The transfer portal opened about a week ago and I thought this would be a good time to look at the initial crop of players leaving the Jayhawk program. The portal will remain open for non-graduate transfers and players at schools not changing head coaches until January 18. Once the portal closes, players will have to wait for the spring entry window, April 15-30, which coincides with most schools’ spring practices ending. I will update this list as new players enter the portal, but as of now a relatively low number of six players have declared their intent to leave.
Before looking at the individual players entering the portal, my overall thought is to date there are no surprising names here. None were starters this season, and with the talent that Leipold and his staff have been able to bring into the program in their brief tenure, none had much hope of being starters or contributing more than they have this season. For the older players, if they want to play more they need to move on and for the younger players, they may be good players that just don’t fit the system now in place at KU which is different than what they were recruited to play in. What is surprising to me is Jason Bean is not in the portal at the moment. He has another year to play if he wants to use his COVID year, but as of yet, he has not been reported as a player in the portal. Maybe he has decided his playing days are over and it is time to move on to the next phase of life. There is still time for him to decide to continue at KU or elsewhere. I thought his days were over in Lawrence since he went through the Senior Day ceremonies before the Texas game. It could be he, and for that matter, other players, want to play in the bowl game before declaring their intent to transfer.
Players Leaving (6):
LB Eriq Gilyard
LB Gavin Potter
S Jarrett Paul
Ranking: Three-star, 1414 nationally, 128 cornerback
Thoughts: A transfer from Easter Michigan, initially enrolled at Rutgers, Paul is now eyeing a fourth school. When I wrote my transfer enrollee report on Paul, I did not expect him to be a starter, but a backup. That seems to have been a best-case scenario. I am not sure he even saw the field this season. He quietly entered the transfer portal on September 26 after enrolling at KU in mid-May. He should have one year of eligibility remaining at his next stop. My primary reaction is good luck but hardly knew ya.
LB Eriq Gilyard
Ranking: Three-star, 499 nationally, 32 outside linebacker
Thoughts: I had high hopes for Eriq when he transferred to KU. I thought he was a no-doubt starter considering what KU was returning from the previous season. Eriq though was never able to break into the starting lineup like he and I thought he would when he transferred from Central Florida a year ago. At the time it looked like he would need to unseat incumbent Gavin Potter, but the subsequent arrival of Craig Young and Lorenzo McCaskill and the emergence of Taiwan Berryhill, Jr. made his path to starting more difficult. Eriq’s role was as a second-team linebacker where he had steady action. Eriq got a jump on the portal entry with his status as a graduate student entering the portal on November 30.
WR Steven McBride
Ranking: Three-star, 1137nationally, 164 wide receiver
Thoughts: Lightly used this year even during his time as a backup to Quentin Skinner while Trevon Wilson was suspended. Steven was never able to distinguish himself on the field and fell behind Trevor Wilson on the depth chart by the season’s end. I am a bit surprised by his inability to break through as a contributor on this team. Before the season I saw him as a potential starter. Not knowing that Skinner would emerge as a force on the team and with Wilson out due to off-field issues, I thought McBride would be able to run with his opportunity and make the most of it. I was very wrong; now he is looking for a new opportunity elsewhere.
CB Cam’Ron ‘Shaq’ Dabney
Ranking: Three-star, 1391 nationally, 108 athlete
Thoughts: Shaq did not see the field much this season, he played 30-35 snaps over 5 or 6 games. He saw a season-high 14 snaps in the first game against Tennessee Tech. With all the players transferring in the defensive backfield I did not see him contributing much this season and he did not. With that said I do not see his situation getting better at KU in the future either with at least two high school commits and the potential for more transfers, it was probably time for him to move on if he wants to see more time on the field.
S Edwin White
Ranking: Three-star, 784 nationally, 62 safety
Thoughts: Similar to Dabney, he did not see much time on the field this season. He did not see any time after the season's first three games. Like Jarrett Paul, my main reaction is hardly known ya, and good luck.
LB Gavin Potter
Ranking: Three-star, 1359 nationally, 100 outside linebacker
Thoughts: Going into the season it looked like Gavin would lose his starting role and he did. He found himself playing with the second team and getting regular playing time, but for a player that had been a starter and does not see his situation improving, it is understandable for him to be looking elsewhere for a more significant role. My main thought about Gavin is he was a fine player at a time at KU when fine was about as good as it got.