Quinshon Judkins Heads to Portal; Could Texas A&M Football Land Him?
Perhaps the first big cautionary tale of the portal era is unfolding before our very eyes, and Texas A&M football fans all agree—it couldn't be happening to a better guy.
It's no secret that Lane Kiffin is gaming the portal as much as humanly possible and has been on that path ever since it became prominent, all while publicly complaining about its consequences for the sport. Ole Miss is a big player for almost every single highly productive player that decides to transfer, it seems, as the powers that be in Oxford have seemingly chosen to direct their efforts at those ranks more so than high school players.
It hasn't just been players from lower-tier conferences, either. The Rebels have been doing whatever they can to pluck big names from the rosters in their own conference. Of the 12 commitments the Rebels currently have from portal players, seven are from the SEC—eight, if you count OU. There's no better case study for the current age of college football through which we are currently living than that one.
It appears, though, that things aren't all sunshine and roses when it comes to portal activity over in Oxford. There's been some churn in the middle and bottom of the roster over there, though the hurt has come more in numbers than quality so far.
That all changed this morning, with this tweet from Matt Zenitz.
That is a massive piece of news. Judkins is perhaps the biggest single key to unlocking Kiffin's offense on the entire Ole Miss roster, given how the run game operates as a basis for most other things the Rebels want to do on that side of the ball. He is a formidable talent, as Texas A&M football fans well know after two matchups against him.
It just so happens that the Aggies have been in the market for another running back, and just hired a big time recruiter as their running backs coach. Is that enough to land a guy like Judkins? Probably not on its own. He will be a player that every program in the country will try to bring in, and as an Alabama native, you have to think the Tide will be one of the top contenders.
Of course, this could all be an NIL play, as well. This is speculation, but if you imagine the situation where Ole Miss is dedicating high-end NIL resources to the transfer portal to bring in players like Juice Wells and Walter Nolen, the guys currently in the Rebels' locker room might chafe when they catch wind of the amounts.
Ole Miss seems determined to push their chips to the center of the table with this upcoming season, so it's conceivable that a guy like Judkins might understand the precarious position he has the boosters in given how important he is to the team. In that world, it makes sense that he could be playing hardball by entering his name in the portal.
Even so, this is a guy that Texas A&M football should do everything possible to land. Judkins in Klein's offense, alongside Moss and company, would be quite the challenge for opposing defenses.