The upcoming college football offseason will be one of the most hectic in history, as the NCAA’s one-time immediate transfer rule is expected to be implemented going into the 2021 season. With this, players will be able to transfer from school to school without restriction, forcing programs to not only keep track of other players entering the transfer portal, but their own, as well.
It’s a predicament that UK associate head coach Vince Marrow compares to the NFL and the attention to detail franchises have to have with other players in the league, along with scouting draft-eligible standouts at the college level.
For Kentucky, the program will now have to recruit their own players and other college players in the transfer portal, along with high school prospects in future classes.
“People don’t want to address it, but to me, it’s like a mini version of the NFL,” Marrow said Tuesday afternoon. “You used to just have to worry about high school. In the pros, they’ve got a college director and a pro personnel director. The pro personnel director just looks at other guys on other teams they may want to sign when their contracts are up, and a college director deals with the college things. That’s kind of like us now.”
Though the change will be a difficult one, it’s a challenge Marrow – widely considered one of the best recruiters in all of college football – is happy to take on.
“We’ve got high school where we deal with the high school stuff, but now we’ve got to, let’s be honest, you have to look at other rosters to plug guys off,” Marrow said. “If he goes to the transfer portal, you get a guy who played a year or two years, that’s like getting a junior college guy who don’t have to sit out.
“It’s a new world and we’re gonna have to adjust to it. It’s definitely, definitely going to take recruiting to another level.”
The program has already taken the first step in preparing for the transfer rule, leaving several roster spots open during the early signing period. Signing just 18 players at the time, Kentucky is expecting to add several new transfers in the coming weeks.
“We signed 18 new players,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said on signing day. “We also want to keep a few spots open for transfers, as well. … We’ll see (who they are), some needs. We’re going to concentrate on some needs. I purposely left some spots open for some transfers. With the (immediate transfer) rules passing and the flexibility with the transfers, you have to leave open a few spots there.”