Eastern Michigan CB Jarrett Paul back in transfer portal
After coming to EMU by way of Rutgers, the rising cornerback hits the transfer portal for his second time. That, and more MAC football notes from the trans
Transfer Portal Update: January 14, 2022
Five, including Jarrett Paul, leave EMU
Five Eastern Michigan football players hit the transfer portal on Wednesday. That handful of transfers out include: DL DeZaun Brooks, LB Charles Brown Jr., K Tanner Luther, CB Jarrett Paul, and OL William Racely.
Paul is, of course, the biggest loss to the team. The transfer from Rutgers (2021) played every game in his one and only season with the Eagles, and started every game at cornerback from Week 2 on. Paul was second on the team with 743 total snaps played, was first in pass breakups (6), tied for sixth in tackles (45), and caused one fumble.
Losing Paul definitely hurts, especially with how hard it is to find stability in this conference at the cornerback position. Maybe Eastern fans can place their optimism in the promise that, on the other half of the field, Kempton Shine's shown that he could make some plays as an undergrad and was on the field for 506 total snaps. Mark Lee (240 snaps) also had three starts during the season. Russ Vaden IV and Jeff Hubbard have bounced between corner and safety as rotational guys in 2021.
Other corners that saw the field this year are Cameron Smith (10), and Corry Thomas Jr. (20), and Isaiah Watson (16).
In terms of roster management, it doesn't look like EMU's in a terrible start to filling out an initial 2-deep on defense. But losing a starting corner always hurt, and the only appropriate response to that for the coaching staff is, of course, shop the transfer portal and try to bring in a more talented corner than Paul. Considering that EMU lost 5 players to the portal, I think EMU's budget is probably two corners: a grad transfer, and a freshman to develop.
Of the other four players that hit the transfer portal — Brooks, Brown, Luther, and Racely — only two saw the field in 2021. Brooks played in six games over the last two seasons (39 career snaps) and Racely appeared in one game in each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons (11); both were members of the 2019 signing class, so they'll each have three years of eligibility remaining.
CMU: Troy Brown to Ole Miss, Devonni Reed to South Carolina
After being listed to the First Team All-MAC roster for the third-straight year, Troy Brown has left Central Michigan for Ole Miss to play his final year of college ball. Brown, raised in Flint, Mich., signed with CMU in 2017 under John Bonamego's leadership. He played no games in 2017, 10 in 2018 (19 tackles), then got cooking in 2019 when Jim McElwain took over and Central found its way back to the MAC title stage for the first time since 2009. Brown was voted to be a captain and later the team's MVP.
Brown's career stats: 41 games played, 215 total tackles (158 solo), 31.5 tackles for loss (6.5 sacks), 5 interceptions, 17 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles (2 recoveries).
Devonni Reed, a former safety for CMU, is another southeast Michigan standout who left the Chippewas for a chance to play in the SEC for a year. After Reed redshirted his first year on campus in 2017, he was nothing short of a full-year starter and annual contributor for the CMU defense. He was second on the team in total tackles as a redshirt-freshman (97). Eventually, in 2020, Reed would be a Third Team All-MAC honoree, and reached the Second Team list in 2021.
Reed's career stats: 43 games played, 287 total tackles (180 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss (1 sack), 3 interceptions, 14 passes defended, 2 fumbles caused.
Both of these Michigan-raised MAC stars at their in-state school find themselves with one more year of eligibility still because of the pandemic. Both guys spent redshirt seasons at CMU (before you were allowed to play 4 games and still be a redshirt), then had four-year careers on the field for the school. They also didn't leave the program when the team went 1-11 and also lost its head coach (fired). Instead they stayed through those low moments, won the West division in 2018, became All-MAC honorees, and now they're using a free year to play in the SEC to see what else they can do with their college careers.
Maybe the transfer portal will naturally slow down a little bit when players who have a pandemic-granted bonus year in their pocket start to graduate out of the college system. Brown and Reed did all you could ask for at CMU. Brown, Reed, and many other players have a sixth year of eligibility that they're going to flex in 2022, and there's going to be another wave of sixth-year players in 2023. Over time, there will be fewer sixth-year guys, and that might lead to fewer players going through the transfer portal.
But until then, CMU's got to figure out how it's going to replace two of the best defenders in the league before spring practices get going.
MAC Freshman of the Year to Memphis
I still can't believe that the two best freshmen from the MAC are gone already. Konata Mumpfield (Akron) picked Pittsburgh, and now Jay Ducker (Northern Illinois) is officially off to Memphis.
There's really nothing more for me to add that I haven't already said. It’s truly damning, though, that this relationship with Thomas Hammock was botched so dramatically. And that Hammock’s now up to two MAC Freshmen of the Year award winners to leave the program under his tutelage: QB Marcus Childers, and now Ducker. Childers wasn’t a Hammock recruit, but Ducker was absolutely Hammock’s type coming out of high school.
More transfer portal updates
Akron: WR Alex Adams signed with Akron. Adams was the #8 recruit in Mississippi, signed with LSU in 2020.
BGSU: OL Jakari Robinson signed with the Falcons to play his final year of college football. Robinson, from Talladega, Ala, spent four years at Cincinnati, then spent the 2021 season in Memphis.
Buffalo: Outgoing graduate transfer QB Kyle Vantrease will finish his career at Georgia Southern.
Buffalo: Bulls bring in WR Geordon Porter from Arizona State. He's a graduate transfer with one year left. Has 14 career catches, 250 yards, 1 TD.
Miami: CB Mehki Miller signed with New Mexico State.
Miami: DE Lonnie Phelps could very well end up in Kansas, and it'd be quite a sight to see. Also, wouldn't be surprised if Lance leaned more into plucking guys from the MAC that fit his style, too.
Click here for my complete list of MAC football players that have come in/out of the transfer portal.
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