Lincoln Riley has used the NCAA Transfer Portal with some success this offseason and brought in a few difference-makers on offense. CBS Sports has now identified two of those transfers as impact players in Oklahoma’s push for a national championship.
On Friday, the college football analysts at CBS Sports put together a list of transfers who would help their new programs reach the College Football Playoff. Two former Tennessee Volunteers and current Sooners made the list.
Chip Patterson picked Oklahoma offensive lineman Wanya Morris and running back Eric Gray as his high-impact transfers. Patterson noted that the Sooners’ offense was already in good hands with Spencer Rattler under center, but he says Morris and Gray will only add to that firepower in Norman.
“Now Morris adds a huge boost to an offensive line losing multiple starters and Gray steps in ready to contribute immediately in the running back rotation,” Patterson writes. “There’s easy explanations for the Oklahoma hype because of Spencer Rattler, but just as important is how the rest of the offense around the quarterback has improved.”
Morris was a five-star recruit and the No. 6 player at his position in the 2019 signing class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Morris made 19 starts for the Volunteers over his two seasons in Knoxville. He entered the portal after the conclusion of a 2020 season in which Tennessee went 3-7 under second-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Gray was a four-star recruit and the No. 3 player at his position in the 2019 signing class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Gray was a key contributor in Tennessee’s offense last fall. He turned 157 carries for 772 yards and four touchdowns. He was also effective in the passing game with 30 catches for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
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Despite being relatively new, Gray has already made a good impression on Riley. Following Oklahoma’s spring game, Riley identified Gray as the team’s best running back that day.
“Yeah, he had the best day of the group,” Riley said of Gray. “I thought he ran the most aggressively, kept his footing, did some nice things. So I thought he was really impressive, and no surprise. I mean, he kind of is just one of those guys that shows up and works every day. You know what you’re going to get out of him each and every day. And so I’ve been impressed there. Kennedy [Brooks] had a couple limited opportunities, and he slipped on the one that looked like it maybe had a chance to go a little ways. And I thought he was OK on the others. There wasn’t a ton of production out of the other two guys that I can remember off the top of my head.
“So, you know, I’ll say this: That group’s had a good spring. All four of those guys have really had some bright moments and done some really good things this spring. But with that, we have really high expectations for that group. There’s not a reason in the world, in our opinion, why that group shouldn’t perform at an elite level and do it day-in and day-out and game-in and game-out. So we’ve got some work to do, but excited about what we do have in there.”