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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Massachusetts
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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/2024 RB KayRon 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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  2021 FIRST TEAM ALL-IVY LEAGUE (COACHES): Jalen Mackie, Dartmouth (Sr., LB - Miramar, Fla.),...As good as the offense was, the defense was even better, leading the conference in both scoring defense (14.7 points per game) and total defense (271.0 yards per game). The 6-1, 240-pound senior Mackie from Miramar, Florida, spearheaded the unit by leading the league in tackles per game (9.6) with 86 stops in nine contests. He also had the most tackles for the Big Green in seven contests, including a career-high 13 against Columbia and again in the 31-7 victory over Princeton that pulled Dartmouth into a first-place tie with the Tigers. The two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week added 8.0 tackles for a loss, 1.0 sacks, an interception that he returned 28 yards, two pass breakups and three quarterback hurries. - Dartmouth Football

rSr/2023 ILB Jalen MackieMassachusetts
News Source: Dartmouth Football
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  Former Penn State defensive back Tyler Rudolph entered the transfer portal on Nov. 24. Now, he has found a new home. Rudolph announced Friday morning on Twitter that he committed to Massachusetts. The four-star defensive back hails from Oakdale, Connecticut, and was ranked the third-best 2018 prospect in the state, per 247Sports. Rudolph had five tackles against Ball State and appeared in the team's first four games of the year. He played in five games in 2020 and three in 2019. - Centre Times

rJr/2024 FS Tyler RudolphMassachusetts
News Source: Centre Times
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  Ellis Merriweather carried 39 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns and UMass ground out a 27-13 win over UConn in a battle of previously winless Bowl Subdivision independents on Saturday. Merriweather carried on 10 of the 12 plays on the Minutemen's opening drive, punching in from the 9 to make it 7-0, but the Huskies came back to take a 10-7 lead on a 34-yard Steven Krajewski-to-Keelan Marion touchdown pass and 38-yard Joe McFadden field goal. Cameron Carson kicked a pair of second-half field goals to put UMass back in front, 13-10 and Merriweather and Zamar Wise each ran for second-half touchdowns to put the game away. The Minutemen (1-5) ran for 247 yards and Brady Olson added 162 yards on 10-of-22 passing. Krajewski was 13-of-24 passing for the Huskies (0-7), but was picked off twice. Nathan Carter carried 20 times for 136 of UConn's 163 yards rushing. - UMass/AP College Football

rSr/2023 RB Ellis MerriweatherMassachusetts
News Source: UMass/AP College Football
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  Michigan receiver Ronnie Bell caught many off guard Wednesday answering a question from the media during a virtual news conference. When asked who has been the toughest defensive back he's faced so far in fall camp, Bell singled out George Johnson, a former high school quarterback and receiver from Florida who is entering his third year with the team. "You never know what you're gonna get out of George," Bell said. "George is a very unpredictable and very good DB." Johnson, rated as a three-star receiver in the 2019 class, transitioned to the defensive side of the ball when arriving at Michigan. He has yet to appear in a game for the Wolverines but is reportedly turning some heads during camp. "His technique, how he plays the game, he doesn't necessarily do it like the rest," Bell said of Johnson. "He doesn't play like the rest of them. "It's either misleading or it's - he can catch you off-guard because he's unorthodox." Head coach Jim Harbaugh said last month at Big Ten media days that the staff is still evaluating whether cornerback or safety is his best fit. - Ann Arbor News

rJr/2024 SS George Johnson IIIMassachusetts
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  Michigan's football team had one less defensive player when it began preseason camp on Friday. Sammy Faustin, a reserve defensive back who was set to enter his redshirt sophomore season, has left the team due to medical reasons, spokesman Dave Ablauf told MLive. Faustin, of Naples, Fla., was the only returning scholarship player not listed on the team's 2021 roster released Friday morning. A message to Faustin was not immediately returned. "Sammy decided to step away from the team and will reevaluate after this year," Ablauf said in a text message. "He will remain on athletic aid." Faustin appeared in 10 games for Michigan during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, primarily on special teams. He totaled just two tackles. Michigan moved him from safety to corner last year to help with depth, but he appeared in only one game. - Ann Arbor News

rJr/2024 SS Sammy FaustinMassachusetts
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  Florida State added another piece to its remodeled defense with the addition of transfer Marcus Cushnie, an edge rusher from Alabama A&M. The Palm Beach product committed to the Seminoles over the weekend after de-committing from Purdue when entering the transfer portal on July 11. Cushnie appeared in 12 games in 2019, finishing with 13 tackles for loss and seven sacks. In four games last season, he led the team in tackles for loss (7.5) and sacks (7). He becomes the seventh defensive player to join FSU's roster through the transfer portal this offseason. The Seminoles finished near the bottom of the ACC in total defense last season, allowing 36 points and 456 yards per game. The unit was last in the conference in sacks (10) and tackles for loss (49), forcing second-year coach Mike Norvell and his staff to dive into the transfer market in search of some much-needed help on the defensive front. - Orlando Sentinel

rSr/2023 DE Marcus CushnieMassachusetts
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  UMass offensive lineman Larnel Coleman became the third Minuteman to be selected in an NFL Draft over the last three years on Saturday, as he was taken at No. 231 overall by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round. Coleman joins cornerback Isaiah Rodgers, who was was selected in the sixth round by the Indianapolis Colts last year, and wide receiver Andy Isabella, who was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals in 2019, as the most recent UMass draftees. As a redshirt senior, Coleman started in all four games for the Minutemen at left tackle, and was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, which is awarded to the top interior lineman in the FBS. He was the only UMass offensive lineman to start all 12 games during the 2019 season, while spending his redshirt sophomore year as the starting right tackle. - The Republican

rSr/2021 OT Larnel ColemanMassachusetts
News Source: The Republican
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  Avien Peah is the strongest member of UMass' defensive line. The senior wasn't shy about declaring it. When the unit is in the weight room, his sets have more plates on the bar. "For the most part. Sometimes the guys tell me 'hey, slow down a little bit, slow down,'" the Providence, R.I., native said Thursday. "We always push each other." Peah has assumed a leadership role of the unit after switching positions from offense last season. He also overcame knee injuries to establish himself as one of UMass' leading tacklers and backfield disrupters last season. Peah led the Minutemen with six tackles for loss and had a sack.

"That's part of what makes Avien special is he's been through a lot of adversity. From the ability to handle adversity and persevere and go through tough times and come out on the other side as one of our team leaders is huge," UMass coach Walt Bell said. "No only does he provide the physical leadership piece of doing things the way they're supposed to be done, but he has earned that respect from his teammate, so now he can provide some vocal leadership, and it's much needed as well. Really hope, really pray he can stay healthy and continue to be the leader that he is for us." - Daily Hampshire Gazette


rSr/2022 DT Avien PeahMassachusetts
News Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette
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  Though there are seven quarterbacks listed on the roster, three have formed an early breakaway group: Colorado transfer Tyler Lytle, redshirt sophomore Garrett Dzuro and redshirt freshman Zamir Wise. "We're in the middle of a competition. We've got three great kids with good skills, winnable football skills," Bell said. "It's just now we've got to go find the right guy." Dzuro played in three of UMass' four games last year, completing 15 of 36 passes for 220 yards. Lytle appeared in seven games in two years at CU and threw for 55 yards. Wise joined the Minutemen two weeks before they kicked off last season, so the staff moved him to wide receiver so he could contribute. He caught two passes for 16 yards. "Tyler's more of a classic distributor, Garrett's a little more of a classic distributor, and Zaire Wise is as good with his feet as anyone in our program," Bell said. "All three of those guys are doing a great job, still learning the basics of the offense. Hopefully as we go through spring we'll start to develop a pecking order." - Daily Hampshire Gazette

rSr/2023 QB Tyler LytleMassachusetts
News Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette
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  2021 ALL-SWAC PRESEASON FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL Marcus Cushine, Junior, Alabama A&M,... On the defensive side of the ball, Cushnie is set to build off of a 2019 First-Team honor after coming away with 39 tackles - 27 solo - and a team-high seven sacks. He also recorded eight quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, a recovery and a blocked kick over the course of 12 games. - Alabama A&M Football

rSr/2023 DE Marcus CushnieMassachusetts
News Source: Alabama A&M Football
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  Colorado backup quarterback Tyler Lytle is entering the NCAA transfer portal. On Saturday evening, a few hours after the Buffaloes' 38-21 loss to Utah at Folsom Field, Lytle announced his decision on social media. With Lytle going into the transfer portal, true freshman Brendon Lewis could be elevated to the top backup spot for the rest of the season. Lewis has not appeared in a game. Lytle, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound redshirt junior from Redondo Beach, Calif., came to CU in January of 2017 after a stellar career at Servite High School. In terms of scholarship offers, Lytle is the most highly recruited quarterback to sign with CU since Fairview's Craig Ochs in 2000. - The Denver Post

rSr/2023 QB Tyler LytleMassachusetts
News Source: The Denver Post
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  Kay'Ron Adams may have earned himself a bigger role in Rutgers' offense right before a trip home. Adams was one of the only things that worked for the Scarlet Knights in their 37-21 loss to No. 17 Indiana on Saturday at SHI Stadium in Piscataway. He had a team-leading 62 yards on five carries, and his 37-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave Rutgers a shot at a second-half rally before the Hoosiers pulled away. Adams' strong performance in limited snaps came while Isaih Pacheco was stymied (nine carries for 24 yards) and Aaron Young saw his touches drop off from the season-opening win at Michigan State (where Adams saw no touches). Could that production earn Adams, an Ohio native, more work in next Saturday's trip to No. 3 Ohio State? "I thought Kay'Ron gave us a little spark, that's for sure," coach Greg Schiano said. "I thought Isaih ran hard, I thought Aaron ran hard, but sometimes guys get a little groove going." "We have real confidence in all of our running backs. If somebody's got a hot hand, we let them roll. If we're looking for a spark, we know we have other good players and we're going to let them play." - Star Ledger

rJr/2024 RB KayRon AdamsMassachusetts
News Source: Star Ledger
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