Y11 Notes: On Transfers and Incoming Freshmen
A JUCO DT and slew of walk-ons hit the transfer portal Wednesday.
Y11 Notes: Thursday, April 20
Transfer Portal: More spring-time entrants
Spring practices are all finished up and the second transfer portal window, apparently, opened up a couple of weeks sooner than expected. Instead of its originally planned-for window of May 1 through May 15, the transfer window now runs April 15 through April 30.
EMU had 13 players hit the portal before the spring, and three more left the team as of Tuesday — safety Roberty Daniel Jr., linebacker Steven Scheidt, and wide receiver Darius Lassiter.
On Wednesday, that total of outgoing transfers climbed up to 23, though that doesn’t mean all transfers-out were on scholarship at EMU either.
Now leaving EMU:
DT, Jaavon Brown — Brown, to me, is probably the biggest talent loss of Wednesday’s portal entrants. He didn’t see the field in his first year as a transfer from Indy C.C., but I figured he’d be strong enough to find a way on the field. Had plenty of reps during the spring game.
LB, Andrew Buck — Buck joined the team last year as a freshman walk-on from Menlo Park, Calif.
TE, Jeremiah Drake — Drake joined the team last year as preferred walk-on from Wyoming, Mich. (Godwin Heights HS). Drake was also a QB in high school.
RB, Wesley Faulkner — Faulkner’s name was never listed anywhere on official rosters or program notes, so I can only assume Faulkner was scout-team help that’s trying to make the most of his practice film.
S, Jack Goodman — Goodman was a PWO addition during the 2020 signing class from Battle Creek, Mich. (Lakeview HS).
K, Ivan Maric — Maric, a freshman kicker whose playing time is hard to forecast with Jesus Gomez on the 1’s and 3’s, and Ryan Kingston/Brady Pohl on kickoffs, is looking for his shot. He’s from McLean, Va.
WR, Chase Smith — A lanky receiver from Columbia, S.C. (Ridge View HS), Smith took a walk-on spot in 2020 and, like most guys on here, are still looking for a scholarship.
CB, Corry Thomas Jr. — Thomas was a two-star corner in the 2019 signing class (River Rouge, Mich. — Westlake HS) who didn’t see the field very often during his time.
Gary Dorsey Jr. late addition to 2023 class
Ahead of Eastern Michigan’s spring game last week, the program received another commitment for its incoming class. Also joining the roster this June: defensive end Gary Dorsey Jr., from Deer Park, Ohio.
The Cincinnati-area lineman had some offers from lower-level schools, but EMU was the first D1 school to offer Dorsey a roster spot last Wednesday. Two days later, he came up to Ypsilanti to check out the campus, and to introduce himself to his new team.
Dorsey will be the sixth defensive lineman to join the team this year. In-state defensive ends Messiah Blair, the highest-ranked Michigan-based signee in school history, and Luke Fletcher from Port Huron both signed with the program in December, as did interior lineman Malik Tullis from Georgia, and versatile D-lineman Kevion Wellington from Indy. Ugochukwu Nosike, is a junior college tackle who signed and enrolled in the winter.
Coaching change shouldn’t negatively impact freshman WR’s playing time
One thing that stood out to incoming freshman Makhail Wood about Eastern Michigan was the opportunity for him to see the field.
That was something that Dyrell Roberts, EMU’s former wide receivers coach, really sold Wood and his father, Mathew, on. Even with returning starters Tanner Knue and, at the time, Darius Lassiter coming back, the chance for incoming freshmen like Wood and Joseph Walker Jr. was certainly on the table.
But in late March, Roberts left EMU to be the outside receivers coach at East Carolina.
“Even though we lost coach Roberts,” Matthew Wood said, “one thing I love about coach Creighton is when coach Roberts did leave, coach Creighton reached out. He made sure Makhail knew that Eastern Michigan still wanted him, the plan hadn’t changed, everything was good to go. And man, I think Ypsilanti is in for something special.”
The last pro-EMU tweet on Roberts’ timeline is a retweet by Wood on March 27. On that day, Wood made it clear that he wasn’t looking to just get on the field. The wide receiver who was lightly recruited as a late-bloomer but was one of the more electric players in Georgia high school 7A football. Per MaxPreps, Wood had 1,045 receiving yards on 57 catches with 13 TD. Wood helped his high school go on to a 14-1 record and win its first state title. Over the five-game playoff run, Wood had 23 catches for 414 yards and 6 TD.
The Wood family always assumed Makhail would be a college basketball player one day, but during the cornavirus pandemic of 2020, the young athlete had time to think about what would be best for his future. He loves basketball, but football would be the one thing Wood would invest all of his athletic time into.
The thought process, to his father, made sense. Wood trains with Cedeno Patrick, a former Arena Football player who owns Scoob Zilla gym in Suwanee, Ga., which is also used by some Atlanta Falcons receivers. Guys like Christian Blake and Calvin Ridley gave the then-13-year-old and received a masterclass on route running. Chris Cooper, a cornerback, would teach Wood what defenses look out for.
“Also, one of his teammates, Caleb Downs, was the #1 player in Georgia last year. And they went at it every day,” the elder Wood said. “So that made him better as an athlete as well.”
Numbers changes (pt. 2)
With the spring session wrapped up and the transfer portal back open, EMU updated its official, online roster recently, along with uniform changes.
#1 Hamze El-Zayat, from #88 (last worn by WR Hassan Beydoun)
#3 QB Ike Udengwu III (last worn by TE Aaron Jackson)
#7 WR Javon Swinton (last worn by DB Brandon Benson)
#11 WR Terry Lockett (last worn by DB Isaiah Watson)
#19 WR Adam Rammouni (last worn by QB Austin Smith)
#26 WR Quinn Fracassi (last worn by RB Bryson Moss)
#30 RB Deion Brown
#50 OL Owen Snively (last worn by DL Rafe Reyes)
#52 OL John Golden Jr., from #64
#55 OL Dan Sunderman (last worn by DE Jose Ramirez)
#69 OL Trenton VanBoening (last worn by OL Jake Donnellon)
#76 OL Chris Mayo (last worn by OL Richard Bates Jr.)
#82 TE Cedric Anton (last worn by TE Gunnar Oakes)
#84 TE C.J. Horton (last worn by WR Zach Westmoreland)
#88 Blake Daniels, from #86 (last worn by WR Hamze El-Zayat)
#3 S Quentavius Scandrett, from #35 (last worn by S Brandon Benson)
#10 S Josh McCarty, from #18 (last worn by LB Tariq Speights)
#11 DE Mikah Coleman, from #95
#12 LB E.J. Williams, from #20
#13 S Javian Norman (last worn by S Russell Vaden IV)
#14 CB Keylen Gulley, from #33
#31 CB Jesse Vasquez
#33 DE Carter Evans, from #52
#35 CB Jaheim Jenkins
#47 LB Justin Jefferson, from #41
#49 De Jaden Gaines, from #48
#90 DT Adrian Gonzalez, from #96 (last worn by DE Grant Trueman)
#96 DT Ugo Nosike
Wood has a great opportunity this year, considering 1 of our top 4 guys from last year is returning. Any word on who the WR coach might be? Also, speaking of coaching: who are the Offensive and Defensive play callers going to be this year? Mike Piatkowski took over play calling on offense at some point last year (IIRC the bowl broadcast said after Toledo), but so far as I know he hasn't been promoted to OC. There's been no announcement of who's replacing Neathery either, Wikipedia says Ben Needham and Taver Johnson are going to in tandem (but IDK who's calling plays). I know that there're some teams that aren't as rigid in assigning titles, but if we don't know who's calling plays, how are we supposed to have any idea what to expect?