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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Massachusetts
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  As expected, former Arizona Wildcats linebacker Jerry Roberts is Massachusetts-bound. Roberts, who played two seasons at Arizona after initially starting his career at Bowling Green, joins a plethora of ex-Wildcats transferring to UMass, which is led by former UA defensive coordinator Don Brown. Roberts announced his decision to transfer to UMass on Monday. Other former Wildcats transferring to UMass include defensive linemen JB Brown and Jermaine Wiggins, wide receiver Anthony Simpson and linebacker Tyler Martin.

Roberts started six games for Arizona at middle linebacker in 2021 under Brown before suffering a season-ending leg injury in the next-to-last game of the year. Brown became UMass' head coach last offseason. Former Arizona linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski followed Brown to UMass and became the Minutemen's defensive coordinator. Roberts started all 12 games for the Wildcats' 5-7 season in '22 and finished second on the team with 78 tackles; he also had a pass breakup, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. - Arizona Star News


rSr/2024 ILB Jerry Roberts Jr.Massachusetts
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  Another Arizona Wildcat is in the NCAA transfer portal after veteran middle linebacker Jerry Roberts announced on Twitter Sunday evening that he's leaving the UA after two seasons. Roberts, who transferred to Arizona prior to the 2021 season after four seasons at Bowling Green, will look for his third school in seven seasons. "Thank you for the past year and a half," Roberts tweeted. "Tucson has been so welcoming since I have been here and it will forever have a place in my heart." Roberts started six games at middle linebacker in 2021 under former defensive coordinator Don Brown, before suffering a season-ending leg injury on the first play from scrimmage against Washington State in Pullman. Brown became UMass' head coach last offseason and was replaced by first-year defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen. UMass is a likely suitor for Roberts. Roberts' brother, linebacker Jyree Roberts, is signed to UMass' 2023 recruiting class. The Minutemen's defensive coordinator is former UA linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski. UMass has also added four ex-Wildcats in the transfer portal this year: defensive lineman JB Brown, linebacker Tyler Martin, defensive lineman Jermaine Wiggins Jr. and wide receiver Anthony Simpson. - Arizona Star News

rSr/2024 ILB Jerry Roberts Jr.Massachusetts
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  2022 PHIL STEEL ALL-INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM: Ellis Merriweather, Massachusetts,...Merriweather played in 10 games in 2022, carrying the ball 150 times for 575 yards as the team's leading rusher and he also caught eight passes for 48 yards. He had had a season-high 122 rushing yards to go along with a pair of touchdowns at Arkansas State. He closed out the season with 49 rushing yards on five carries and a 27-yard reception against Army before being forced out of the game with an injury. The Alpharetta, Georgia native finished his Massachusetts career with 10 career 100-yard rushing games and three career two-touchdown games. - Massachusetts Football

rSr/2023 RB Ellis MerriweatherMassachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  2022 PHIL STEEL ALL-INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM: LB Jalen Mackie, Massachusetts,...One of the most consistent UMass players from game one, Mackie was the team leader with 100 tackles this past season (38 solo) while adding 3.5 sacks and 15.0 TFL from the middle linebacker position. He had a season-high seven solo tackles in the season opener at Tulane. Mackie, who is from Miramar, Florida, closed out the season with 21 tackles against Army (six solo) including two TFL's. - Massachusetts Football

rSr/2023 ILB Jalen MackieMassachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  2022 PHIL STEEL ALL-INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM: Marcus Cushnie, Massachusetts,...Cushnie ranked fourth on the team with 47.0 tackles, on the year including 23 solo and 24 assisted. He totaled 13.0 TFL's for a team-high 49 yards and had a team-best 5.5 sacks. The West Palm Beach, Florida native also led the team with five quarterback hurries on the year, including two at Toledo. - Massachusetts Football

rSr/2023 DE Marcus CushnieMassachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  2022 PHIL STEEL ALL-INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM: Tyler Rudolph, Massachusetts,...Rudolph was Massachusetts' second-leading tackler, totaling 62.0 on the season, including 37 solo. He had a pair of interceptions, joining Mahoney and Wallace as Minutemen with at least two interceptions on the season. A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, Rudolph added five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Two of his five pass breakups came in the victory over Stony Brook. - Massachusetts Football

rJr/2025 SS Tyler RudolphMassachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  2022 PHIL STEEL ALL-INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM: KR Greg Desrosiers Jr., Massachusetts,...Derosiers was the primary kick returner for Massachusetts, totaling 599 kickoff return yards on 29 returns for a 20.66 average. His 599 kick return yards rank 11th in FBS. As a running back, the Lawrence, Massachusetts native carried the ball 44 times for 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns. - Massachusetts Football

rSo/2026 RB Greg Desrosiers Jr.Massachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  Veteran Arizona defensive lineman JB Brown has entered the NCAA transfer portal. Brown would have played a role in the Wildcats' rotation this year but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during preseason camp. Brown began his UA career in 2017. He has appeared in only four games over the past three seasons. Brown opted out of the pandemic-shortened '20 season and appeared in the first four games last year before sitting out the rest of the campaign for reasons that have never been disclosed publicly. Because the '20 season doesn't count toward any player's eligibility and Brown preserved a redshirt last year he'd be able to play in 2023 as a seventh-year senior. Brown finishes his UA career with 61 tackles, 14.5 stops for losses (including 6.5 sacks) and one forced fumble in 32 games. - Arizona Star News

rSr/2024 DE JB BrownMassachusetts
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Ellis Merriweather, UMass, Sr., RB,...Merriweather became Massachusetts' first 1,000-yard rusher in the FBS era and established a new single-season school record of seven games with 100 or more rushing yards last season. He achieved career bests of 39 carries and 177 rushing yards, including a career-high 79-yard rushing touchdown. - Massachusetts Football

rSr/2023 RB Ellis MerriweatherMassachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ALLSTATE AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM NOMINEE: Ellis Merriweather, University of Massachusetts,...Merriweather has contributed his time and services to several organizations – Peak Performance Executive Board, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Black Student-Athlete Summit and College Athlete Unity. As a representative in each organization, he has dedicated his time to developing, collaborating, and advocating with peers, staff and other mentors for the mental health and well-being of student-athletes and engaging in community service opportunities and programs or and with student-athletes, while aiding in a compilation of extensive resources and tools to be an effective change agent on campus and beyond. - Massachusetts Football

rSr/2023 RB Ellis MerriweatherMassachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  Former Clemson/current University of Miami receiver Frank Ladson will likely be among a rare group of players who by the end of 2022 can say they played for one team, transferred to a program they previously faced, then faced their original team after transferring. "I missed home,'' said the 6-4, 205-pound Ladson, a fourth-year junior who was rated as high as a five-star prep receiver (PrepStar) and four-star wideout by other major recruiting sites when he played at Homestead South Dade High School. "It was time to come home." Not only has Ladson caught passes from No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Trevor Lawrence, he's now catching passes from projected first-round pick Tyler Van Dyke.

Charleston Rambo, who set UM's single-season school receiving record in 2021 (1,172 yards and seven touchdowns on 79 catches) and is now battling for an NFL spot with the Carolina Panthers, played in the 2019 and 2020 College Football Playoff. "Some of the guys asked me about it. Like, 'What's the biggest game you ever played in? The loudest game you ever played in?' Ladson said Thursday after the the sixth day of fall camp and first session in full pads. "It's just a different type of atmosphere. You're in the playoff [and] you're playing for a championship. At the end of the game they bring a stage out and confetti falls." Ladson, whose Clemson career was marred by consecutive seasons of sports hernia injuries which he said necessitated two surgeries - one on each side - said he's now healthy, fighting for a starting spot and doing everything he can to become the big-bodied receiver the Hurricanes need. - Miami Herald


rSr/2025 WR Frank Ladson Jr.Massachusetts
News Source: Miami Herald
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  Marcus Cushnie spent barely an hour in the transfer portal. UMass coach Don Brown called him shortly after he entered seeking a new home for his final year of college football. It was Brown's first conversation with the former Florida State and Alabama A&M defensive end, but that proved enough to bring him to Amherst. "I've been in college for five years, so this is just the best shot I had to go to (the) league. I'm just going I'm running with it. Don Brown provided me a great opportunity here, and I just believe in him," Cushnie said. "I had a lot of faith in him." Cushnie spent three seasons at Alabama A&M before transferring to Florida State last year. The West Palm Beach, Fla., native appeared in all 12 games for the Seminoles last season. He accumulated three tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in a backup role behind ACC Defensive Player of the Year Jermaine Johnson. The New York Jets selected Johnson with the No. 26 overall pick in the NFL Draft. - Daily Hampshire Gazette

rSr/2023 DE Marcus CushnieMassachusetts
News Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette
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  Kay'Ron Adams spent much of last season at home, his ankle wrapped and elevated. He transferred from Rutgers to UMass after the 2020 season for more opportunities. An injury ended his debut season as a Minuteman in the fifth game against Toledo. "Honestly, it really hurt me because I never pictured being without [football]," Adams said Friday at UMass' first practice of fall camp. "Having time to sit there and not be able to go to practice and just having my foot up all day put me in a place where this is gonna make me or break me. I'm either gonna come back harder I'm just not come back at all." He returned in time for spring practice but to the defensive backfield rather than the offensive backfield.

Adams practiced as a "viper," coach Don Brown's hybrid linebacker/safety position that demands elite athleticism and strong football knowledge. "That was all my decision. I wanted to come back and do something crazy," Adams said. "My mind was just everywhere." Adams eventually returned to the running back room but gained a newfound understanding of how to attack defenses. "I realized why is the defense doing this? Why is that happening?" he said. "It helped me understand why I'm doing what I'm doing. It actually benefited me a lot." - Daily Hampshire Gazette


rJr/2025 RB KayRon Lynch-AdamsMassachusetts
News Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette
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  2022 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: Ellis Merriweather, Massachusetts,...As a redshirt junior running back for UMass in 2021, Ellis Merriweather was the Minutemen's first 1,000 yard rusher in the FBS era. He finished season with 1,138 all-purpose yards, and six touchdowns, had 218 consecutive carries without any fumbles, led UMass to their first victory of the season, totaling a career-high in carries (39), for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Merriweather established a new school single-season record of seven games with 100 or more rushing yards, recording 749 yards in the last five games alone. - Massachusetts Football

rSr/2023 RB Ellis MerriweatherMassachusetts
News Source: Massachusetts Football
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  Taisun Phommachanh's path to the field at Georgia Tech won't be easy. In transferring from Clemson, the former four-star quarterback will contend with Jeff Sims, the Yellow Jackets' two-year returning starter. His role on the roster will be to add depth at the quarterback position and to push Sims on the practice field. But Phommachanh likely isn't coming to Tech to watch from the sidelines. He just as easily could have done that at Clemson. "In the end, it was an opportunity to compete and play," Phommachanh's high-school coach, Pierce Brennan, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He felt he wasn't getting that at Clemson. He did what he needed to do there; he grew as a player, he graduated, he got a degree, and now it's time for something new." Phommachanh went into the transfer portal in December at the end of his third season with the Tigers.

In those three seasons, he appeared in 13 games. He spent the first two of the seasons backing up Trevor Lawrence, an All-American and eventual first overall NFL draft pick. After Lawrence's departure, Phommachanh was passed by D.J. Uiagalelei. A torn Achilles injury suffered in Clemson's 2021 spring game, from which Phommachanh made a stunning recovery to be able to play last fall, didn't help. But he did appear in six games last season, completing 11 of 19 passes for 131 yards, a touchdown and an interception. When he went into the portal, his plan was to transfer between semesters to be able to participate in spring practice at his new school. California, Florida State, South Carolina and Pittsburgh were among schools that showed interest, according to a report in December by the Connecticut Post. "Cal was the big one," Brennan said. "Cal was the one that I thought it was going to be a done deal with." - Atlanta Journal Constitution


rJr/2025 QB Taisun PhommachanhMassachusetts
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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