The 2023 college football regular season won’t officially come to an end until Saturday when Army and Navy play their annual rivalry game in Foxboro, Mass.

But already, the silly season – or as it has officially come to be known, the opening of the transfer portal – is already in full swing.

Nearly 1,000 players have opted for free agency in search of more playing time, more exposure or better name, image and likeness deals. And the flow doesn’t show any signs of slowing down with the window remaining open until mid-January.

Some of the top talent in the nation, many of them quarterbacks, are on the move.

With the ACC having already announced its all-conference selections to recognize the top performers in 2023, we introduce to you our All-ACC transfer team of key players who won’t be back with their teams in 2024:


QB – Riley Leonard (Duke): Leonard burst onto the scene by throwing for 20 touchdowns and rushing for a team-leading 699 yards and 13 scores in his 1st year as a starter while leading the Blue Devils to a 9-win season in 2022. He was off to another strong start this year before an ankle injury on the final play of a close loss to Notre Dame derailed both his and his team’s chances for a repeat performance. Leonard must have made a positive impression on Marcus Freeman in that late-September game. He’s being heavily pursued by the Irish as a replacement for another former ACC quarterback, Sam Hartman.

RB – Justice Ellison (Wake Forest): It seems as though the Deacons lose a running back to the transfer portal every year at this time. Kenneth Walker III went to Michigan State in 2021 and is now in the NFL. Quinton Cooley left last year and has rushed for 1,322 yards and 16 touchdowns in helping Liberty to an undefeated season and the Fiesta Bowl. This year’s portal entry is Ellison, who saw his production drop from 707 yards and 6 touchdowns on 170 carries last year to 548 yards and 1 score on 120 carries while splitting time with Demond Claiborne.

RB – Patrick Garwo III (Boston College): A 2nd-team All-ACC selection in 2021, when he rushed for 1,045 yards and 7 touchdowns, Garwo’s role has diminished considerably thanks to injuries – both his own and he blockers in front of him – and the addition of transfer Kye Robichaux. He’s amassed fewer yards (673) and fewer carries (184-205) over the past 2 seasons combined than he did during his standout redshirt sophomore year.

WR – Beaux Collins (Clemson): A former 4-star recruit and high school teammate of fellow ex-Tiger DJ Uiagalelei, Collins didn’t exactly live up to expectations during his 3 seasons at Death Valley. But he has been productive. He caught 38 passes for 510 yards and 3 touchdowns this season while missing 1 game to an injury. He finishes his Clemson career with 91 catches for 1,290 yards and 11 touchdowns in 32 games.

WR – Ke’Shawn Williams (Wake Forest): How important is a quarterback to a wide receiver’s success? Consider that Williams’ 38 catches this season were only 1 fewer than the 39 he recorded in 2022. But with Hartman throwing the ball, he gained 169 more yards overall and better than 4 more per reception than he did with the trio of Mitch Griffis, Michael Kern and Santino Marucci. His big-play ability and versatility as a kick returner will make him an attractive target on the free agent market.

TE – Kamari Morales (North Carolina): Morales has already announced his decision to transfer to ACC rival Boston College next season. He was once a top target for both Sam Howell and Drake Maye, compiling 53 catches for 578 yards and 9 touchdowns between 2021-22. But he fell to 3rd on the depth chart behind Bryson Nesbit and John Copenhaver this year and caught only 11 passes for 158 yards and no scores. He figures to be a solid replacement for the Eagles’ departing tight end George Takacs.

OT – Bless Harris (Florida State): The 6-5, 326-pound senior, who has an injury year of eligibility remaining, played in 11 of the Seminoles’ 13 games this season with 5 starts, recording 390 snaps. He was listed as the backup at both tackle positions for Saturday’s ACC Championship Game win against Louisville.

OT – Christian Forbes (Wake Forest): Forbes is a 6-4, 290-pound former 3-star recruit from New Jersey who played in 17 career games for the Deacons.

OG – Mitchell Mayes (Clemson): Rated by as the No. 2 offensive lineman in North Carolina at the time of his signing, the 6-3, 305-pounder played 4 seasons for the Tigers. He started 5 games at right guard in 2023 and finished his Clemson career with 919 snaps – the same number as his hometown area code – over 32 games (13 starts).

OG – Jestus Johnson (Virginia): A career backup for the Cavaliers, the 6-3, 326-pound Johnson played in 14 games over the past 2 seasons, with 1 start.

C – Lyndon Cooper (NC State): A high school teammate of fellow Wolfpack portal entry MJ Morris, the versatile 6-2, 318-pound sophomore started 5 games this season at both center and guard.


DE – Patrick Payton (Florida State): Payton’s announcement was a shocker. He was the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2022 and playing opposite of future 1st-round NFL pick Jared Verse, he put together another solid season while helping the Seminoles to an undefeated record. He recorded 6 tackles, a sack, 2 quarterback hurries and a pass breakup in Saturday’s championship game win against Louisville. He finishes the season with 42 tackles with 13.5 TFLs, 6 sacks, a forced fumble and 10 pass deflections.

DE – Jahfari Harvey (Miami): Harvey recorded 99 tackles, 22 TFLs and 10.5 sacks in his 5 seasons with the Hurricanes, half of them coming in 2022. He entered this season as a starter but was quickly supplanted by star freshman Reuben Bain, finishing the year with only 1 sack and 13 total tackles.

DT – Aeneas Peebles (Duke): The 6-1, 286-pound graduate was a mainstay on the Blue Devils’ defensive line and a key element of their success over the past 2 seasons. He figures to be one of the most sought-after interior defensive line transfers this offseason after playing in 47 career games at Duke and making 40 tackles with 4 sacks, a forced fumble and 4 quarterback hurries in 2023.

DT – CJ Clark (NC State): Clark was the starting nose tackle for the past 2 seasons on a Wolfpack defense that has been among the ACC’s best. He started all 12 games for State this season, finishing with 22 tackles and 4 TFLs. In 42 career games, he was responsible for 72 tackles, 7.5 TFLs and 4 sacks, 1 of which came this season in a win against Miami.

LB – Dorian Mausi (Duke): A 3-year starter with 193 career tackles for the Blue Devils, Mausi joined the exodus of talent leaving the program following the departure of coach Mike Elko to Texas A&M. He was among Duke’s team leaders with 61 tackles this season, including 14 in a loss to eventual ACC champion Florida State in which his team led for 3 quarters.

LB – Bangally Kamara (Pittsburgh): After suffering through a 3-9 season with the Panthers, Kamara has decided to leave for his final season of eligibility. He was one of the most productive playmakers on Pat Narduzzi’s defense this season, finishing 4th on the team with 55 tackles while limited to only 10 of 12 games because of injury.

LB – Corey Flagg (Miami): Flagg played 4 seasons for the Hurricanes, with 23 starts in 43 games. Although he played in all 12 games this season, like so many holdovers on a roster bolstered with newcomers, he saw his role diminished. He started only twice, making 48 tackles with 7 TFLs. But he left his mark with by far the most meaningful tackle of the season for his team, stopping Clemson QB Cade Klubnik short of the goal line on 4th down in the 2nd overtime to seal Miami’s win against the Tigers.

CB – Andrew Mukuba (Clemson): The 2021 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and the first true freshman to start an opener under Dabo Swinney, Mukuba amassed 142 tackles, 15 pass breakups, 1 interception and 1 sack in his 3 seasons with the Tigers. But he’s coming off a 2023 season in which he made a career-low 42 tackles with 6 passes defended in 578 snaps.

CB – Derrick Canteen (Virginia Tech): A transfer from Georgia Southern, Canteen played in all 12 games with 3 starts in his only season with the Hokies. He made 42 tackles, had an interception, a forced fumble and 5 pass breakups while seeing action at both corner and nickel.

S – Jeremiah Wilson (Syracuse): Although Wilson is entering the portal, it’s not a certainty he’ll be leaving. He also tested the waters after his freshman season last year before deciding to return. He’s more likely to opt for the change of scenery this time, however, after the firing of coach Dino Babers. A former 4-star recruit, Wilson started 9 games for the injury-plagued Orange this season, making 16 tackles with 1 interception and 4 pass breakups.

S – Jakeen Harris (NC State): Harris’ 2023 season lasted all of 5 snaps. He recorded 2 tackles during that time before suffering a season-ending injury in the opening game against UConn. In 19 starts over the previous 2 seasons, he was one of the Wolfpack’s most reliable defenders. His career totals boast 167 tackles, 11 pass breakups and 4 interceptions.

Special teams

PK – Charlie Ham (Duke): Ham put 199 points on the board between 2020-22. But after making 36-of-50 field goal attempts and all but 2 of his 93 extra points, he was replaced this season by Todd Pelino.

P – Sam Vander Haar (Pittsburgh): Like Ham, Vander Haar was replaced this season after averaging 38.6 yards on 31 punts for the Panthers in 2022. The 27-year-old Aussie has already committed to BYU.