With the transfer portal entry window now closed until spring, I thought it was a good time to update the original departure watch post. The only addition to the portal since the original post was Ky Thomas, I have added my thoughts about his departure below. There are two overall notes about the players leaving KU so far: one, all the players found a new place to play, and two, all the players landed on non-power 5 teams.
What does this say to me? To me, this is an indication the coaching staff has and continues to upgrade the talent on the team. After the 2021 season, not all KU players entering the portal found a new place to play, several reappeared at schools below the FBS and FCS levels and one player’s new place was to play basketball for a rival Big 12 school. This season, all the players reemerged at non-Power 5 FBS schools or FCS schools. So unlike the post-2021 departures, the post-2022 departing players have D1 talent, just not the fit to play for a Power 5 program next season. Yes, this coaching staff brought in three of these players, but those players are more talented than what KU had at the time they transferred into KU, it just did not work for them here and it is good for everyone that they move on.
Players Leaving (7):
RB Ky Thomas
LB Eriq Gilyard
LB Gavin Potter
RB Ky Thomas
Ranking: Three-star, 410 nationally, 28 running back
Thoughts: Like several other transfers coming in last season, I held high hopes for Ky to KU. He was coming home to play for a program in need of depth at the position he plays. He had proven to be a reliable player at Minnesota. It looked like the pairing of two Kansas kids in the backfield for KU would give the Jayhawks a dynamic 1-2 punch that could be a great starting point to allow the offense to thrive during the season. Though the offense took big steps forward, the pairing fizzled. Though Devin had another excellent season, Ky never really meshed well with KU’s running scheme. He ended the year with 53 attempts and 162 yards and two touchdowns rushing along with 5 receptions, 39 yards, and 1 touchdown receiving. Ky may very well thrive at his next stop with a different scheme and it was a good idea for him to look for that new place.
New School: Kent State
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.
New School: Appalachian State
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 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.
New School: UConn
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.
New School: Hawaii
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.
New School: Northern Illinois
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 first three games of the season. Like Jarrett Paul, my main reaction is hardly known ya, and good luck.
New School: North Alabama
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 in fact 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.
New School: Arkansas State