Photo credit: Sam Roberts, Freeze Frame
The portal giveth and taketh
On Monday Charlotte added to the impressive class with Michigan transfer linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green, and proceeded to add more help on the defensive side of the ball with 2 more transfers: Elijah Culp from Troy and Ladaeson DeAndre “Dae Dae” Hollins from UNC Chapel Hill. Culp and Hollins both have plenty of experience on the field, totaling for almost 1,500 snaps played in their careers combined.
Elijah Culp is from nearby Mallard Creek, and started out his collegiate career at Austin Peay (not under former Charlotte coach Will Healy) and transferred up to Troy after a great freshman season with the Governors. Culp’s freshman season will not count against his eligility (2020 Covid year), then played 2 years at Troy. He should have 2 seasons to play here at Charlotte, but may not be immediately eligible since he’s already transferred once.
Dae Dae Hollins, a former 3-star signee with UNC-CH in 2018 class, could have up to 2 seasons remaining. To get the second season I believe he would need a medical waiver, he appeared in 2 games during the 2021 campaign before a season-ending injury. Hollins is the second transfer from Chapel Hill this season, joining former teammate Dontae Balfour in Charlotte’s revamped secondary.
Charlotte also landed 2 other recent verbal commitments: Challen Faamatau, a running back from Maryland, and Malik Baker, a wide receiver form Tennessee-Martin (who played at St. Frances Academy).
Inbound transfer portal activity generally means portal exodus from current players, and that’s certain the case for Charlotte right now. As Biff Poggi and staff continue to overhaul the roster to prepare for their first season in the 704, more players have hit, and will continue to hit, the portal. As a reminder, the Spring transfer portal window will close on April 30th, with the only exception being graduate transfers may enter at any time. Charlotte had 2 transfer portal entries on Tuesday, running back Micah Bell and defensive back Aveon Grose. Both players just wrapped up their freshman season, Bell will have 4 seasons remaining, while Grose competed in 5 games and will have 3 seasons as his next stop. Charlotte also lost two offensive lineman, starting left tackle from last season Jaxon Hughes — recently visited South Carolina — and Trevor Timmons. In total Charlotte has had approximately 17 players hit the portal since the head coaching change.
There’s an 85 scholarship count, and while I don’t know the current number Charlotte has, I know they are over. The program has been aggressive in supporting Poggi’s efforts to bring in the best players available and have multiple student-athletes on NIL scholarships to help aid this. What are those you might ask? With Charlotte being over the cap, they’ve sourced NIL monies to provide financial coverage to certain student-athletes. I fully expect there to be more transfers out before the April 30th deadline, and more additions as well.
While Deion Sanders and his Colorado Buffaloes roster revamp is stealing all the headlines, Charlotte’s staff has been extremely aggressive, and will likely have 60 or more new faces on the sidelines next year (there are already 59 players either signed, enrolled or verbally committed as of now). A truly remarkable process to watch unfold. The spring game clearly showed a team that looked bigger on the field, something that was clearly an issue previously.
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