The expectations surrounding the Central Michigan Chippewas in 2022 were pretty high. As the dust settled on Jim McElwain’s fourth year, the Chips finished 4-8 and 3-5 in the MAC.
Overall, Central Michigan is going to have to replace a lot of offensive production due to Portal and NFL Draft departures. To date, significantly more former CMU players jumped into the portal than they got back. They return plenty of starters on defense in 2023, so there are a few new faces to get to know on offense and special team.
- QB Daniel Richardson (Florida Atlantic)
A familiar face is off to the Transfer Portal as fourth-year quarterback Daniel Richardson is looking for a new beginning. As a freshman in 2019, Richardson only appeared in three games but he took over as QB1 in 2020. He started four games for the Chips, leading the team to all three wins on their docket. In 2021, Richardson appeared in all 13 games with nine starts. Then, last year, he appeared in all 12 games and started 10 where he eventually started to get phased out.
In total, Richardson threw for 5,336 yards and 43 touchdowns in his time.
- FB/TE Logan Guthrie (Uncommitted)
Four years was enough for Logan Guthrie as the former two-way player in high school is on the move. In his four years in the program, Guthrie appeared in just two games in 2021 and did not record any stats for the Chips.
- WR Finn Hogan (Bowling Green)
After just two years on campus, Finn Hogan is hopping on over to the MAC East to continue his collegiate career. After redshirting and appearing in just three games in 2021, Hogan was a bit more involved in 2022. He appeared in all 12 games and started six times. In total, he hauled in 19 passes for 155 yards and a score. That touchdown came in the loss to Penn State.
- TE Cade Conley (Marshall)
Another member of the 2021 recruiting class is off to the Transfer Portal. Cade Conley redshirted as a true freshman. Conley earned a rotational role with the Chippewas in 2022, amasseing 168 yards off of 11 receptions.
- OL Alex Heininger (Buffalo)
After just one year with Central Michigan, Alex Heininger jumps into the Transfer Portal. As a recruit, Heininger was the 12th-best recruit in the state of New York and the third-best tackle prospect. In high school, Heninger was a three-time All-Conference honoree and was voted as an All-New York player as a senior. He was listed as the backup left tackle for the Chippewas last year
- OL Tyden Ferris (Georgia State)
Tyden Ferris is off to Georgia State after five years in the Central Michigan program. Ferris was a familiar face within the offensive line over the last four years. In total, Ferris made 45 appearances and started 28 games as both left and right guard. He was a four-year letter winner with the program and was a big help with Lew Nichols’ ability to tear up defenses left and right.
- OL Kyle Kloska (Army)
One year was enough for Kyle Kloska and he’s off to the Transfer Portal. He was a preferred walk-on for the Chips and did not appear in any action as a reserve lineman. He transfers to Army to join his brother, Timmy. Without a promise of being elevated to scholarship status with CMU, he decided to go block for his brother with the Black Knights.
- DL LaQuan Johnson Jr. (Uncommitted)
LaQuan Jonnson Jr. spent five years in the defensive line rotation and is off for a new start. As a true freshman, Johnson made three starts and another appearance. Then, he broke out in a big way in 2019. In 13 games and 12 starts, Johnson made 33 tackles, 13 TFLs, six sacks, a forced fumble, and a blocked kick. From there, he took a step back. In total, Johnson appeared in 33 games and recorded 72 tackles, 26.5 TFLs, 13 sacks, a forced fumble, and a blocked kick.
- DT Isaiah Rogers (Monmouth [FCS])
A former three-star defensive lineman is on the move after just two years in the CMU program. Isaiah Rogers came to Central Michigan from Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, and has served as a reserve defensive lineman. In his two years in the program, Rogers appeared in one game last year that amounted to two snaps.
- DE Fred Stokes (Campbell [FCS])
Special teams matters and the Chippewas will miss four-year player and three-year contributor on the unit, Fred Stokes. Stokes redshirted his freshman year in 2019 and did not make any appearances. Then, over the course of the next three seasons, he appeared in 26 games where he amassed a total of four tackles as a defender and special teamer.
- LB Cory Gildersleeve (Uncommitted)
After five years with the program, Cory Gildersleeve is on the move. After grayshirting in 2018, Gildersleeve redshirted in 2019 after appearing in just four games and even making a start. He earned more playing time in 2021 after not appearing in any contests in 2020. On the year, he appeared in 11 games and notched four tackles. Finally, last year, Gildersleeve made two tackles in seven games.
- CB Rolliann Sturkey (Northern Iowa [FCS])
Rollian Sturkey hits the Transfer Portal with 46 games under his belt in five years in the program. He got off to a good start with 12 appearances as a true freshman and 13 as a sophomore. Then, he appeared in 19 of 19 possible games over the next two years, notching 42 tackles in total. Last year, he only appeared in two games.
- S Ormondell Dingle (Uncommitted)
Out of Cass Tech in Detroit, Michigan, Ormondell Dingle is off to the Transfer Portal after four years in the program. In those four years, he appeared in just two games in 2020 and recorded one tackle.
- P Luke Elzinga (Oklahoma)
The three-time All-MAC performer is trading in maroon for crimson. Luke Elzinga, after redshirting in 2019, was the go-to punter for the Chips over the last three years. In 2020 and 2021, Elzinga earned First-Team honors and then earned third-team honors last year. In his time, he had a career average of 42.4 yards off of his 145 punts. His longest career punt was 65 yards last year and he amassed 24 punts of at least 50 yards. Of those 145 punts, only 10 were touchbacks and 61 were downed within the 20.
- K Marshall Meeder (Uncommitted)
The other half of the special teams tandem, Marshall Meeder, is also on the move. Meeder, in three years, accrued an impressive career. In total, he converted 30 of 45 field goals and 88 PATs. He has a career-long of 53 yards, hit in his freshman year against Toledo.
New Faces in Town
- RB BJ Harris (Missouri)
Replacing Lew Nichols III is going to be a difficult ask, but adding BJ Harris to the mix could help. Harris was a superstar in the Tennessee high school track and football scenes prior to his arrival in Columbia. In his two years at Mizzou, Harris appeared in eight games as a freshman, carrying the ball eight times for 73 yards. Last year, he turned eight carries into 32 yards and a touchdown.
He comes to CMU with two years of eligibility remaining.
- WR Thomas Pannunzio (Colorado State)
After five years with the Colorado State Rams, receiver and returner Thomas Pannunzio comes to town. He’s listed as a receiver but Pannunzio was known more for his return ability. In 2020 and 2021, he was the primary kick returner and averaged 24.2 yards a pop. He added 11 punt returns between the two years for 138 yards and a touchdown.
After not recording any stats in four games in 2022, Pannunzio comes to Central Michigan for his final year of eligibility.
- WR Stephan Bracey Jr. (Wisconsin)
The Chippewas went in and got another special teams talent in Stephan Bracey, Jr., a native of Grand Rapids. Bracey redshirted his first season on campus. Then, in 2020, he appeared in just three games and returned six kicks for 114 yards. In 2021, he added 193 yards off of six returns in two games. He elected to jump into the Transfer Portal in October.
The Chippewas get Bracey for his two years of eligibility remaining.
- OL Dominic Serapiglia III (Southeast Louisiana, FCS)
Central Michigan will be the third stop for Dominic Serapiglia in five years. Initially, he was a walk-on at Tulsa. From there, he transferred to Southeastern Louisiana where he worked from a reserve lineman for two games in 2020 to playing as a reserve in 11 games in 2021. Then, in 2022, Serapiglia took off as the starting center and long snapper. He started all 13 games and earned Second-Team All-Southland Conference.
Serapiglia comes to CMU with two years of eligibility remaining.
- DE Deonte Bryant (Iowa Central C.C.)
The top JUCO defensive end according to 247Sports is heading to Central Michigan. Deonte Bryant immediately made an impact with ICCC, tallying 27 tackles, 11.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, and recovered a fumble. As a sophomore, Bryant recorded 45 tackles, 20.5 TFLs, 9.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Then, last year, he added 16 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, five sacks, and forced three fumbles.
Bryant will be coming off the edge for his final year of eligibility this fall.
- P Jake Walrath (Tarleton State [FCS])
Jake Walrath is coming to punt for the Chippewas for his sixth season of college ball. After redshirting for Utah State in 2018, Walrath transferred to Tarleton State. There, he spent four years and punted the ball 144 times. 27 of those punts went at least 50 yards and 45 were downed within the 20. He finished with the second-best average punt with 40.9. In 2021, he launched a 74-yard punt!
The Chips get Walrath and his nuke of a leg for his final year of eligibility this year.
- K Tristan Mattson (Arkansas State)
Finally, Central Michigan gets kickoff specialist Tristan Mattson from the Sun Belt. Across his four years with the Red Wolves, Mattson appeared in 30 games. In those 30 games, he kicked it off 156 times, averaging 59.7 yards per kick. However, in that time, he did not attempt a field goal or extra point.
He has just one year of eligibility remaining.