American was third on the team with 54 total tackles a year ago, adding 17.0 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, good for a share of the team lead.
“This guy is going to be a star.”#Purdue freshman defensive end George Karlaftis through four games:— Andrew Pogar (@AndrewPogar) September 29, 2019
▪️19 total tackles
▪️5 tackles for loss (leads team)
▪️3 sacks (leads team)
▪️1 interception pic.twitter.com/n33MGhxTV7
The former four-star U.S. Army All-American was recruited by Partridge when he was on staff at Michigan, so it could make sense for him to reach out to Karlaftis, but like I said above, it’s highly unlikely that he would leave Purdue with three years of eligibility left.
Cameron McGrone — Outside linebacker, Michigan
Speaking of the Wolverines, McGrone was recruited and signed by Partridge and Bush. The Indianapolis, Ind. native was All-Big Ten a year ago, notching 66 tackles, 9.5 for loss, five quarterback hurries, four sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass breakup. The 6-foot-1, 236-pounder is versatile enough to play both middle and outside backer and would be quite the compliment to Lakia Henry and Jacquez Jones at the second level.
Michigan rSoph LB Cameron McGrone (44) is a stud in the making! Good burst, patient with his keys and shows sideline to sideline ability. This is one hell of a play down on the goal line. pic.twitter.com/3o4o0B0ynM— Kyle Crabbs (@GrindingTheTape) July 2, 2020
He has sideline-to-sideline speed and would fit right in in the SEC with his hard-nosed, physical playing style. Partridge would be well-served to try to bring a familiar name to Oxford.
Zach Harrison — Strongside defensive end, Ohio State
One that got away from Michigan, Harrison made 24 tackles, five tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks in 2019 and was poised for a breakout sophomore campaign in 2020. Now, he could be searching for a new home. The former five-star player from the Buckeye State played the second most snaps among all defensive ends on Ryan Day’s roster and would almost certainly replicate that at Ole Miss.
Zach Harrison getting that work done. Gonna enjoy watching him for the next few years. pic.twitter.com/L0uYPdnsqc— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) September 14, 2019
The uncertainty around Sam Williams’ availability and the inconsistencies and injuries of the current defensive ends on the roster makes for a nice, comfy, wide-open spot for Mr. Harrison.
Dax Hill — Free safety, Michigan
The Tulsa, Okla. native is another five-star from the 2019 class who would make a humongous impact on the Landshark defense. Another one of Partridge’s prized signees, Hill had a banner freshman year in Ann Arbor, finishing with 36 total tackles, four pass break-ups, three tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, and one interception.
Despite big-time improvements a year ago, the Rebels still had holes in the secondary and faded down the stretch. The 6-foot-0, 192-pound safety would put a stop to that and then some.
Antjuan Simmons, Jr. — Outside linebacker, Michigan State
Simmons spurned the hometown maize and blue for Spartan green and white back in 2017, turning down overtures from just about everyone, including Ole Miss. The 6-foot-0, 216-pounder has made 156 tackles in three years in East Lansing, more than any other current Michigan State player. That has to be music to Ole Miss fans’ ears, right?
Antjuan Simmons is gonna go crazy this fall Expect him to make a run for 1st team All Big-Ten pic.twitter.com/8WOJkYP9FX— Spartan Dawgs Sports Blogs ⚔️ (@MSUOverAllOfYou) July 18, 2020
The preseason All-Big Ten selection could be looking for a new home to take advantage of his draft year before leaving college for the 2021 NFL Draft. Oxford could be a nice landing spot.
Justin Fields — Quarterback, Ohio State
Last, but certainly not least, Day’s signal caller was about to embark on a revenge tour of sorts after falling in the College Football Playoff a year ago. The Heisman Trophy hopeful led the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record in 2019, throwing for 3,273 yards and 41(!) touchdowns. He also ran for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns as well. The Kennesaw, Ga. native originally signed with the Georgia Bulldogs but ultimately transferred after Jake Fromm won the starting job in Athens.
Fields is essentially custom built for Lane Kiffin and Jeff Lebby’s high-octane, fast-paced offense and the former five-star looks pretty good in powder blue, wouldn’t you say?