As I’m sure most have you have heard by now, the transfer portal is becoming a big deal. Especially in the age of COVID, and with the NCAA instituting a new rule allowing athletes to reuse a year of eligibility after this chaotic 2020 season, kids are looking for new homes to play football at left and right. Although most people hear of the portal due to the high-level FBS kids entering their names, the portal is there to be used by prospects at the FCS and DII levels as well, and that’s particularly important to note when one is trying to track athletes from the state of Minnesota who have transferred for their college or university during the Fall of 2020. Some of these studs have already resigned with a new program, but there are still some really high profile former MN prep studs that are looking for a team to finish their eligibility with, so if you are a college coach reading this feature please take a look at the available players, they won’t let you down. To take a look at which former MN prep standouts have found a new home or are still needing one from
As I’m sure most have you have heard by now, the transfer portal is becoming a big deal. Especially in the age of COVID, and with the NCAA instituting a new rule allowing athletes to reuse a year of eligibility after this chaotic 2020 season, kids are looking for new homes to play football at left and right. Although most people hear of the portal due to the high-level FBS kids entering their names, the portal is there to be used by prospects at the FCS and DII levels as well, and that’s particularly important to note when one is trying to track athletes from the state of Minnesota who have transferred for their college or university during the Fall of 2020. Some of these studs have already resigned with a new program, but there are still some really high profile former MN prep studs that are looking for a team to finish their eligibility with, so if you are a college coach reading this feature please take a look at the available players, they won’t let you down. To take a look at which former MN prep standouts have found a new home or are still needing one from this past year, all you have to do is scroll below. Thanks for reading!
Transferred and Signed
Jermaine Johnson (Eden Prairie/Independence CC) DE. 6’5, 240 lbs. Transferred (grad transferred?) from the Georgia Bulldogs to the Florida State Seminoles, where he will have one year left of eligibility. One of the most unique journeys of any former MN prep football player in the last decade, Johnson was a 2-star recruit and rated the #11 overall prospect in the state as a senior, where he was a long and lean WR/DE with some obviously natural pass-rush skills in his repertoire. He ended taking the JUCO path to get his grades straight, signed with the Last Chance U’s polarizing head coach Jason Brown at Independence CC in Kansas, and developed into the #1 or #2 overall JUCO recruit in his class with a list of P5 offers so long he had his choice of just about every program in the country. He ended up committing to the University of Georgia, and in two seasons he played in 21 games, including 4 starts, and totaled 36 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 23 QB pressures, and a FF. He put his name in the portal on December 22nd, and four days later he signed with the Florida State Seminoles of the ACC. If he has a strong final season in Tallahassee he’s got a great chance of being drafted to a NFL team.
Eric Wilson (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) OL. 6’4, 280 lbs. Grad transferred from Harvard to Penn State, and will have 1-2 seasons of eligibility remaining. At Harvard, Wilson played in 2 games during his freshman season of 2017, 10 games in 2018, 10 games in 2019 when he was named All-Ivy League second team & Phil Steele all-Ivy League second team. Prior to the 2020 season that got cancelled for the Ivy’s, Wilson was named a semifinalist for NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, a Academic All-Ivy League pick, a Phil Steele Preseason FCS All-America Fourth Team and Phil Steele Preseason All-Ivy League First Team selection before he chose to place his name in the transfer portal due to the Ivy League not competing in football in 2020. He was being heavily recruited by P5 teams from all over the country, including the hometown Gophers, who had offered Wilson when he was in high school but could not secure his commitment. On November 24th he committed to the Auburn Tigers to finish out his career in the SEC, but things happen at the D1 level and commitments become rescinded for a variety of reasons, but Wilson bounced back and officially signed with Penn at the end of January and will finish out his career in the Big10. As a prep at Benilde he was a 4x letterwinner, 2x captain, helped the Red Knights win a 4A state championship as a senior, and named one of four "Super Preps" by the StarTribune. He was also a unanimous All-State selection, named his District’s Lineman of the Year, a 2x All-Conference pick, an All-Metro selection, a Mr. Football nominee, and a Minnesota All-Star game participant. He was also an accomplished thrower on the BSM track & field team. I am very excited to see him compete in the Big10 and I hope an NFL shot is coming his way in time.
Joe SchreiberJoeSchreiberOLEden Prairie | 2018StateMN
(Eden Prairie) OL. 6’2, 270 lbs. Transferred from North Dakota State to Iowa Western CC, then signed to East Tennessee State University on December 15th before playing a down at IWCC. A class Eden Prairie Eagle hog of an offensive lineman who signed to the Mighty Bison after graduating from Eden Prairie in 2018, where he was a two-year starter, All-Conference, All-District, and All-Metro OC who helped EP go undefeated and win a state championship in 2017. He was also a MN All-Star game selection, and after spending the 2018 and 2019 seasons with NDSU he put his name in the transfer portal before signing with Iowa Western CC in Council Bluffs, Iowa. While there, and before him and the Reviers could face any differing competition, Schreiber began earning offers and eventually held a list of opportunities from the likes of Southwest Missouri, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Gardner-Webb University, East Tennessee State, & UT-Martin before he ultimately committed to the East Tennessee State Bucs. He has three years of eligibility remaining I believe.
Nico Bolden (Woodbury) DB. 6’3, 215 lbs. Transferred from the University of New Mexico to Kent State. A long, rangy, & hard-hitting DB prospect out of Woodbury who was named All-State, All-Metro, Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and twice All-District as a Woodbury Royal, Bolden ultimately committed to the Lobos of New Mexico over offers from Buffalo, Wyoming, Vanderbilt, Washington State, and Syracuse amongst others during his senior year. After a redshirt season in 2017 he played in 10 games in 2018, mostly on special teams, but did see action against Utah State and Boise State at safety and recorded five tackles those two games. In 2019 as a RS sophomore he started only one game but played in 1, and recorded 16 tackles and a TFL, including eight in his first start against Wyoming. He was also twice named to the Mountain West All-Academic teams. On December 15th he entered his name into the transfer portal, received a few offers, but jumped at his opportunity to play for the Kent State Golden Flashes and committed on the 31st of December. He will have two years of eligibility remaining with Kent State.
Jake Richter (Detroit Lakes) WR. 6’4, 215 lbs. Transferred from Minnesota State University-Moorhead (D2) to the University of North Dakota. A huge surprise during the Early National Signing Day, the big-bodied and accomplished former Detroit Lake Laker and MSUM Dragon wideout bet on himself and will use his final year(s?) of eligibility to play in the Missouri Valley for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. As a prep, Richter was a three-year letterwinner who was an All-District selection as a senior and a captain for both football and basketball. He signed with MSUM, and went onto tear it up, playing as a true freshman, and true sophomore before suffering a season-ending injury in 2017 in his second year. He came back in 2018 to lead the team with 1,113 receiving yards and 10 TDs with a 16.4 yard per catch average. He was named to the All-NSIC First Team and All-Super Region 4 Second Team for his efforts, and followed it up the year after by overcoming a significant injury and catching 25 passes for 520 yards and 4 TDs to earn All-NSIC Second Team honors. Somewhere after that he and the UND staff started getting in contact, possibly after the Northern Sun announced its plans to not continue forward with a Fall season in 2020, and the match was made. It’s one I’m really excited about, as you don’t see a lot of wideouts with that kind of frame, and I’m always interested to see how NSIC production could possibly equal MVFC talent. Keep an eye out for the Hawks #5 this season!
Benny Sapp IIIBennySapp IIIDBEden Prairie | 2018StateMN
(Eden Prairie) DB. 6’1, 205 lbs. Transferred from the University of Minnesota to the University of Northern Iowa. Played his senior year of high school ball at Eden Prairie, so he definitely counts towards the list. Despite playing in only two games as a senior due to injuries, he was still looked at as a 3-star recruit and the #2 prospect in the state of MN. He played in 24 games as a Gopher in 2018 and 2019, mostly on special teams, but showed that his knees were good to go and he still had a lot of that explosiveness that captured recruiters attention when he was a youngin’ playing in Broward County, Florida. Safety reps were looking limited at Minnesota, so he put his name in the transfer portal around the start of the Fall Big10 season, and shortly thereafter signed with the UNI Panthers, where his father had an excellent career playing football at back in the day. Things seem to be going well, as he started, forced a fumble, and was all over the field in UNI’s tough loss to South Dakota State yesterday on ESPN+. Big season coming for him.
Phillip Howard (Robbinsdale Cooper) CB. 5’11, 195 lbs. Put his name in the transfer portal but withdrew it and returned to Minnesota, and is now projected to start at CB for the Gophers next season. He was an AP All-State Second Team athlete in high school, and was very highly regarded by the national recruiting services. He’s had an up-and-down career at the U of M, which included him transitioning from WR to CB, but he’s done an impressive job of working through these obstacles and staying with the hometown team. He’s played in a ton of games for Minnesota in the 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19, and 2020 seasons, and has recorded 13 catches for 137 yards, 5 rushes for 12 yards, 17 tackles, .5 TFLs, 1 INT, 2 PBUs, and a FF, as well as four punt returns. I’m excited to see him ball out next season in the Maroon and Gold.
Still in the Portal
*As of yesterday* Austin Hopp (Minnetonka) OL. 6’6, 315 lbs. Put his name in the transfer portal as a grad transfer from Western Illinois University. Hopp is an awesome example of a late bloomer, as the Honorable Mention All-District offensive lineman worked his butt off and bet on himself at the FCS level and was rewarded by being named a FCS Freshman All-American after taking a redshirt year in 2017. He started all 11 games and helped WIU to the third-best passing offense in the conference and 22nd in the nation to go along with a MVFC OL of the Week award on October 22nd. In 2019 he started all 12 games at LT. He’s a got a lot of upside and experience and I’m hoping a FBS team takes a shot on the Tonka Skipper.
True Thompson (Armstrong/Iowa Western CC) 6’4, 215 lbs. *Grad transfer from the University of Minnesota and is still in-need of a home. Has an incredibly high ceiling as a prospect and worked his butt off to get/stay on the Gophers football team. As a senior Robbinsdale Armstrong Falcon, Thompson served as team captain, and made 39 catches for 650 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He then signed with Iowa Western CC and spent two years in Council Bluffs, which included a redshirt year, and played in 10 games and made four receptions for 65 yards. He then joined former high school teammates Thomas Barber and Jack Leius (who eventually transferred to MSU-Mankato and earned NSIC Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors) at the U of M, but did not see game action in 2018, ’19, or ’20, but did earn Academic Big10 Honors in 2020. He’s going to make a college receiver room very happy... @true_thompson
Ethan Sailer (Rochester Lourdes) TE/DE. 6’5, 260 Redshirt Freshman. Put his name in the portal from the University of Sioux Falls and is still in-need of a home. As a prep, Sailer played QB, TE, and DL, and in his senior season caught four passes for 109 yards and a TD, as well as 75.5 tackles, 21 TFLs, and 10 sacks. He was an All-District HM pick in 2018 and All-District and District DL of the Year in 2019. He has all four seasons of eligibility remaining I believe! @ethanjsailer
Lucas Fisher (Rochester Century) DB. 6’, 200 lbs. *Grad Transfer from Southwest Minnesota State University. The most experienced transfer on this list, the junior Southwest Minnesota State Mustang and former Rochester Century standout brings a wealth of football knowledge and practice to his new potential teams as he started since his true freshman year and has gone on to start 33 total games for SMSU in his career. As a prep he was a 3x All-Conference pick, a All-State Third Team selection, and finished his career with 16 interceptions and 128 tackles. In three years of starting for the Mustangs he totaled 139 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 5 INTs, 7 PBUs, a FF, a FR, a blocked kick, and a TD. It’s almost important to note that SMSU is where former Park safety Michael Griffin III transferred from after finding similar success, and he’s in his second year starting for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Just something I wanted to throw out there... @Luke_Fish99
TJ Tumbelson (Mahtomedi/Iowa Central CC) FB. 5’8, 220 lbs. *Grad-transfer who put his name in the portal from Abilene Christian University and is still in-need of a home. A stout and powerful fullback, Tavian "TJ" Tumbelson signed with Iowa Central CC out of high school and competed and appeared in 24 games over two years for the Tritons before signing with FCS competitor Abilene Christian in Texas. In two seasons he totaled 7 carries for 22 yards and six catches for 14 yards. He’s got one year of eligibility remaining and would make an excellent and experienced FB in the right system. @tjtumbleson34
Carson Kons (Park of Cottage Grove) RB. Redshirt Freshman. 5’9, 185 lbs. Put his name in the transfer portal from the University of Sioux Falls. Along with Ethan Sailer, former Park RB Kons is leaving USF from their 2019 commitment class without using any of his eligibility. He was a two-way starter for the Wolfpack as a prep and averaged almost 8 yards a carry as a senior to go along with six TDs in eight games. @Carsonkons
Ako Bulter Jr. (Jordan) RS Freshman. DB. 5’10, 170 lbs. Put his name in the transfer portal from Southwest Minnesota State University. Named SMSU scout team defensive player of the week vs. Concordia-St. Paul in 2019. As a prep he was a three-year letterwinner in both football and track at Jordan-Hubmen. @AkoBJr
Matthew JaegerMatthewJaegerKRobbinsdale Armstrong | 2018StateMN
(Robbinsdale Armstrong) K. 6’1, 180 lbs. Has his name in the transfer portal with three years of eligibility remaining from Missouri. @jaeger_matthew