Texas A&M tight end transfer Blake Smith took to Twitter Monday morning and announced his commitment to Oklahoma football. Smith is the 12th transfer to commit to the Sooners during the 2023 cycle, and the second tight end. He joins Austin Stogner — who began his career with Oklahoma and transferred back after spending one season at South Carolina — in bolstering a position of need for the Sooners.
Smith spent three seasons with the Aggies after signing in the 2020 class. He redshirted in his first year with the program and only appeared in one game in 2021, though his usage took a slight uptick last season.
He appeared in five games and had two catches — both of which came against Auburn — for one yard. Smith finishes his Texas A&M career with just two catches.
Smith signed with the Aggies in 2020 out of Southlake Carroll (Texas) High School. A three-star prospect, he ranked as the No. 24 tight end and the No. 78 player in Texas. Current Sooners tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley was Smith’s primary recruiter for the Aggies out of high school.
The 2022-23 cycle for the NCAA transfer portal is unlike any yet seen, with a Dec. 5-Jan. 19 window for FBS athletes. Eligible players to enter before the window include FCS players, grad transfers, and those whose head coaches were fired.
The NCAA introduced the transfer portal Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer. They merely need to request that compliance enter their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear following their request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears in the portal.
While a player entering their name in the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. A player is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are under no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once they enter the portal.
There were 3,083 FBS players to enter the transfer portal during the 2021-22 transfer cycle, sources said. That is up from 2,646 in 2021-20, 1,692 in 2019-20 and 1,717 in 2018-19.
That whopping increase can be credited to the NCAA’s new policy that student-athletes are allowed to transfer once in their careers without having to sit out a year-in-residence. That means all players who enter the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible at their new school as long as they meet a NCAA-mandated entry deadline.