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Transfer Tracker: FCS DT Ridgeway blowing up

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

The transfer portal never stops grinding. Since his entry into the portal on Monday, Illinois State defensive tackle John Ridgeway has picked up offers from Big Ten, SEC, PAC 12 and Big 12 programs, with plenty more close to joining the chase.


Ridgeway totaled 102 tackles at Illinois State
Ridgeway totaled 102 tackles at Illinois State (goredbirds.com)

Recruiting: Ridgeway also considered Ball State, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Western Illinois before committing to Illinois State.

At Illinois State: Ridgeway redshirted as a true freshman in 2017, at which time he made the move from the offensive line to the defensive line. He earned freshman All-American honors in 2018 with 30 tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack, had his best statistical season in 2019 with 50 tackles, three tackles for a loss and one forced fumble and in four games this spring he finished with 22 tackles, three tackles for a loss and an interception.

Potential landing spots: Since entering the portal on Monday, Ridgeway has picked up offers from Texas, Penn State, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Arizona State, Michigan and USC. Other schools that are showing serious interest include Texas A&M, Illinois, Florida, West Virginia, Oregon, Wisconsin and LSU.

Farrell’s Take: Talk about an FCS star, Ridgeway has gone from barely recruited to getting offers from some major programs at defensive tackle. He's become the most popular FCS player in the portal I've seen so I took a looksee as best I could at some of his work at Illinois State and he's beyond active for a big lineman. The jump to Power Five will be a big one but he has great potential.

Impact Meter: 8.5 out of 10


The Transfer Portal continues to change the way college football programs recruit and manage their rosters so we here at Rivals.com continue to evolve our coverage. Each time a player of note enters the portal, we will examine their potential impact on the college football landscape and assign an impact rating, both when they enter the portal and when they choose a destination. The scale is from 1-10 and the description below explains the scoring scale.

1.1-4.0 — Not a big impact expected, likely a non-starter and down the bench depth player.

4.1- 6.0 — A solid impact can be expected in the right scenario and has the potential to battle for a starting job.

6.1-9.0. — A high impact player who won’t change a program but will certainly be a very good contributor and starter.

9.1- 9.9 — A very high impact player who should start the moment he steps on the field and will change the outlook of a program immediately.

10 — A franchise transfer who has a chance to be an All American and one of the elite players in college football.