Transfer Portal Season is Here; DT Alex Merritt First to Split
EMU DT plans for transfer portal after 31 games as an Eagle.
It’s that time of year again.
Transfer portal season is upon us with the conclusion of everybody’s regular season (minus Army-Navy), and the first player to exit Eastern Michigan is certainly a blow to the roster for the immediate and long-term effects. Yesterday, defensive tackle Alex Merritt announced his intent to enter the transfer portal, which will open on Monday.
Merritt has had to battle back from a season-ending injury in 2022 and in-season issues this year to finish the year on the field rather than being on the sidelines this time. The DT finished the year with 27 total tackles (4.5 for loss), and had 69 total tackles over his career (31 games, 23 starts) which dates back to 2019. Against Kent State, Merritt (and the whole D-line) feasted on the Golden Flash offense as he finished with 8 total tackles, 3 for loss.
Merritt, from Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio), was a three-star prospect out of high school and received offers from military schools, the MAC, and Ivy League schools. He was smart enough before to lean more into the football, and it looks like he’s aiming to get more serious about his game once again.
The 2019 signee wore a [4-game] redshirt in his first season, and the pandemic-laden season let Merritt keep his redshirt-freshman status through the start of the 2021 season, and being hurt for just about all of 2022 meant he was a medical-redshirt sophomore for the 2023 season, which is how he enters the portal this year with two years of eligibility to use.
Merritt being the first EMU player to leave the team this year makes this the team’s first roster change of the post-regular season, which means a lot of updates will be had in the spreadsheets, but this is also a huge blow to an EMU team that’s hoping to achieve its second-straight bowl victory, a feat this school has never achieved before.
The NCAA transfer portal has gone through some changes since it first began in 2018. Currently, the rules are that there are two transfer windows for athletes to officially enter their names into the portal and leave their current situations. The first transfer window begins Monday Dec. 4, the day after all of the bowl announcements, and will close 30 days later, Jan. 2, 2024. The second transfer window is slated to open (then close again) April 15-30, 2024.