The transfer portal never stops and this week has been as active as ever. Here’s the latest from the Rumor Mill.
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Akayleb Evans released his top five of Texas, Missouri, Notre Dame, Texas Tech and Jackson State over the weekend, and the Tulsa defensive back has been very popular since hitting the portal. Jackson State was the one surprise in the group, as it was expected that Nebraska would fill out his five, and Deion Sanders’ team was considered a long shot.
So now what happens with Evans? He continues to be very quiet about his plans, with Texas considered the leader by most. In fact, he took a visit to Texas on June 1, the first day he could, and things went well. Notre Dame could get the next visit and that could be key, but keep an eye on Missouri here as the Tigers have picked up some momentum.
Evans’ relationship with assistant coach Aaron Fletcher, one of his former coaches at Tulsa who is now at Mizzou, is strong and will definitely play a big part in his decision. Evans’ defensive backfield teammate at Tulsa, Allie Green, has been rumored to be a package deal with Evans but I’m not sure that’s the case as a few schools I’ve talked to haven’t offered Green. This is where Jackson State and Deion would be interesting. Stay tuned.
Since Cain Madden entered the portal, Florida State has been seen as the heavy favorite for the Marshall offensive line transfer. This is mostly due to the Seminoles’ full-throttle efforts to make Madden an immense priority. He is currently on an official visit in Tallahassee, but now a couple of other schools have emerged as competition.
At the top of this list is Notre Dame, which is hoping to get Madden to South Bend for an official visit in the near future. Summer classes start at Notre Dame on June 15, so this will need to happen in the next two weeks if it happens at all.
The Seminoles will also work overtime to get his commitment before he heads home so that he never takes the visit to South Bend. As a former walk-on, Madden might want to enjoy the process this time around, so a few visits could happen, which makes the FSU closing attempt that much more important.
While Artie Henry III isn’t getting the same level of interest out of Marshall as Madden, the fellow Herd portal entry has also been busy. The wide receiver already holds an offer from Virginia and is also receiving serious interest from several other Power Five programs such as Kentucky, Nebraska and Kansas. The Cavs have definitely made him a priority, so how much longer will Henry wait to see if more offers come along?
Michigan continues to be a strong player for Jay Toia due to the USC defensive tackle’s relationship with coach Shaun Nua. The Wolverines are still hoping to get him on campus for a visit in the next two weeks, but at last check nothing has been finalized.
Aside from Michigan, some of the other schools who are in touch with Toia are Oregon, Utah, Arizona State, Miami, Oregon State and Baylor. After impressing during his first spring practice and a full allotment of eligibility remaining he will be a major defensive pickup for a program, and he appears to be a must-get for the Wolverines.
While Connor Wood didn’t get a chance to have a 2020 season due to a COVID cancellation at Montana State, the offensive lineman’s performance in 2018 and 2019 was more than enough to draw serious interest from a host of programs across the country.
While it is still very early (he officially entered on Tuesday afternoon), some of the schools that have already been in contact include Baylor, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Illinois, Mississippi State, Utah State, Western Kentucky and Liberty.
Will he be the next FCS portal entry who makes the move to a Power Five program? He hails from Idaho, so there is no home state advantage here.
After showing some potential during limited action in the 2020 season, Ronald Thompkins’ entry into the portal has produced a steady flow of interest. While some Power Five interest has come in, the majority of his early looks have come from Group of Five programs East Carolina, Liberty, Louisiana-Monroe, Tulsa, Texas State and Hawaii.
Being from Georgia, staying in the Southeast will likely play a part in his final decision. The Nebraska running back transfer could be a great Group of Five fit.