We hear so much about Buffalo’s presence in the transfer portal these days, but let’s spend some time on other MAC schools affected by player movements alike.
On Wednesday, LB Kholbe Coleman (Bowling Green) and DE Caleb Wright (Northern Illinois) announced their decisions to transfer to Southern Illinois (FCS) and Northern Michigan (Division-II), respectively. Additionally (something that I didn’t notice sooner), WR Dennis Robinson (NIU) announced his decision to transfer to Hawaii and stay at the FBS level.
BGSU, NIU both crated by transfer portal
Bowling Green has seen 15 players leave this offseason via the transfer portal and eight of those guys were starters in the 2020 season. Buffalo’s transfer portal woes are because of the very awful timing (for the players) of the new coaching change. Bowling Green’s issue is that they’re still in year Too Many under Scot Loeffler and there’s no realistic reason to believe things are going to improve with that still being the case. Of those eight starting Falcons that left, five of them have landed at other FBS institutions and the other three are playing at the FCS level (so, still D1). Even LB DeMontae Haigler, who did not play in 2020 but started six games in 2019, landed at Louisiana-Monroe via transfer. It’d be one thing if BGSU had starters leave and coaches only at the D2 and D3 levels made offers after these guys, but Caleb Biggers is at Boise State, Andrew Clair is at Northwestern, Jerry Roberts is at Arizona — BG’s straight up losing talent that its current coaching staff couldn’t figure out how to better manage.
NIU’s got 26 players in the transfer portal. That’s twenty, and seven more. Only two starters in 2020 (I define 2020 starters as guys who started at least just one game, Covid makes things hard to be stingy like in normal years) left via the portal, and both wound up at schools still at the FBS level — DT Weston Kramer to Indiana, and WR Dennis Robinson to Hawaii. The Covid season let NIU bank hard on the best, youngest players it could have its hands on. Playing time for raw, talented freshmen was higher up on Thomas Hammock’s list of priorities than finding time for guys that are in their redshirt-sophomore or redshirt-junior seasons. A lot of guys in the portal are in that graduate transfer class and still have 2-3 years to offer schools. I’m checking for updates still, but I haven’t seen next stops yet for all of these guys just yet.
Click here to see my running list of MAC-centric updates from the transfer portal.