By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It is ironic how a student-athlete will transfer to a new school to try to get a fresh start, only to find himself faced with the added burden of expectations.
Many fans and media put a transfer under a microscope, expecting him to step into the new program and make immediate contributions.
It's especially so for a transfer who drops a level from the FBS to the FCS. The hope by many is that the new guy in town quickly becomes the Big Man on Campus.
Not surprisingly, the most visible transfers in the FCS in 2010 are quarterbacks, namely Aaron Corp from Southern California to Richmond, Mike Paulus from North Carolina to William & Mary and Bo Levi Mitchell from SMU to Eastern Washington.
Some transfers will be hits, some will be misses. Here's a conference-by- conference list of some of the key transfers to watch during the FCS season:
Big Sky Conference
The Eastern Washington system helps a quarterback thrive, but Mitchell doesn't need a lot of help, having thrown for 4,590 yards and 36 touchdowns in less than two seasons as SMU's starter. He lost his job at SMU because of injury, but will have to cut down on interceptions (33 with the Mustangs). Northern Arizona likes what it saw of wide receiver Khalil Paden (San Jose State) during the Lumberjacks' spring game. He caught three passes for 110 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown. At Montana State, junior college transfer Orenzo Davis is drawing comparisons to former Bobcats running back Demetrius Crawford, who made a similar transition to the roster and thrived in the backfield.
Big South Conference
Colonial Athletic Association
Corp's personal web site mistakenly lists him as 9-foot-4, and Richmond hopes the former USC quarterback comes up that big on the East Coast. A preseason injury contributed to him losing the starting job with the Trojans last season, although he started one game and lost to Washington. He has faced steady competition from John Laub, so the No. 1 spot will be won in fall camp. Corp hopes to win the job and get protection from Richard Muldrow, who recently transferred in from Rutgers and should play at either left guard or left tackle. Paulus was even more highly touted out of high school than Corp. The 6-foot-5 Paulus isn't being handed the job at William & Mary, but has the skills (big arm, good feet) to lead the Tribe over the next two seasons. Massachusetts gets 1,000-yard rusher John Griffin from Northeastern, which dropped its program.
Great West Conference
Southern Utah is fired up over transfer Brad Sorensen, who won the starting quarterback job during spring practices. The 6-foot-4 Sorensen redshirted at BYU, then played one season at San Bernardino Community College. Cal Poly welcomes defensive end Matt Singletary from Baylor. He is the son of San Francisco 49ers coach and former Baylor standout Mike Singletary. South Dakota hopes it has an influential transfer in Marquis Butler, who switches to defensive back after being a running back at Utah State.
Quarterback Star Jackson hopes to live up to his name as Georgia State's likely starter. He was No. 3 on Alabama's depth chart and played in the spring game before deciding to transfer to coach Bill Curry's first-year program in Atlanta. Hofstra's decision to drop football has given Old Dominion two starters on its defensive line, Ronnie Cameron and Deron Mayo, who both know how to get to the ball.
Josh Vick might have been Cornell's starting quarterback, but the transfer from New Hampshire injured his knee during track season and won't play this season. But one of the Big Red's primary tailbacks will be Nic Booker-Tandy, from Lafayette. A converted receiver, he had a 96-yard touchdown run during the spring game. Dartmouth added Hofstra defensive tackle Julian Flamer, who should contribute right away.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The MEAC is full of transfers likely to make an impact. Former Rutgers running back Jordan Brooks brings good size (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and ability (346 yards and five touchdowns last season) to Morgan State. As Kurt Mangum (ex- Washington) continues to pursue a pre-law degree at Howard, he hopes to lay down the law at linebacker. Offensive linemen don't come much bigger than 6-8, 350-pound Shaun Millien, who moves from two-year Dean College to North Carolina Central. And speaking of linemen, Hampton adds a three-year starter from Middle Tennessee State, 6-4, 310-pound guard Jamal Lewis, to the offensive line, and San Francisco College transfer William Nacouzi to the defensive line.
Missouri Valley Football Conference
Highly-touted running back Shariff Harris didn't pan out at Pittsburgh, but is expected to give Southern Illinois a lift after it lost Deji Karim, who rushed for an FCS-high 1,694 yards last season. Shane Covington ... running back or wide receiver, wide receiver or running back? The multi-position player from Indiana hopes to be a playmaker for Northern Iowa. Youngstown State's preseason battle at quarterback will include Najee Tyler from Purdue.
Monmouth is replacing a three-year starter at center, but Hofstra transfer Tom Ottaiano could become one of the better offensive linemen in the conference. He has only one season of eligibility remaining.
Ohio Valley Conference
Tennessee Tech running back Jocques Crawford led the nation's junior college rushers with 1,935 yards in 2007 season, but ran into problems at Kansas and hopes to salvage a final season. Murray State also adds a running back in Josh Brown, who arrived from Iowa. The dropping of programs at Hofstra and Northeastern have given Eastern Kentucky a pair of players, offensive lineman Derek Moore (a two-year starter) and 6-7 tight end Matt Lengel, respectively.
Speaking of Hofstra, running back Carlton Koonce didn't have to go far to transfer to Fordham. The speedy runner will have four seasons of eligibility with the Rams.
Pioneer Football League
One of Campbell's starting linebackers could be Michael Rudisill, who transferred in from Appalachian State. JUCO transfer Chris Smith will try to win a spot on the Camels' defensive line as well. At Morehead State, wide receiver Michael Gallik, a transfer from Ball State, joins his brother Brad on the roster.
A couple of quarterbacks are welcome additions for the triple option at their respective new schools. Jaybo Shaw arrives at Georgia Southern from Georgia Tech anxious to get the Eagles out of their recent funk, while Montana State signal-caller (and original Air Force signee) Blane Woodfin joins the battle for The Citadel's starting job as the Bulldogs switch offensive schemes. Elon hopes wide receiver Christian Dennis is productive after he caught 27 passes and three touchdowns, and returned a kickoff for another score, for Hofstra last season.
McNeese State has to replace quarterback Derrick Fourroux and may turn to 25- year-old Jacob Bower, who arrives from Tulsa after earlier stops at BYU and Bakersfield Junior College. New Southeastern Louisiana wide receiver Brandon Collins ran into problems off the field at Texas - academic ineligibility and an arrest - but was successful on the field. As a sophomore in 2008, Collins caught 35 passes for 430 yards and three touchdowns.
Southwestern Athletic Conference
Talented cornerback John Mark Henderson hopes to make the mark at Prairie View A&M that he didn't make at Syracuse. He played for City College of San Francisco prior to Syracuse. SMU transfer B.J. Lee has returned to his hometown at Jackson State and will contribute as a running back in the new spread offense, both as an explosive rusher and receiver.