The transfer portal continues to impact college football like few other changes ever have.

Previously, transfer moves were mainly used to plug holes in a roster or adding players who would sit a year before contributing. Now, coaches and programs are using the portal for the mass overhaul of rosters while mining for difference makers.

Entering the 2024 season, every team in the Big Ten has at least one new face from a transfer move. A large group of those players were added for depth but many are expected to be immediate impact performers at their new programs.

As we head into the summer, here are players who currently look like the most important piece from the portal for their new team this fall.

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Illinois — OL JC Davis (New Mexico)

Illinois did not reach a bowl game last season, but the Illini are facing the task of replacing some key pieces headed to the NFL. That includes a need to replace offensive linemen Julian Pearl and Isaiah Adams. JC Davis joins the program as a highly rated offensive tackle and is a plug-and-play piece in the trenches. He should be the anchor for Bret Bielema’s o-line this fall.

Indiana — QB Kurtis Rourke (Ohio)

Curt Cignetti has his work cut out for him to rebuild the Indiana program, and he grabbed Kurtis Rourke to be his QB to start the process. The Hoosiers averaged just 212.8 passing yards per game last season with Brendan Sorsby and Tayven Jackson combining for 10 interceptions. Rourke enters the picture as a veteran contributor from the MAC with 36 TDs to 9 interceptions over his past 2 seasons.

Iowa — OL Cade Borud (North Dakota)

Iowa has just a few transfer pieces this offseason, and none possess the kind of stature that Cade McNamara and Erick All had last offseason. Cade Borud is likely the best incoming player, though he might not have a key role immediately. Borud is probably the future starting center for the Hawkeyes, and there’s a chance he plays a rotational role in 2024.

Maryland — CB Jalen Huskey (Bowling Green)

Maryland’s secondary has been a strength in recent seasons, but the Terrapins are dealing with some key departures to the next level. To help fill the void, Mike Locksley’s staff landed a 1st-team All-MAC contributor in Jalen Huskey. The former Falcon had 52 tackles, 4 interceptions and 6 pass breakups in 2023 and should be a key defender this fall.

RELATED: Can Maryland make it to a 4th straight bowl game for the first time since the 1980s? Track the latest odds for the 2024 season with Tradition’s Maryland sports betting apps.

Michigan — LB Jaishawn Barham (Maryland)

Michigan has produced a dominant defense in its 3-year run of B1G dominance, but the Wolverines lost both key linebackers to the NFL Draft this offseason in Junior Colson and Mike Barrett. Jaishawn Barham enters the program after a strong start to his career at Maryland. He’ll have a chance to be a leader as Michigan turns the page into a whole new era this year.

Michigan State — QB Aidan Chiles (Oregon State)

With an entirely new coaching staff and roster under Jonathan Smith, a number of new faces could fill this spot for the Spartans. I actually think offensive lineman Tanner Miller is a crucial piece considering MSU’s struggle up front recently, but Aidan Chiles has superstar potential under center. His performance will also dictate whether or not the Spartans have a serious shot at a bowl game.

Minnesota — QB Max Brosmer (New Hampshire)

Minnesota is coming off its worst season under PJ Fleck since his debut season in 2017, and starting QB Athan Kaliakmanis left the program for a new destination. Max Brosmer brings plenty of experience from the FCS ranks to the Gophers, and he has a shot to deliver a strong season this fall. Fleck’s program will always want to play off the running game, but Brosmer has a chance to deliver some key throws off play-action as the team looks for a rebound.

RELATED: Peterson: My post-spring Big Ten quarterback rankings entering 2024

Nebraska — WR Jahmal Banks (Wake Forest)

Nebraska answered its QB dilemma via high school recruiting, but the wide receiver room was also in need of some upgrades. Jahmal Banks looks like the best of the group as a serious big-play threat at 6-foot-4 and 208 pounds. His past 2 seasons, Banks has 101 catches for 1,289 yards and 13 touchdowns. He brings much-needed experience to a position that includes some young budding stars for the Huskers.

Northwestern — QB Mike Wright (Mississippi State)

Northwestern mainly relied on transfer Ben Bryant on a 1-year plan under center last season, and the Wildcats are going with a similar situation with Mike Wright this year. Wright was a particularly late post-spring addition, but he should be QB1 for his final year of eligibility with the Wildcats. A passer with a career 55.5% completion percentage, Wright’s toughness and dual-threat ability (1,200+ yards, 10 rushing TDs) could be a difference-maker.

Ohio State — RB Quinshon Judkins (Ole Miss)

Ohio State arguable added the most impactful transfer class with multiple difference-makers included, but I’m going with Quinshon Judkins here. TreVeyon Henderson has missed 8 games the past 2 seasons, and the addition of Chip Kelly to lead the offense brings increased attention to the running game. Sure, Will Howard or Caleb Downs could fill this slot (and even Seth McLaughlin on the o-line), but I think the offense will meet their full potential if Judkins delivers on expectations with Howard or Devin Brown under center.

RELATED: Ohio State has reloaded in order to chase Ryan Day’s first national title. Track the latest odds for the Buckeyes and get in on the action with Tradition’s FanDuel Ohio links and promo codes.

Oregon — QB Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma)

Dan Lanning returned some significant pieces for Oregon’s first B1G season, but he needed a plug-and-play QB to replace the experience of Bo Nix. He found arguably the best possible fit in former Oklahoma and UCF star Dillon Gabriel. As long as he stays healthy, Gabriel has the kind of experience, accuracy and mobility to keep the Ducks among the top teams int he country all season long.

Penn State — WR Julian Fleming (Ohio State)

Julian Fleming always looked like the most important transfer piece for Penn State after the wide receiver group struggled a bit last season. His importance only increased after the sudden and surprising departure of KeAndre Lambert-Smith at the end of spring. If Fleming has WR1 potential, the offense can further tap into the true potential of QB Drew Allar.

Purdue — DB Nyland Green (Georgia)

Ryan Walters is still trying to improve the depth of Purdue’s roster entering his 2nd season as a head coach, and there are a number of new players the Boilermakers need to rely on. Nyland Green lands on this spot purely on his talent as a former top-100 recruit who received a 5-star rating out of high school from various publications. If he can unlock that potential, he’ll be a significant addition for Purdue.

Rutgers — QB Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota)

Rutgers returned starting QB Gavin Wimsatt from a team that went to — and won — a bowl game last season, but the Scarlet Knights still added Athan Kaliakmanis in the portal. Coming out of the spring, Rutgers is handing the starting role to Kaliakmanis, and he has experience with OC Kirk Ciarrocca and in the B1G. His efficiency needs to improve, and he needs to show he was the right guy to lead the offense.

UCLA — WR Rico Flores Jr. (Notre Dame)

UCLA needed some help and depth in the WR room for 2024, and Rico Flores Jr. showed some flashes as a true freshman in 2023. The former 4-star recruit produced 27 catches and 392 yards with a touchdown for Notre Dame and should find an immediate role with teh Bruins.

USC — WR Kyle Ford (UCLA)

USC lost Caleb Williams to the NFL Draft this offseason, but all accounts point to Miller Moss looking like a serviceable option under center this fall. Brenden Rice and Tahj Washington are other NFL Draft departures after over 1,800 yards combined this season. To replace some of that production, USC landed a familiar face in former Trojan and Bruin Kyle Ford. He already has over 600 yards and 5 touchdowns in a USC uniform before returning for 2024.

Washington — QB Will Rogers (Mississippi State)

Will Rogers underwhelmed in 2023 with Mississippi State struggling during Zach Arnett’s lone season as head coach. However, he was dynamic in Mike Leach’s offense and still boasts a 69.3% career completion percentage after a career-worst performance in 2023. He’s a great bridge QB for the Huskies to get Jedd Fisch’s first season rolling along with the transition into the B1G.

Wisconsin — QB Tyler Van Dyke (Wisconsin)

Wisconsin was unable to unlock a downfield passing attack in the first iteration of Phil Longo’s offense last season. Tanner Mordecai threw just 9 touchdowns all season long while averaging 6.6 yards per attempt, and Braedyn Locke’s average yards per attempt dipped lower at 5.1. That kind of distribution allowed defenses to hone in on the ground game, and Tyler Van Dyke will try to deliver more explosiveness with the offense. Van Dyke has a career 8.2 yards per attempt and is not afraid to push the ball down the field.

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