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The Rumor Mill: Transfer Tracker

Jakari Robinson
Jakari Robinson (Getty Images)

The transfer portal never stops but it has slowed down in March. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a bunch of rumors out there regarding kids who are looking for a new home including Henry To’oto’o, Arik Gilbert and Jakari Robinson.

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Let’s start with offensive lineman Jakari Robinson, who started 24 games at Cincinnati since his redshirt freshman season but lost his job last year to freshman Jake Renfro. However, Robinson was back at center for the Bearcats against Georgia in the Peach Bowl and held his own. While he recently committed to Arkansas State something has just changed that could impacted his commitment. The AAC just announced that they are allowing intra-conference transfers without players having to sit out a year and Memphis was also high on Robinson’s list. Could this very recent rule change lead to a new commitment? It very well could and this will be interesting to follow.

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LB Henry To’oto’o has been a mystery of late and many things could still happen. He’s very unlikely to head back to Tennessee but Alabama could be in the mix again if this continues to drag. With the ACC and now a couple of Group of Five programs allowing intra-conference transfers the SEC could follow suit anytime which would open the door for To’oto’o to go where he wants which is Tuscaloosa. To’oto’o was supposed to visit Ohio State a couple of weeks back but apparently that visit never happened. The Buckeyes are still very interested and involved but right now no one seems to know what he’s thinking or planning. Could another program slide in here, perhaps an Oregon or someone else closer to home? Your guess is as good as mine as everyone is being tight lipped on this one.

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OK here’s the latest I have on tight end Arik Gilbert. Rumor has it from a source that he will return to Baton Rouge and LSU the weekend of April 24 and perhaps re-enroll. However, another source close to the situation said they have no knowledge of this. I know Gilbert has expressed interest in returning to LSU and the natural fit would be to room with former high school teammate B.J. Ojulari who has been off to an excellent start for the Tigers. To my knowledge it’s either LSU or JUCO and his only path back to the field in 2021 is with the Tigers. Again, he has a long list of things he needs to accomplish before he sees the field again but once again this has never been about homesickness. Gilbert never wanted to leave LSU in the first place. There are many factors I can’t discuss here for privacy sake but right now I feel very good about him landing back at LSU by the time summer conditioning comes around.

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Pitt running back Malik Newton just entered the portal on Monday night, and is an interesting situation as the 2021 three-star was medically disqualified to play at Pittsburgh not too soon after arriving on campus as an early-enrollee. He will undoubtedly get an opportunity elsewhere, with programs like East Carolina and Kansas showing early interest but without in person visits until after June, it will be interesting to see how he is checked out medically and who will take a chance on him. We have seen players like Jarvis Jones at Georgia and most recently Jaelan Phillips at Miami be medically retired at other universities and continue their careers elsewhere.

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Iowa offensive lineman Noah Fenske didn’t receive any playing time at for the Hawkeyes but other programs seem more than willing to give him an opportunity. Plenty of early interest has quickly rolled in with Texas Tech, Missouri, Colorado, USC, UNLV and Houston being just some of the FBS programs making quick contact.

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Linebacker Levi Metheny from Albany has seen a good number of FCS players make the jump to the FBS level since the transfer portal exploded more than a year ago and he will likely be next. Metheny has piqued the interest of several FBS programs and one in particular is Duke. The linebacker totaled more than 250 tackles with the Great Danes.

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Defensive back Hunter Reynolds, who started his Michigan career as a walk-on, already picked up an offer from Utah State and has received additional interest from Minnesota, West Virginia, Marshall, UConn and Ball State. Reynolds is one of many Michigan defensive transfers since Don Brown was let go and the Wolverines are moving towards a new defensive scheme.

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Linebacker Devin Richardson is becoming popular. New Mexico State already had one transfer make the jump recently to a Power Five school when Jason Simmons signed with Syracuse, and Richardson may be the next. He already has options, with ULM, Texas State, Liberty, North Alabama and Eastern Kentucky offering, but Power Five schools who continue to stay in touch include Kansas State, Washington State and Texas.

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I thought running back Keyon Henry-Brooks would be committed to Auburn by now but he’s another who is slowed by the SEC’s lack of intra-conference transfer clarity like To’oto’o. Auburn continues to be the main player for Henry-Brooks, but new recent interest has come in from Purdue, Colorado State, Tulsa and Louisiana Tech.

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Ohio State OL Max Wray entered the portal this week and interest has been off the hook. So far Auburn, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida State, Indiana, Colorado, Baylor and Oklahoma State have already shown great interest as long as well as a ton of mid-majors and Group of Five programs. No word on early leaders at all as he just entered but he did like the Vols as a finalist coming out of high school and felt he rushed the process the first time around picking Ohio State so this should go slowly.