Louisville football transfer portal tracker: WR Braden Smith among players exploring options

In 2022, the Louisville football team put together its first winning season since Scott Satterfield's inaugural 2019-20 campaign. Then, Satterfield left for Cincinnati, and the Cardinals brought in Jeff Brohm in to lead his alma mater.

The NCAA Transfer Portal opened Dec. 5, and Brohm and U of L wasted no time getting in on the action. The latest bit of news came Jan. 30, when U of L confirmed a report from On3's Matt Zenitz that senior wide receiver Braden Smith had entered the portal.

U of L was aided by big contributions from several transfer acquisitions en route to a 7-5 regular season and locking up a second consecutive bowl berth. After starring for Arkansas State at the FCS level in 2021, Tyler Hudson emerged as the Cardinals' top pass-catcher. On the other side of the ball, Ole Miss linebacker transfer Momo Sanogo was named a captain and served as one of the anchors of a unit that finished the season ranked 20th nationally in scoring defense.

Departures, however, are also expected. In the days following Louisville's fourth straight loss to in-state rival Kentucky, three players took to social media to announce they plan to pursue other opportunities when the portal opens: defensive lineman Caleb Banks and running backs Trevion Cooley and Jalen Mitchell.

Keep this page bookmarked throughout the offseason to see who U of L is adding and losing via the transfer portal before it closes Jan. 18, 2023. There will also be a spring transfer period running April 15-30.

Incoming Louisville football transfers

Jimmy Calloway (WR)

Tennessee wide receiver Jimmy Calloway (9) during a football game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.
Tennessee wide receiver Jimmy Calloway (9) during a football game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

Jimmy Calloway was Louisville's second wide receiver commit through the transfer portal on Dec. 21. Across three seasons with Tennessee, the 6-foot, 190-pound Georgia native caught nine passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. He was a top-40 wideout prospect in the Class of 2020, according to the 247Sports Composite.

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Kevin Coleman Jr. (WR)

Jackson State wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr. (3) cradles a 14-yard touchdown pass reception in front of Southern University's Kendrick Jones (28) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Jackson State wide receiver Kevin Coleman Jr. (3) cradles a 14-yard touchdown pass reception in front of Southern University's Kendrick Jones (28) during the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

A top-10 wide receiver prospect in the Class of 2022, Kevin Coleman Jr. announced his transferring from Jackson State to U of L on Jan. 5 — one day after he tweeted a video from the Louisville airport featuring a Cardinals banner. Coleman was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference's Freshman of the Year after catching 32 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns in his first and only season under head coach Deion Sanders. He also returned kickoffs and punts. The 5-11, 170-pound Missouri native ranked 19th in the country on Rivals' transfer tracker.

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John Paul Flores (OL)

John Paul Flores, who started five games at offensive line for Virginia in 2022, announced he'll be playing his final season of college football at Louisville on Jan. 8. The 6-4, 308-pound Texas native transferred to the Cavaliers after four years at Dartmouth. Flores started every game of the 2019 and 2021 seasons for the Big Green, the latter of which ended with a second-team All-Ivy League selection.

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Gilbert Frierson (DB)

Miami defensive lineman Mitchell Agude (45) celebrates as defensive back Gilbert Frierson, left, scores a touchdown after intercepting the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Bethune Cookman, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami defensive lineman Mitchell Agude (45) celebrates as defensive back Gilbert Frierson, left, scores a touchdown after intercepting the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Bethune Cookman, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Former Miami defensive back Gilbert Frierson on Jan. 6 announced he will head to Louisville for his sixth season of eligibility. The 6-1, 210-pound Florida native appeared in 48 games (15 starts) across five seasons with the Hurricanes, totaling 113 tackles (61 unassisted), 14 1/2 tackles for loss, three sacks, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions. Frierson saw the field in 10 games as a fifth-year redshirt junior but did not log a start. His best season came in 2020-21, when he posted a career-high 53 tackles (29 solo), nine tackles for loss and four pass breakups across 11 starts.

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Marquis Groves-Killebrew (DB)

Mississippi running back Zach Evans (6) runs out of a tackle attempt by Texas A&M defensive back Marquis Groves-Killebrew (19) for a first down during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
Mississippi running back Zach Evans (6) runs out of a tackle attempt by Texas A&M defensive back Marquis Groves-Killebrew (19) for a first down during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Louisville native Marquis Groves-Killebrew announced he was coming home to play for the Cardinals on Dec. 23. The 6-0, 180-pound defensive back reportedly tore an ACL late in his senior season at North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, and the recovery process limited his playing time during his freshman season at Texas A&M. Groves-Killebrew tallied just two solo tackles across appearances in three games. He signed with the Aggies as a top-15 cornerback prospect in the Class of 2022, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

Isaac Guerendo (RB)

Wisconsin running back Isaac Guerendo (20) runs against Maryland linebacker Gereme Spraggins (21) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Wisconsin running back Isaac Guerendo (20) runs against Maryland linebacker Gereme Spraggins (21) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Former Wisconsin running back Isaac Guerendo announced Jan. 10 that he'll be playing his fifth season of college football at Louisville. The 6-foot, 223-pound Indiana native appeared in 27 games across four seasons with the Badgers and amassed 582 yards and six touchdowns on 99 attempts. He also caught 20 passes out of the backfield for 124 yards and a score. As a senior, Guerendo led Wisconsin's three-deep running back rotation with an average of 6 yards per carry and was second on the team with five rushing touchdowns. One of those scores was a 54-yard run against Brohm and the Boilermakers.

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Stephen Herron Jr. (DL)

Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones (5) runs against Stanford defensive end Stephen Herron (15) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones (5) runs against Stanford defensive end Stephen Herron (15) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A three-time All-State selection at Trinity High School, Stephen Herron Jr. decided on Dec. 18 to return to Louisville for his final season of college eligibility after spending a weekend visiting with Brohm. The 6-foot-3, 237-pound defensive end is coming off a career-best season at Stanford: 37 tackles (17 unassisted), 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. Herron won two state championships while playing for the Shamrocks (2016, 2017) and was the No. 2 recruit in the state of Kentucky's 2019 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.

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Rodney McGraw (DL)

Former Penn State defensive lineman Rodney McGraw became Louisville's first portal acquisition when he tweeted his pledge to the Cardinals on Dec. 18 after visiting the 502 with other prospects the weekend before college football's early signing period. Checking in at 6-foot-5 and 267 pounds, McGraw redshirted his first season with the Nittany Lions and tallied just one tackle during limited playing time as a sophomore. He was a three-star recruit and a top-35 edge defender in the Class of 2021, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

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Devin Neal Jr. (DB)

Sep 24, 2022; Ames, Iowa, USA; Baylor safety Devin Neal Jr., fires up his teammates prior to kickoff against Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryon Houlgrave/Des Moines Register-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2022; Ames, Iowa, USA; Baylor safety Devin Neal Jr., fires up his teammates prior to kickoff against Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryon Houlgrave/Des Moines Register-USA TODAY Sports

A 2020 graduate of Fredrick Douglass High School, former Baylor defensive back Devin Neal Jr. announced Dec. 19 he'll be transferring to Louisville after "a wonderful" visit to campus. Through three seasons with the Bears, the 5-11, 201-pound Lexington native totaled 67 tackles (49 unassisted), one sack, one forced fumble and two interceptions. He was a three-star prospect out of high school after playing safety and running back for the Broncos.

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Jack Plummer (QB)

California quarterback Jack Plummer (13) passes against UCLA during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
California quarterback Jack Plummer (13) passes against UCLA during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Though he'll be a fresh face at Louisville, Plummer is a familiar one to Brohm. Plummer played three seasons for Brohm at Purdue before transferring to Cal, where he was the Bears' starting QB in 2022. He's a graduate transfer with one season of eligibility remaining. After redshirting in 2018, Plummer played seven games for the Boilermakers as a freshman in 2019, throwing for 1,603 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In his Purdue career, Plummer throw for 3,404 yards with 26 TDs and 10 picks. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Plummer had his best collegiate season in his lone year in Berkeley, throwing for 3,095 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions for the Bears in 2022.

More on Plummer:Louisville football, Jeff Brohm land ex-Purdue quarterback in transfer portal

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Jadon Thompson (WR)

Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Jadon Thompson (20) celebrates his touchdown run on a kick off return in the first quarter of the NCAA American Athletic Conference game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the East Carolina Pirates at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.
Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Jadon Thompson (20) celebrates his touchdown run on a kick off return in the first quarter of the NCAA American Athletic Conference game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the East Carolina Pirates at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.

After having 2023 commit Rayquan Adkins flip to Cincinnati at the start of the early signing period, Louisville landed one of the Bearcats' former wide receivers, Jadon Thompson, through the portal. Checking in at 6-2 and 187 pounds, Thompson appeared in 30 games through three seasons with the Bearcats, catching 46 passes for 649 yards and a TD. He also ran a kickoff 100 yards back for a score against East Carolina in Week 10 of the 2022 regular season.

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Jamari Thrash (WR)

Sep 3, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Georgia State Panthers wide receiver Jamari Thrash (2) is brought down by South Carolina Gamecocks linebacker Gilber Edmond (8) in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Georgia State Panthers wide receiver Jamari Thrash (2) is brought down by South Carolina Gamecocks linebacker Gilber Edmond (8) in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Belt Conference's leader in receiving yards (1,122) last season, Jamari Thrash, committed to Louisville via the transfer portal on Jan. 8 after making a weekend visit to the city to check in with Brohm and his staff. In 37 games across four seasons with Georgia State, the 6-foot, 180-pound wideout caught 104 passes for 1,752 and 12 touchdowns. Thrash ranked 19th in the FBS with an average of 18.4 yards per reception as a redshirt junior during his final campaign with the Panthers. The Athletic rated Thrash the 14th-best player available in the portal at the time of his pledge to the Cardinals.

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Outgoing Louisville football transfers

Caleb Banks (DL)

Banks totaled one solo and one assisted tackle in six games during the 2022 season. The 6-7, 303-pound defensive lineman also forced a fumble during the Cardinals' blowout win against Wake Forest. Banks announced his decision to pursue other opportunities via the transfer portal on Nov. 27, saying "Louisville has made me grow in many ways and helped me become the young man that I am today." A Michigan native, Banks signed with U of L's 2021 recruiting class.

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Henry Bryant (DL)

UofL's Henry Bryant celebrates on the sideline after the Louisville Cardinals beat UCF 42-35 after a wild end to the game with back-to-back interceptions and UofL returning one for a touchdown for the win. Sept. 17, 2021
UofL's Henry Bryant celebrates on the sideline after the Louisville Cardinals beat UCF 42-35 after a wild end to the game with back-to-back interceptions and UofL returning one for a touchdown for the win. Sept. 17, 2021

Henry Bryant announced his entry into the portal on Dec. 6. The 5-11, 277-pound defensive lineman appeared in just two games for the Cardinals during the 2022 regular season and accounted for only one tackle when he was on the field. In 2021, he was a contributor in 10 games on special teams. A native of Delray Beach, Florida, Bryant was a three-star recruit out of high school in 2020 and had offers to play for the likes of Duke, Iowa State, Kentucky, NC State, Syracuse and Wake Forest.

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Max Cabana (OL)

Max Cabana announced his intention to transfer on Dec. 2. At 6-5 and 275 pounds, Cabana signed with Louisville's 2022 class as a three-star offensive line prospect (No. 139 at the position on the 247Sports Composite) out of Easthampton, Massachusetts. He did not see the field during his freshman season.

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Rance Conner Jr. (DB)

Oct 1, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA;  Louisville Cardinals defensive back Rance Conner (18) reacts with cornerback Quincy Riley (3) after recovering a fumble during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive back Rance Conner (18) reacts with cornerback Quincy Riley (3) after recovering a fumble during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Rance Conner Jr. appeared in six games during Louisville's 2022 regular season but did not see the field after the Cardinals' win against Virginia on Oct. 8. When he played, the 5-10, 186-pound defensive back totaled just one tackle and recovered a fumble against Boston College. Conner reportedly entered the transfer portal on Dec. 7. A South Florida native, Conner was a three-star prospect out of high school and a top-75 cornerback prospect in the Class of 2021, according to the 247Sports Composite.

Trevion Cooley (RB)

Oct 22, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals running back Trevion Cooley (23) runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals running back Trevion Cooley (23) runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

After not seeing the field for Louisville's final four regular-season games, Cooley announced his intention to enter the portal on Nov. 27. Through eight games, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound tailback rushed for 278 yards and two touchdowns on 59 carries and caught nine passes for 66 yards and a score. A native of North Carolina, Cooley was the No. 25 running back prospect in the Class of 2021, according to the 247Sports Composite.

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Zach Edwards (DL)

Zach Edwards and Francis Sherman react as teammate Yaya Diaby falls back into a pretend mine pit while the Louisville football players participate in a team-building exercise on the Fort Knox Base recently. June 16, 2021.
Zach Edwards and Francis Sherman react as teammate Yaya Diaby falls back into a pretend mine pit while the Louisville football players participate in a team-building exercise on the Fort Knox Base recently. June 16, 2021.

Zach Edwards entered the transfer portal Dec. 6 with two years of eligibility remaining. The 6-3, 265-pound defensive lineman totaled just three tackles (two solo, one assisted) across eight games during the 2022 season. During his first three years in Louisville, Edwards appeared in just 12 games and had only three total tackles to show for it. A native of Starkville, Mississippi, the defensive lineman had reported scholarship offers from the likes of LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M out of high school.

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Nicario Harper (DB)

Named a first-team FCS All-American by The Associated Press with Jacksonville State before transferring to Louisville, Nicario Harper notched seven tackles (four solo, three assisted) through just six weeks with Louisville. The 6-1, 203-pound defensive back entered the portal on Oct. 20. The Georgia native was a two-star prospect in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite, and started his college career at Southern Miss.

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Dorian Jones (LB)

Dorian Jones played in all 12 games this season and recorded 33 tackles, 6 1/2 for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. The 6-foot, 236-pound redshirt sophomore had a season-high six tackles in the Cardinals' 41-3 win over South Florida on Sept. 24. He reportedly entered the transfer portal Dec. 12.

Luke Kandra (OL)

Luke Kandra announced his entry into the transfer portal on Dec. 7. The 6-4, 314-pound offensive lineman appeared in eight games for the Cardinals during the 2022 regular season. Kandra was a three-star recruit out of Cincinnati's Elder High School and a top-40 guard prospect in the Class of 2020, according to the 247Sports Composite. He also had scholarship offers to play at Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana and Purdue.

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Jalen Mitchell (RB)

Malik Cunningham hands off to Jalen Mitchell during practice at Cardinal Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2021
Malik Cunningham hands off to Jalen Mitchell during practice at Cardinal Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2021

Mitchell's name was removed from Louisville's online roster in the wake of Cooley's announcement, and the running back made it official Nov. 28. The 5-10, 212-pound Florida native amassed just 48 yards on 10 carries during the 2022 campaign after racking up 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns through his first two seasons with the Cardinals. Mitchell was a three-star prospect out of high school and, according to the 247Sports Composite, ranked among the top 75 tailback prospects in the Class of 2019.

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Monty Montgomery (LB)

Dec 17, 2022; Boston, MA, USA; Louisville Cardinals linebacker Monty Montgomery (7) celebrates winning the Wasabi Bowl at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2022; Boston, MA, USA; Louisville Cardinals linebacker Monty Montgomery (7) celebrates winning the Wasabi Bowl at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

After four seasons at U of L, Monty Montgomery on Jan. 16 announced his entry into the transfer portal. The 5-11, 220-pound linebacker leaves the Cardinals having tallied 160 tackles (96 unassisted), 23 1/2 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, three interceptions and seven forced fumbles across appearances in 39 games. Montgomery's junior season was cut short by an ACL he sustained during a Week 3 matchup against UCF.

Allen Smith (LB)

Louisville’s Allen Smith holds up the ball he recovered against USF.  Sept. 24, 2022
Louisville’s Allen Smith holds up the ball he recovered against USF. Sept. 24, 2022

Linebacker Allen Smith entered the portal Dec. 19 as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility remaining. The 6-2, 228-pound linebacker saw the field in 23 games during his three seasons with Louisville — with nine of those appearances coming during the 2022 campaign. In total, Smith collected just three tackles (one unassisted) and 1/2 of a sack as a member of the Cardinals' defense. A native of Loganville, Georgia, Smith was a top-75 outside linebacker prospect in the Class of 2019, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

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Braden Smith (WR)

U of L on Jan. 30 confirmed a report from On3's Matt Zenitz that Braden Smith is in the portal. Across appearances in 29 games during his three seasons with the Cardinals, Smith caught 59 passes for 653 yards and two touchdowns. The 5-10, 185-pound Mississippi native was arrested last March in Louisville and was charged with fourth-degree assault and harassing communications. He is next due in court in April.

Mark Vassett (P)

Louisville’s Mark Vassett warms up during an open practice Wednesday. March 23, 2022
Louisville’s Mark Vassett warms up during an open practice Wednesday. March 23, 2022

Mark Vassett announced his entry into the portal Dec. 19 after playing two seasons for Louisville. During his 26 games with the Cardinals, the 6-4, 220-pound Melbourne, Australia, native averaged 43.3 yards per punt and had 16 of his 100 attempts go for 50 yards or more. The longest punt of his career was a 73-yarder against Florida State on Sept. 25, 2021. He pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line 36 times.

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Dee Wiggins (WR)

Dee Wiggins makes a catch and a run during practice at Cardinal Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2021
Dee Wiggins makes a catch and a run during practice at Cardinal Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2021

Dee Wiggins entered the transfer portal Jan. 7, according to a report from On3's Matt Zenitz. The 6-3, 195-pound South Florida native suffered a toe injury against Florida State in Week 3 of the 2022 season that sidelined him for the remainder of the campaign. A former Miami transfer who joined U of L after two seasons with the hometown Hurricanes, Wiggins leaves Louisville having caught four passes for 67 yards.

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Reach recruiting and trending sports reporter Brooks Holton at bholton@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @brooksHolton.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville football transfers portal: WR Braden Smith explores options