With new head coach Tom Herman taking over at Texas, there were bound to be a few transfers out of Austin. On Thursday, the school confirmed one such move and the departure of another, leaving the Longhorns a lot lighter in the trenches.
Sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Elliott, in a Snapchat no less, announced his intention to transfer first earlier in the afternoon. A spokesperson for the program later told Hookem.com and several other outlets that redshirt freshman defensive lineman Marcel Southall had also left the team.
The pair of exits mean the Longhorns have now lost three players this offseason to transfer but the gaps left on the depth chart by these two figure to be a little harder to replace. Senior Poona Ford is the unquestioned starter on the interior of the defensive line but Elliott was expected to be his primary backup and rotate in fairly often after showing flashes a season ago. Southall missed time due to academic issues this spring and didn’t seem to factor in as a huge contributor to the rotation, but his transfer will leave a rather thin unit even thiner heading into 2017.
Eliott was an Army All-American coming out of high school so he figures to eventually have a wealth of suitors looking for a big tackle. All told, he played in six games and made eight tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, while Southall redshirted last season and did not see any action on the field for Texas. Both prepped in the Lone Star State so it will be interesting where they wind up and if former UT coach Charlie Strong is interested in bringing either player over to USF in the near future.
Injuries really hit Michigan State hard last season but perhaps none of them were as scary or life-threatening than the one that defensive back Tyson Smith suffered later in the year.
According to a tweet by the Spartans redshirt junior on Wednesday, the previously undisclosed injury that prevented him from playing the final four games in 2016 was apparently a stroke.
Smith recorded 13 tackles on the year and had four pass breakups across eight appearances in 2016. Thanks to a combination of injuries and his play, the cornerback eventually ended up starting four games for the Spartans but missed the final month as a result of what we apparently have come to find out was a stroke.
Thankfully it appears the issue is being put behind him as he noted he is even back up and running right now. Smith is still listed on the team’s roster but was not surprisingly one of over a dozen players who did not participate in Michigan State’s spring game. School spokesmen apparently did not clarify the injury report or if Smith would return for 2017 when contact by several of local Michigan outlets but…