SEC schools were busy in the transfer portal during the winter and spring windows. Five of the conference's 16 schools (including Oklahoma and Texas, which join on July 1) took at least 20 transfer prospects, more than the last three cycles combined. 

The SEC landed five programs inside the top 10 of 247Sports' Team Transfer Rankings. Ole Miss, with a robust class featuring 24 transfers, beat Oregon for the top spot. Newcomer Texas put on a strong showing with the No. 6 class, despite fewer additions than each of the five teams above and three teams behind it in the top-10. 

These efforts by each SEC team are a microcosm of the transformation going on nationally as teams lean more and more on the transfer portal to either address specific areas of need or, in some cases, completely overhaul a roster. Of course, with so much movement, there's always some big-name prospects that decide to set out for a new program, whatever the reason may be. 

Given its status as one of the nation's premier conferences and with plenty of College Football Playoff competitors in its ranks, the SEC netted its fair share of additions as we creep towards the 2024 season. Here are some that will make an immediate impact. 

Alabama DB Keon Sabb 

Alabama has to replace four starting defensive backs and a handful of key reserves as it transitions to the Kalen DeBoer era, including all-star freshman safety Caleb Downs and a pair of high NFL Draft picks at cornerback in Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry. That makes Sabb invaluable. He was a key fixture in Michigan's secondary rotation in 2023, starting five games at safety for a Wolverines squad that went 15-0 en route to a College Football Playoff National Championship. 

One of Sabb's starts came in that national title game, where he had six total tackles and two pass breakups against an explosive Washington offense. Now a junior with plenty of Big Ten experience under his belt, Sabb steps into Alabama's defense as an unquestioned starter and an expected leader in a group that has a long road towards coming together. Sabb ranked as the No. 5 safety in the portal. 

Arkansas RB Ja'Quinden Jackson 

Arkansas' leading rusher last season was quarterback KJ Jefferson, who had 447 net yards rushing. Not a single running back on the Razorbacks' roster got close to the 400-yard bar. To add insult to injury, former 1,000-yard rusher Raheim Sanders entered the transfer portal after an injury-riddled 2023 that saw him limited to just six games. Jefferson's gone, too. That pitiful rushing attack was strange to see for an Arkansas program that has historically pumped out elite running backs, and it was one of the biggest catalysts behind the program's 4-8 downturn.  

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Ja'Quinden Jackson will try to get Arkansas' running game back on track in 2024.  USATSI

Jackson is the gem of a 22-player transfer class, which Arkansas boss Sam Pittman hopes will revitalize his roster ahead of a pivotal year. The quarterback-turned-running back is tailor made for a power-running system. Jackson gives new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino, who had two 1,000-yard rushers in four seasons as Arkansas' head coach from 2008-11, a lethal weapon out of the backfield after rushing for 797 yards and four touchdowns at Utah in 2023. Jackson left an impression in Arkansas' spring game with three total touchdowns, one of which he caught from equally important transfer quarterback Taylen Green. He'll be a steady hand for an Arkansas offense undergoing waves of change and should emerge as one of the SEC's best rushers by year's end. Jackson ranked as the No. 5 RB in the portal.

Ole Miss DL Walter Nolen 

Ole Miss won a program-record 11 games last season and cruised past Penn State in the Peach Bowl despite fielding a defense that, at best, performed just above average and more often than not struggled against elevated competition. Chief among the issues that plagued first-year defensive coordinator Pete Golding was a lack of physicality against the run. The Rebels allowed 151.9 yards rushing per game, which ranked ninth among SEC teams, and exactly 4 yards per carry. That means, on average, opposing teams could get a first down and some change by running the ball three straight times. 

Enter Nolen, the No. 3-ranked player overall in the portal that could almost singlehandedly fix what ails the Rebels. The 6-foot-4 and 290-pound Nolen is hard to push around with his strong center of gravity and solid lower body. He's also plenty disruptive, with five sacks and 11 tackles for loss in two seasons at Texas A&M, and he has the ability to kill a run play before it can really develop. He was already one of the SEC's best interior linemen with the Aggies. Now, he fills a significant area of need for a CFP competitor. 

Texas WR Isaiah Bond 

Texas' roster is in great shape after last season's CFP run, and the Longhorns look like a legitimate competitor in their first year as an SEC program. But they did enter the offseason with one glaring problem: each of their top five receivers from that 2023 Big 12 championship team are gone. That includes all three starting wideouts -- Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell and Jordan Whittington -- and tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders, who combined accounted for just over 75% of Texas' receiving yards and 19 of its 25 touchdowns through the air in 2023. 

Coach Steve Sarkisian hit the transfer portal hard to bring in some experience and upside. No addition means more than that of Bond, who is primed for a breakout after a strong close to the 2023 campaign. He gained national acclaim with his heroic touchdown catch to save Alabama in its last-second win against Auburn and followed that up with nine catches for 128 yards in the postseason. A big-time playmaker, Bond should flourish with Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers delivering the ball. Bond ranked as the No. 4 overall player in the portal. 

Texas A&M EDGE Nic Scourton 

After leading the Big Ten in sacks last fall, Scourton -- a product of Bryan, Texas -- decided to return closer to home after two years at Purdue. He got to the quarterback 10 times in just 11 games, managing at least half a sack in eight of those appearances. Scourton, the top-rated EDGE in this portal class, also had 42 total quarterback pressures and wreaked havoc against strong competition like Michigan and Ohio State, with three total sacks across those contests. 

With Shemar Turner, who had six sacks last season, back to man the other edge, Texas A&M should field one of the SEC's most ferocious pass rushes. That will be a huge boon as former Aggies defensive coordinator Mike Elko looks to make an impression in his first year as coach. 

Top transfers for remaining SEC teams 

Auburn WR Robert Lewis: Penn State wide receiver transfer KeAndre Lambert-Smith also deserves a nod here as he likely has more upside, but there's some concern about his lackluster close to the 2023 season. Lewis provides more consistency and will give the Tigers some much-needed playmaking out of the slot, where he had 877 yards and seven touchdowns at Georgia State in 2023. 

Florida WR Elijhah Badger: Badger has flown under the radar despite leading Arizona State in receiving in consecutive seasons, with 1,579 yards and 10 touchdowns receiving in that span. He should emerge as a go-to target for equally underrated Florida quarterback Graham Mertz in an offense that sorely needs dynamic options outside of Eugene Wilson III

Georgia WR Colbie YoungGeorgia is incredibly deep at wide receiver, thanks in part to a loaded transfer haul that brings three new options to the room. Young is the most impressive. At 6-foot-3, he has the speed to stretch the field and gives the Bulldogs length at the wideout spot. 

Kentucky QB Brock VandagriffThe transfer from Georgia steps in as Kentucky's unquestioned starter and looks like a good fit for what the Wildcats like to do offensively. His lack of experience -- he had 21 pass attempts in three years with the Bulldogs -- makes this a hard projection, but Vandagriff will have plenty of help thanks to Kentucky's wealth of skill talent. 

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Brock Vandagriff lacks experience, but his upside could help Kentucky's offense shine.  USATSI

LSU DB Jardin Gilbert: LSU needs all the help it can get on defense after a poor 2023 that resulted in coordinator Matt House's ouster. Gilbert gives Blake Baker, House's replacement, an effective safety with plenty of high-level SEC experience after he started 10 games at Texas A&M a year ago. 

Mississippi State QB Blake Shapen: He isn't the type of quarterback who's going to compete for postseason awards, but Shapen is a solid veteran presence for first-year coach Jeff Lebby that threw for over 5,500 yards in three years at Baylor. He also impressed with 312 yards and three touchdowns in State's spring game, which is evidence that he's grasping Lebby's up-tempo offensive scheme well. 

Missouri OL Cayden Green: Anytime a program like Missouri, which is building off a breakout 11-win year, can land a former in-state top-100 prospect from the transfer portal, it's a win. The fact that Green played significant snaps as a freshman at Oklahoma with the versatility to standout at either guard or tackle elevates this addition to another level. 

Oklahoma WR Deion BurksOklahoma retooled its offensive line with multiple transfers and plugged some gaps on defense, but Burks has immense star potential. A strong season with QB Jackson Arnold feeding him the ball could see him develop into a Day 2 NFL Draft prospect at the very least.   

South Carolina EDGE Kyle Kennard: South Carolina had 21 sacks as a team last season. Kennard had six by himself while starring at Georgia Tech. That would have easily led the Gamecocks, who need to do a lot better at getting after the passer. 

Tennessee OL Lance Heard: Heard, a former five-star prospect and the No. 3 offensive tackle in 247Sports' Transfer Rankings, played some snaps at right tackle as a freshman at LSU but entered the transfer portal due to some experienced options ahead of him. He'll protect former five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava's blindside at Tennessee, arguably the most important position on the offense outside of the QB itself. 

Vanderbilt QB Diego Pavia: Vanderbilt has a logjam at quarterback after taking three transfers. Pavia, the 2023 Conference USA Player of the Year, is the obvious option to step in at starter after logging 2,973 yards passing and 33 touchdowns as a junior at New Mexico State. It helps Pavia's case that former NMSU offensive coordinator Tim Beck joined Vanderbilt's staff in December.