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UCF QB John Rhys Plumlee, USF receiver Ajou Ajou are AAC transfers to watch

Orlando Sentinel logoOrlando Sentinel 5/27/2022 Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel
A two-sports star at Ole Miss, John Rhys Plumlee’s versatility and experience make him an intriguing addition to an already competitive quarterback competition at UCF. © Tomás Diniz Santos/Orlando Sentinel/TNS A two-sports star at Ole Miss, John Rhys Plumlee’s versatility and experience make him an intriguing addition to an already competitive quarterback competition at UCF.

Here are 10 transfers to watch this upcoming season in the American Athletic Conference:

Ajou Ajou, WR, USF

The former Clemson wideout is among the 14 transfers to sign with the Bulls this offseason, with the majority of those players coming from Power Five programs. Ajou reunites with USF coach Jeff Scott, who initially recruited the Clearwater product when he was the co-offensive coordinator with the Tigers in 2019. Built with size (6-foot-4), Ajou adds depth to a receivers unit that returns its top three targets in Xavier Weaver, Jimmy Horn Jr. and Omarion Dollison.

Geoff Cantin-Arku, LB, Memphis

Cantin-Arku is among six transfers added to the Tigers roster this offseason after appearing in 30 games (10 starts) in three seasons at Syracuse. He accounted for 108 career tackles, with 10 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. He joins a linebackers unit that is searching to replace starters in JJ Russell (123 tackles), Thomas Pickens (50 tackles) and Cole Mashburn (46 tackles). The Tigers also added a linebacker transfer in Tyler Murray (Charlotte).

Ashaad Clayton, RB, Tulane

Clayton returns home to New Orleans after two seasons in Colorado, where the four-star product saw limited action with the Buffaloes. The 6-foot, 200-pounder joins a deep roster that includes Tyjae Spears, who led the Green Wave in rushing with 863 yards last season. Over the previous six seasons, Tulane has been among the leading rushing offenses in the conference.

Beau Corrales, WR, SMU

SMU opens the 2022 season without three of its top four receiving targets from last season with the departure of Danny Gray (803 yards), Reggie Roberson Jr. (625) and Grant Calcaterra (465). The addition of Corrales gives the Mustangs some much-needed depth. The graduate transfer spent four seasons at North Carolina but missed the 2021 season while recovering from surgery on a sports hernia.

Jevyon Ducker, RB, Memphis

Ducker earned Freshman of the Year in the Mid-American Conference after rushing for 1,184 yards and three touchdowns at Northern Illinois last season. His jump to Memphis provides the Tigers with another option at tailback. Ducker joins a program two years removed from its last 1,000-yard tailback in Kenneth Gainwell (2019).

Kobe Hudson, WR, UCF

Hudson becomes the latest Auburn player to join Gus Malzahn at UCF after arriving in January. The Georgia native led the Tigers in receptions (44), receiving yards (580) and receiving touchdowns (8) last season. He joins a receiving group that is one of the deepest in the AAC, with standout Jaylon Robinson and Ryan O’Keefe leading the way. Hudson’s playmaking abilities and versatility make him an attractive option for the Knights.

Lee Hunter, DL, UCF

Hunter is the second Auburn player to transfer to UCF this offseason, joining former teammate Kobe Hudson. The four-star Alabama product was among the top-rated defensive linemen in the transfer portal and the highest-ranked defensive player to transfer to a Group of Five program. Hunter has elite size (6-5) and strength to make him an instant contributor for the Knights.

Patrick Jenkins, DL, Tulane

Jenkins appeared in 18 games (2 starts) in two seasons at TCU, where he accounted for 27 total tackles, including 5 tackles for loss and a sack. He joins a defensive front that is relatively young but features returning starters in Darius Hodges, Angelo Anderson, Adonis Friloux and Eric Hicks. The group accounted for 17.5 of the team’s 34 quarterback sacks last season.

Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati

Ivan Pace Jr. reunites with his brother, Deshawn Pace, who earned all-conference honors at linebacker for the Bearcats last season. Pace spent the past three seasons at Miami (Ohio), where he earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors after 125 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and 4 sacks, last season for the RedHawks.

John Rhys Plumlee, QB, UCF

A two-sports star at Ole Miss, Plumlee’s versatility and experience make him an intriguing addition to an already competitive quarterback competition at UCF. The senior spent his first two seasons with the Rebels at quarterback before switching to receiver in 2021. With a move back to quarterback, he has the size (6-0) and speed to fit nicely into Malzahn’s offensive scheme.

Honorable mention: LB Jaqwondis Burns (SMU); TE Kemore Gamble (UCF); LB Terrence Lewis (UCF); WR Joseph Manjack (Houston); WR Joshua Moore (SMU); OT Parker Moorer (East Carolina); S Koby Perry (UCF); WR Joseph Scates (Memphis); OL Dartanyan Tinsley (Cincinnati).

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.

©2022 Orlando Sentinel. Visit orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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