MAC transfers to watch 2021
Rocky Lombardi, QB, Northern Illinois
Lombardi had an up-and-down career at Michigan State. He filled in as a starter after Brian Lewerke got injured in 2018 and played pretty well outside of a nightmare performance at Nebraska. In 2020, Lombardi was given the reins to the offense and looked abysmal from the start. He had five turnovers (3 fumbles, 2 ints) in the season opener against Rutgers and made some horrible decisions in the passing game throughout the season. He did provide some hope with a huge game against Michigan, but he's probably better suited for the MAC. His experience should help him in the transition with the Huskies.
Jeslord Boateng, LB, Akron
The Zips need vast improvement on defense and Boateng is a great start. He had carved out a role as a key backup at linebacker for Michigan State and showed potential. He's one of many players whose playing time dwindled under Mel Tucker but should slide right into the Akron lineup.
Jayshon Jackson, WR, Ball State
Jackson collected over 700 receiving yards for Cincinnati and was second in receiving yards on a top-10 Bearcats team last season. He obviously has the experience to thrive at Ball State when given the chance and could help make the Cardinals' passing game one off the best in the conference with receivers Yo'Heinz Tyler and Justin Hall and quarterback Drew Plitt.
Tommy Guajardo, TE, Bowling Green
Guajardo was one of the top players in the state of Michigan in the 2020 recruiting class. He redshirted at Michigan State for a year before deciding to transfer. He now has a chance to play a crucial part in the revival of the MAC's second-worst offense from 2020.
Ben Bryant, QB, Eastern Michigan
WIth Desmond Ridder at Cincinnnati, it became clear that Bryant was not going to see much playing time. He had played sparingly when games were in hand or injuries occurred, but he was not going to earn the starting job. He's a former four-star recruit who will finally get an opportunity to start and one of the more talented players the MAC will have.
Anthony Williams, RB, Akron
Williams was the complementary speed running back for Michigan State and showed flashes of being a game-changer. He saw a reduction in opportunities under Mel Tucker and will get a chance to play more for Akron. I've always thought he could make a good wide receiver because of his ability to make people miss in space, but for now, he'll be a running back trying to help improve the Zips' porous rushing attack.
Keyon Mozee, RB, Miami (OH)
A top player from the state of Missouri coming out of high school, Mozee played in nine games for Kansas State in 2020 but did not make a huge impact. However, Miami (OH) finished with the second-worst rushing offense in the MAC last year, so Mozee should get plenty of chances to show his abilities.
Jordan Ward, DL, Ball State
An All-Southern Conference player moving up to the FBS level for 2021. Ward played in 42 games with 18 starts and racked up 125 tackles with 20 TFL and seven sacks--including four sacks in the FCS's 2020 spring season. His presence should help the defending conference champs improve their defense.
Austin Osborne, WR, Bowling Green
Osborne was a top-120 recruit in his class and joins his former high school quarterback, Matt McDonald, at Bowling Green after appearing in just five games at Washington. He has the size to become a legitimate number one receiver in this conference and should start immediately.
Quian Williams, WR, Buffalo
With Antonio Nunn and Trevor WIlson moving on, the Bulls needed a proven receiver to join the team and got exactly that with Williams. He hasn't played at the upper levels of college football like some of the other transfers I've mentioned, but he has a successful track record at Eastern Michigan and proved he can be a difference-maker in the MAC.
Aaron Hackett, TE, Kent State
Hackett transfers from Syracuse, where he tied the school record for touchdown catches by a tight end. His 19 starts and accomplishments in his career thus far should make him an immediate starter and a frequent target for Dustin Crum.
Antwain Richardson, S, Kent State
Started for portions of three seasons at Maryland. He finished 2018 among the team's top tacklers but missed 2019 with an injury. Upon returning in 2020, he played well in limited snaps. Richardson projects as a starter for the Golden Flashes and may be the best player on that defense.
Matt Landers, WR, Toledo
Landers played for three years at Georgia, so he is well-versed in the college game at the highest levels. He saw consistent playing time during his time in Athens but never put up great numbers. He'll certainly get a chance to improve that for the Rockets.
Bryce Nunnelly, WR, Western Michigan
Nunnelly was a two-time All-Southern Conference player at Chattanooga and had the second-most 100-yard receiving games in team history. He also had the seventh-most career receptions and third-most career receiving yards for the Mocs. He should be an apt replacement for D'Wayne Eskridge, who left for the NFL after an All-MAC season.