With the announcement that the UND football team has added Minnesota Gophers transfer linebacker Everett Williams, it seems like a good time to take a look at how FBS transfers have impacted the UND football program in order to maybe get a better understanding of what to expect in terms of production.
Since 2012, I count 13 FBS transfers to the UND football program. I very well could be missing one or two, but I tried to come up with a list off a quick check of the website rosters.
It’s an over-simplification but I broke it down into whether or not the transfer was a key regular.
The hits: North Carolina quarterback Braden Hanson, Minnesota defensive lineman Jordan Hinojosa, Houston cornerback Alex Tillman, Arizona wide receiver Clive Georges, Texas State wide receiver Demun Mercer and Minnesota running back James Johannesson.
The misses: Kansas linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, New Mexico linebacker Daquan Baker, Mississippi State cornerback Jahmere Irvin-Sills, UAB running back JaWon Arrington, Wyoming running back Oscar Nevermann, San Jose State running back Cedric Simmons and Hawaii offensive lineman Dustin Adams.
With FBS transfers in general, you could glean from this list that it’s about a 50-50 shot of relevancy in Grand Forks.
But two key factors are working in Williams’ favor for 2018: He isn’t coming in with an injury and he’s already graduated.
A few of the misses came in with injuries and never looked like I’m sure they once did. Jenkins-Moore had a knee injury and didn’t move around very well and Adams was a Minot kid with an injury past who might not have even had a chance to get on the practice field.
The two grad transfers of the bunch — Hanson and Tillman — are the best examples of FBS transfers. They were mature kids who fit into the culture and left a big impact in just one season. A grad transfer also usually limits the character concern about why it might not have worked out at a previous stop.
At 6-foot-1 and 244 pounds, Williams gives UND an option at inside linebacker that fits the size required for the position. After injuries ravaged the position a year ago, UND was playing inside with guys in the 200-210 range and it showed.
With UND returning Donnell Rodgers (injured in Week 2), Cam Hunt (missed first half of season with injury), Noah Larson (redshirted after injury in fall camp) and Jake Rastas inside, the position group all of the sudden looks like a potential area of strength.