Multiple SMU players will sit out the remainder of the 2022 season with the intention of entering the transfer portal, according to multiple reports. Sophomore safety Isaiah Nwokobia, veteran DB Chace Cromartie, and receivers Roderick Daniels Jr. and Jayleen Record, will enter the portal, according to On3. Team staffers told the Dallas Morning News, however, that Nwokobia and Daniels had not yet communicated an intent to transfer.
With new NCAA rules surrounding, the players will not officially be able to enter the portal until the season is over.
Nwokobia has played major snaps after signing as the second-highest rated player in the Mustangs' 2021 recruiting class, and Cromartie has 17 starts over the past two seasons, though he's fallen off the depth chart. Daniels was a rotational player as a freshman in 2021, but only has two catches as a sophomore in 2022. Record has rarely seen the field.
Sitting out to enter the transfer portal midseason is becoming trendier, especially with players having extra eligibility to work with thanks to the pandemic season. Recently, Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier chose to after a disappointing 2-2 start to the season. (As a grad transfer, Bachmeier can enter the portal immediately.) Last season, quarterback Charlie Brewer left Utah after a 1-2 start to preserve his remaining eligibility and transfer to Liberty, where he was named starting quarterback entering the season.
Most notably, however, former Houston quarterback D'Eriq King sat out the 2019 season and transferred to Miami, joining (ironically) SMU coach Rhett Lashlee, who was the Hurricanes' offensive coordinator.
SMU has played well early in the Lashlee era, though, with both of its losses coming in one-score games against Power Five opponents. The Mustangs open AAC play against UCF on Wednesday in a game that was pushed back by Hurricane Ian. However, the four-game threshold means each SMU player will be able to use a redshirt season and retain eligibility.
SMU has aggressively used the transfer portal to bolster its roster with great success. SMU achieved its first 10-win season since 1983 with Lashlee as the offensive coordinator in 2019. However, the Mustangs could be feeling the other side of the transfer portal now.