Friday, August 12, 2005

UMass Transfers

There has been a fair amount of speculation about the transfers that have come into the UMass Football program recently.

Here’s my take. Note that I do not have any special “insider” information. I do not even live in Massachusetts. And if the UMass Athletic Dept has noticed my blog, they’ve done an excellent job of containing their enthusiasm.

The ten transfers are:

Brent Caldwell OL Sr. 6-3 290 Syracuse
Jon Carnes OL So. 6-4 290 Rutgers
Shawnn Gyles DB Jr. 6-0 180 Northeastern
John Hatchell DL Jr 6-2 270 Lehigh
Taylor Humphrey QB Fr. 5-11 205 Hawaii
Matt Lawrence RB Jr. 6-1 198 UConn
Frank McDonald FB Jr. 6-0 245 Northeastern
Michael Meggett DB Fr. 6-1 205 West Virginia
Patrick Powell DE So. 6-4 265 Maryland
Justin Schweighardt DE Sr. 6-1 265 Ball State
Lateef Taylor DL So. 6-1 290 Cincinnati

I think their contributions this year will be as follows:


1. Schweighardt transferred in 2003 and started on the DL last year (25UT 10TT 35 TT 1Sack 1.5 TFL). He has been moved to DE this year.

2. Brent Caldwell played well in the spring game. Since he has only one year of eligibility left, why bring him in if he’s not going to play.

3. Frank McDonald transferred in 2003 and sat out the 2004 season. He started in the Spring game and probably will start in September.

4 Jon Hatchell transferred in 2003 and sat out the 2004 season. He has set several UMass bench press records and started in the Spring Game. The Fanzone expects him to start in September.

That’s it. Two I-A transfers starting and two from I-AA. Note that I think there will be only three new starters in 2005 and two of them will be from I-AA. Possibly the one new 1-A transfer starting will be an OG. There should be little fodder for comments that UMass won because we loaded up on 1-A transfers.


1. Matt Lawrence. UMass lost last year’s back up Bryan Smith because of academic reasons (he’ll be back next semester). Lawrence played well for UConn and would start if any thing happed to Baylark
2. Brent Caldwell is the backup center
3. Partick Powell is an awesome physical specimen and may push last years transfer Justin Schweighardt for playing time later in the season.


1. Shawnn Gyles. Transferred this year and must sit out per NCAA rules (lateral transfers in the same division must sit out a year)


1. Taylor Humphrey. Injured his shoulder in the spring. Will be in the mix next year after Tim Day graduates.
2. Michael Meggett. Highly rated safety will probably sit out a year to preserve four years of eligibility in UMass’ talent heavy secondary.
3. Lateef Taylor is still a work in progress. May play on short yardage situation.


colgate13 said...

Thanks for that breakdown. I might have to refer to that in the week before our game. It may help dispell some misinformation that can arise.

Too often people throw out the "transfer" word like it is somehow playing unfairly or it cheapens I-AA. In some ways "transfer" is like labeling a democrat a "liberal"!

Personally, I think it's crap. Often times the number of transfers are over hyped and include players that never saw a down elsewhere. For every transfer that becomes a difference maker, how many others go through a program?

Most importantly, winning programs are never built with transfers. They are complimented by them, but the core of the team, its bread and butter, has to be recruited straight out of high school and be a product of the system.

For example, in a quick brainstorm of UMass players I consider difference makers, I thought of Baylark, James Ihedigbo and former QB Jeff Krohn. Baylark and Ihedigbo are products of UMass, Krohn was a transfer. Does Krohn mean anything to 2003 UMass if the rest of the team (recruited out of high school) wasn't so good? And then, for every Krohn there is a Kraky - Evan that is. Where is he now? Certainly not a difference maker.

UMass74 said...

You are correct. Most I-A transfers are looking to go to I-AA because they were not going to play for their orginal team.

Plus, most people are not aware that the talent level at I-AA is not that much lower than I-A. We had a transfer from Notre Dame who started for the Irish in two bowl games----and in his first game in I-AA, Whipple pulled him out because he was getting his ass kicked.

Some transfers are special cases. Two Northeastern players went to UMass because they had played for Brown and liked him.

Krohn was a special case also. He was a pure pocket passer for Arizona State. He had a double whammy. The coach of Arizona State got fired and Krohn had a pretty severe shoulder injury. The new coach wanted a running game and brought in a Prepstar All american to run it. If Krohn stayed at Arizona State he was looking at only one year of even getting a chance of competing for a job.

Whipple was passing coach and he was willing to play Krohn even though his shoulder was only about 70%.

It is very rare to get a 1-A transfer like Delaware did with that DE Johnson.

I don't think we will have many transfers in 2006. Home grown is best.