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Clemson football transfer tracker: Who’s leaving the Tigers for the portal?

The NCAA transfer portal opens next Monday, but players are already starting to declare their intent to enter as transaction season heats up.

Clemson, as per usual, is part of the turbulence.

Here’s a running list of every Tigers player confirmed to be entering the portal after Clemson’s 8-4 regular season that ended on a four-game winning streak and ahead of Clemson’s TBD bowl game (likely the Holiday Bowl or Gator Bowl).

WR Beaux Collins

Entry date: Nov. 30

Collins, a junior, intends to enter the transfer portal next week, he told ESPN’s Pete Thamel. The Los Angeles native has been a consistent starter at outside receiver over the past three seasons for Clemson and was second on the team this year with 510 receiving yards, which was also a career high. He finishes his career with 91 catches for 1,290 yards and 11 touchdowns in 32 games (27 starts). Collins’ transfer could be a nod toward the talent Clemson has coming in at receiver next year, specifically five-star recruit Bryant Wesco and four-star TJ Moore.

OL Mitchell Mayes

Entry date: Nov. 29

Mayes is entering the portal after four years as a rotational offensive lineman for Clemson. He started nine games over the past two seasons at a combination of left guard (in place of the injured Marcus Tate) and right guard after joining the team as a four-star recruit in 2020. Mayes fell out of the Tigers’ rotation down the stretch this year and was listed as the No. 2 right tackle on the team’s most recent depth chart.

QB Hunter Helms

Entry date: Nov. 28

Helms spent four seasons at Clemson as a and was the team’s No. 2 option behind Cade Klubnik during the 2023 season. He’s entering the portal a few days early as a graduate transfer and will be seeking more playing time at his new school. Helms had scholarship offers from schools including South Florida and Troy before choosing to walk on at Clemson in 2020.

University logos cover a wall in the lobby of NCAA headquarters Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Indianapolis. Ncaa National Collegiate Athletics Association Office Headquarters In Indianapolis Feb 25 2021
University logos cover a wall in the lobby of NCAA headquarters Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Indianapolis. Ncaa National Collegiate Athletics Association Office Headquarters In Indianapolis Feb 25 2021

What is the transfer portal?

The current state of college football is a world beyond previous rules, in which non-graduate transfers had to sit out a full season outside of special circumstances.

Now, players hoping for a better fit or more playing time simply request that their compliance department enter their name in the transfer portal, and it’s done in 48 hours — if not much sooner. Once players are in the online database, which NCAA debuted in October 2018 to simplify a process becoming more and more popular in the sport, they’re free to be contacted by any interested programs.

Players have been entering the transfer portal at a record level ever since the NCAA eliminated a rule that required non-graduates to sit out a season at their new program in April 2021. Every player now has a one-time waiver to transfer to a new school without penalty, which has created a college football “free agency” of sorts.

The NCAA has cracked down on mid-season transfers, though, by approving a new “transfer window” system. Under new guidelines released in October, college football players can only formally enter the portal in a 30-day window from Dec. 4., 2023, to Jan. 3, 2024. That’s down from a 45-day window last season.

There’s also an additional five-day window after a team’s postseason game and a 15-day window in the spring (May 1-15).

Clemson had 13 transfers last season (including one preferred walk-on), and 11 ended up at other Power Five schools. During the 2021 portal cycle, Clemson had 11 transfers (six to Power Five schools).

Clemson football 2023 transfers

  • QB Hunter Helms, Nov. 28

  • OL Mitchell Mayes, Nov. 29

  • WR Beaux Collins, Nov. 30