In an offseason with plenty of transactions going through the transfer portal for the Bowling Green football program, the Falcons have had to do a lot of shifting around on their roster. Now, less than a week away from their first game against Morgan State, the Falcons hope to have details in order.
The transfer portal has been around for a long time, but it has gone through some recent changes. In October of 2018, according to al.com, the NCAA ruled players do not have to gain permission from their head coach to transfer, replacing the previous rule where coaches could block players from transferring. Now once players tell their team they want to transfer, the team has two days to put the player’s name in the transfer portal where they are allowed to be recruited by other schools.
Also in 2018, the NCAA approved the new rule that players could file a waiver to be allowed to play immediately for their new school. Transfers used to have to sit out a full academic year before playing in games for a school. Now if a player feels they are at a disadvantage at a certain school due to a coaching change, playing time or getting mistreated in some way, they can file the immediate eligibility waiver.
According to apnews.com, the first use of this rule was by Shea Patterson who claimed the University of Mississippi’s coaching change should allow him to play right away at the University of Michigan. He was granted permission to play at Michigan right away and other high profile players such as Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts have used the same rule to be granted immediate eligibility.
Of course, it’s not just the big schools that are getting this advantage. Bowling Green has seen transfers in this offseason be granted immediate eligibility. The first in January when tight end Austin Dorris transferred from Indiana to Bowling Green.
On the contrary, teams may be hurt by the rule. Former Falcons starting quarterback Jarrett Doege transferred to West Virginia using the immediate eligibility waiver claiming a coaching change. Doege threw for 4,041 yards and 39 touchdowns in two years with the Falcons. Doege was followed by fellow quarterback Bryce Veasley who also put his name in the transfer portal.
In what was a relief for some, the Falcons were able to get transfer quarterbacks Darius Wade and Matthew McDonald from Boston College, both following their former offensive coordinator at Boston College, Scot Loeffler, over to BGSU. This equaled the Falcons losses and gave them more depth at the quarterback position.
Darius Wade came as a graduate transfer, meaning Wade has already graduated but hasn’t played four years of college football, therefore he can play right away. Wade came to the Falcons while working at Home Depot thinking that his college career was over. But a call from Loeffler changed that, and Wade is taking a majority of the first-team reps in practice, leading many to make the assumption that he will be the starter on Thursday.
McDonald, on the other hand, doesn’t have that luxury and will need a waiver which is still currently pending with the NCAA.
Bowling Green also ran into problems at running back in the off-season as well, with Ra’veion Hargrove putting his name into the transfer portal. The Falcons though, were able to get another graduate transfer from Boston College in Davon Smith to fill the void.
On the defensive side, Kyle Junior and Joshua Croslen were defensive linemen who entered the transfer portal. Junior landed at Oklahoma State and was able to play immediately thanks to the coaching change. The Falcons have not replaced those two losses, but unlike the quarterback position where the Falcons had no 2019 recruits, there should be some freshman to give that position group some depth in the upcoming season.
Some would say the transfer portal was busy all over college football this off-season, and schools, Bowling Green included, scrambled to find replacements for the missing voids. Only time will tell if those additions will pay off for the team in 2019.