College football coaches eager to catch breath as transfer portal’s May 1 deadline pauses roster churn

Eli Drinkwitz can’t wait for next Sunday. He’s not alone.

“Hell, yeah,” Missouri’s coach told CBS Sports. “We’re all waiting for that day.”

May 1 marks the day the transfer portal shuts down for this academic year. It closes for three months before reopening Aug. 1, the start of the 2022-23 academic year. Players in the portal by May 1 can still transfer after that date, but the deadline provides a shred of roster certainty amid what has amounted to free agency in college football.

With only one week to go, there is heightened anticipation of a final, dramatic bum rush to transfer freedom before the portal’s doors close.

By May 1, spring practices will largely be over. Position battle losers will have decisions to make. A bottleneck could form. Coaches everywhere are looking forward to exhaling if they can make it through the next week.

“Because then, [once it’s closed], your team is your team,” Drinkwitz said. “You can get kids out of the portal by then, but you can’t lose anybody else. We all thought [the big push] was going to be this week, and we haven’t seen it yet.

“All of us were like, ‘It’s going to be a mass exodus to the portal.'”

Judge for yourself. More than 10% of the FBS transfer portal entries in April (26 of 252) came last Thursday, according to Susan Peal, who manages the National Letter of Intent for the NCAA.

“Whether we see a spike after this week knowing we’re going into the last week [is unknown],” Peal told CBS Sports.

It’s just another example of the collegiate model being reconfigured before eyes. So, why not one final drama-filled production before we take a three-month hiatus?

As of Friday morning, exactly 6,610 players had entered the transfer portal in the last academic year (across all three…


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