Donald Willis enters transfer portal

btowngopher

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All true, but when a guy has been here four years, played a lot, and figures to be in the middle of things next season, it seems like a football decision.

Looking on the positive side, I hope it's because he thinks he will need to share time with too many younger guys who are coming on strong. Plus two transfers in. One, whose name and school escape me, was a rush end but there has been talk they could use him at LB too. Collins?
Seems like it’s not a football decision based on what you are saying. Bishop and Willis are two more transfers who are not very close to home. I think that’s a major factor for a lot of kids transferring.
 

hello-world

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All true, but when a guy has been here four years, played a lot, and figures to be in the middle of things next season, it seems like a football decision.

Yup, totally fair.

Just saying the dog whistle questions (e.g. Why are defensive players leaving?) are ridiculous when the reason can be as simple as he graduated and wanted to try something new for a year.
 

EG#9

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Getting a little concerned with the lack of depth at LB. Willis would have been the Sam which is a different spot than that big nickel look we used with Dixon (now gone). We'd play Dixon at the big nickel, but when we played heavy run teams we'd use a Sam backer instead (think more 4-3 than kind of a 4-2-5) and that was Oliver by the end of the year (after he lost his Will spot to Lindenberg) and his backup was Willis. Now we have neither Oliver or Willis at the Sam spot and lost the big nickel player in Dixon. Henderson is making a big jump up in competition to hopefully take Dixon's spot, and the LB's we are talking about making the jump as redshirt freshman (Gerlach and Baranowski) were late additions to the '22 class without other power 5 offers. Most teams will have depth issues somewhere and (at least on paper) it currently looks like LB will be one of those spots for us.
 

MNVCGUY

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Getting a little concerned with the lack of depth at LB. Willis would have been the Sam which is a different spot than that big nickel look we used with Dixon (now gone). We'd play Dixon at the big nickel, but when we played heavy run teams we'd use a Sam backer instead (think more 4-3 than kind of a 4-2-5) and that was Oliver by the end of the year (after he lost his Will spot to Lindenberg) and his backup was Willis. Now we have neither Oliver or Willis at the Sam spot and lost the big nickel player in Dixon. Henderson is making a big jump up in competition to hopefully take Dixon's spot, and the LB's we are talking about making the jump as redshirt freshman (Gerlach and Baranowski) were late additions to the '22 class without other power 5 offers. Most teams will have depth issues somewhere and (at least on paper) it currently looks like LB will be one of those spots for us.
What about Devon Williams? Entering his 3rd year in the program and was highly regarded coming out of high school with a really impressive offer list. He would seem like a candidate to make a jump in the coming season.

Some definite unknows at the LB position, will be interesting to see how it shakes out in the spring and fall camp.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Getting a little concerned with the lack of depth at LB. Willis would have been the Sam which is a different spot than that big nickel look we used with Dixon (now gone). We'd play Dixon at the big nickel, but when we played heavy run teams we'd use a Sam backer instead (think more 4-3 than kind of a 4-2-5) and that was Oliver by the end of the year (after he lost his Will spot to Lindenberg) and his backup was Willis. Now we have neither Oliver or Willis at the Sam spot and lost the big nickel player in Dixon. Henderson is making a big jump up in competition to hopefully take Dixon's spot, and the LB's we are talking about making the jump as redshirt freshman (Gerlach and Baranowski) were late additions to the '22 class without other power 5 offers. Most teams will have depth issues somewhere and (at least on paper) it currently looks like LB will be one of those spots for us.

that's what I was getting at. no matter what the reasons are, the fact is that a lot of defensive players are leaving, and at the least, that can and probably will create some depth issues.

I am not trying to suggest any issues or problems behind the scenes. just saying "geez, the Gophs are losing a lot of defensive players."
 


MNVCGUY

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that's what I was getting at. no matter what the reasons are, the fact is that a lot of defensive players are leaving, and at the least, that can and probably will create some depth issues.

I am not trying to suggest any issues or problems behind the scenes. just saying "geez, the Gophs are losing a lot of defensive players."
It's a balancing act for sure but you also have to factor in the guys coming in on defense. We have 8 leaving but have 3 coming in.
 

btowngopher

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It's a balancing act for sure but you also have to factor in the guys coming in on defense. We have 8 leaving but have 3 coming in.
And if the 8 you have to think a fair amount were a ways down the depth chart.
 





Gophers_4life

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In this current climate where roster churn is massive all over the country it feels like a waste of time to go looking for any deeper meaning behind why guys are transferring.

As long as the lost players don't cause a massive dropoff in talent for the current team than it is what it is.

Overall we have still benefitted more from the portal than it has hurt us.
Yeah sure, that's just fine.

I'm not questioning the decision to transfer. I'm questioning the timing of the announcement. Makes no sense to me. (which is worth nothing, I realize)
 

Gophers_4life

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Getting a little concerned with the lack of depth at LB. Willis would have been the Sam which is a different spot than that big nickel look we used with Dixon (now gone). We'd play Dixon at the big nickel, but when we played heavy run teams we'd use a Sam backer instead (think more 4-3 than kind of a 4-2-5) and that was Oliver by the end of the year (after he lost his Will spot to Lindenberg) and his backup was Willis. Now we have neither Oliver or Willis at the Sam spot and lost the big nickel player in Dixon. Henderson is making a big jump up in competition to hopefully take Dixon's spot, and the LB's we are talking about making the jump as redshirt freshman (Gerlach and Baranowski) were late additions to the '22 class without other power 5 offers. Most teams will have depth issues somewhere and (at least on paper) it currently looks like LB will be one of those spots for us.
Really think, even in the Big Ten, that 4-2-5 is going to be the base defense in regular situations. That's how football has gone these days. Sucks to lose Dixon in the "big nickle" spot, but Bryson sure had a nice bowl game. Assume he starts there, and he legit is like a tweener (6-2 210) between safety and linebacker, which makes perfect sense for the position.

There are of course situations where it would be better to have another 230+ body in there, instead. Hopefully we see Selig and Finnessy (or others) step up next to Lindenberg.
 


Gophers_4life

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These last two are graduate transfers and the portal doesn't open until May, so they are getting ahead of the game and letting people know they are looking to transfer for their last season. Bishop picked up his local offer from Louisville. Willis might end up back in OHIO.. Maybe Kent State.
Thanks. Makes perfect sense, as to what they're thinking for their future (Bishop only one more season left, but Willis two) ...... I just don't get why, if you know that's what you want to do, you weren't in the portal right after the season was done?

Unless they need the spring semester to actually graduate. But then what have you been doing/what are you doing the whole spring?? Obviously not working out with the team, not going through spring ball to get better.
 



MaxyJR1

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Thanks. Makes perfect sense, as to what they're thinking for their future (Bishop only one more season left, but Willis two) ...... I just don't get why, if you know that's what you want to do, you weren't in the portal right after the season was done?

Unless they need the spring semester to actually graduate. But then what have you been doing/what are you doing the whole spring?? Obviously not working out with the team, not going through spring ball to get better.
I think the grad transfer rules are different and you can enter at any time with no restrictions. Thought I read this. As soon as you graduate or know the date you can enter the portal. Don't have to wait until May to pick a school.
 




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