The Blitz: Transfer portal, commits, and coaches

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The end of the college football season can result in a feeling of sadness that we must wait until August to see another game. However, with the addition of the transfer portal, football season never truly ends. 

If the National Signing Day in February marks the beginning of the new season, the college football offseason lasts 23 days this year. After National Signing Day, teams begin preparation for spring, with some teams starting workouts in February and holding a spring game in early March.

Coaching staffs are busy ensuring committed players sign in two weeks while seeking the right pitch to convince undecided recruits to sign. We are looking at FCS this week and will focus on Division II and III next week. 

Southland Conference

Peter Rossomando has been busy putting his staff together at Lamar. Last Wednesday, Rossomando announced the addition of four coaches, including both coordinators. John Perry will be the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals after one season at Rutgers. Drew Christ is the defensive coordinator and arrives in Beaumont after three years at Boston College. Matt Cannata is the offensive line coach following one year at Mary Hardin-Baylor in the same position, and Pat Walker (Minnesota) is the top strength and conditioning assistant for football.

UIW announced the addition of 14 transfers. Among the transfers, five are from power five schools, five come from the group of five schools, one is from the FCS ranks, and two are from Lone Star Conference institutions. The transfers are Zack Calzada (Texas A&M/Auburn), Derrick Lewis (Texas Tech), Emmerick Dopona (North Texas), Darren Brown (SMU), Dalton Meyer (Sam Houston), Branon Jackson (Texas A&M-Kingsville), Mason Chambers (Iowa State), Joe Bryson (USC), Chase Carter (Michigan State), Ronald Wilson (New Mexico), Ryan Stubblefield (East Carolina), Marcus Brown (Howard), and Chris Pierce (Eastern New Mexico).

Houston Christian has added quarterback Colby Suits (Southeastern Louisiana) and a commitment from 2023 Humble Kingwood Park offensive lineman Trent Savage.

Lamar has gained commitments from nine transfers, including defensive back Joshua Landrum (Tyler), offensive lineman Mykel Janise (Wyoming), defensive back Kevin Anderson (Texas State), quarterback Robert Coleman (Mt. San Jacinto), defensive back Andrew Hardin (Youngstown State), wide receiver Jah’Mar Sanders (New Mexico), offensive lineman Knox Boyd (Charlotte), linebacker Foday Jalloh (Eastern Illinois), and linebacker Jonovan Tillis (Mt. San Antonio).

Texas A&M-Commerce has five commitments from transfers, including offensive lineman Kyle Bruce (Mississippi Gulf Coast), running back Kory Gainewell (Delta State), running back Shamenski Rucker (Southeast Missouri), offensive lineman Elias De Leon (Bethune-Cookman), and offensive lineman Logan Wylie (Stetson).

Southwestern Athletic Conference

Prairie View A&M gained a commitment from one transfer and two high school recruits. Running back Caleb Johnson is transferring from Mississippi Valley State. 2023 offensive lineman Pedro Da Silva (Katy Tompkins) and 2024 wide receiver Christopher Barnes (Galena Park North Shore), who chose the Panthers over UIW and Texas A&M-Commerce.

Texas Southern has added one commitment from high school and four from the transfer portal. Quarterback Jace Wilson (Furman), defensive lineman Elinus Noell III (Nicholls), and defensive backs Xavier Player (UTSA) and Giovonni Harper (San Jose State) committed to the Tigers along with 2023 wide receiver Roriyon Richardson (Summer Creek HS).

Western Athletic Conference

Abilene Christian has earned commitments from three transfers, including former Alabama wide receiver Jacoby Boykins, wide receiver Marcayll “Jet” Jones (Memphis), and Trinity Valley quarterback Riggs McDonald accepted a priority walk-on offer.

Defensive back Alex Morrison announced he will transfer to Sam Houston after playing for Snow College last season.

Stephen F. Austin is reloading for another run at the WAC title with seven transfers and one high school commitment. Wide receiver Jaylin Tolbert (Georgia State), running back Anthony Williams (UCF), running back Jaden Stewart (PVAMU), linebacker Sebastian Sagar (Rhode Island), defensive lineman Xavier Potts (Southern), and offensive lineman Nate Adams (Hawaii). Former Blinn quarterback Brock Bolfing accepted a priority walk-on offer, and 2023 edge Broderick Johnson announced his commitment to SFA over offers from Colorado State, Arkansas State, UIW, and Montana State.

Tarleton has commitments from nine transfers, including edge Josh Griffis (Jackson State), running back Kayvon Britten (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), defensive lineman A.J. Sargent (Coffeyville), defensive back Dylan Reyes (Iowa Western), defensive tackle Ahmir Crowder (Washington State), quarterback Daniel Greek (Mississippi State), wide receiver Tucker Swoboda (Ouachita Baptist), punter Shea Yurkunas (Tyler), and athlete Benjamin Omayebu (Idaho State).

Lone Star Conference

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has confirmed that new UTPB head coach Kris McCullough has finalized his coaching staff. The Falcons staff consists of Rob Messinger (assistant head coach and special teams coordinator), Ryan Lusby (offensive coordinator and running backs), Dionte Dean (defensive coordinator and defensive backs), Jacob Maxwell (run game coordinator and offensive line), Blake Crandall (wide receivers), Alex Wierzbicki (recruiting coordinator and defensive line), Brady Carson (linebackers), Ngalu Fusimalohi (assistant defensive line), and Justin Victorian (safeties).

DCTF has confirmed four members of Josh Lynn’s staff at West Texas A&M. Levi Gallas is the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, Brian Vaughn is the linebacker coach, Chris Watkins remains on the Buffs staff and is the defensive backs coach, and Cody Russell will coach wide receivers and is special team co-coordinator. 

American Southwest Conference

Howard Payne added Chance Rieken to the coaching staff. Rieken will coach the offensive line for the Yellow Jackets after spending last season as an offensive quality control coach for Abilene Christian. Before joining ACU, Rieken spent two seasons at Mary Hardin-Baylor as a graduate assistant, working mainly with the offensive line. Rieken began his coaching career at Angelo State and spent one season as the offensive line coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State.

Sul Ross State announced the addition of Eric Daniels to the Lobos coaching staff. Daniels will serve as offensive line coach after spending the last four seasons as a member of Tarleton's coaching staff. He began as an intern with the Texans before transitioning to a graduate assistant coach.

Austin College head coach Tony Joe White has added Bradley Oh to his coaching staff as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. An alum of Austin College, Oh returns to Sherman after spending the last two seasons as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Highland Community College.

Mary Hardin-Baylor OL Reuel Tandoh announced on Twitter that he’s stepping away from football. Tandoh was a mainstay along the Crusaders' offensive line, having played 31 games in the last three years. The Killeen native has one more year of eligibility.

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